Candidate for Ward Councilor, Ward 6
Campaign Website: http://marthabixby.orgBiographical statement
Martha Bixby is a community activist and non-profit leader running for Newton City Council to bring an inclusive, community-focused voice to our local government. Martha and her husband Ben are raising their two boys in Newton Highland. She is actively involved in the PTO and coaches youth soccer.
Questions and Answers
Question 1: How do you think you can be more effective as a Ward Councilor rather than a Councilor-At-Large?
I love and I am deeply committed to our Ward 6 villages and neighborhoods. I care about the stop signs and potholes and playgrounds in our neighborhoods and would ensure they are repaired and maintained. The small businesses that make up our village centers are the lifeblood of our community, and I would work tirelessly to support them. I’m already the person people text to ask “is trash day moved because of a holiday?” or what to do about a clogged storm drain. As Ward Councilor, I would balance that very local focus with an understanding that Newton is all connected, and our successes are all intertwined.
Question 2: What, specifically, can the City Council do to ensure that lower income residents, young families, and long-term residents looking to downsize, can afford housing in Newton?
Increasing affordable housing is a top priority. Through zoning redesign, we can provide structures to put in place more affordable housing opportunities and pathways for nonprofits to create affordable housing. By eliminating requirements for unnecessary and unused parking spaces we can also keep the cost of creating new affordable housing lower and reduce our environmental impact. By creating a diversity of housing options - for retirees looking to downsize, families just starting out, deeply affordable housing, and workforce housing, we can create more opportunities for residents to find the right fit for them, right here in Newton.
Question 3: What are your thoughts on what is being proposed for your ward’s Village Center Overlay?
I support the goals of these Village Center Overlays: updating our Village zoning to create the opportunity for more varied housing. I look forward to seeing the proposals continue to be improved as they are finalized. I support an emphasis on affordable housing, protecting and supporting our small businesses, encouraging a variety of diverse retail options, safe and complete streets design, environmental protections - especially limiting pavement - and establishing and protecting existing accessible and low-cost community spaces. Once the proposals are passed I will work on additional productive ways to support these goals.
Question 4: What infrastructure improvements in your ward are in immediate need of change and how do you propose to address those needed changes?
So much of our every day success is determined by the immediate issues in front of us: making roads safe for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers; maintaining and restoring the ecosystem at Cold Spring Park and ensuring Crystal Lake is swimmable and accessible for generations to come; in our schools, our fields, our playgrounds, our small businesses; by ensuring the reliability and safety of the 59 bus and the Green Line and the aqueduct paths that connect us. My family and I are biking every day, out on the fields and playgrounds, spending time in our parks. I would bring my first-hand perspective and the voices of our residents to this work.