Engineer, ‘pragmatist’ Greenberg announces bid for mayor


Staff Writer
Published: 4/28/2021 9:03:21 PM

NORTHAMPTON — “He poops. She poops. They poop. Everybody poops,” reads the logo on the website of mayoral candidate Jared Greenberg. “Cities control sewers, not language.”

Greenberg, an electrical engineer and self-described non-partisan pragmatist and technocrat, recently announced he is running for mayor of Northampton. The 37-year-old is a Ward 6 resident who has lived in the city for four years and is the third candidate to announce a campaign. He declined to name the company he worked for.

“I’m a political newcomer and it just seems that in every successive cycle we see politics in not only the country but our city become more polarized,” he said when asked why he was running. “It also seems as though local politics are starting to become a platform for more national issues.”

He added, “In my opinion cities are boring and cities are supposed to be boring. Cities run schools, water systems and plow roads. In Northampton, especially, there’s been a bend toward concerning ourselves with a lot of things that aren’t municipal issues,” he said. “Nuclear weapons for example.”

The City Council passed a resolution in 2017 that asks the United States to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and it also successfully requested a change to state law to allow Northampton to refuse contracts with companies involved in the creation of nuclear weapons, for example.

He also cited climate change, which he said is important, “but what can we do about that on a municipal level? How much is Northampton contributing to the global carbon output … It’s not to say nothing matters but to think we can put a dent in it is ridiculous.”

The city has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

“I don’t think they are going to be successful, No. 1,” Greenberg said, adding that it’s a “waste of time and resources to concern ourselves with something larger than the city.”

Greenberg’s priority: “I think the important issues are running the city efficiently and effectively for its residents … being a place that is desirable to do business in.”

His website reads that “the last thing we need is to drive large corporations that employ hundreds of city residents out of town, interfere in the free market such that nobody wants to do business here, then drive up the taxes for the people living here, and ultimately making our city attractive for disadvantaged people to move here increasing our burden and creating a positive feedback loop.”

When asked about his comment on “disadvantaged people,” he said, “What I’m trying to say is we can’t fix the social systems … because we are but a small fraction. There’s no problem with disadvantaged people moving here. That’s not what I meant to say.”

Greenberg’s website also expresses support for demilitarizing the police force, moving to automated speed enforcement, and moving toward officers being unarmed in most cases.

He also addressed the issue of defunding the Police Department in his online campaign announcement.

“We have seen knee-jerk reactions regarding our police budget in Northampton as a punitive measure for the actions of a convicted murderer and former Minneapolis police officer as though our police must be violent and will be less violent with less money.”

Taxes should be spent wisely, he said.

“I know our teachers, for example, in Northampton are not paid very well compared to the rest of Massachusetts. Our taxes aren’t low. So where is the money going?” He added, “We should be getting value for our taxes … My priority is to run the city well and keep the city focused on municipal issues which, quite frankly, are boring.”

Another potential candidate, Rosechana H. Gordon, recently took out nomination papers from the city clerk’s office.

Greta Jochem can be reached at

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