Candidate for Councilor at Large, Ward 2
Campaign Website: https://www.teamtarik.orgBiographical statement
I grew up in Brookline and graduated from BHS in 2000. I then attended Springfield College and received a degree in Business Management. I have been employed at Harvard University Press since 2008. And I have been living in Newtonville since 2009. I have served on the City Council since 2021.
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?
In 2017 I was motivated to get involved in Newton politics. I volunteered for the No on Charter campaign. I felt that getting rid of local representation in the form of Ward Councilors on the City Council was going to adversely affect Newton. During that campaign, I ran for Newtonville Area Council. Then two years later I ran for City Council and haven’t looked back.
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?
These are two different goals. Newton has never been more racially diverse. People of color make up 28% of the population. And we are continuing to see greater diversity not just in the general population, but in the Newton Public Schools. 44% of the NPS population are people of color. In 1980 people of color made up just 5% of the population in Newton. Newton will always be an expensive place to live and purchase a home. This is because the housing supply will never catch up with the demand. But we can modify our Inclusionary Zoning ordinance to allow for deeper affordability and additional payments into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Question 3: Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they are struggling. How can you help the city support these businesses?
I am not convinced our small businesses are struggling. Here in Newtonville, a lot of new businesses have emerged and they are doing fantastic. These include Grandma’s Kitchen, Union Pharmacy, Fulfilled Goods, Donut Villa, Mochiko Fried Chicken, and Los Amigos moved into a bigger space in Newton. And there are very few empty storefronts in Nonantum. But we can continue to support outdoor dining, and make sure our small businesses are on full display at any and all community events, such as Village Days.
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?
The best way to encourage homeowners to electrify and weatherize their homes is with tax credits. It’s also important to inform new residents about Newton Power Choice. This can be accomplished by including a brochure with their tax and water bills.