2021 Candidate for Councilor at Large, Ward 5
Campaign Website: https://debcrossley.orgBiographical statement
City Councilor 12 yrs, 36 yr resident, 2 children, NPS, served on PTO, LWV Board (president), Energy Commission, Newton Housing Partnership, mayor’s City Planning committee, GN Building Standards Committee, BS Environmental Design, licensed residential architect, energy policy wonk
Questions and Answers
Question 1: What in your background prepares you to be effective in the political office you are seeking?
Both my professional background + long resume as a citizen volunteer and activist working to better care for the built and natural public places we share, more thoughtful city planning to address community needs and open and accountable government all contribute to my record of accomplishment on City Council. I led the successful efforts to repair city water systems and achieve green community status, initiated lodging house rules, advanced the 2017 accessory apt. ordinance. I work hard to build consensus, but unafraid to tackle and champion tough issues like expanding housing opportunity, smart development and climate actions.
Question 2: If you're elected, what will be your first priority? Why? How will you address your priority?
Zoning, our land use development rules, must be improved to address pressing needs for housing affordable to more people, environmental health, economic security.
Revised rules can lay the groundwork to:
– Secure village economic health: allow the right balance of uses and density
– Encourage compact housing close to transit and supporting uses
– Better define building massing & scale
– Require public community gathering spaces
– Allow multifamily housing
– Add standards that:
– Increase building performance + clean energy (solar,EV)
– improve pedestrian safety
– control stormwater
– reduce energy and carbon emissions
Question 3: Please explain what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you. Why these are important to Newton?
Local zoning rules that facilitate more, various housing options affordable to a much wider spectrum of folks is key to socio-economic diversity. We need more deeply subsidized units for under 50% AMI and more “missing middle” housing for next generations’ and workforce. Our c.1953 zoning impedes our ability to increase opportunity for more socio-economically diverse folks to access housing. We also must ensure that our community is welcoming in all of the programs and services local government provides. See more at Voters for a Vibrant Newton.org