Campaign Week-in-Review - 8/9/19: One month until the September preliminary!

by Irina Costache, Campaign Organizer | Subscribe by Email

Lawn Sign Requests 

This week’s newsletter is starting off with another reminder about lawn signs! We have about one month left until the September 10 preliminary election! As ours is the only race in the city to have one before the November general election, we want to start spreading the word now! 

If you decide that you would like a sign to put up in your front yard, please email me so that we can coordinate on getting one dropped off to you! We are trying to get signs onto as many Ward 5 lawns as we can, whether or not they are in a high-visibility spot, because every vote counts in such a small race!

Door knocking update

This week, Bill, along with myself and some of his friends, were able to knock 535 doors (with Bill knocking over 400 of them himself, including 94 in one day alone) in Upper Falls, Newton Highlands, and Waban.

We were able to speak to nearly 150 Ward 5 voters! This week at the doors, many voters brought up the issue of affordable housing in Newton. One senior voter was concerned about affordable downsizing options for seniors and told Bill that increasing home prices are pricing her out of Newton. There were also many people who asked Bill for more information about the proposed Northland development, specifically about their concerns about traffic and parking.


Hemlock Gorge Memorial Event

On Tuesday, Bill attended the Friends of Hemlock Gorge’s dedication of a granite memorial bench honoring the late former Ward 5 Councilor-at-Large and Friends of Hemlock Gorge founder Brian Yates.

Land Use Committee Continues Northland Debate 

Late on Tuesday, Bill attended the Land Use Committee session between Councilors and City Planning Staff where they were discussing the issue of traffic mitigation from the proposed Northland development on Needham Street. 

The planners were attempting to forecast the amount of traffic on Needham St by 2025 in three different scenarios - with no project, with a partial or smaller project without traffic demand management, and with the Northland project as proposed (including the shuttles). The bottom line conclusion of the examination was that a smaller project or a project without the residential complex at all, both of which would not have a shuttle, would both generate more traffic than the current proposed plan.

At the meeting, there was also a discussion about how to best apply sanctions for failure to meet traffic demand management objectives. The city staff was primarily recommending a requirement to increase spending on TDM (Transportation Demand Management) and the shuttle system substantially in order to reach the desired number of reductions in car trips if the initial plan does not achieve the target numbers.


NewTV/League of Women Voters candidate debate 

On Wednesday afternoon, Bill participated in the pre-recording of NewTV and League of Women Voters candidate debate for the Ward 5 Councilor race. The taping of the debate will be available online soon, and we will be linking it in a future newsletter, once it comes out!

A second debate taping is also planned for mid-September after the preliminary election. There are also additional candidate forums scheduled to be held by the various Area Councils and by the Ward 5 Democrats on September 5 and September 8 respectively, as well as some forums in October. 


Livable Newton

Later on Wednesday night, Bill was able to drop in on the end of the monthly Livable Newton meeting to hear updates on possible housing at the former National Guard Armory. Unfortunately, due to the earlier debate’s scheduling, he missed most of this month’s meeting, so we do not have our usual detailed notes.

Sunrise Movement

Also this week, at the request of the Boston area chapter of the Sunrise Movement, Bill signed their pledges to support a federal and local Green New Deal (for a socially just economic transformation to halt climate change) and to refuse to accept campaign contributions from executives, lobbyists, or PACs in the oil and gas industry.

Sunrise Movement is the national youth organization working to mobilize the United States to take emergency action on climate change over the next decade. Bill hopes to push for Newton to set hard targets to cut its carbon emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement/IPCC projections required to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.