3rd candidate enters Ward 7 race for Northampton City Council

  • Hanuman Goleman, candidate for Ward 7 of Northampton's City Council, April 30, 2019. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo—

  • Hanuman Goleman, candidate for Ward 7 of Northampton’s City Council, April 30, 2019. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Hanuman Goleman, candidate for Ward 7 of Northampton's City Council, April 30, 2019. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo—

Staff Writer
Published: 5/1/2019 11:04:17 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The owner of a publishing company is the third person to enter the race for the Ward 7 seat on the City Council since incumbent Alisa Klein announced in March that she would not seek reelection this November.

In speaking about his candidacy Tuesday, Hanuman Goleman, 43, said he hopes to bring people together from across the political spectrum.

“If we actually want to make progress, we at least need to have civil conversations,” Goleman said.

Goleman lives in the Florence area of Ward 7 near JFK Middle School, with his wife Kaia Goleman and their 4-year-old daughter, Sujata, and 2-year-old son, Kavi.

He started the publishing company, Key Step Media, 13 years ago in Northampton. The company focuses on mindfulness, emotional intelligence and leadership development and is incorporating a coaching and training component.

Goleman said that mindfulness has been a part of his life since he did his first 10-day silent retreat as a teen.

Goleman said that he’s “never been political at all,” but that he was drawn to politics following the 2016 election. He said he has friends who voted for President Donald Trump and those who did not.

“And they’re all smart people,” Goleman said.

Goleman said that he wants to see more community engagement in the city.

“If there’s a good idea, I want it incorporated into our city,” Goleman said. “There are so many smart, hardworking people in Ward 7.”

On policy, Goleman is a supporter of municipal broadband. He said he believes the city needs more revenue, that policies that help people to start businesses should be explored, and that as a society we need to do better with tackling opioid addiction. He also supports higher wages for Northampton’s public school teachers.

Goleman also said that he would like to see Smith College pay more money to the city.

“I’d love to see more community engagement around that issue,” he said.

Goleman said that he is “not a policy wonk,” and that as a councilor he would rely on the expertise of the “many smarter people around me.”

And he said that being able to talk to people is one of his strengths.

“I love talking to people,” he said.

Goleman will host a house party as part of his campaign. And in May he will be one of the hosts of a bowling event at Spare Time Northampton to bring people together who might not normally talk to one another. He also hopes to hold block parties.

Goleman will face Penny Geis, the former Hampshire County Government administrator, and Rachel Maiore, director of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March, in a nonpartisan primary scheduled for Sept. 17. The top two advance to the ballot in the Nov. 5 general election.

“I think it’s only good for our community,” he said, on running against at least two other opponents, both of whom he said he liked.

In addition to Klein, Ward 2 City Councilor Dennis Bidwell and At-Large City Councilor Ryan O’Donnell are not running for reelection. Ward 4 City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra is running for one of the council’s at-large seats

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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