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Brookline for Everyone Questionnaire and Responses

Brookline for Everyone has endorsed C. Scott Ananian for Moderator

Appointed boards and committees, including the Advisory Committee, often over-represent home-owners and longtime residents of Brookline; yet nearly 50% of town residents are renters. How can you in your role as Town Moderator work toward increasing the voices of renters in decision making and advisory roles?

Representation is a difficult problem. I will personally encourage the participation of renters in relevant committees, but I am also aware that related research on hiring practices suggests that my personal efforts will be unconsciously biased toward the demographics of my own social network. That's why my key reform will be to broaden the recruitment and recommendation process: to involve a diverse group to advise, recommend, and review candidates so that we can work together to achieve the representation in practice we all want to see.

The first step in addressing systemic inequities is recognizing they exist, and in this case we're fortunate that renter/home owner representation can be quantified. Quantification means that we can measure success at appointing diverse committees against the benchmark of the Town's overall demographics. Against this metric both Town Meeting itself as well as Town Meeting's component committees fall short. The makeup of the Advisory Committee as fixed by our bylaws includes non-TMM spots, so these spots are a key opportunity to ensure that the AC (for one) can better represent the Town than Town Meeting itself does. We must always be aware that committees including only TMMs will be unrepresentative as long as TMM itself does not fully reflect the diversity of our Town.

When Town Meeting asks you to create a Moderator's committee, how can you improve the process for transparency and community engagement?

I believe the Moderator should not exercise unilateral authority over naming committee members. Research has shown that, despite best attempts, hiring processes (for example) are unconsciously biased toward one's own social network, and so it is very difficult for every well-meaning individuals to by their own efforts increase diversity in a group that is not already diverse.

Therefore I will appoint committees specifically to advise, recommend, and review candidates. I personally am committed to increasing representation and community engagement, but I believe the best way to achieve this in practice is to partner with a diverse group of others also committed to increasing representation and engagement. This expanded network can go further in surfacing folks not already involved in Town Government and engaging them.

Transparency is also important. Every committee named by the Moderator, including the Advisory Committee, should include a brief public description of every member named, listing with specificity the skills and experiences which that member was named to provide. In addition, transparency about what skills and experiences are currently missing should be provided. That will allow better public discussion when openings arise: the retiring member was an architect, say -- do we want to find another architect, or fill some other need? And is there a specific kind of architect that would be useful, or is any knowledge of architecture sufficient? This transparency not only increases the trust in the process, but also provides crucial insight for members of the public or petitioners who approach these committees. For example, if my concern is related to buildings, who are the members of the committee best places to understand the issues and provide advice?

Citizen petitions are unique to town governance, and allow 10 citizens to put legislation before Town Meeting. How would you in the role of Moderator aid and improve this process?

I've brought 18 warrant articles or motions through the Town Meeting process myself, and overlapping with those are almost a dozen that I've aided other petitioners to draft or move. I have a unique understanding of the challenges petitioners, especially first time petitioners, have when bringing their ideas to the Town, and I will continue to provide that helpful and friendly aid to help folks get their ideas before Town Meeting. (And to be clear, I've aided petitioners with articles I would not vote for myself -- my services have been open to all who ask.)

I have more concrete ideas in this space than will fit in this space, but let me list just two:

I would like to partner with the Brookline High School to integrate fully Town Meeting into the civics curriculum. We've had a lot of success with BHS students advocating on behalf of various articles in the past few years, although unfortunately the "remote Town Meeting" legislation passed by the State during COVID shut them out of the TM process as many BHS students are not yet "registered voters". We need to rectify that, and go further in ensuring our BHS graduates understand the full path of a warrant article through the process, not just the "debate at Town Meeting" culmination.

And on the other extreme---small changes that can make a difference---we have long "recommended" that petitioners send their embryonic articles to the Town Moderator and Town Counsel before submission, so that they can benefit from their advice. But this recommendation is often used as a cudgel in practice: at their first hearings or even in front of Town Meeting, folks will berate the petitioner for *not* passing their article by the Moderator for review in the course of excoriating its poor quality. Chastising petitioners after the fact is not helpful.

Instead I'd like to explore an alternative: I will offer my signature on any warrant article that is given to me for review. This is a carrot, not a stick: many first time petitioners in particular have difficulty meeting that 10 signature bar (however low that may seem for experienced TMMs). In exchange, I would be able to offer any friendly advice as to form, and forward it to the Town Counsel for legal review. I believe this will more effectively improve the quality of articles and increase the number which are reviewed and improved by Moderator and Town Counsel.

Anything else you'd like us to know about your approach to community outreach and inclusion from the Moderator's seat that will aid us in choosing to endorse you?

I have brought many articles through Town Meeting in the past few years, and folks in Town may know me most for this advocacy work. I am deliberately setting aside that role because I believe it is time to "teach the Town to fish" -- that ultimately I can more effectively help move the Town forward by making Town Meeting more representative, inclusive, and effective, and enabling *all of you* to be more effective in using Town Meeting as well. I have seen so many great ideas from folks in Town, and I believe we work best *together* to bend this Town toward our ideals. I am honored to be able to run as an enabler and facilitator of the work of Town Meeting, and to put my hard-won knowledge in the service of *everyone* in Town.

Visit the Brookline For Everyone website

Brookline PAX Questionnaire and Responses

Brookline PAX declined to endorse either candidate for Moderator

1 – The retiring Moderator has estimated that, even after nearly three decades in the role, he spends about 600 hours, annually, as Moderator. That’s an average of about 12 hours a week, although, as we know, averages are somewhere between the peak and the valley. From the time the warrant is signed, until Town Meeting ends, intensity builds. Based specifically on your background and experience, how would you approach a job with a hard stop, “show must go on” deadline? (A) How much time do you expect you would need, at least in the early, learning years? (B) What do you now do for a Day Job and for approximately how many hours? and (C) Are there things you might you change to make the role more efficient and less demanding?

I had a long and thoughtful conversation with Sandy Gadsby about this very topic on January 30 where we discussed with specificity the time demands of the job, which vary greatly throughout the year. We ended that conversation mutually assured that the time requirements would not be a barrier to my service.

I am employed by the Wikimedia Foundation as technical lead on an important subsystem powering Wikipedia, but not in a daily operations role. As a senior developer I have a great deal of flexibility to organize my work and deadlines. I have already brought 18 warrant articles or motions through Town Meeting and am intimately aware with the time required by Town Meeting process, and my team already schedules around Brookline’s Town Meeting and has done so for a number of years. The Moderator position will increase this time commitment, but in a way I have already arranged for. I expect to spend the weeks immediately leading up to Town Meeting full time on the responsibilities of the Moderator.

As time goes on, I will certainly seek to make changes to improve the efficiency of the process. I have already begun conversations with members of the Advisory Committee, other technical experts, and the author of the software used by the Lexington Town Meeting about the task, including the software used elsewhere to manage Town Meeting. In a somewhat-related technical area, the software I wrote to manage 180+-person teams in an annual competition at MIT is now used by many of the teams that have won that competition, including my own. I have a team of TMMs and others who are eager to begin that work.

I should mention that I also worked professionally as a lighting designer in Boston for a number of years while still a graduate student, mostly for the Speakeasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts. I am intimately acquainted with work where “the show must go on”. Wikipedia also boasts extremely high uptime and availability: outages are national news stories. And, of course, in the annual competition for which I lead a team, the time deadlines are the difference between winning and losing the competition. My team has won twice.

2 – Routinely, the warrant for Town Meeting includes articles on a host of subjects, including operating and capital budgets, bonding, zoning and general bylaw changes, home rule petitions, changes in composition of various boards, resolutions on a number of subjects, and more. Overlaying the articles as printed in the warrant, are amendments, some presented as substitute motions, others as amendments to a motions made at Town Meeting. Debates are sometimes consolidated, questions are occasionally divided, and more. Again, based specifically on your background and experience, what shows your qualifications to absorb and clearly communicate the details of each article, every amendment, and every question -- in a manner that ensures an efficient, thorough, clear, and legally valid Town Meeting?

My record proposing warrant articles and motions on the floor of Town Meeting should speak for itself. Of the subjects named in the question, I have introduced or assisted in drafting articles or motions on operating budgets (2020 ATM WA4), capital budgets and bonding (2019 STM WA4), zoning changes (2019 STM WA14, passed unanimously), bylaw changes (2018 ATM WA28/29, 2020 STM WA31), extensive partitication on two articles which will involve home rule petitions (2020 STM 19/20 elected clerk and 2020 STM WA 18 RCV), changes in composition of boards (2020 STM WA8), and “resolutions on a number of subjects” (many, but first was 2016 STM WA 16). I have made motions to divide the question (on 2020 STM 19/20), motions to amend, main motions, and substitute motions -- and even a few unlisted in the question, such as the motion made on the floor to “postpone to time certain” to accommodate TMM Chris Dempsey’s motion to refer (2020 STM); a successful motion to “reconsider” in support of TMM Nicole McClelland and others confused by a vote (2019 Nov STM3), budget conditions of appropriation (2020 ATM WA4); and resolutions attached to budget special appropriations (2019 ATM WA9 item 67).

With respect to legal validity, interested parties are directed to Town Meeting Time, §9 regarding the role of Town Counsel, and §25, “Motions of Doubtful Legality”. As our own Moderator has demonstrated, the role of the Moderator in making legal determinations is strictly limited, and most disputes of a legal nature are still allowed to proceed to the floor. “The Moderator does not have the power to rule on the legality of motions” (page 65). I would, of course, rely on Town Counsel to perform the legal role assigned in §9. As an inside observer of Sandy Gadsby’s practice leading up to the 2021 annual Town Meeting, I can confidently state that I would be continuing his admirable practice in this regard.

3 – There’s nothing exactly like Moderating Town Meeting, i.e., night after night of warrant articles, one after the other, with quick transitions from one to the next, and with many split-second decisions -- usually with minimal time for dialogue -- directed to well-intentioned but sometimes passionate local legislators. Again, based specifically on your background and experience, (A) what comes closest, e.g., what meetings have you run/chaired that come closest or are most analogous to Moderating Town Meeting; and (B) what shows you have appropriate judgment and temperament to conduct the meetings & make those snap judgements, both smoothly/efficiently and also respectfully to all TMM’s?

I had led teams as a software developer for most of my career, including moderating panels at global conferences. Modern best practices for meetings involve explicit facilitation and ground rules, and of course any well-designed meeting is intended to resolve strong disagreements and to find consensus. I have also facilitated meetings of the Brookline Community Coalition, and (as mentioned earlier) run very large competitive teams, where folks are (if possible) even more time-pressured and driven to “win” than they are at Town Meeting. In most of these situations the meeting leader is voluntarily chosen, and I have been selected time and time again based on my friendly, consensus-based, and effective leadership style. In addition to authoring warrant articles of my own, I have also participated in the drafting of over a dozen other articles and led the team behind the Driscoll School debt exclusion, and there are certainly strong political disagreements at times in these coalitions as well. Again, I have authority as a leader in these contexts not because I have sought it, but because the participants have sought me out as a trusted and knowledgeable ally who can help guide them toward consensus. Select Board Chair Bernard Greene can personally testify to my effectiveness in guiding the Surveillance Technology and Military-Type Equipment Study Committee through some difficult disagreements, putting aside my advocacy to make the committee more effective---and again not as appointed leader but simply by the example of my service.

4 – Please supply two to three references, who can provide further insight into your ability to serve as Moderator.(Please include both phone and email contact information, and very briefly describe the nature of your relationship.)

I would refer you to my extensive list of endorsers at, with the recommendation that you might begin with the members of the Brookline Commission for Women followed by members of the Select Board. TMMs addresses and contract information are available at and I would be happy to provide contact information for any of my endorsers not otherwise discoverable. My endorsers have all had extensive experience with my abilities both as a leader and as a guide to Town Meeting process, and I am confident that any one of them will be able to provide the insight you are seeking.

Profile: Brookline Patch, April 14

BROOKLINE, MA — C. Scott Ananian, 44, who has been a member of Town Meeting, Brookline's legislative body, since 2015, is running to take over the role of Brookline Town Moderator in the May town election.

The moderator sets the order of the agenda and presides over Town Meeting. The moderator also appoints members of the Advisory Committee, the Committee on Town Organization and Structure and ad hoc committees authorized by Town Meeting. The moderator also declares the outcome of all voice votes.

Brookline's Town Meeting Moderator Sandy Gadsby, the man who has presided over the town's legislative body for nearly three decades, announced in February that he would not run for another term. His announcement came after three residents indicated they planned to run, including Ananian.

Ananian will face off against Town Meeting member Kate Poverman. This is the first time in recent memory there has been a contested race for moderator. Gadsby has run unopposed since at least 2000.

Ananian lives in Brookline with his wife Jessica Wong, and their children Zachary, 8, and Adalynn, 5. He finished his PhD at MIT in 2007, and before that attended Princeton.

For the past 24 years, he's been a software engineer. Until 2013, he was the director of new technologies at One Laptop Per Child. He's currently the senior features engineer at the Wikimedia Foundation, the custodian of Wikipedia and other collaborative educational projects. Since 1997 he's maintained and authored open source software author.

Patch reached out to all the candidates and presented the same list of questions for each, here's how Ananian responded:

Why are you seeking elective office?

I am running for Moderator to further Brookline's democratic ideals. As Moderator, I will lift every voice at Town Meeting, respect every individual, and continue doggedly bending our Town's arc toward justice. I believe Town Meeting should facilitate participation of single parents and others who have been excluded by outmoded requirements, and each person deserves the courtesy of being addressed by their chosen name and title. Our Town Meeting can be kinder, more effective, and more inclusive and I hope voters will give me the opportunity to make it so.

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Brookline's Town Meeting was established in 1705 with a soaring democratic principle: everyone living in Brookline would collectively make the laws for our Town. Of course, for over two thirds of the three hundred years since, less than two thirds of our Town were actually represented.

Our Town government is a collaborative volunteer effort, but there are many barriers to effective contribution. I will work to dismantle these stumbling blocks to allow broader participation in Town government: through education programs in our schools and senior centers, by fully embracing remote participation, by demystifying the warrant article process to empower new contributors, by overhauling our Town Meeting website, and by other changes both large and small.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I have personally brought 18 warrant articles or motions through Town Meeting and know how our Town government works (and where it sometimes doesn't work). Further, I've assisted dozens of folks to bring *their* warrant articles through Town Meeting, so I know where folks get hung up and where they have been surprised or stumbled.

I have a long career working on collaborative software in communities of volunteers, so I know how to organize volunteers and keep them engaged and motivated to contribute their best to our Town —and our Town owes much to those who volunteer to serve on our Town's boards and committees and as Town Meeting members.

Finally, my computer science background will help us modernize the infrastructure of Town Meeting to provide greater information and transparency to Town Meeting Members and the public.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)


How do you think local officials performed in responding to the coronavirus? What if anything would you have done differently?


Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

I am committed to an inclusive, representative, and *friendly* Town Meeting, and to a collaborative Advisory Committee who can work with Town Meeting to safeguard the fiscal stability of our Town.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

I have demonstrated my knowledge of Town Meeting parliamentary procedure in my time as a Town Meeting member, advocating not only for my own issues but also navigating parliamentary process to put forward motions on behalf of others. I have a long history working for volunteer-driven nonprofits on collaborative projects, so understand the social dynamics necessary to encourage constructive participation.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

I lead a team in an annual competition at MIT. My 8-year-old was asking me what it meant to be a "leader," and did it mean I got to make all the decisions? I told him that being a team leader didn't mean I got to tell everyone what to do, but instead that I organized things so that we could *all collectively* make the decisions.

In talking to him about this, I realized that I was implicitly describing the Moderator's role in the Town as well — not to make decisions, but instead to enable the Town to collectively do its best work. Trust in a robust, inclusive, and collaborative process helps unify the Town: even when we disagree on the outcome of a vote or issue, we believe in the process by which that outcome was reached.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

Success opening up Town Meeting depends on my regularly hearing from folks who have good ideas, or who are stymied by a particular bit of Town process, or who can offer feedback on how things are working (or not). There's a feature on my website to schedule a call or zoom, and I'd love to hear from folks —and if, elected, I will continue that 1-on-1 practice and other ways to ensure I'm regularly hearing from the community.

Scott Ananian

Brookline TAB, April 22

I'm Scott Ananian. I love this Town, and have thrown myself into our collective projects to help lead and improve it, day by day. And on May 4, I hope that you will fill in the bubble next to my name and give me the honor of stepping up once more, this time as Town Moderator.

Brookline residents volunteer countless hours to serve the Town on boards, committees, and Town Meeting. I'm endlessly inspired by the expertise and dedication I find among my neighbors. But I've also seen how even the most passionate volunteer, when greeted with harsh words or opaque rules, may choose instead to direct their energy where it is more appreciated. Having worked for decades on large collaborative volunteer projects, I have the skills needed to make Brookline's collaborative process work better, and will work to ensure that all voices are heard and can contribute.

I will make Town Meeting welcoming, kind, and accessible for all. This is our government, built by us and for us. It should multiply our talents, not erect barriers to entry. But simply opening the door is not enough: the burden must not be on the underrepresented, disadvantaged, or disabled to climb the mountain of Town process. If you make it expensive to contribute, you will only get contributions from those who can afford to do so.

I will go out into the community, to senior centers and affordable housing, to demystify Town Meeting and empower residents to use it for change. I have already begun to explore ways to integrate Town Meeting with the civics curriculum in Brookline schools. I have assembled a team who will help me overhaul the Town Meeting website, making our Town process and documents indexable, searchable, responsive, and accessible.

Every step in the journey of a resident's idea through the Town Meeting Warrant, public hearings, debate, and eventual implementation should be clear and transparent. When there is change you want to see in Brookline, you should think, "I can do that!"

I will help you turn the wheel of our Town government. I can do it, and I have been doing it: just ask my endorsers.

I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to run for Town Moderator and serve Brookline. Visit to learn more and to set up a personal chat. I'd love to hear your thoughts and dreams for Brookline.

C. Scott Ananian
103 Griggs Road
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 10
Candidate for Town Moderator

Scott Englander

Brookline TAB, April 22

I could not be more enthusiastic in my endorsement of SCOTT ANANIAN FOR BROOKLINE MODERATOR. As a Town Meeting Member, Scott has worked with and mentored many other representatives to skillfully craft and pass numerous pieces of good legislation over the years, and has led in an exemplary way. His mastery of the by-laws, rules, and budget are encyclopedic. The integrity, generosity of spirit, and incredible dedication that Scott has consistently demonstrated will make him as fair, inclusive, and responsible a leader as one could hope for. For all of these reasons and so many more, I believe Scott Ananian is the only qualified candidate for this position.

Your vote in this election matters so much, in part, because it is the Moderator who unilaterally appoints the members of the Advisory Committee — one of the most influential bodies in Brookline government — whose decisions today will impact our town for many years to come. I'm confident that Scott Ananian will make those appointments in a way that is transparent, egalitarian, and which taps the rich diversity of perspectives and expertise our community has to offer.

If you haven't had the pleasure of knowing Scott, I encourage you to learn more and get in touch with him at Please join me in voting for Scott Ananian for Moderator on Tuesday, May 4.

Scott Englander
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 6
Elm Street

Dave Gacioch

Brookline TAB, April 22

Brookline needs a new course. 150 years ago, Brookline (unlike Brighton, etc.) resisted Boston annexation at least in part to keep growing ethnic and socioeconomic diversity outside of our town borders. 50 years ago, redlining sought to keep many of our neighborhoods "safe" from non-white people moving in. Just ten years ago, a Brookline Fire Dept. officer left "f*ck*ng n*gg*r" on a black subordinate's voicemail and soon thereafter was promoted to department leadership. Since then, our current Moderator refused to allow a black Town Meeting member to call out racism he saw in local government on the floor of Town Meeting, citing decorum and civility reasons. When an ACLU of Massachusetts lawyer (also black) wrote to our current Moderator politely suggesting that the First Amendment required otherwise, our current Moderator responded by sarcastically calling the ACLU lawyer's polite (and legally well-founded) message "ignorant drivel."

On May 4th, we have a choice of whether to continue this troubling pattern of protecting the entrenched status quo at the expense of long-marginalized voices. Those who want to see more of the same will support the two Select Board incumbents and our current Moderator's handpicked successor, Kate Poverman. (Channeling our current Moderator's prioritization of "civility" over honestly confronting racism, Ms. Poverman herself wrote just last year, in the wake of George Floyd's murder, that "Allowing any person to be verbally assaulted and seriously insulted — which is what allegations of racism are — violates [Town Meeting's] rules, is against Town Meeting principles and is totally unproductive." White fragility in a nutshell.)

I hope you will instead join me in voting for long-needed change—to make Brookline government more welcoming of and responsive to diverse perspectives, and to more intentionally confront and dismantle structures of institutional racism that have long plagued us. Scott Ananian would be a great Moderator both because he knows Town Meeting procedures cold (having brought and coached more than a dozen warrant articles) and because he is best positioned to apply those procedures in a way that truly is fair and impartial (which requires getting the status quo power structure's thumb off of the scale, where it has long sat) as well as inclusive of all voices. Miriam Aschkenasy would be a wonderful addition to our Select Board because her deep professional expertise in, and commitment to, equity and anti-racism are much needed in overseeing our town departments.

Please join me in voting for Scott Ananian for Moderator and Miriam Aschkenasy for Select Board on May 4th, to help lead our beloved town forward.

Dave Gacioch
Spooner Road
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 13

Cher Duffield

Brookline TAB, April 22

As Brookline moves forward to address many social justice issues locally that mirror national tensions and debate, our legislative body, Town Meeting, will play a substantial role in the direction we choose.

And that is why, on May 4, I will vote for Scott Ananian for Town Moderator, the role that not only manages and leads the process of Town Meeting, but also makes appointments to influential Town policy committees, including the Advisory Committee.

And that is why, on May 4, I will vote for Scott Ananian for Town Moderator, the role that not only manages and leads the process of Town Meeting, but also makes appointments to influential Town policy committees, including the Advisory Committee.

I am deeply invested in the Brookline community, as my husband and I have four children who have benefited greatly from the Public Schools of Brookline.

My involvement in our community has included: serving as the PTO co-chair at the Pierce School, volunteering with children's scouting groups, teaching yoga at Healthworks in Coolidge Corner, teaching girls empowerment through Girls on the Run, and serving as a member of Town Meeting. I have also worked on two override campaigns in support of the Public Schools of Brookline.

Scott Ananian is a kind and brilliant computer scientist who has dedicated his career to the support of fair, constructive, neutral, fact-based and collaborative public discourse.

Scott has worked for eight years at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that supports the online, collaborative, news, informational, and educational platform, Wikipedia.

A recent article in The Atlantic wrote:

"In 2002, the Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig helped create the Creative Commons license, allowing programmers to make their inventions available to anyone online.

"Wikipedia—which for all the mockery once directed its way has emerged as a widely used and mostly unbiased source of information—still operates under one.

"Wikipedia is a glimpse of the internet that might have been: a not-for-profit, collaborative space where disparate people follow a common set of norms as to what constitutes evidence and truth, helped along by public-spirited moderators."

True to the values and mission of Wikipedia, Scott values more participation, more voices and more transparency in Brookline's decision-making. He has the highest integrity, is always respectful of other voices, and listens with genuine interest and concern to everyone.

All of the above is why I feel so much optimism and excitement in the opportunity to vote for Scott for Moderator on May 4. I ask you to join me in doing so, to move Brookline forward in a collaborative and inclusive manner.

Cher Duffield
Gardner Road
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 6

Rebecca Plaut Mautner

Brookline TAB, April 15

Please join me in supporting Scott Ananian for Town Moderator if you want our local government to be more accessible and inclusive.

The position of Town Moderator makes a big difference in how we develop the policies and by-laws that govern all aspects of life in Brookline. The Moderator must ensure that the town's complex legislative process works smoothly. It is a difficult job that requires attention to detail, flexibility in responding to competing needs and a commitment to transparency and fairness.

Scott's professional life is focused on improving people's access to information, which is a source of personal and political power. With this expertise, Scott will help move our town government into the 21st century, where information is readily accessible and effective participation is available to all.

The Moderator is the gatekeeper to Town Meeting's complex legislative process, which can be difficult for newcomers to navigate. Only one candidate for Moderator—Scott Ananian—has written or assisted in passing dozens of warrant articles. This means he is the only candidate with extensive experience in drafting warrant articles, steering them through the complex hearing process and working collaboratively to meet the competing desires of all participants in local government.

In his six years as a Town Meeting member, Scott has worked tirelessly to help a wide variety of people to participate more fully in local government. He has spent hundreds of hours helping others to learn to navigate the legislative process so they can advance legislation on a wide variety of issues.

Scott has also been a powerful advocate for climate advocacy, police reform, and incorporating progressive values into our town budget. When he is elected Moderator, he will no longer be able to advocate for these issues as the role of Moderator requires neutrality. This will be a loss for our town, so it is bittersweet to endorse him.

However, in the role of Moderator, Scott will help our town government in many ways. He will make it more welcoming and accessible. He will create the conditions for many more people to participate effectively. He will help make our local government more truly representative.

Please do not miss this opportunity to help Brookline move democracy forward.

Join me in voting Scott Ananian for Town Moderator on May 4!

Rebecca Plaut Mautner

Eric Hyett

Brookline TAB, April 15

I am writing to encourage every Brookline resident to vote for Miriam Aschkenasy for Select Board, and C. Scott Ananian for Town Moderator. I am enthusiastically supporting and endorsing both of these outstanding candidates.

A vote for Miriam Aschkenasy means supporting real social change in our town. Of the five Select Board candidates, only Miriam has the courage to admit that Brookline is deeply flawed from a racial equity perspective. Therefore, only Miriam can be relied upon to do something about it. For those who don't know Miriam, she is a Town Meeting Member advocating for (in her own words) "Justice, Good Governance, and Inclusivity," as well as a public health expert, a trained medical doctor, and a single parent with two non-white kids in the Brookline Public Schools. Her track record (and voting record) speaks for itself. Everyone who believes that real, positive change is possible for Brookline should join me in enthusiastically supporting Miriam.

I also endorse and encourage everyone to vote for C. Scott Ananian for Town Moderator. I've known Scott for several years; he's one of the most sought-after advisers in Brookline due to his encyclopedic knowledge of the Warrant Article process. Not only is Scott profoundly fluent in the rules of Town Meeting, he is also refreshingly attuned to equity issues. Based on his voting record, there is no question that Scott Ananian embodies the values he espouses: "Modern, Inclusive, Responsible." To me, that is what Brookline should strive to be as well: a modern, inclusive, responsible community.

The words "inclusive" and "inclusion" keep coming up. That's because inclusion is Brookline's current weak spot. Both Miriam Aschkenasy and Scott Ananian were endorsed by housing justice advocates Brookline For Everyone, as well as by Select Board member Raul Fernandez. I am echoing these endorsements, and hoping everyone will appreciate that we have a unique opportunity for real change in Brookline, provided everyone turns out and votes for Miriam and Scott.

Respectfully Submitted
Eric Hyett
Beacon Street

Nicole McClelland

Brookline TAB, April 8

Imagine you have the chance to vote for Speaker of the House. One candidate, in six years as an elected representative, has written 18 pieces of legislation. He has shepherded these articles through the often labyrinthine process required to bring them before the voting body, gaining invaluable practice with the machinations of local government and demonstrating a willingness to dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours per term to serving the public, orders of magnitude beyond that of the average elected representative.

This candidate has worked with dozens of other representatives on drafting and passing legislation, building relationships with colleagues and learning the ropes so adeptly that new and tenured lawmakers alike come to him for advice and input.

The other candidate, in her five years in office, has not brought forward even one piece of legislation, and now seeks to preside over the entire legislative body.

Though we aren't choosing the Speaker of the House, we're choosing Brookline's version of it—Moderator of Town Meeting—and for that role, the clear choice is the person who brings critical firsthand experience that can't be replicated any other way: Scott Ananian.

Many voters are unfamiliar with the Moderator role, which hasn't been contested in over two decades. The Moderator presides over Town Meeting, deciding who speaks and for how long, and serving as Town Meeting's "go to" person throughout the year. The Moderator also has unilateral appointment power to multiple committees—including Advisory Committee—with significant influence over how Brookline is run.

This is a role where we need a true mentor, a leader who is committed to introducing more equity and less bias into speaking before Town Meeting, treating everyone with kindness and fairness, and increasing transparency in the appointment process.

Dr. Ananian checks all of these boxes. And with a professional background in technology, team management, and systematizing participation, Scott has the experience and skill set to deliver.

This spring, I'll be voting for the candidate with irreplicable firsthand experience and myriad applicable professional skills. Who treats everyone with respect, even those who fall on a different side of an issue. Who is honest, fair, and prepared to step into this critical role on day one, and do the job in a way that lifts every voice, and in so doing, elevates us all.

Please join me in voting for Scott Ananian on May 4.

Nicole McClelland
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 11
Commissioner, Brookline Commission for Women

Jeffrey Benson

Brookline TAB, April 8

A few years ago, I was new to town meeting, representing Precinct 3. All the personalities and debates and votes were interesting. After four exhausting nights of meetings, I realized one person had consistently impressed me, rising above all others by how well organized he was in his presentations, by his calm yet direct way of speaking, and by his ability to frame conversations with a vision of Brookline that was more just, inclusive, sustainable and effective.

As the gavel sounded to end the last meeting, I made my way through the crowd to introduce myself to that person and thank him for his efforts. He seemed surprised by my praise, as if what he had done was nothing special, only what one should do to be a constructive member of our community. That person was Scott Ananian.

I have since worked with Scott on groups promoting warrant articles and racial justice initiatives, and I am even more impressed. I am always learning when I work with Scott. He is so consistently deliberate and creative in his thinking and proposals. He listens. He keeps a good sense of humor about the hard work we do. Most important to me is his unwavering conviction to make Brookline more inclusive, to bring in the innumerable voices of so many of our neighbors who are marginalized, and whose contributions to our civic life will make Brookline more resilient, safe, and just.

In the few years I have been a town meeting member, I have seen the ways that Brookline's "old boys' network" maintains a status quo that does not rise to meet our current challenges. As Moderator, Scott will not only be organized, fair, respectful and patient, he will use the power of that position to make sure the committees under the Moderator's authority will truly represent the diverse best of what Brookline has to offer. Of this I am absolutely sure, and I ask you to join me in making Scott Ananian our next town Moderator.

Jeffrey Benson
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 3
Stearns Road

Andrew Fischer

Brookline TAB, April 1

Scott Ananian, in his role as a Town Meeting member, has been an ardent advocate for a better Brookline and a better planet. He now seeks to switch hats to a more neutral role, running to replace the retiring Sandy Gadsby as moderator.

While I regret losing Scott as an advocate, I look forward to Scott becoming moderator. Scott has the personality, temperament and skills to be a successful moderator. His background as a computer scientist prepares him uniquely for the role, for a scientist is trained not to have an opinion, not to advocate for one point of view, but to arrive at a proper solution by weighing all sides of the question.

This is how good decisions are reached. Town Meeting's deliberation will be better served by Scott, who is trained with the neutrality of a scientist, who will allow all sides of an issue to be judged on their merits. For many years, Sandy Gadsby was able to put aside his professional skills as an advocate and allow balanced debate on issues, but this is a difficult skill and all lawyers are not as able to make the transition from advocate to moderator.

In addition, Scott has many ideas, large and small, about how to organize and manage town meeting more efficiently. Large ideas include on-line information about the progress of warrant articles. Small ideas includes a visible timer so both speaker and audience knows how much time the speaker has. Scott is also thinking about greater civic involvement, from high school students to seniors.

Scott's background, training, disposition and creativity make him the most qualified candidate for moderator. I urge you to give him your vote.

Andrew Fischer
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 13
Bartlett Crescent

Deborah Brown

Brookline TAB, April 1

I eagerly endorse Scott Ananian for Brookline Town Moderator.

Moderator is an extremely important position in Town. It is a position that demands a keen understanding of town rules and a kind and generous temperament. Scott easily offers Brookline these qualities and more.

As a town meeting member, I have seen nothing that demonstrates a moderator needs to be an attorney. As an attorney, I know better.

I have personally seen Scott’s mastery of the town rules, by-laws and the budget. He has been an active town meeting member having drafted numerous warrant articles, which should be a basic job requirement for the moderator position.

Scott has mentored others in drafting warrant articles, which goes to his governing temperament as well. He is generous with his time and expertise. He is a walking town rules and zoning bylaws encyclopedia. He has attended many moderator driven meetings which further demonstrates his commitment to the town. His attendance at these meetings has only further increased his policy skills.

I trust Scott best to make appointments in a transparent and egalitarian manner. His appointments will represent the breath of talent and perspectives in town. Our budget recommendations, town structures, audit committee and other temporary committees approved by town meeting deserve nothing less.

Scott is the real deal. He is an extremely talented and intelligent person with a personality to increase community involvement in the town’s core legislative process.

I urge you to vote for him on May 4.

Deborah Brown
Town Meeting Member
Precinct 1

Danny Stone

Brookline TAB, April 1

I am enthusiastically endorsing Scott Ananian for Brookline Town Moderator. In my work with him in Town Meeting, Scott has shown that he is an ally, assisting with warrant article writing, editing, and research, and ensuring that all people’s voices are heard. He has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the rules and procedures of Town Meeting, and of the Town bylaws and zoning bylaws. Whenever I have questions about the inner workings of Town government, I know I can rely on Scott for clear answers. It will make a difference in this Town when his helpful, friendly, and fair attitude is leading our Town Meeting.

We haven’t had a new Town Moderator for over twenty years. Scott Ananian is the change our Town needs right now. I urge you to vote for him on May 4.

Danny Stone, Town Meeting Member Precinct 10

Mariah Nobrega

Brookline TAB, March 25

I am incredibly proud to endorse SCOTT ANANIAN FOR BROOKLINE MODERATOR and ask that you join me in voting for Scott on May 4.

The moderator oversees Brookline’s Town Meeting (our legislative branch), which votes on issues such as our town budget and making changes to our town bylaws. The moderator also makes appointments to certain committees, including the Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to Town Meeting.

At first glance, moderator seems like an unimportant bureaucratic position. But, have you ever had to deal with a bureaucratic institution—for example, to renew your driver’s license—and been thwarted by a form you did not complete properly, or an unfriendly person? Then you know how important a clear, accessible process and a friendly face can be to making you feel welcome and achieving your goal.

SCOTT ANANIAN IS THAT CLEAR, WELCOMING PERSON we all hope to encounter when navigating confusing but important governmental processes.

Scott has an outstanding track record of volunteerism in our Town. He has repeatedly guided newbies through the Town Meeting process, teaching them, for example, how to file legislation (“warrant articles”) and amendments, which committees to talk to, and what those committees need to know.

Scott speaks from experience, having written and filed multiple warrant articles himself (the only candidate who has this experience).

When elected moderator, Scott will implement inclusive, clear processes with the goal to eliminate bias. As one example, he is committed to automatic speaker timers so that everyone is given the time they are promised, not some arbitrary amount. Another example is working with the Public Schools of Brookline to integrate Town Meeting into the civics portion of the social studies curriculum.

He will work with our representatives on Beacon Hill to make permanent some of the virtual attendance policies that were established during the pandemic, which will make it easier for people (such as parents or people with difficulty traveling at night) to participate in Town Meeting.

Please visit his website——to learn more about his thoughtful platform which prioritizes inclusion, access, and transparency. AND PLEASE JOIN ME IN VOTING FOR SCOTT ANANIAN FOR TOWN MODERATOR ON MAY 4, SO THAT TOGETHER WE MAY LIFT EVERY VOICE!

Mariah Nobrega
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 4
Member of the School Committee
Member of the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations
former Member of the Advisory Committee

Michael Zoorob

Brookline TAB, March 25

I am pleased to endorse Scott Ananian for Brookline Town Moderator.

Town Meeting can be complicated and intimidating. As Moderator, Scott will work hard to ensure everyone’s voices are heard. He has always volunteered his assistance when anyone had a question about how our Town government worked. I join so many others in sharing that he helped me navigate the Warrant Article process.

Scott can be so helpful because he knows so much about town government. Through his active participation in Town Meeting, he has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of its rules and procedures, the town bylaws and zoning bylaws and relevant state statutes.

It will make a difference, especially for those new to the process, to have Scott's helpful and friendly attitude leading our Town Meeting. We haven’t had a new Town Moderator for over twenty years. Scott Ananian is the change our town needs with the expertise to ensure a smooth transition. I urge you to vote for him on May 4.

Michael Zoorob
Longwood Avenue

Kim Loscalzo

Brookline TAB, March 11

As a teacher and parent of young children seeking to find my place in civic engagement in Brookline, I have found a source of support and outstanding guidance in my fellow Town Meeting Member and friend, C. Scott Ananian.

Scott embodies commitment to fairness, inclusion, equity, and broadening of civic engagement across all groups, which is why I ask you to join me in supporting Scott's campaign for Town Moderator.

When I was elected to Town Meeting, I was unsure how to gain comfort with the legal and process complexities inherent in Brookline's legislative branch.

I knew the values and priorities I wanted to support, but I was not sure how to translate my goals into the formalities required of legislation in the form of "warrant articles," and I had no knowledge of the parliamentary procedures used to conduct Town Meeting.

From the start, Scott treated me as an equal and a valued peer, sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise while always being open to my ideas and helping me to find my own voice as a legislator and policy advocate.

Recently, I have been concerned about some private child care organizations in Brookline refusing to accept vouchers from Child Care Choices of Boston (CCCB).

When I explained my concerns to Scott, he immediately suggested three possible policy avenues for addressing the issues, offering not only his encyclopedic knowledge, but also his genuine concern for low income families and commitment to using his energy and skills to help. Brookline is at a crossroads as a microcosm of the tensions, stress, and conflicts across the country.

As we pursue local, legislative solutions as part of much needed progress on issues from racial justice, to elder services, to child care, to the environment, Scott is the right person to lead Town Meeting as the fair, neutral, responsible, and inclusive Moderator that the Brookline community deserves.

For a better and brighter Brookline, please join me in voting for C. Scott Ananian for Town Moderator on May 4.

Kim Loscalzo
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 10
1601 Beacon St #203, Brookline, MA

Scott Ananian

Brookline TAB, March 4

My name is C. Scott Ananian and I am running for Moderator of Brookline’s Town Meeting.

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 prefer. 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 on my website, I will work hard to earn your vote in May.

C. Scott Ananian
103 Griggs Rd, Brookline
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 10