Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 6
Campaign Website: https://www.lisagordonfornewton.com/Biographical statement
Lisa was raised in Newton & along with her husband Ken is a proud parent of two Newton South graduates. She is a civil rights activist, food insecurity & housing advocate, & Executive Director of the Acton Food Pantry. Lisa has fought to save school programs like the Jazz curriculum at Newton South.
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?
I have a long history of community work to ensure Newton remains inclusive and affordable to everyone. Ken and I raised our family here for the schools, the arts education, and the progressive values. As a civil rights activist, food insecurity and housing advocate, and non-profit executive director, I have the experience and vision to be a collaborative, transparent and accountable representative for the people of Ward 6. I will be a champion for stronger tree canopy protection and Garden City jewels such as Crystal Lake, and will fight to preserve Newton’s green spaces. I will always vote to fully fund our schools and support our educators.
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?
I believe our path towards increasing racial diversity in Newton is through meeting the MBTA Act and partnering with non-profit developers to build the most truly affordable housing units, closest to our transit centers, and available to those under 20% of AMI. I would advocate for zoning policies that strongly encourage for-profit developers bidding close to transit to include more deeply affordable housing units, and available to those under 30% of AMI, regardless of size. I would want Newton to require for-profit developers to include affordable housing units available to those under 50% of AMI, regardless of size and proximity to transit.
Question 3: Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they are struggling. How can you help the city support these businesses?
I will be a tireless advocate for the local and independent business owners of Ward 6, help the Newton Economic Development department understand their needs, and lobby to reduce red tape, streamline regulatory processes, and simplify permitting timelines. The local and independent businesses in our village centers are the cornerstones of our community, and have been forced to adapt rapidly to a shifting landscape and economy. We owe it to them to make sure we do not implement any policies as a city that will disrupt and dislodge what makes our village centers vibrant through area development constructions and unaffordable commercial rents.
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 will be a partner to our city, state and federal colleagues to secure alternative financing solutions that will help economize the weatherization transition for Newton homeowners over a short horizon. We have a fantastic team in Anne Berwick, Bill Ferguson and Liora Silkes and they have done an excellent job of helping Newton fulfill the goals set out in the Newton Climate Action Plan. In collaboration with efforts such as the Citizens Commission on Energy, through a smart, fiscally responsible plan for resilient infrastructure, we should increase the capacity of the Climate and Sustainability Department to meet with every Newton homeowner.