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On the Issues

Housing Affordability & Smarter Development

As representatives of the people of Watertown, Councilors need to be sure the residents are reaping the full benefits of our rapid commercial and residential development. 

 

  • I support the current efforts to address housing affordability across all income levels, including the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, the exploration of linkage fees on large scale developers to provide funding for programs like a rental assistance fund, and efforts to enable home owners to build accessory dwelling units

 

 

 

 

 

Effective, Transparent, Accountable Local Government

For residents of the East End, my goals are to:

 

  • Prioritize resident requests for help, and be your tireless advocate

  • Ensure that the development in our neighborhood is not undertaken without your input, so that new business and housing projects serve all residents

  • Review policy and infrastructure changes that could improve traffic congestion, coordinating with municipal leaders in Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Belmont

  • Protect our invaluable green spaces and work for closer collaboration with DCR around Greenough Boulevard and the river

  • Share important information regularly through a variety of channels including my email newsletter, social media, in-person office hours, and informal coffee chats; Contact me with your ideas, questions, and issues!

Selecting the Right City Manager for Watertown's Future

Hiring a good City Manager, and helping them to a successful start, is critical for our future.  In hiring, I am looking for someone who

  • Has already successfully led an organization through significant change, given both the change our team of city employees will experience with the a new leader, and the rapid pace of change Watertown is experiencing 

  • Has a track record as a partner and collaborator with the elected officials representing the voters, throughout their career

  • Will work with the City Council in defining a long term vision for Watertown, and then work actively toward it 

  • Will maintain our prudent fiscal management practices

  • Will engage with residents, to hear their ideas and concerns

 

But hiring the right person is just the first step. My fellow City Councilors and I will need to help our new manager get to know their team and others they’ll be working with, connect them with our residents and business community, and help them understand the opportunities and challenges Watertown is facing, in their first year.  

Robust Public Safety and Health Funding

  • I support the recently passed MA police reform act, along with any resources or additional funding needed to implement it 

  • I am in favor of expanding the support that our law enforcement currently receive from embedded mental health professionals, whose expertise is essential in addressing the root causes of many challenges, such as engaging with severely mentally ill people, de-escalating domestic conflicts, and treating addiction as the public health emergency it is

  • I support supplemental programs that address and prevent the root causes of so much crime in our community, such as emergency support for food- and housing-insecure families, resources for those facing domestic violence, and early interventions around opioid addiction 

  • I believe in the power of community engagement and collaboration as fundamental to public health and safety, and I would like to see us build on the successful collaboration between our Police Department and our community in developing Watertown’s 2017 immigration policy

Green Spaces, Sustainability, and the Environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining the East End’s Unique Sense of Community

 

  • As we grow, we need to integrate our new residents. I started Buy Nothing Watertown to foster connections among people, whether they’ve lived here all their life, or moved in last month. I’ll continue to look for ways for people to connect, neighbor to neighbor, and would love your ideas.  And if you are on Facebook, please check out Buy Nothing Watertown.  You'll make friends, save money and time, and help reduce our footprint on the earth. Every bit matters.

  • We need to protect our identity and support our local businesses. Small scale retail revitalization should be a priority in the city's vision and new comprehensive plan. Here in the East End, I'd love to hear your ideas, such as “village days” or buy-local campaigns, to ensure that Coolidge Square remains vibrant and welcoming to people on foot and on bikes. 

Fostering a Welcoming Watertown for All

  • I think we should review our zoning code to see if we can permit denser housing developments; doing this could both reduce the average cost of a new living unit, and preserve precious green space

  • I am striving to make sure that that our planning for commercial development takes into account sustainability and climate resilience. I am ensuring that in the East End, we include early consultation with and input from residents for major developments

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We must do everything we can, as rapidly as possible, to reduce the rate and impacts of climate change. Changes at the global level begin here on the local level. To that end, I support a strong Climate & Energy Action Plan that will offer a comprehensive roadmap to reach our net zero goals.  Among the approaches I favor:

  • Building on our leadership with the solar ordinance and net-zero schools by crafting broader sustainability guidelines in zoning and planning 

  • Ensuring street trees are planted strategically to address heat islands; the East End needs trees, and this is a health issue for our residents

  • Studying curbside composting, to understand if we can reduce our carbon footprint while saving Watertown money

In addition, I support continued funding of the town-wide Open Space Stabilization fund, to protect our rare and precious green spaces.

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Tight-knit communities are strong communities — and we are so lucky to have one here in the East End. Our neighbors know each other, they support one another, and we enjoy unique local shops and restaurants. 

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Your government is here to serve you, the residents of Watertown. As your City Councilor, responding to your requests and concerns is my first and most important job. I supported the recent Charter reforms, which gave residents more opportunity to know what their government is doing, to ask questions, and to make suggestions. This is your government, we work for you.

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Public safety is a top priority, period. We must do everything to ensure that all residents feel secure in our town and particularly in the East End. I support full funding for all of our public safety departments: police, fire, and public health.

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Every person in our community matters, and we all want the same things: a sense of belonging, to feel safe, to feel seen for who we are. I will work hard to foster this for everyone who lives, works, or visits Watertown. Our broader society has work to do to achieve this, and it won’t be completed in my lifetime. But I will work actively to get this right, here in Watertown, and I ask for your help.