Expanding Public Services and Resources

 

In Newton, we have finally begun the process of walking back many of the ill-advised and costly outsourcings of public services and sales of public assets (land, buildings, and more) made in previous decades. Now we need to finish bringing the public sphere back into public hands, and we need to expand our public offerings. We should be exploring how we can ensure Newton remains a first-class city of our size through our public services. I believe many of these services can be provided with revenue neutrality or even savings to the city. I am not the first person to raise these ideas for Newton, but I am committed to pushing them forward at the City Council if they are viable for our community.

As your next Ward Councilor, I will…

  • Support keeping public land and assets in public hands wherever possible and expanding Newton’s public land holdings.

  • Oppose outsourcing of public services to non-union, for-profit contractors.

  • Continue supporting Newton’s municipal renewable electricity aggregation (bulk purchase) program “Newton Power Choice” as it gets off the ground.

  • Support making Newton’s in-house municipal fiber internet available as a “net neutral,” public option to all consumers for purchase in order to provide reliable high-speed internet to our residents and businesses. Many of our residents run businesses from their homes, and we have the technology available to make this easier while generating additional revenues for the city and putting pressure on telecom companies to provide reliable and competitive fiber services of their own.

  • Advocate for the City of Newton to generate its own green power, rather than just leasing public spaces to private energy companies for green power generation, so that we can power our own facilities cleanly and contribute to overall grid greening.

  • Support returning ambulance services back to an in-house municipal program, run through the Fire Department, rather than keeping it outsourced. We should also explore offering EMT training as part of Newton’s vocational technical public education system (the Career & Technical Education program).

  • Support studying whether a municipal bank would be right for Newton. Other U.S. municipalities are currently exploring this idea, which would partner the city with locally owned community banks to both grow city revenues and make it easier for homeowners and local small business owners to access credit. Such a concept has been raised previously at our Economic Development Commission but never examined in detail.