Supporting and Investing in Ward One

Ward 1 is my home. For twenty years, this community has shaped who I am. From watching the Christmas Tree Lighting in Magini-Coletti Park to enjoying the Festa each year, I am proud of our local traditions. The green, white, and red streets connecting me to Antoine’s, D & A, Steamer’s, and Pellegrini Park make me who I am today. These people and places inspired me to connect with my heritage at Newton North, where I learned to speak Italian. I truly believe that our ward is a model for the rest of the city of what a loving, tightly-knit community looks like. However, we are too often left behind when it comes to political attention and investment. For this reason, I will always be a fighter for Ward 1. We need leaders with deep roots, big ideas, and strong voices. Together, we can: 

 

1. Make our neighborhoods more affordable to stay and raise a family in. 

 

Residents of Ward 1, especially in Nonantum, see how our friends, family, and neighbors are getting increasingly priced out of the neighborhood they love. Our city is losing lifelong residents who are city employees, teachers, and social workers to neighboring communities like Waltham and Watertown, and we need to reverse this trend if we truly value those who make our city so special. This is why our updated zoning ordinance must incentivize more workforce housing and disincentivize the tearing down of smaller homes and construction of ‘McMansions,’ which are both expensive and environmentally damaging. I also support improvements to our city’s accessory apartment ordinance to make it more cost effective and less procedurally burdensome to host family members, rent, or downsize in an accessory apartment. Finally, our city’s financial and rental relief programs to aid residents struggling to pay rent should be expanded and made accessible to all residents, especially working class families who need it the most. 

 

2. Ensure that our commercial districts, transportation, green space and public amenities get the city investment they deserve. 

 

Attention and investment in Ward 1 neighborhoods and infrastructure has been historically lacking, and if we want to see our village centers and public amenities thrive, we need to ensure that our tax dollars are coming back to our neighborhoods and funding the community we want to see. This means working with our state delegation and leveraging state resources to expand access to the MBTA in Ward 1. We also need to invest in creating and maintaining green space, from updating playgrounds and replacing fences, to improving our athletic fields and replanting grass and arbor. Parks like Pellegrini and Forte are beloved community landmarks, but are in need of serious care and investment, and I’m committed to improving these places for years to come. 

 

Finally, both of Ward 1’s commercial districts—Newton Corner and Nonantum—have faced increased economic pressure which has only been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, nineteen percent of the companies in the Newton COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grant Program were from my village of Nonantum. Revitalization of our commercial districts will take investments in not just our local businesses themselves, but also transportation, housing, and placemaking if we want to create vibrant centers of economic and social activity. Both through this pandemic and afterwards, we owe it to our residents and local business owners to reward local entrepreneurship and provide financial relief in moments of hardship. 

3. Support and uplift community traditions, culture and history. 

 

Neighborhood traditions like the St. Mary of Carmen Festa, Christmas Tree Lighting, and Memorial Day parade are the lifeblood of our community and they deserve not just our enjoyment, but our support. Providing grants and city resources to ensure that these beloved events can continue year after year, especially as we work to resume gatherings after COVID-19, is crucially important. Investment and maintenance of the streets, parks and other public gathering places that host these events must be diligent and proactive as well.