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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As we gear up for the final push to the general election on Tuesday, November 7th I wanted to take a few minutes and share what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks and what we're planning for the four weeks remaining in the campaign. IMG_7E15A274773B-1

First of all, I have to say thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, talked to their neighbors, posted a yard sign, or provided words of encouragement. In the mad dash to the preliminary election, there was hardly any time to stop and think - much less reflect on our campaign, the significance of having my name on the ballot, and the right to vote. I know that sounds lofty, but standing at the Hope Community Church on September 19th (finally with plenty of time to think as the hours ticked by), I was struck by a sense of responsibility and how humbling it was that I was being trusted with Ward 4 residents' sacred votes.

The next weekend, as I caught up on sleep and spent time with my family, another thing occurred to me: how much this process demands of my loved ones and in particular, my husband Mark. He, like me, has a full time job, has never run a campaign before, and had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to get involved in this race. Mark has been such a force of energy, enthusiasm, and a just-get-it-done attitude. I'm so lucky to have his support and proud of his work managing our campaign. 

Screenshot 2023-10-09 at 2.18.34 PMLast weekend, I was in New York to spend a couple of days working on the strategic plan for Point Foundation where I serve as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. It was another reminder to evaluate the progress we've made growing the impact and reach of the largest LGTBQ+ scholarship-granting organization in the country, and to create a vision for the next 3 years and the strategies that will get us there. It was also a sobering reminder of the difficulties faced by marginalized communities and the fight for equality we must continue. 

Locally, I attended the Planning and Development Committee meeting on September 21st, the City Council meeting on September 26th, and the General Government Committee meeting on October 2nd. The key issues discussed include the continued debate about Short Term Rental Units (STRUs) and the proposals to create senior affordable housing at the Brown School property. I observed Councilors stating their positions and concerns as well as fairly robust public comments from the community. To reiterate my views on these important issues: 

  • We desperately need more affordable housing both for seniors and working families in Newburyport. The Brown School is a deteriorating asset that the city should move with urgency to develop as senior housing. We have some viable proposals and an administration that appears ready to act. The City Council needs to find a way to compromise and move this forward. 
  • STRUs are a lightning rod for many. I heard vehement arguments from the public on both sides, though the majority expressed concerns which I share about including investor properties and the potential impact that has on long-term rental stock (see my comments above on the need for more affordable housing) as well as the affect these mini-hotels have on neighborhoods and quality of life for residents. Again, I see this as an area where we need to find the middle ground and get something done. Once we enact some regulations, we can measure and course correct. I am in favor of starting small and expanding, but I would be open to compromise to get something done here. 

And in case you missed it, we received another endorsement! This time from the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund. 

So that brings me to what comes next for our campaign. We gave the website a bit of a refresh - thanks to folks who provided feedback and ideas - hopefully it will be easier to use, better on mobile devices, and clearer about what I stand for at a glance. I'll still be out there knocking on doors of course, but we also have a couple of events you might be interested in attending: 

  • Next week, we have a Meet, Greet, and Support party hosted by my friends and neighbors on Wednesday, October 18th
  • On October 19th, the Daily News will host a candidate forum where I will participate along with the other Ward candidates
  • Canvas weekends October 21st and 22nd, October 28th & 29th, & November 4th and 5th

I hope to see you out on the campaign trail. If you want to get involved, please reach out on the website or email