Campaign Week-in-Review: 6/7/19 - Porchfest, Pride, Parks, Parking

by Irina Costache, Campaign Organizer

Bill continued his second pass around Ward 5 this week, with me joining him for the first time this campaign season! It was great to get to meet with so many voters face to face and hear about their concerns. Multiple people brought up issues with senior life and housing, as well as others asking questions about the city’s environmental action plan. Over one quarter of the second pass is now complete!


Before knocking doors on Saturday, Bill stopped by two Waban locations of 2019 Porchfest to hear live music from members of our Ward 5 community, including the newly opened permanent home of the Suzuki School of Newton.

Friends of Cold Spring Park

On Monday, Bill participated in the well-attended kickoff of the Friends of Cold Spring Park at Zervas Elementary! Sam Jaffe, who grew up in Newton studying wildlife in Cold Spring Park and has since founded The Caterpillar Lab, spoke at the event and brought caterpillars, moths, acorn ants, parasitic wasps, and much more for attendees to view!

This park is a critical habitat (for hundreds of species), wetland, and recreational area in Wards 5 & 6 and the group is raising private funds for urgently needed trail repairs and other upgrades.

The LGBTQ Flag Raising

Tuesday night, Bill was in attendance at City Hall’s annual Pride Flag-raising event! This year's featured speaker was the first Newton Public Schools Teacher to come out publicly to students.

Newton Highlands Area Council

After some more door knocking on Thursday, Bill stopped by the Newton Highlands Area Council for their brief agenda. One item was a presentation on a proposed new tenant at a Lincoln St. business. The new tenant, a boutique fitness club, will be asking the City Council to be granted a parking waiver. Without a waiver, the tenant would need far more parking spots than the actual number of patrons and employees on site at any given time. Moreover, their anticipated peak usage would be before rush hour in the morning, when nearby parking wouldn’t be an issue anyway, so they are requested parking relief from the City Council. The business is also near the Green Line station and MBTA bus stops, so the legally mandated level of parking probably isn’t necessary. There was a discussion at the Area Council about the general problem of excessive and outdated parking minimums in the village centers of Newton and their impact on businesses, a reform that Bill has supported in his campaign platform. The Area Council will be writing a letter to City Hall urging this specific request be put through in a timely manner. (Three of the City Councilors were present at the meeting as well.)

Newton Highlands Village Day is this weekend!

Join us this Sunday, June 9, for Newton Highlands Village Day! Located along Lincoln St in the village center and running from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., the event will feature vendors, food, live music, kids' activities, and more. Just like Waban Village Day, our campaign will have a booth set up where voters can meet Bill and ask him questions!