Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 3
Campaign Website: http://www.carolinaventura.com
Carolina is a practicing attorney with over a decade of experience in complex litigation and dispute resolution. She lives in West Newton with her wife Zoe and their two children, Ezra (5 yo) and Eden (2 yo). She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: Discuss an experience where you made a decision that you now regret.
As an attorney representing clients in complex and high stakes disputes, I often have to gather information, analyse complex factual and legal issues, and make important strategic decisions even though the outcome is ultimately uncertain. There have, of course, been cases where perfect hindsight would have lead to different choices (to settle a case before trial, or to let a verdict stand instead of choosing appeal), but rather than regret those decisions, I take each of them as an opportunity to deepen my experience and grow in my practice.
Question 2: Do you support the proposal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in Newton by 2050? Why or why not?
As a parent of young children I am deeply concerned about the world they will inherit from us. I strongly support the elimination of greenhouse gases by 2050 and a move towards a renewable economy. Let’s begin to do this now by creating a more walkable, bikeable, solar-powered Newton. We should systematically amend city policies and regulations to include the 2050 target. Building codes are a good example: let’s not build something now that will have to be retrofit in 20 years to reach the target.
Question 3: What is your opinion of the current development proposals such as the Northland and Riverside projects?
These proposals highlight the importance of smart growth and reasonable development to our collective future. Newton needs more diverse and affordable housing and we must also grow to be more walkable and sustainable. To get there, we need to take the reigns of the change already happening all around us, by expanding our housing options around transportation and village centers and taking advantage of mixed use projects to enhance our commercial tax base and support our small businesses. All of this must be balanced with making sure that every project has has a scope and character that will suit our community and meet our needs.
Question 4: There are a number of expenses that the City needs to grapple with: union contracts still being negotiated, tight school budgets, NewCAL (a new Senior Center), the acquisition of Webster Woods, possible rehabilitation of the Armory, etc. What are your priorities and why?
From a budget perspective, one of the city's top priorities should be the continuing improvement and then maintenance of our roads and sidewalks and other municipal infrastructure. Years of deferred maintenance has left these assets in terrible condition, and it is imperative that we practice better stewardship now and in the years to come. Another important priority is the school budget. One of the things that makes Newton such a prosperous and desirable place is the quality of our schools, and we cannot allow that to suffer as the city progresses and grows.