Sara Elkins: Fishel is a vote for change

Published: 8/24/2021 9:17:24 PM

Northampton residents, are you satisfied with how our city government and related departments are operating? Have you reached out to the city government for help or to share concerns with them and were met with lack of interest or unwillingness to prioritize what is pressing to those in your neighborhood? Are getting away from the idea that in order to have a truly strong community we need to value the ideas and experiences of all our residents?

I have lived in Northampton since 1964. I remember when Northampton used to be a city that other cities and looked up to. A lot has changed. What are we the leaders of now: Lack of affordable housing, endless homelessness, exorbitantly priced empty storefronts and sloppily plowed streets?

I have been voting in local elections in Northampton since 1982 but this fall seems different. The question coming before voters is do they want a major shift in how decisions are made in our local government, or do they want a new mayor who will continue the failed policies of yesterday?

I am voting for Shanna Fishel because I am one of the voters that sees a need for big changes in the city government. Two of the ideas that Shanna has are a city government that is both more responsive to residents needs and more inclusive of all the citizens of Northampton by using a participatory model.

Shanna did a Zoom presentation of universal design on how other cities have built in accessible features to their buildings so that physically challenged people have access to stores, office buildings, restaurants and government offices without having to rely on bringing an aide with them.

Many downtown buildings are not accessible for people using wheelchairs without having to ask for help from the business itself. Most businesses above the first floor are not accessible for people using wheel chairs or walkers. When did we decide the bare minimum is acceptable?

I believe that Shanna has the unique skills and experience to get the job done. I know that she is a careful listener and has practical ideas about how to improve and streamline our government and services.

Shanna has been a special education teacher. She was a teachers union representative. Now Shanna works as a social worker helping those struggling with addiction.

If you, like me, see the many challenges facing our city, please join me and vote for Shanna Fishel.

Sara Elkins


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