I am a Newton native with two children attending Newton North High School. I have been active in my community for many years including serving as vice president of the Newton Conservators, and serving on the Board of the Newton League of Women Voters. I am currently serving my third term as the Councilor at Large from ward 1 which includes the villages of Nonantum and Newton Corner.
I am running for re-election to continue working on some of the most significant issues facing our community in a long time. This includes zoning reform, growth and development, transportation, environmental and fiscal sustainability and meeting climate goals to ensure a livable planet for future generations.
I serve on the Zoning & Planning Committee. Zoning reform is a tremendous opportunity which will allow us to meet our goals as a community. This includes safer,less congested streets, building more resilience to climate change impacts and creating more opportunities for diverse and more affordable housing. It will also be key to ensure a clear, predictable process for development and ensure that it will be consistent with neighborhood context. It will set limits on the height and overall scale or mass of buildings, as well as how far buildings are from the street and neighboring property lines. It is also an opportunity to discourage teardowns, and overly large homes, promote good design, expand public open space and promote low impact development.
I am committed to improving the city’s transportation networks and offering alternatives to driving. This includes coordinating and communicating with neighboring communities on transportation and development issues, exploring regional shuttle services, and connecting and expanding walk- bike corridors (research has demonstrated that increasing a neighborhood’s “walkability by just 5% is correlated with driving 6.4 % fewer miles per capita). A study by the Urban Land Institute in Cambridge projected that “maximum deployment” strategies to increase walking and biking could reduce CO2 emissions by millions of tons by 2050.
I support expanding housing opportunities in Newton. It’s clear we desperately need more housing to provide opportunities for low and moderate income residents as well as employees who work in or around the City and contribute to our City’s economic growth. I am especially excited about the Howard Haywood House planned to be built along Jackson Rd which would consist of 55 new one bedroom rental apartments for low and moderate-income seniors and a replacement community center at JFK Circle in Nonantum.
I recognize that we need to pay more attention to our seniors who have been under-served for many years. I am committed to working with the Council on Aging on proposals for a new senior center and improved services and facilities.
At my core, I am an environmentalist and I recognize how important it is that we continue push our goals around sustainability issues and work on reducing our carbon footprint. This also saves money and resources. I have voted for all the City's solar initiatives including roof top and solar canopies on City owned properties on municipal buildings. I co-sponsored an item on municipal aggregation designed both to save rate payers money on electricity rates and encourage the purchase electricity from renewable sources. We now acquire 40% of municipal energy needs from class 1 renewable energy sources.
I worked on initiatives and policies to get the City to recycle more and throw away less trash. I reconstituted the Solid Waste Commission and worked with the Commission to develop a list of action items that move the City forward on a holistic, cost effective path for managing trash and recycling, including reducing consumption, improving the quality of curbside recycling, and encouraging re-use and re-purposing of materials and products.
Scientific evidence is mounting that the current rates of greenhouse gas emissions are leading to climate change impacts that if not addressed will have profound negative impacts. Recently, the Newton Citizen’s Commission on Energy has released the Citizens Climate Action Plan, which is based on extensive quantitative research, analysis and sets targets over a 30 year time frame in order to meet aggressive climate goals. I will be using this document as a guide as we embark on zoning and building code reform and encourage development that meets high standards of efficiency.
I welcome your input. Please call me at 617-821-5619, email me at alisonlearymooradian@gmail.Com and visit my website: www.alisonleary.com
Please make a contribution to my re-election campaign. By working together we can be successful.