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 ISSUES

SPECIFIC to WARD 7

Listening to the voices of ALL of Ward 7’s residents

A community is a spectrum of diverse individuals and families. The neighborhoods of Ward 7 are comprised of people whose families have lived here for generations, people who have moved here from large urban areas, immigrants, folks who work in factories, and professors from the Five Colleges. We have young families, older residents, people of comfortable means, and those who struggle financially. We are white, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and gay and straight. I will work to increase inclusiveness and greater participation of all of Ward 7’s residents. I will listen to residents from all sides of the political spectrum and diverse viewpoints. I will encourage productive dialogue and collaboration amongst residents and use my mediation skills to achieve unity whenever possible.

Reduction of pesticide and herbicide use on all of our municipal areas

I am committed to working in my second term on reducing significantly the use of pesticides and herbicides in our parks, school grounds, playing fields, and other municipal areas throughout the City. Our children and family members play and rest in our parks and playing fields, and on our lawns every day in the spring, summer, and fall. We spread blankets on the grass in these places to watch our children and family members play sports, to have picnics, and to enjoy the outdoors. Our babies and toddlers crawl and play on the grass. Our kids climb on the trees and play hide and seek in the bushes. Because of this, I will advocate and fight for the use of non-toxic and organic weed and pest control products in all of Northampton’s municipal areas.

Increasing the vibrancy of downtown Florence & advancing the economic interests of Ward 7

I believe a vibrant business district can be the heart of a city or a town. We are lucky enough in Ward 7 to have an abundance of natural and recreational resources: beautiful woods and places to hike, a bike path, Look Park, playing fields, and the Mill River and all its tributaries. But when we are ready for a cup of coffee at a café, want a delicious meal at a restaurant, or need to buy flowers, photocopy documents, or purchase a tool for a project, we can bike or walk into downtown Florence. This is the best of both worlds. I am committed to working collaboratively with the Florence Civic and Business Association to keep Florence’s businesses healthy, to fill its storefronts and spaces, and increase the flow of customers in the downtown area. I am interested in encouraging the growth of alternative business models such as co-operatives in Florence, and ensuring the vibrancy of the commercial areas of our community.

Advancing the social, educational, and civic interests of our neighborhoods

I am committed to working with both the Leeds Civic Association and the Florence Civic and Business Association to conduct meetings and events for our Ward 7 neighborhoods that enhance our quality of life and connection to one another, open dialogue around questions and issues, and encourage community building, conversation, and fun.

Extension of the bike path through Leeds and into Williamsburg

I support expanded bicycle and pedestrian paths to increase health and reduce pollution in our Valley. Extending the bike path through Leeds and into and beyond Williamsburg will expand the recreational options of the residents of Ward 7, improve our health and wellbeing, and link us up to other areas of our city and beyond.

Creating our ward as a part of Northampton’s vibrant arts community

Northampton is a city known throughout the United States for its vibrant arts life. I will work to enhance the role of Leeds and Florence in Northampton’s art scene. I am committed to working with the occupants of the Brushworks Arts and Industry building and musicians, artists, writers, and poets in our neighborhoods to produce more arts and cultural events that reflect the artistic vibrancy of our Ward 7 communities, and that draw attention and people to our town centers and other arts locations.

Improving road safety and ensuring access to public transportation options

I will advocate to improve the conditions of our streets and roads in Ward 7 to make them safer and more navigable. For instance, Kennedy Road which serves as a pass- through for many, needs repairs. Other roads invite travelers to drive too fast and endanger residents living there. I am committed to working with the Department of Pubic Works (DPW) to make Ward 7’s roads safer. In order to benefit those who don’t own cars or don’t have a license to drive, and to reduce car emissions in the Valley, I plan to work with the PVTA and other related entities to ensure that our neighborhoods are accessible with adequate public transit.

CITYWIDE ISSUES

Grow local, shop local, bank local

I will do everything I can to support local businesses, local banks, and local farms. I will encourage and provide support for the expansion of cooperatives and other ethical and responsible business models, and will initiate the promotion of local and sustainable food initiatives.

Supporting our natural environment; preserving our open space; enhancing our beautiful Valley

  • I support the Community Preservation Act (CPA), Kestral Trust, and other local efforts to protect and preserve land and open space, and create an integrated city plan.
  • I will work to support the implementation of the Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan, and support the development of educational programs on sustainable design and development for architects and private contractors working in the city.
  • I will advocate for the safe and responsible placement of cell towers.
  • I will encourage city-wide and regional solutions to air quality and ozone issues.
  • I support Solarize Northampton and will work to continue to build the renewable energy infrastructure in our town. This is a way to both help the environment and save money that can then be used for other projects.
  • I will support the growth of the tree canopy throughout Northampton. Last year in Northampton, we removed 70 trees from public spaces and planted only 20. I will work with the Tree Committee and others to shift these numbers and ensure that we plant more trees than are removed. I will also support efforts to ensure that trees planted on private property offer some public benefit.

Viable and affordable methods of waste disposal

I will initiate efforts to increase city-sponsored composting, recycling, and reuse to reduce the creation of trash, and encourage practices that reduce the waste stream, such as the use of biodegradable materials. I will work to seek viable and affordable solutions to waste disposal.

Inclusion of traditionally underserved communities and individuals

I will work to listen to, represent, and increase the civic involvement of all of Northampton’s individuals and communities including our youth, people of lesser financial means, people of color, older residents, people who are homeless, people with disabilities, and renters and homeowners alike. I will improve existing infrastructure for youth action and leadership in our city. I will work with immigrants to address their needs and cut back their isolation, increase their access to public transportation, and ensure their representation in schools and in the civic discourse.

Expanding educational opportunities & enhancing the academic experience in Northampton’s public schools

I am committed to preserving and expanding Northampton’s educational resources and programs, including academics, arts programming, and athletics. I will work with the School Committee, the Northampton Education Foundation, and others to ensure the quality of public education in our city. I support the Proposition 2 ½ override to bring into balance the city’s budget to ensure that the City of Northampton meets the fundamental educational needs of our children.

A strong future for the arts in Northampton

  • I will work to find a permanent home for the Northampton Center for the Arts.
  • I will support the Northampton Arts Council and city arts programs and initiatives to ensure a vibrant arts presence in our neighborhoods and throughout Northampton.

Public safety

I will support the strengthening of the city’s public health, criminal justice, and first responder sectors by building and sustaining their infrastructure to prevent crime, violence, and interpersonal harm, and respond to it effectively, humanely, and with respect for all residents’ civil liberties and rights.

Increased “Town-Gown” cooperation

As a graduate of Smith College, I will work to increase the interaction and mutual support between Smith College and the City of Northampton. I will seek more support from Smith for community endeavors, and more engagement of the community in Smith activities and resources. I will work with Smith College to continue its role as an economic generator for the community.

Influencing state and federal budget decisions to enhance the wellbeing of the residents of Northampton

I am committed to working with community members and local organizations to examine how current federal and state spending priorities are affecting our ability as a city to meet our community’s needs, and to influence these government entities to prioritize the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.

A living wage for Northampton’s workers

I support the living wage movement and will work to ensure that workers receive wages that allow them to live with dignity and the ability to support themselves and their families.

Supporting our city’s veterans and meeting their needs

I am committed to working with Northampton’s Veterans’ Services Department to ensure that our city’s veterans receive the resources they need to support their employment, housing, mental health, and other needs. I will work with Soldier On in its creation of housing for vets.

Ensuring adequate, fair, low-income, and affordable housing; addressing and reversing homelessness

There is an ever-increasing need in our city for fair and affordable housing – individuals and families should be paying no more than 30 percent of their annual income for a roof over their heads. I will work collaboratively with city and regional organizations and committees to identify and access opportunities for the establishment of affordable housing, and resources to prevent and address homelessness.

Using technology to address and improve community issues

I will work towards broadening our city’s relationship with the technological sector for collaborative problem-solving of social and civic issues.

Supporting our city’s public libraries, promoting literacy, and engaging the community in reading and related activities

Our public libraries are a treasure whose value cannot be underestimated. The rich programming, community spaces, books, videos, and audio materials are assets to our community that we cannot take for granted. I will work as a city councilor to ensure the health and vitality of Forbes and Lilly Libraries, and will do everything I can to promote the capital campaign Forbes Library has launched to make the building accessible to everyone.