What is your vision for Medford?
My vision for Medford is that it grows to be a place where families live free and in prosperity.
What experiences have prepared you to serve on the city council?
My life’s work has been making this City a better place to live. As the current registrar of our public schools, everyday is dedicated to helping students, teachers, parents and staff. Before then I was a substitute teacher, excited to begin a career in education, but after getting my Master’s in Ethics & Public Policy it was clear that systemic issues needed to be resolved. Finally, my loss in the 2017 City Council election was an experience full of lessons that will make me an even better representative. Please inquire for a detailed resume but know it shows more dedication to our community.
Over the past four years, what actions of the city council did you most support or oppose, and why?
Medford’s energy aggregation program is my answer to both parts of this question. The program is one that will lower residential electricity bills and at the same time increase our renewable energy use (a true win-win). Unfortunately in 2016 the incumbent City Councilors voted 6-1 against when it was first introduced. It took 2+ years of community organizing, which I was directly involved in, to convince a majority of the Council to support the program. Thankfully we will be able to start this winter but because of their initial bad choice we’ve lost years of savings. Overall, there are many examples of the Council holding back progress. If elected I promise to fix this, and hopefully Medford will vote for a coalition of candidates to build a better future.
Which social issues do you care about, and why? How would you advocate for those issues?
The environment is my number one priority because Medford must act in response to the climate crisis. My advocacy will be under the Green New Deal banner, one that has solutions to housing, transportation, tree canopy and Carbon emissions problems. It will also center Environmental Justice to address immigrant rights, civil rights, and indigenous rights like never before in this City.
What concrete steps can Medford make to address our environmental challenges, whether global or local?
We need a Green New Deal and my campaign has produced materials with detailed information about what to do next. In short, we need to come together as a community and literally build a better future for residents. Please visit VoteTuden2019.com for more information or contact me directly.
Medford is a diverse city with many marginalized communities. What initiatives would you implement to support these communities?
The best way Medford can serve marginalised communities is by increasing public services, especially in local schools. I know teachers and staff do all they can, and there’s never been a better time to be a Medford student, but resources are always lacking. That is why I would support a Proposition 2 1/2 override for whatever purposes the School Committee deemed necessary. From there, all City Departments can do more to collaborate with residents and get them services they need.
How will you address Medford’s affordable housing crisis?
Increase the affordable housing minimum percentages and increase the supply with sustainable development.
What are your long term plans for expanding tax revenue?
Medford’s relationship with Tufts University needs to be restructured. The current setup is for the school to be immune from property taxes because of it’s “non-profit” status. This made sense before but now that Tufts’ endowment has reached $1.8 billion, clearly the scales need to be balanced. Along with our neighbors in Somerville, residents who live in the shadow of affluence know the time for change is now and that Tufts should fill gaps in municipal taxation and budgeting. This will take time and dedication but the payoff could be life-changing.
Would you implement any changes around our city’s parking systems?
The current system isn’t working so yes, as part of overall transportation reform, there will be changes to the City’s parking.
Some infrastructure challenges that face our city are degraded roads, lead pipes, and gas leaks. What initiatives would you implement to address these issues?
I support Medford hiring its own work crew that can regularly maintain our infrastructure, instead of relying on private contractors with limited availability.
What do you think should be done with the Malden hospital site?
The natural space in that area is a resource that cannot be lost. Whatever the Medford/Malden residents in that area want is what I’m happy to work towards, but overall they should know I’ll sacrifice natural resources.
Now that Massachusetts has legalized recreational marijuana, would you encourage dispensaries in Medford? What would you do with the revenue?
I would encourage dispensaries in the City and revenue should go toward helping end the opioid crisis.
What is your vision for promoting civic engagement and increasing voter turnout in our city?
Automatic voter registration is an easy answer to increasing voter turnout. This along with same-day registration will help increase turnout. Long term, an official Charter Review should be passed to engage residents and help them reshape government to be what they want.
How can we increase citizen engagement in city council meetings?
Promoting diverse engagement should be the priority. City Council meetings are often packed and there is a rich political culture in Medford but unfortunately it misses many marginalised groups.
What is your stance on city charter review?
I will vote for charter review, It’s long overdue.
Everyone grows up holding personal biases. Please share an anecdote about a time that your own biases were confronted, and how you responded.
Wow… I don’t really know where to begin but growing up there was a time when religion seemed absolutely absurd to me. Believing in God didn’t resonate until adulthood but up to then my secular bias was confronted on a regular basis. Sometimes the conversations were good, sometimes not, but overall I see we’re on the same path together.