Hi, Everyone--

Happy 2021. Today, I am sending along a Newsletter that Tarik Lucas has shared with his supporters. I am endorsing Tarik Lucas as our Ward 2 City Councilor-At-Large because he is a listener. Yes, he has his own views, as we all do, but he is willing to reserve judgment and hear what our Newton residents want and feel is important. Your input matters to Tarik. He has experienced housing insecurity first-hand and knows what must be done to increase diversity in homeownership and rental opportunities while understanding the beauty of our village system. 

Lastly, Tarik worked hard to stop our ward councilors from being eliminated as a category of representative. The ward councilors are the most democratic seats on the City Council, directly representing constituents in the ward they represent. Not only did his opponent work to get rid of councilors, he actually proposed the idea and, despite being warned that this would make the charter update non-viable, he voted to go ahead rather than remove it. This is an important example of Tarik's OPPONENT putting his own goals ahead of our needs. 

If any of my readers would like to speak with me about all the great things that Tarik will bring to our City Council, please call me or email me. I know that you will not regret supporting Tarik and should his opponent win--we will be getting someone who will vote with a block and not bring an independent voice to all the decisions that need to be made. 


February is Black History Month

It is an incredibly powerful feeling for me to be running for the Newton City Council at this time in our history. On January 20, as I watched a Black woman be inaugurated as Vice President, I had tears in my eyes thinking of the Black women in my family who have passed on, and I wish they were here today to see this monumental event. Representation matters.
Black voters are not a monolith. We have our disparate views on issues, just like everyone else does. But as the saying goes, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu, so it is important at every level of government, from federal to state to local, to have people in positions of power representing the actual diversity of our communities.
There has not been a Black City Councilor/Alderman since 1987. 34 years!

I am running to represent Newton voters when it comes to issues around reasonable development, school excellence, real affordable housing, and fiscal responsibility.

I am not an ideologue. I am a pragmatic progressive. But my race is a central part of who I am, and I believe my lived experience will make me an important voice on the City Council that is not currently represented. 
Learn More About My Priorities
I am a true American melting pot. On my father’s side I am a descendant of enslaved peoples, Indigenous Americans and Russian Jews. On my mother’s side, the Caribbean island of Nevis [birthplace of Hamilton!] and Indigenous Americans.
I spent the early part of my life living in low-income housing in Boston. My family was displaced from our apartment in Brookline because our landlord wanted to convert our home into luxury housing. In 1968 my mother’s family were displaced from their home in order to make room for a highway. I know what housing insecurity feels like, and that’s why I have no patience for so-called solutions that actually incentivize more million dollar townhouses. The market will not create affordable housing. Government must step in to make sure there is housing for people at all income levels. I will be focused on solutions.
Tarik and his mom, Sharon, have a conversation about the church Tarik's great grandmother co-founded in Roxbury, and then Sharon being displaced from her home to make way for the new I-95. 

Our country is in a period of racial reckoning right now. Many people of color wonder how long it will last, or if yet again the time will pass and nothing will change. I do think things will change this time, and I want to be part of that change. Here in Newton we can be more welcoming to people of color in several ways. We can increase the amount of affordable housing we have, and protect the naturally affordable housing we already have. White households in Boston have a net worth of $250K, while Black households have a net worth of $8, and Dominicans have a net worth of zero (see Globe article). 


Getting rid of single family zoning so developers can put up more $1.5M townhouses is not going to do anything for racial justice, and anyone who says otherwise is ignoring the data. We can amend the local preference for affordable housing units, which locks out those who don’t live in Newton, and therefore locks out people of color. If we choose to build over our municipal parking lots, we can increase our affordable housing stock, but unlike the Austin Street development, we should partner with nonprofit developers so that all of the housing units are affordable. We can make it easier to build accessory apartments. We can create an affordable housing trust, and draw from that to build REAL affordable housing. These are the types of ideas that will help people of color be able to move to Newton.


We can also do more to ensure we are hiring a diverse workforce. Superintendent Fleishman recently hired a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Kathy Lopes. This is an important and much needed step as I know from speaking with staff and students that there are too many instances of racist behavior and statements going on in our schools and in our city. Our students need to know that someone with their lived experience is representing them on our City Council. 

Renande Loayza - Ward 3 Chair of Newton Democrats 

I ask for your vote on March 16th. 

To help me get elected, please do the following:

  1. Visit my website and sign up as a public endorser; take a lawn sign; and donate. 
  2. Forward this email to fellow Newton residents.

  3. Vote for me on March 16th! If you plan to vote by mail instead, download the Mail-in ballot application form here. Print it, sign it, and return it to one of the drop boxes located in front of City Hall or mail it to: 

City Clerk
1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02459 


Thank you for your support!



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