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?
A. Development-Development issues facing Somerville will shape and determine our future for the next 25-50 years. Projects at Assembly Square, Union Square, Inner belt, and many other smaller, but vital parcels must be sustainable, generate substantial commercial tax revenue, and have the best long term interests of the City and its residents in mind. As a member of the Board of Alderman, I would push to make the City hold the developers of Assembly Square accountable to take all necessary steps to ensure that substantial office/R & D development becomes a reality. Developers must invest their own resources in marketing, infrastructure, transportation, etc. to generate higher tax revenue creating office/R & D uses. Opportunities for affordable housing flow from development decisions made at these locations.
B. Education-The benchmark of any community is often judged by the quality of their education system. Somerville has made great strides In MCAS test scores, the caliber of our teachers, and the strength and implementation of our school curriculum. But we still need to focus on making our schools better from within, retaining our best students they prepare to enter college and the workforce. I would work actively with parents, teachers, and members of the School Committee to ensure they have the proper resources, commitment, and desire to continue to lift Somerville's educational system.
Question: Tell us about your background.
I have been actively involved in public service and community activism since my earliest days. I grew up the youngest of 8 children in a very Democratic, community-orientated family. I moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. My wife and two children have made Somerville our home for over 10 years now. Both of our children have attended Somerville public schools since their very first day at the Capuano Early Childhood Center. They currently attend the West Somerville Neighborhood School (WSNS). I was elected Vice-President of the PTA Board at both the Capuano and WSNS schools, where I remain active today. I have coached Somerville Little League baseball for the past four years, serve on the Board of Directors, and also coach the Somerville Pride Girls basketball team. I worked in Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay's administration as Senior Staff Aide and Communications Director for the City. I served as Chief of Staff for Senator Charles Shannon, and currently am Chief of Staff for Representative Jay Kaufman. I believe I have the mix of state and local government experience to serve. I know the Board and I know how it works.
Question: Why should Somerville residents vote for you?
I believe I can bring new ideas, a higher level of energy, and a much-needed fresh approach to city government. Two years ago, I ran for this office on a platform of change; that message remains at the core of my campaign in 2013. I would bring greater scrutiny to the Board, and be someone who would ask the tough questions, all rooted in bringing the best in city government and public service to the residents of Somerville. I hope I earn one of your four votes for Alderman At Large on November 5th. Thank you.