Campaign Week-in-Review - 9/13/19: On to November; Sept 20 Meet & Greet; Waban Area Council Recap

by Irina Costache, Campaign Organizer | Subscribe by Email

Thank you to all who turned out on Tuesday to show your support for Bill in the preliminary election. With your help, our campaign finished first out of three candidates, and we are now moving forward into the November 5 general election as Ward 5's progressive candidate for the open seat!

Upcoming Meet and Greet Event / Organizing Opportunity

Next week, we have an opportunity for voters to meet and speak to Bill about Ward 5 issues at a Q&A event on the evening of Friday September 20th. The event will be hosted by Waban resident Pia Bertelli. If you are interested in attending, please email Bill for more information and to RSVP! No donation of any amount is required to attend, as we are using this event primarily as an opportunity to get to know Bill and to plan how people can help elect him in November.

Upper Falls Village Day This Sunday

Bill will be back with his campaign pushcart this Sunday, this time in Upper Falls by the Greenway at the end of Chestnut St, from 11 AM to 2 PM. Come check out what the village of Newton Upper Falls has to offer.

Looking Ahead: September 20 Student Climate Strike

On Wednesday, Bill was unable to attend the latest Northland meeting at the City Council Land Use Committee due to a conflicting event in Chestnut Hill. The event was a joint meeting of a number of climate activist groups in Newton like Sunrise, 350 Mass, Mothers Out Front, and local youth organizers. Many Newton students are gearing up to walk out of school and rallying at Newton City Hall on September 20th as part of global demonstrations against inaction on climate change.

Waban Area Council

Last night, Bill attended the monthly Area Council Meeting, where many community members attended to voice their concerns about the city. Here are some of the issues discussed:

  • One community issue brought up was increasing sound levels for neighborhoods near the Route 128 add-a-lane project. There will be more on this at future meetings, now that it is on the agenda

  • There was a discussion about the proposed NewCAL (senior center) project, trying to determine what if anything the Waban Area Council should weigh in on about it. The key question from the Area Council’s point of view was whether the city has properly followed its own written process when considering the use of recreational or city park for such a project. Earlier this week, a Ward 2 resident emailed Bill, concerned about the loss of public tennis court access for the city’s north side if NewCAL were built on the proposed Albemarle site. At last night’s meeting, Bill was able to ask about this issue to WAC member and Friends of Newton Tennis Courts leader Bob Jampol, who had commented on this issue last month already. He reiterated his personal view that there are currently too many courts in the city to sustain them all in good shape, and noted that there are several other public tennis courts on the north side of the city, so he feels that the city could sacrifice this court if need be.

  • Other issues in the area: 

    • Significant new housing is soon to be approved in Wellesley at the Wellesley Office Park, across the line from the Newton Ward 5 border. This will have various traffic and infrastructure effects on Waban, and so Newton officials will need to coordinate with the Wellesley officials to prepare for that.

    • The 20 Kinmonth Rd proposal in Waban Square has filed for a special permit at City Council. There are no significant changes to their plan at the moment.

  • There will be another Joint Area Councils sponsored debate for Ward 5 held on October 27 at Zervas Elementary School in the afternoon.


Road Construction Updates

Councilor Downs alerted Bill that there will be some road construction happening this weekend in Ward 5 around Plainfield St and Pine Ridge Rd. It is similar pavement work to work done recently on Upland Rd.


Campaign Reminders

Lawn sign requests: We are still looking to distribute lawn signs! Please email Bill if you are interested in having a lawn sign installed in your yard.

Absentee Ballots: For those who wish to vote by absentee ballot, here’s a reminder that there is still time to request one! Requests can be made up until 12:00 p.m. on the day before the election. However, the city website says, “as a practical matter, if you want the ballot mailed, you may want to request the ballot further in advance, so as to allow time for delivery.”

The form to request one can be found here. The application for an absentee ballot may be sent by email (, mail, fax, or delivered in person to the City Clerk’s office in City Hall. There’s no deadline but they should be requested as soon as possible to make sure the ballot can be returned in time. A number of supporters said they had forgotten to request their absentee ballots in time to vote on September 10, and we want to make sure you don't forget before November 5.

Endorsements: Bill’s campaign has a running list of official campaign endorsers on his website! If you are interested in adding your name to our list of support, whether you’re an activist or just a fellow Ward 5 resident, please email Bill to let him know! Similarly, if you would like a campaign button to wear in public to show your support for Bill, let us know that too.