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Gina-Louise Sciarra announces candidacy for Northampton Ward 4 City Council seat

Gina-Louise Sciarra, a former campaign manager at First Churches, will make her first run for elective office this fall.

Sciarra said she’s been looking for a way to contribute to the community for some time, and Schwartz’s announcement earlier this week prompted her to take action.

“As my home, Northampton has given me so much, and serving on the City Council is the best way I can think of to give back,” Sciarra said in a press release.

The State Street resident said her priorities include investing in public schools, protecting open space, improving road safety, maintaining a vibrant downtown and providing support to the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Sciarra served as manager for the First Churches of Northampton’s five-year, $2 million capital campaign from 2007 to 2012. The campaign culiminated in the repair and restoration of the historic building.

She also worked as campaign manager in 2011 for William H. Dwight’s successful bid for an at-large position on the council.

Sciarra hopes to continue Ward 4’s recent history of electing parents with children enrolled in the city’s public schools, crediting Schwartz and Mayor David J. Narkewicz, a former Ward 4 councilor, for being fantastic advocates for the public schools.

Sciarra’s oldest child Alazne, 3, will enter the city’s preschool program at Bridge Street School this fall.

Sciarra has also worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters and the Democratic political consulting firm Terris, Barnes & Walters.

She has been married to Bill Scher for six years. In addition to Alazne, she has a 1-year-old daughter, Simone. Sciarra graduated from Smith College in 1996 and earned a master of philosophy in sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2008.

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