Support smart growth and sustainable development to increase workforce housing and affordable housing options for seniors who want to age in place, young professionals, and families in Newton. I plan to work closely with constituents, so that all are able to clearly understand proposed developments and share their input with developers. As councilwoman, I will clearly and transparently explain to constituents what changes they can expect with new developments, as well as pathways for sharing their input and contributing to the overall design of developments. I support dense, transit-oriented developments that promote walking and biking near village centers.
Support efforts to combat global climate change, increase renewable energy, and decrease energy consumption in Newton. Decreasing our city’s environmental footprint is important to me as a city councilor and Newton has taken some great steps so far to combat climate change. As a councilor, I will ensure the city upholds its commitment to the Paris Agreement, despite President Trump’s withdrawal. Priorities include guaranteeing all new municipal construction is LEED-certified, finding new locations for solar panels to increase reliance on solar energy, improving the city’s public transportation and bike lanes to reduce our reliance on individual vehicles, planting more trees around the city, and repairing leaky water and gas lines to increase energy and water efficiency. As a young person, I am keenly aware that climate change is the most pressing issue facing my generation. I am proud to have been endorsed by the Sierra Club, and you can read my answers to the Green Newton questionnaire here.
Maintain excellent public schools and address the achievement gap to ensure that all students, regardless of their race and socioeconomic background benefit from opportunities provided by Newton Public Schools. I will work closely with Newton’s School Committee, Newton’s teachers, as well as Newton’s various after school programs to ensure that all students have their educational needs met, including the social supports that are indispensable to closing the achievement gap.
Place Newton’s response to the opioid crisis front and center. Newton has already been impacted by the opioid epidemic, and I will actively work to ensure that we realize a multi-sector effort to support those impacted by the crisis, from the most immediate through the long-term. I am encouraged by the efforts being made by Newton's PATH - Prevention, Awareness, Treatment, and Hope - working group, and would ask the Mayor to consider me to be the city council liaison to PATH. No family or individual should have to suffer alone, and as a community, I know we can compassionately support and care for those who are impacted.
Ensure that Newton remains diverse, safe, and inclusive for all. Since the Trump administration rolled out their immigration practices, doctors, law enforcement, and others across the state have reported that domestic and sexual violence survivors are reaching out in smaller numbers, immigrants and refugees are afraid to seek medical treatment, and concerns that parents are afraid to register their children for schools. I will ensure that Newton’s “Welcoming City Ordinance” is upheld, and that xenophobia and discrimination are not tolerated in Newton by any public official or public office. The Welcoming City Ordinance is both a testament to our values as a welcoming and inclusive community, and an ordinance that keeps all Newton residence safe. No one should be afraid to reach out for help, register their children for school, or seek medical treatment.
Improve public transportation facilities, including making sure that our commuter rails stops are accessible. I support the Fair Share Amendment, which calls for a 4% tax increase on income over $1 million. This increase would result in $1.9 billion per year in to fund transportation and education programs. Local communities throughout the Commonwealth, including Newton would benefit from this tax revenue to maintain our roads, repair public infrastructure, and improve transportation. I support dense developments near public transit that would increase rider share, thus increasing our negotiating power with MassDOT for improved services.
Support improvements in our infrastructure. In my conversations with folks at the doors, it is clear that we all feel incredibly frustrated by the state of our roads. I am pleased to see that our city has invested in StreetScan technology, so that we can begin not just to repair our roads, but to put them on a maintenance system to prevent disrepair and reduce future costs.
Support senior services. I will advocate for funding for a New Senior Center, increased staffing, and affordable and accessible housing options near village centers.
League of Women Voters Ward 1 at-large debate.