My parents grew up in England in a setting which was not automobile-centric. My father became an accountant and my mother an architect. WWII was the defining event in their lives, my father serving six years on the front in North Africa and Asia, holding the rank of Major when he was demobilized, while my mother lived through bombing raids and food rationing. Ultimately they immigrated to Seattle and founded a successful landscape design and construction business. I grew up amid conversation about how homes and gardens and structures and neighborhoods should fit together, how people move through space, and especially how deference to cars diminishes neighborhoods and cities. I bring to my seat on the Council a lifelong sensitivity to thoughtful urban planning and design.
My parents were small business owners who struggled in a seasonal business to maintain their employees on the payroll through the winter months. They were constantly subject to forces over which they had little or no control – government regulations and, worse, weather, such as the “Great Freeze of ‘55” which wiped out all nursery stock overnight on my mother’s birthday, November 11th. My father’s income that winter came from preparing estimates of their clients’ losses for insurance claims. I grew up living and breathing the anxieties that plague all small business owners.
I myself became a lawyer, advocating on behalf of individuals with immigration needs and civil rights issues for over 30 years, in Seattle, New York, and Rhode Island. I went into law to represent people whose voices were marginalized, often by overzealous government action. I learned to navigate government regulation, and find immense gratification when I assist people in realizing their dreams.
On the Council I bring an independent voice with a wealth of lifetime experience. The major projects now in our sights require thoughtful planning and design that works for every sector of our community. I work to ensure engaged participation. This must come from design professionals, entrepreneurs and small business people, as well as all city residents, and particularly those in the North End whose quality of life will be directly impacted by development there. We need to respect our own wisdom. Newport’s diversity is our strength and with good planning we can celebrate that.
ABOUT MY DECISION TO RUN
We are One Newport – that’s my campaign slogan and it’s key to my decision to run for office. I’m a listener and a consensus builder. We need a voice on the Council taking leadership, to demonstrate that Newport is a vibrant, forward-thinking community ready to lead the way with civic solutions for the 21st century. We are One Newport.
I’m running because I’m afraid in the current election season we’ve lost sight of why we come together as citizens to form governments in the first place. We do this because we form a union to accomplish the fundamental goals of a society – security in our homes, reliable transportation, the education of our children and our future workforce, securing safe and serene environments for our recreation, and predictability in commerce – what this means is a sense of well-being for our citizens, having roots, having the sense that each of us holds a valued place in the community, and that our input is valued by that community. That’s what I mean by We are One Newport.
We are One Newport.
I will work to improve our connectedness –
- So that as a city we pull together to raise Newport’s children, to educate, to provide healthy and delicious food, to offer access to Newport’s great recreational opportunities
- So that geographically our neighborhoods can be connected more effectively with paths that are friendly to pedestrians and bikes, so that we will no longer be isolated with major arterials dividing us from each other
- So that as a community we understand the needs of those who are struggling, and work to solve Newport’s problems in a way that truly engages the wisdom of our citizens to find functional and beautiful solutions