Letters to the Editor
Originally Published March 9, 2020 in the Arlington Advocate
I write in support of three candidates in our upcoming Town elections–all hard workers and creative problem solvers, who will help us think outside the box about the complex issues facing Arlington today. In recent years, our Town officials have often seemed to me to be stuck in outdated, paternalistic ways of thinking, ill-suited to the challenges presented by an increasingly diverse constituency, and out of touch with current thinking about the ways our thought and behavior patterns reflect biases to which we would not consciously ascribe. As an educator and translator for whom—even after a lifetime of studying and celebrating other cultures–unconscious bias remains an ongoing personal challenge, I think we need leaders who can embrace diversity, articulating and addressing the concerns of all our residents–including people of different races, ethnicities, income levels, genders, sexual preferences, ages, and (dis)abilities.
As Chair of our Diversity Task Group, Michaiah Healy, a candidate for Select Board (healyforselectboard.com-under construction), is a highly regarded participant in Town affairs. A natural leader, whose inslght, compassion and wisdom have earned her the respect and affection of many, if elected she will bring to the Board a consensus builder’s voice that has often been lacking, and an approach to governance that contemplates the needs of all.
Lynette Martyn, a candidate for School Committee, is an accomplished leader and innovator in matters concerning our schools (https://www.electlynette.com). A tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion with a 21st-century perspective on public education, if elected she will work passionately and honestly to ensure that all our children receive the highest quality, most culturally proficient education possible.
Jo Anne Preston, a Town Meeting Member and former professor whose research and teaching skills have greatly enhanced our understanding of the complex housing decisions facing the Town, is running for an Arlington Housing Authority Board seat (website under construction). If elected, she will be a strong, citizen-centered voice for the residents in AHA housing, reaching out to those most impacted by Board decisions and articulating the concerns of neighbors whose needs are often overlooked.
All these candidates will provide strong leadership, engaging us in new ways; bringing to the table the concerns of voices now seldom heard; and enriching the civic life of Arlington. All three deserve your vote.
Louise B. Popkin, Cliff Street