Candidate for Councilor at Large, Ward 5
Campaign Website: Https://ww.andreae4newton.orgBiographical statement
Former journalist, current director of the MWRA Wastewater Advisory Committee. Chair of Public Safety & Transportation. Six term councilor, former chair of the Transportation Advisory Group. Environmentalist. Focus on climate, equity and affordability in Newton’s actions.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Was your motivation to run for office prompted by an issue which impacts the community that is not being adequately addressed?
Part of my motivation in 2017 was to preserve our democracy by strengthening our local democratic institutions. I was also deeply involved in efforts to increase transportation options and safety in Newton—which impacts our health, environment, community and independence. Climate change—mitigating and adapting for it—was also top of mind.
Question 2: Housing affordability and its role in increasing racial diversity in Newton has been a stated goal. What measures would you take and support in order to meet this goal?
There is no magic bullet for housing affordability and racial diversity, but adhering to our responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act is critical. Newton has to do its part to repair the damage of 20th century policies, embedded in many of our processes and ordinances, and to affirmatively make it possible for historically underserved communities to live here. I have and will support affordable housing efforts, the housing trust, building and requiring affordable units and reforming our lottery system for more fairness.
Question 3: Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they are struggling. How can you help the city support these businesses?
The struggles our unique small businesses face are real and worry me. I have supported loosening costly parking mandates for village businesses with shared on-street parking, and making our city permitting processes faster and easier. If we want villages to survive, we will need to have more “feet on the street,” which means allowing people again to live in them, above the stores, and allowing more people to live near them. I have also supported affordable rent requirements for small, unique businesses in our larger new developments.
Question 4: Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Newton. Residential and commercial buildings need to be weatherized and electrified. Relying on voluntary action produces extremely slow progress. What incentives or mandates would you put in place to motivate home owners to weatherize their houses?
I supported the hiring of the city’s energy coach, who helps residents navigate the incentives, loans, grants and other programs for better building performance. Renovations are expensive, but adding higher levels of insulation and fossil-fuel-free construction are often only moderately more so, and an ordinance requiring contractors to price these out for construction and the useful life of the structure makes their efficacy and affordability over time obvious. I would like to quickly move Newton to be able to require fossil-free new construction.