Open Space and Climate
I have been very focused on efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes advocating for the full electrification of new and substantially renovated buildings. Newton is on track to be one of the ten communities able to trial this starting in January 2024. I was also a strong supporter of Newton adopting the specialized stretch code. This will take effect in January 2024. I am a member of the Climate Action Plan Accountability Group. I also chair the Pollinators Working Group to protect and expand Newton’s pollinator population. This group has drafted beekeeping regulations, planted several new pollinator gardens on city properties, and will be hosting its first pollinator garden tour this fall.
While in office, I have been an effective proponent for housing, advocating on the village center zoning redesign to enable a greater variety of housing to be built, better supporting the housing needs of residents and sustainable, vibrant village centers. I supported the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust on which I now serve. As a member of the Land Use Committee, I have worked to ensure special permit projects provide a greater variety of housing including smaller units and more units that are accessible, as well as increasing the sustainability of projects.
Safety & Infrastructure
I have also continued to advocate for safer streets and have been appointed as the Council representative on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Project. The Master Plan effort is one for which I have been advocating for more than ten years, long before I was on the Council and successfully passed a budget resolution in my first year on the Council.
Advocating for our most vulnerable neighbors
I continue to attend the monthly Fair Housing Committee and Commission on Disability meetings to inform my work as a City Councilor.
A voice for Newton at the State level
I also frequently advocate to our state legislature and state agencies on behalf of the Council on issues relating to climate, housing, and transportation.