My Work on the City Council – First Elected November 2013
I voted for a budget resolution that recently passed the City Council to convene a diverse 9 member task force to undertake a detailed review of the Police Department. I also voted to set aside $200,000 from the Police budget for the needs of the task force. The role of the police must be consistent with the best interests and safety of all people they have the duty to serve. We must broaden our definition of public safety and security and make better use of public resources that support all our citizens, enrich lives and optimize quality of life.
I am currently working on zoning reform as a member of the Zoning and Planning Committee. This is a huge opportunity to provide more affordable and more diverse housing opportunities as well as promote more sustainable community development patterns. This includes more walkable neighborhoods, protected bike lanes, reducing the heat island effect and stormwater improvements.
As Chair of the Public Facilities Committee, I am exploring how we can move towards the electrification of buildings and phase out the use of fossil fuels for heating and cooling. This will be important in order to meet our climate goals.
Supported Newton Power Choice, a municipal aggregation program that purchases an additional 46% renewable energy for a total of 62% of electricity coming from renewable sources (this goes up 2% every year) and also offers Newton residents to opt up to 100% Green Energy.
Voted to adopt Newton’s Climate Action Plan as part of our comprehensive plan and to set a climate goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Supported all the City’s solar initiatives including roof-top and solar canopies on city-owned properties on municipal buildings.
Reconstituted the Citizens Solid Waste Commission which advises the Mayor on best practices for our waste and recycling management programs. This body has made recommendations that have saved the City money and reduced trash tonnage.
I was the lead sponsor and advocate of an ordinance that phased out single-use plastic bags in Newton. We became the 7th community to pass a plastic bag ban. Now some 175 communities have passed bans on plastic bags. This Is a first step to phasing out all single-use plastics.
Awarded Environmentalist of the Year in 2015 by the Newton Conservators for my years as a dedicated advocate on environmental issues.
Green Newton -Environmentalist of the Year (individual) 2015.