Watertown’s rapid recent growth is both a challenge and an opportunity. The decisions we make today about development will shape the community for years to come. It’s so important that we get this right.
In my own vision for Watertown’s future, I see new development that’s integrated with the fabric of our existing community. That means pairing new buildings with green spaces and storefronts, ample pedestrian pathways, sensible parking, and popular amenities like the new movie theater at Arsenal Yards.
When the council considers a new development, I believe we should consider the impact to the whole town and whether the project will benefit the majority of residents. Community input should be invited into the process and taken seriously. We should feel at home with these new developments, not at odds with them.
I’m a big cheerleader for Watertown’s diverse schools! They receive high marks on academic success already, and the renovation of our elementary and high school facilities will bring the recognition that Watertown Public Schools have long deserved.
The School Committee and Town Council will invite input from the community to ensure that we create the best possible learning environment for our children. Every child deserves a world-class education, and in Watertown we intend to deliver.
I look forward to working together to ensure our children are given the best opportunities and advantages available as we build and renovate our schools.
Sustainability and green spaces.
I’m proud to have played a role in making Watertown a leader in environmental sustainability. We are the first municipality to require solar panels on new commercial buildings and we recently launched the community solar program to encourage renewable energy consumption. But there is more we can do!
The Charles River
Watertown’s stormwater drainage system is polluting our river. During heavy rainstorms, untreated water pours into our sewers and into the river. I have worked closely with the Charles River Watershed Association to identify possible solutions.
The Town has not done enough to raise awareness about this issue, offer solutions for concerned residents, and incorporate this into town planning. We must do better. In my next term as councilor, I will identify and enact plans to reduce runoff pollution while coordinating with the community on grassroots abatement projects.
In addition to the community solar and new solar panel requirements, I advocated for Watertown to adopt the plan presented by the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee to increase the percentage of renewable energy entering every resident’s home—at little to no cost to residents. We now get the same bill from Eversource, but the electricity flowing into our house is greener.
Public Green Spaces
As a limited and highly sought after resource, Watertown’s open spaces must be well-designed to meet the needs of residents. The planning and design process should reflect the voice of all stakeholders. Not only is it necessary to protect our limited open space. I will also seek opportunities to create new public green spaces wherever possible.
Traffic and road planning.
Watertown needs to reduce traffic congestion. The only realistic way to do that is by reducing the number of cars on the road.
As the local economy and the population both grow, that becomes harder and harder to achieve. But there are solutions.
We need to expand public transit access by making the MBTA (in Watertown) more efficient by redesigning our roadways, encouraging people to opt out of their car. We can increase zoning density along Mt. Auburn and Main Streets to capitalize on the major bus routes.
We can dedicate ourselves to the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, not only by designing our roads to accommodate them but also by expanding our community path routes.
A safe community for all.
Watertown was recently ranked one of the safest communities in the United States. I’m eternally grateful to our local law enforcement for their dedicated service, and to Chief Mike Lawn especially for his commitment to protecting the rights and safety of every resident regardless of their immigration status.
We are all safer today because every resident feels confident that they can call law enforcement whenever they’re needed—without the threat that they, or someone they love, will face deportation. I am a strong advocate of the Safe Communities Act, which would make this an official Watertown policy.
We have a rich history of welcoming immigrants here in Watertown, and I’m proud that nearly twenty percent of our residents are newcomers to the United States.
The Safe Communities Act lets them know that they have a home here. They are safe here.
There’s a lot to get done in the next two years. But I can’t do any of this without your help. Can you consider a donation to support my campaign today?