I am 31 years old life-long resident of Salem, husband and father of a 3 year old son. After graduating Salem High I attended college in New York at Saint Johns University, but shortly after arriving I missed home so, after my first year, I transferred to Northeastern. I graduated in 2011 with a degree in computer science and mathematics. Since then I have worked as a software engineer in the tech industry. After getting married in 2013 my wife and I decided to stay in Salem and start our family here. Since deciding to raise our family here I became more active in local politics.
Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?
I’m running because we need a government that listens. I’m running because we need an innovative government. I’m running because we need a collaborative government. These are skills that I have honed over the years as a Software Engineer. At work I collaborate with my teammates to provide innovative solutions that address the concerns of stake holders and I will do the same on the City Council.
What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?
We need to stop viewing houses as wealth and start seeing houses as homes.
There needs to be a more predictable permitting process to both protect neighborhoods and encourage more competition among developers.
We need to start a broad conversation about how Salem is zoned because we couldn’t re-build the neighborhoods we love under the current zoning.
Finally, I would like to start a conversation around a 40B inspired permitting path that is tailored to Salem’s needs.
How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?
We’ve seen more frequent and severe flooding in Salem. To mitigate this we need to enable and encourage soft shoreline stabilization and ecologically responsible/friendly development.
Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.
It is vital that communication be one of the cornerstones of civic engagement. Right now we have a lot of information that goes unheard and unknown. Residents and business owners are often in the dark or misinformed about neighborhood or city-wide issues because they either do not have access or need to go out of their way to access information. What we have now is either a generic email with city-wide information and rarely anything pertaining to your specific neighborhood, or an overload of information about everything happening everywhere and it is up to the residents to determine what is pertinent to them. We, as a city, need to find a better way to inform residents and business owners about policies and happenings that will directly and indirectly affect them. Taking inspiration from existing information sites such as CodeRED and SeeClickFix, it would be nice to have a system where notifications had an Area of Effect or Area of Interest filter. A new system would take time and money to roll out, but its lasting affects for the city would be incalculable towards making the City of Salem a more streamlined government.
It is important that everyone in the community is heard and that everyone has a chance to contribute to the fabric of our city. Frequently I see calls for civic engagement that are either vehemently for or against a particular motion, issue or candidate. As the Ward 6 Councilor I will want to hear from everyone, not just those citizens who agree with my opinions. I want to be informed in all areas of matters so that I can make educated decisions that represent the best possible outcome for the majority of my constituents, not just those that agree with me.