Friends and soon-to-be friends, I am running to be the next Ward One City Councilor in Quincy. I am very excited to begin this adventure and make my case to my neighbors and all the citizens of Ward One. I hope you will take a few minutes and check out my campaign site. There you will see my vision for our city and some of the issues that matter most to me.
I thought I'd start by telling you a bit about how we came to choose Quincy as our home 10 years ago. Cheryl and I were living in the Los Angeles area, she was an aspiring actress and I was a musician. We came to Quincy when Cheryl started a graduate program at Emerson College. We had our pick of almost any location in and around Boston and we wanted a neighborhood that felt right for us. We have never been wild about towns that were too pretentious, nor did we want a town without local character. Quincy was our kind of place. It has hardworking people, diversity, sports fans (that's more a Joe requirement), proximity to the Ocean, public transportation, and a close-knit neighborhood feel. Quincy welcomed us and we have granted it the greatest honor we can by choosing it as the place to raise our kids and put down roots.
Ten years later and Cheryl is a Drama teacher in the Boston Public School system and I am an administrator at MIT. What I hope to bring to Quincy, as a city councilor, is the combination of our past and present. As a self-employed musician and a union rep in the musician's union, I was able to advocate for musicians and enforce contracts and compliance between labor and employers. And for the past ten years I have worked with large bureaucracies to write grants, court corporate sponsorship, and stay within budget to achieve our goals at MIT. The experience of my two careers are what will make me a successful public servant for this city. With Quincy going through an historic revitalization, it is vital that we balance the profits of development with the quality of life for those living in Quincy already.
Thanks for taking an interest in my new passion. I hope you will follow the progress and cheer me on. To wrap up this initial blog post, I'm posting a draft of my introductory letter to my constituents:
To the residents of Quincy's Ward One,
Some of you have met me at various activities in Ward One like the Troop 6 Adult Pinewood Derby, setting up tables for Chowder fests, playground maintenance fun during Cleaner Greener Quincy, or various community meetings. Some of us have met dropping off our kids at Atherton Hough, riding the Redline together, or back when i was a part-timer at Home Depot. But, for the vast majority of you, this is your first introduction to me.
I am a newcomer to politics as this is my first campaign since 8th grade student council. But I am not a newcomer to bringing people together to solve challenging and complicated problems. As the Assistant Director for Administration at a research lab at MIT, I have years of experience managing budgets, procuring goods and services, setting project timelines, and meeting goals on a large scale. Quincy needs these skills now as the revitalization of our community continues. Quincy is “built-out" and we have no room for raw expansion. We cannot build on marshes and we cannot build in floodplains. We have to plan carefully as we develop our cityscape. I want to make sure that the needs of Quincy residents are balanced with the profits of business developers. We must ensure that the resources we rely on to get to and from work everyday are not stripped away by an cash-strapped MBTA finally discovering it has service below JFK. We have a parking crisis being exacerbated by the propagation of apartment complexes, condos, and multi-family housing. While our city attracts new residents, we are not attracting enough small businesses to provide the variety of activities and services our citizens deserve. We need skilled leadership to make sure we develop a fertile spirit of innovation to better serve the needs of our residents.
I’m running to be Quincy’s Ward One City Councilor. I will bring innovation, creativity, and practical solutions as your representative and will fight to protect Ward One’s resources and its people. Quincy’s Preliminary City Election is Tuesday September 12, and it will be my job this Spring and Summer to inspire you to come out and cast a vote for me.
I promise that as your City Councilor we will work together to shape Quincy's future. My office will always have an open door policy. I will be independent, transparent, accessible, responsive, and, most importantly, accountable to you. Your ideas and opinions will always be invited and considered. Where we disagree, I will work to build consensus with a collaborative approach that respects all interested parties. Working together, we can accomplish big things for our neighborhoods and for Quincy as a whole. I hope you will join me.
www.votejoemurphy.com . firstname.lastname@example.org