Just Three Things

January update

1/25/20242 min read

This update will briefly cover three things:

The Washington Street pilot

Our teachers

And a few upcoming events  

Washington Street

Washington Street from Chestnut to Lowell (and beyond) is and feels dangerous. What should be a vibrant commercial strip instead is a speedway with no buffer from the highway noise.
The City Council will be voting Monday on a concept to temporarily change the road. At last, the city is proposing “testing before investing.” This trial will bring needed organization of car traffic (no more guessing if the car in front of you is about to go left), shorter, safer pedestrian crossings (which makes the southside parking spaces much more useful), and a protected bike lane for us and our kids. Oh—and a safe way to walk on the south side!
All changes will be made using temporary, movable materials. The city will learn from this, and tweak it before anything is built in concrete and asphalt (and in the end, maybe we will get more trees).
Washington Street could be so much better, and after years of painfully slow process (interrupted by a pandemic), we are finally moving into the final stages—and maybe construction by next summer!
I am excited that we are continuing to press forward, and will gladly vote for the concept to move to the 25% design phase!  


We all want the strike to be over and the contract to be settled. I hear the teachers’ justified calls for better support, benefits and compensation—and the needs of our students post-pandemic.
Our two children went through all 13 years at NPS, and I respect their teachers, all consummate and passionate professionals. My heart is with the teachers, the children, and their parents, which is why I supported and worked hard for the failed operating override (as well as the two successful school building overrides), and every previous override. I will support the next one, and all of us in Newton will need to be working together to make that happen.
As a city councilor, I cannot increase budgets or shift moneys. I do pay close attention at every budget session. I will support any sound proposal that can settle this contract and provide stable funding for the future.  

Brief announcements

  • This weekend is the Winterfest—details here.

  • Newton needs paid election workers—if you are interested, please email the Election Department. This will be a busy year.

  • Students 16 and older can also sign up to serve as election inspectors. The Office of the City Clerk has partnered with the Center for Civic Engagement and Service (CCES) at Newton North High School to engage their students more fully and is in the process of duplicating partnership efforts with Newton South High School. Details here.

I will resume office hours after the teachers contract is settled.