Question: What are the two most important issues facing Somerville right now, and what would you do on the Board of Aldermen to address those issues?
The two most important issues are sensible residential development and increasing our commercial opportunities for businesses. As a member of the Board of Aldermen, I will advocate that only the most sensible developments are approved for our neighborhoods and ensure that the ideas, suggestions and concerns of our residents are taken into consideration throughout the process. Maintaining a balance between residential and commercial development is more critical than ever right now as Somerville is a Real Estate dream for developers. Of course, we want to give people spaces to live and, with larger projects, comes the opportunity to increase our affordable housing inventory. With this shift, however, we are slowly depleting our commercial tax revenue and increasing cost on the City. We have been blessed with balanced budgets for the past few years, but I want to avoid that breaking point where we are spending more than we are bringing in and increasing fees, fines and taxes any further are no longer options that I am willing to support.
Question: Tell us about your background.
I am a lifelong resident of Ward 5, making my home in Magoun Square. For the past ten years I have been entrenched in some of the most significant topics that have come up in our Ward including public safety issues, improving economic vitality and advocating for smart development. For the past four years, I have chronicled the comings and goings on my website, Ward 5 Online. The website is sustained with details from Board of Aldermen and subcommittee meetings. Attending these meetings has provided me with the understanding of how legislation travels through the Board from submission to execution. This knowledge enabled my seamless transition from community advocate to Ward 5 Alderman. I have been proudly engaged in my Community for years and I am now in a position where I can improve the areas where the Ward needs help and maximize on our strengths.
Question: Why should Somerville residents vote for you?
As a resident, I have been engaged with my community, attending meetings and advocating for the things that mattered most to us such as fairer city traffic and parking policies, improved economic stability for Magoun Square and keeping our school custodians employed. As a citizen journalist, I have four years of Ward 5's political, developmental, artistic and Community history stored in an easy-to-navigate format. As your Alderman, I have passed a balanced budget that increased funding to our Schools, Police and Fire Departments. I have tackled issues such as constant road closures, updating underground infrastructure on Cedar Street, breaking ground on the Community Path Extension, and keeping our roads safe and clean. When approaching any issue, I do so with years of experience whether it be as a constituent or legislator. We have started tremendous work together in my short amount of time on the Board, but there is so much more to accomplish. By giving me your vote on November 5th, we can continue our journey to make Ward 5 reach its fullest potential!