Haywood: Minorities have a much better chance of being elected at-large

Haywood: Minorities have a much better chance of being elected at-large

One of the primary concerns expressed here and elsewhere by opponents of the proposed new charter is a concern that the elimination of ward-elected city councilors will make our council less diverse. Rev. Howard Haywood, a life-long Newton resident who was a member of the Charter Commission, addressed this topic in a letter to the TAB. Andy Levin shared a copy with us so it can run in its entirety.

Recent letter writers to the TAB have expressed their opposition to the proposed changes to our city charter on the grounds that elimination of ward-only elected councilors will prevent the election of minority representatives to the City Council. As a member of the Newton African-American community, and one of the nine members of the Newton Charter Commission elected at-large to serve our community, I most strongly disagree.

Newton does have a diverse population. Having lived here my entire life, over time I have witnessed Newton become a much

What’s more democratic, being able to elect 100 percent of your City Council or 2/3rds?

What’s more democratic, being able to elect 100 percent of your City Council or 2/3rds?

This question has come up on a number of different threads but I thought it might be helpful to address it head on.

Under Newton’s current charter, every registered voter has a say in the election of their own ward councilor and all 16 of our at-large councilors, or just over 2/3rds of our 24 total city council.

The proposed charter shrinks the council to 12, eliminates the ward council slots and empowers all voters to vote on 100 percent their city councilors.

I believe there are compelling pros and cons to both systems. But I’m really interested in having a philosophical discussion strictly on matter on the “democracy” question because

Draft version of the Newton’s revised charter is approved

After more than a year of research, public comment, debate, straw votes and then more debate, Newton’s Charter Commission unanimously approved a draft of a proposed charter revision. The TAB’s Laura Lovett’s story is here.

Among other things, the draft reduces the size of Newton’s city council from 24 to 12. Eight councilors will have ward residency requirements but be elected at-large, the remaining four will be

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