2021 Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 3
Campaign Website: https://www.juliamalakie.org/Biographical statement
Grew up in Newton, graduated Newton High School. B.S. in Economics, MIT. MBA, University of Chicago. 32-year photojournalist at Lowell Sun. Co-founded Newton Tree Conservancy. Serving first term as ward councilor, and on Public Safety & Transportation, and Finance Committees.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: What in your background prepares you to be effective in the political office you are seeking?
An almost lifelong resident of West Newton, I appreciate that we are one of the most economically diverse parts of Newton. I bring both my financial analytical background of working for GM, and my journalistic perspective, asking questions, getting answers, verifying facts and double-checking sources. I’ve worked with residents from all over Newton organizing the planting of over 1000 Newton Tree Conservancy trees. In my first term I’ve done extensive constituent service, from leaks to streetlights to parking and traffic safety issues, and helped people find information they need. I am politically independent.
Question 2: If you're elected, what will be your first priority? Why? How will you address your priority?
I will continue to work on all issues that affect residents’ quality of life, but a priority for me, because of what I’m hearing from residents, is better protection for abutters from the adverse effects of construction. Our tree protection ordinances need strengthening, because residents are losing privacy and the cooling/stormwater benefits of trees when clear-cutting occurs, especially in setbacks, and their own trees’ roots are being damaged by excavations next door. We must also ensure residents don’t bear the financial and emotional cost of infestations of rats displaced by demolitions and excavations.
Question 3: How will you make your decision to vote on a proposal that positively affects Newton overall but seems less so for all or part of your ward?
As a ward councilor, I’m the only one Ward 3 residents know they can elect themselves, without being outnumbered by voters elsewhere in the city. I will continue to be unintimidated in representing the interest of Ward 3, especially in the face of development pressures, and a Zoning Redesign effort that seems focused on densifying the already dense parts of the city, and imposing so-called ‘transit-oriented-development’ along Washington Street despite the inadequate frequency of Commuter Rail service for the foreseeable future, in contrast to the Green Line.