Town Meeting is a democratic institution in our Town, and the Moderator is a trusted facilitator of that democratic process. Through warrant articles Town Meeting sets our Town’s budget, writes its bylaws, and codifies zoning for our buildings. But for most of over the 300 years since our Town Meeting was founded, participation in Town government was limited: to those owning land, to men. Even today, many barriers to participation and to recognition remain.
I am running for Moderator of Town Meeting to ensure our Town lives up to its ideals. I am running to lift every voice at Town Meeting, and to respect every participant. I am running to be kind, and to continue doggedly bending our Town’s arc toward justice.
I will be a modern moderator. I received my PhD from MIT in 2007 and have spent my career working on large collaborative open source and free knowledge projects. We can do more to improve access for all, and to provide transparency into the evolution and progress of each warrant article Town meeting considers.
I will be an inclusive moderator. Each Town Meeting member deserves respect and to be addressed by the names and titles they choose. I will continue to facilitate the warrant article process for newcomers to remove barriers to participation, as I have done as a Town Meeting member. I will reach out to schools and senior centers to explain the working of Town government. I will be an advocate for structural change where necessary.
I will be a responsible moderator. I will work to bridge the gap between the Advisory Committee, whose fiscal advice has helped secure the Town’s current AAA bond rating, and the voiced priorities of Town Meeting.
Over the next few months I am excited to share with you more of my thoughts on the role of the Moderator and what can be done to improve the equity and function of Town Meeting. I will work to earn your vote in May.