Tell us what issues are most important to you here!
A top priority for Rachel is to change city government for the better by demystifying the political process and making it a more accessible tool for the people it is designed to serve. Among Rachel’s priorities is to ensure that Northampton follows through with its green initiatives and supports innovations like municipally owned high speed internet, recently approved by City Council for a feasibility study.
As the mother of three, Rachel is particularly concerned about street safety for children, given the increase of young families in the area. She also wants to ensure that the growing population of seniors remains connected to the community in which they live and receive the support and services they need.
HEARING YOUR VOICE
City Councilors are elected to represent the people, so it should be a no brainer that listening to residents should be prioritized. From jobs, to taking care of families, to running a business and more, residents of ward 7 are super busy; engaging in the political process shouldn’t be hard, but the unfortunate reality is that many times it is. If elected city councilor, I will do all I can to make engaging with government on a local level as easy as possible. Starting with open office hours but expanding to ward-wide events, I will make my presence in the community a priority.
EXPANDING OUR CENTERS
In recent years Florence has begun to develop a cultural identity, while Leeds continues to be left behind. Still, there is more we can do so that the greatness of Ward 7 and its unique cultural identity is not overshadowed by Northampton center.
MUNICIPALLY OWNED HIGH-SPEED INTERNET
High-Speed Internet service should be considered a basic utility as it is a crucial need these days. City-owned Internet makes service about customers, not stockholders. It’s exciting to see the City Council has authorized a 2-year study on this for Northampton. Municipally Owned High-Speed Internet can provide faster, cheaper, more reliable service for the residents of our city and I hope to work to expand access to the internet to the residents of Leeds and Florence as your City Councilor.
Currently, our city council meetings cater to a specific demographic — it’s particularly hard for parents and guardians of young children to attend city meetings which have conflicting times with dinner and bedtime. Alongside a coalition of councilors across the state known as CEAG (Coalition for Equitable Access to Government), I will advocate for bringing childcare to all of our municipal meetings and moving council meeting times earlier to allow parents to care for their children. Read more about this initiative here.
Northampton is great because of our school district. It’s why people choose to move here and it’s part of what breeds such a vibrant, civically engaged city. We are fortunate to have state legislators who are strong advocates on these issues. We need to change the unfair funding formula, not expand a system that doesn’t serve the larger cause of public education. As your City Councilor, I would join them in strongly advocating at the state level to bring home the funding we deserve.
Ward 7 is a family-friendly ward that also has a growing senior population making zipping cars and a public transit system with decreasing funding a greater concern. We need to address road safety concerns for our residents ensuring our sidewalks, crosswalks, and the PVTA are accessible and well-maintained, and a reasonable speed is kept on our roads.
SUSTAINING OUR NATURAL BEAUTY