With the only preliminary City Council race settled in Ward 5 on Sept. 10, all candidates are looking to the Nov. 5 Municipal Election.
There are 24 seats on the City Council up for grabs including 16 at-large positions and eight ward seats. Councilors are elected every two years.
While there are several candidates running without challengers, there are contested races for the following ward seats: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 and the following at-large seats: 2, 3, 5 and 6.
The race for the two Ward 2 at-large seats has the maximum number of candidates allowed – four – while the other contested at-large races have three candidates.
City Council candidates were invited to write 100-word introductions about themselves. Those names with an asterisk (*) are incumbents:
City Council ward councilors
Allan L. Ciccone
I am a Democrat running for card councilor Ward 1. I am 79 years old and have lived in Newton all my life. I attended the Williams School, Warren Junior High and Newton High. I am a Vietnam veteran, a retired Newton Police officer, a life member of the American Legion Post 440 and a member of the Elks.
My late wife Pat and I have three children, Jay, Margie and Shannon - all educated in Newton Public Schools. We have 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, so I feel I have a big investment in this city.
*Maria Scibelli Greenberg
Constituent services has been one of my top priorities as your Ward 1 councilor. Let me help you navigate the city’s permitting process, plant a tree in your berm, fill a pothole, or even help you hunt for a lost snake! I’ve worked with neighborhood groups to implement traffic calming measures for their streets and I’ve addressed safety concerns and improvements for our parks.
Local, neighborhood issues have been my primary focus and I will continue to work hard for the villages of Ward 1-Nonantum and Newton Corner. I’m asking for your support and vote on Nov. 5. Thank you.
Bryan P. Barash
I moved to Newton while attending Boston College Law School. My wife Claudia and I quickly fell in love with this engaged, inclusive community.
My life has been dedicated to public service, as general counsel to state Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, on Newton’s Human Rights Commission, and with local civic organizations including Progressive Newton and Green Newton.
I ask for your support because I will be an effective advocate focused on listening to residents, and a voice for all of Ward 2 at an important time in Newton’s history. I will work hard for your vote on Nov. 5.
I ask for your vote on Nov. 5 so I can continue to be your voice on the Newton City Council.
My expertise is environmental protection. I am executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association, and was previously the Massachusetts director for the Sierra Club.
I am devoted to our city. I am raising my family in the same Newtonville house in which I grew up, and my children attend Horace Mann, Day and Newton North.
I will continue to lead on environmental issues, to advocate for village scale rather than oversized development, and to provide excellent constituent services.
I’ll be a strong voice for residents feeling overwhelmed or ignored as our West Newton village center, Washington Street, and residential neighborhoods, face development pressure and proposed “upzoning” for higher density.
I’ll work for increased tree canopy and green space; protection of historic village landmarks; zoning that discourages wasteful teardowns and doesn’t overcrowd schools and roads; environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient new construction, and citywide organics collection; a dedicated Senior Center and services; responsible spending; and keeping middle-class families and local businesses in Newton.
I want to keep you informed, help you navigate city government, and get your questions answered.
Carolina D. Ventura
As a parent raising a family in West Newton, I’m concerned about the challenges facing Ward 3 and our city, from development to environmental sustainability. My priorities include ensuring smart growth by promoting affordable, accessible, walkable village centers, while holding developers accountable to our community vision. I’ll also work to ensure access to critical services and demand wise investments in infrastructure, transportation, and public education. I’m an attorney experienced in advocacy, not only for my clients, but also as a court mediator. If elected, I’ll put that experience to good use advocating for my constituents.
*Christopher J. Markiewicz
As your representative I’ve been accessible and communicative through office hours, community meetings and newsletters. I have worked to improve traffic, parking and pedestrian safety conditions. I supported and voted for the creation of affordable housing for seniors. Next term I will continue to work on zoning reform that respects our villages, supports small business and enables growth that is inclusive. I will continue to support initiatives that improve access to the Charles and protect the environment. Your vote will allow me to continue serving Ward 4 and all of Newton.
William Bishop Humphrey
I’m running for the open Ward 5 City Council seat to make sure Newton is a community for everyone. We need bold, local environmental action and better public transportation options, more affordable housing, strong city services and schools, and inclusive policies for seniors, young adults, and people with disabilities. As a young, lifelong resident, I’ll bring a unique perspective to representing Ward 5 and serving constituents. Many of you have known me since childhood, and I’ve met many more of you as I knocked on thousands of Ward 5 doors this year. Now, I hope to earn your vote.
Kathryn K. Winters
I am running for Ward 5 councilor because I believe I can be a strong representative of the ward and an effective leader who will keep Newton moving forward. I am an attorney who has been deeply involved in the community as I have raised my four children here. I currently serve as president of the Waban Area Council. I have worked closely with retiring Ward 5 Councilor John Rice, who has been an exemplary representative, and I am honored to have his support in my campaign. Learn more about my background and priorities at www.kathywinters.org.
Rena L. Getz, who did not submit notification by deadline, is also running for that seat as a write-in candidate.
I’m running because (1) we are in a time of crisis, requiring urgent action to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve open space; (2) we need to reverse short-sighted development policies that add to traffic and pollution and undermine our commercial tax base, jeopardizing the revenue stream needed to support great schools and other services; and (3) Newton residents deserve accountable, responsive local representation. We need to take bold, decisive action to reduce our city’s carbon footprint and preserve and maintain our green spaces for future generations. Please vote for me Nov. 5.
In 2017, the residents of Ward 6 elected me to the City Council on a vision of an inclusive city that represents the values that matter to us. I am asking for your vote to serve as your Ward 6 councilor for a second term.
My voting record illustrates my commitment to quality of life for all. I will continue working to address climate change and housing and to maintain a vibrant future for Newton as a diverse and tolerant place to live and work, reflecting the changing world we live in. Learn more at www.brendafornewton.com
*R. Lisle Baker
I am running for re-election to the Newton City Council for my 19th two-year term. As the ward councilor for Ward 7, I have helped strengthen our public schools, where our children got their start. I have also helped save open spaces, like the Newton Commonwealth Golf Course and the Waban Hill Reservoir, or historic resources, like the Durant-Kenrick Homestead. I also helped the Covenant Residences affordable housing project on Commonwealth Avenue gain neighborhood support. Going forward, I want to enhance public safety, help preserve Webster Woods for public access, and improve our zoning controls on land development.
Life-long Oak Hill Park resident, community leader, alum and parent of two graduates of Newton schools. I have worked with our federal and state elected officials on legislative advocacy for over 20 years and served under two Newton mayors as the LGBTQ+ liaison.
I would ensure access to needed services and housing for vulnerable residents and seniors. Reduce carbon footprint, advocate for green construction, preserve our open spaces, expand transportation options and implement smart traffic control.
You can be certain I will make well-informed thoughtful decisions as we move forward as a city. Holly@holly-ryan.com
City Council at-large councilors
My name is Alison Leary and I am running for re-election to the City Council. My husband and I are both Newton natives with two children attending Newton North. I want to continue the important work on zoning reform, environmental and fiscal sustainability and ensure we meet GHG goals. As climate change looms, it is the cities and towns who are in the best position to address the impacts. Zoning reform will be a critical tool in promoting good design, building resilience by mimicking nature, ensuring opportunities for green space and create more opportunities for diverse and more affordable housing.
Incumbent Allan L. Ciccone Jr. did not submit a candidate introduction by deadline.
*Susan S. Albright
Susan Albright has served on Newton’s City Council for 8 terms and has shepherded wide-ranging ordinances from creating off-leash dog areas to shortening the winter parking ban. Susan will continue to work to enhance open space, maintain strong schools, support diverse housing opportunities, create actions to mitigate climate change, and improve public transportation. Her background in information technology helps to improve data access for staff and citizens. Zoning redesign remains a top priority for next term. Susan brings thoughtful problem solving, collaboration and careful analysis to maintain Newton's tradition of greatness and looks forward to continuing to serve Newton.
*Jacob Daniel Auchincloss
Jake is a two-term city councilor and Newton public schools graduate. He is focused on four issues to improve his hometown:
Progressive transportation policy: reduce traffic and pollution by planning and developing for people, not cars
Affordable housing: tough negotiator with developers to get the housing we need while minimizing traffic impacts
Sustainability: consistent vote for Green Newton priorities
World-class schools, with fairly paid teachers
Jake previously commanded Marine infantry in Afghanistan and special operations in Panama. He holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from MIT Sloan. He is a Democrat.
Jennifer A. Bentley
My name is Jennifer Bentley and I am running for a Ward 2, at-large City Council seat. I am a wife, mother, community volunteer, and 20-year resident of Newton. I am running because I believe our current city government is on wrong path and many Newton residents believe that their voices are going unheard. I will fight for right-sized development, affordable housing, responsible zoning reform, preserving Newton’s unique villages, protecting our green spaces, and advocating for more benefits and programs for seniors. Vote for me on Nov. 5 so I can represent your voice in the decisions that shape our future. https://www.jenniferbentley.org/
Tarik J. Lucas
I’m running to be your Newton city councilor because I believe in public service and I want to ensure that Newton is open to people of all backgrounds. I’m actively involved in the Newton community. I currently serve as the vice president of the Newtonville Area Council and serve on the Newtonville Historic District Commission. In 2017, I volunteered for the “No on Charter” campaign. If elected, I’ll stand for the responsible development of our villages, protect local representation, and protect our green spaces. You can learn more about my campaign at TarikLucas.org. I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.
*James R. Cote
I’m proudly running for re-election as your city councilor at-large from West Newton (Ward 3). We are a thriving city and my experience will provide you, the resident, with a voice in your city. Serving on the key committees of land use, finance, public safety and transportation has provided me with the requisite experience to understand and negotiate new projects soon to be in front of the council. Committed to doing the right thing with every item addressed by the council, I offer a common-sense approach to city government. I ask for your vote on Nov. 5!
*Andrea W. Kelley
As a Newton resident for 40 years, my interests and efforts cover a wide range of issues. Key objectives that I commit to every day include:
Address climate change impacts
Create more diverse housing options
Enhance and maintain Newton’s open spaces
Provide education and support around mental health and substance use disorder
While advocating on behalf of these issues, I am guided by comprehensive planning goals set by the city. Civil discourse and listening to all perspectives leads to balancing needs that result in the best interests of our overall city.
I’m a civil, collaborative and thoughtful advocate.
Pamela A. Wright
I’m running for Ward 3 councilor at large to develop a plan to manage growth in a way that benefits all the residents. We need to ensure that our schools, infrastructure, and traffic work for everyone as we move forward with reasonable development. I want to provide more affordable housing, protect green spaces, enhance the senior center and services and promote climate change initiatives while keeping within the city budget.
I’m an engineer and 20-year resident of West Newton who is engaged in the community. Please visit my website WrightForNewton.org for more information.
Incumbents Leonard J. Gentile and Joshua Krintzman did not submit candidate introductions by deadline.
Paul Edward Coletti
Living in Newton 70 years, raising 3 children through the Newton Public Schools, has been a tremendous gift and opportunity. Serving as alderman-at-large 1977-2009, chairman of finance 23 years from 1984-2009, I have experience and institutional memory critically needed. Leaving my aldermanic seat, running for mayor, I believed that one person couldn’t make a difference. Now with declining schools, village centers, infrastructure, zoning, and a lack of empathy by the mayor and council for the citizens, I realize that everyone must make a difference. I need your vote!
A first-term incumbent, Andreae Downs has promoted making Newton's streets and transportation options better and greener. She has worked on parking policy both for special permits and public streets to reduce circling and traffic. She is proudest of working on zoning rules for more affordable housing, for stronger energy efficiency and which will reduce runoff and flooding. In this term, she has also helped found the Friends of Cold Spring Park and joined the board of the Friends of Hemlock Gorge
More information at: http://www.andreae4newton.com/about.html
Incumbent Deborah J. Crossley did not submit a candidate introduction by deadline.
Alicia G. Bowman
Newton faces critical decisions: housing, transportation, infrastructure and climate change. I am prepared to lead on these issues. Professionally, I was a management consultant. In our community, I am a positive change-maker. I have been PTO president, Girl Scout troop leader and on the LWVN board, but I am best known for my leadership on transportation: co-founder of Safe Routes to School, president of Bike Newton and member of Mayor’s Transportation Advisory Group. I’m endorsed by the Newton Teachers Association, the Sierra Club and Progressive Newton. With this background plus established relationships with city officials, I am ready to serve.
*Victoria L. Danberg
It has been a privilege to have served as your councilor at large for the past 15 years. As Newton residents since 1977, our family has benefited from the many advantages Newton has to offer. I am proud to have contributed to this excellent living environment.
Moving forward, many important issues need our attention: affordable housing, planned development, greater diversity, sustainable environment, improved transportation and infrastructure, walkability and bike paths.
I have worked hard for you and will continue to fight for our community. Thank you for your confidence in me. I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.
I’m running for re-election because I want to continue making Newton a healthier, safer, and greener community. As a parent and physician, I am passionate about achieving academic excellence in our schools and creating a healthy environment for all to enjoy. I have worked for safer sidewalks, streets, and bike lanes, for vibrant parks and improved athletic fields, and for more trees, solar panels, and energy efficiency throughout the city to fight climate change. As chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, I have worked hard to find the right balance between much needed development and vibrant villages and neighborhoods.
*Marc C. Laredo
City Council president running for re-election as a Ward 7 at-large city councilor. As president, I have led the City Council in addressing the important and difficult issues we face in an open, respectful, and thoughtful manner.
Past and present experience:
Chair, Newton School Committee
Partner, law firm of Laredo & Smith, LLP
Assistant attorney general, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Criminal Bureau
Editor-in-chief, Massachusetts Law Review
Member, Temple Emanuel’s Board of Trustees
Chair, Ward 7 Democratic Committee
Graduate of Newton North, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School
Married with three children
*Rebecca Walker Grossman
I’m Becky Grossman, and I’m running for re-election as city councilor-at-large, Ward 7. I love serving our city, and I’m proud to have worked collaboratively with my colleagues this term to make meaningful progress towards our shared values. I believe strongly in first-rate education, more affordable housing, combating climate change, and managing the city’s money responsibly. I have two kids at Ward School, and I’ve enjoyed working on school building projects, including a renovated home for the Newton Early Childhood Program and Lincoln-Eliot School. I’m looking forward to continuing this work, and I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.
*Richard A. Lipof
I am running for re-election as your Ward 8 councilor-at-large. I was born and raised in Newton and attended Bowen and Memorial Spaulding elementary schools, Meadowbrook Jr. High, and Newton South High School. As your alderman/city councilor for 18 years, I come to the board with vast knowledge of real estate and land use issues grounded by 30 years in real estate valuation and consulting. I am presently vice chairman of the Land Use Committee and have held positions as chairman of Public Safety & Transportation, chairman of Real Property Re-Use and vice chairman of the Finance Committee.
Incumbent David A. Kalis did not submit a candidate introduction by deadline.