We have invited all candidates running for contested seats in the upcoming Newton election to submit a guest post to Village 14. The format and content of the post is entirely up to them.

City Council candidate Susan Albright, who is running for the Ward 2 at-large seat, has submitted the following post.

We’ve come to the end of an active campaign.  I started canvassing in July and I thank all the people who offered me a glass of water as I stood dripping at the door asking for their vote.  Over this time we discussed roads, traffic, teacher contracts, climate change, NewCal, parks, and often development. 

I never shied away from my position that we need housing and commercial development.  I spent time leaning on doorposts explaining the realities of financing housing in Newton taking into account the high cost of land, the lengthy approval process, and all the requirements the city adds on to mitigate growth and support affordable housing.   I explained that regional job growth requires new homes; and “New Growth” – a term that means we can increase tax revenue over and above the 2.5% we are allowed to raise base taxes, is essential to keep Newton fiscally sound.

Finally, I commiserated with people who worried their kids can’t afford to move back to Newton, and with the many seniors still in big houses with no place to go and stay with friends in Newton. My most moving meetings were with families with adult disabled children who are looking for a home.  If reelected this is something I want to pay special attention to.  

I thank all the city employees to whom I took problems I accumulated on the campaign trail –Marc Welsh about trees, Bob DeRubeis about parks,  Jim McGonagle and company regarding roads, and Jason Sobel and Isaac Prizant about cars speeding through neighborhoods “thanks” to Waze.

I met hundreds of people at ‘meet and greets’ with various combinations of my colleagues – Deb, Andrea, Andreae, Vicki  – occasionally Brenda and Maria.  What an amazing talented bunch of women – each bringing a unique set of skills to the table. Every now and again I’d cross paths with newbies Bryan, Bill, Carolina and Alicia depending on the  Ward we were in – and often meeting up with Tamika, Emily and Ruth running for School Committee.  I’ve talked with Greg about how difficult this campaign has been.  Then there were the late night or early morning conversations with Jake talking over our campaigns – I look forward to serving with him again.  My friends, we can be proud that these smart caring people are willing to take a chance to get elected to move Newton forward.

I thank all of you for engaging with me these past four months – no matter which side of an issue you were on.  I loved leading all sides of every argument in song at the Nomad Story Slam last night.  We’ve had good conversations and hard work.  With your vote, I look forward to serving you again and renewing the adventure on Jan1 2020.

Susan Albright
Councilor-at-Large Ward 2
Newton City Council