Fourth candidate emerges in Northampton mayoral race 

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Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2021 8:29:50 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A fourth mayoral candidate has stepped forward.

Rosechana Gordon, a longtime Northampton resident with a background in social work, announced she is running for mayor.

“I’m a self-starter. A leader with unconventional wisdom,” Gordon, 54, of Conz Street, said in an interview. “My personal goal is to bring our community from polarized sides or ways of thinking together and to lead. My belief is that there is wisdom from both sides, both political parties.”

Earlier this year, Mayor David Narkewicz announced he won’t be seeking reelection. In addition to Gordon, City Council President Gina-Louise Sciarra, social worker Shanna Fishel and engineer Jared Greenberg have announced plans to run for the position.

Gordon said she is a political independent, and her campaign logo describes her candidacy as “a vote for the people.”

“I don’t think there is one issue that’s more important than any other, whether it is looking at fossil fuel and fracking to opening another gas station on King Street to looking at the Northampton Police Department and the system of community care,” she said, adding, “Potholes, public safety, education for children, property taxes, affordable housing, homelessness, these are all very important issues.”

The city’s proposed resilience hub is a top priority, Gordon said, and she praised the recommendations in a recent report by the Northampton Policing Review Commission.

“I love the recommendations from the commission,” Gordon said, noting that she would want to revisit a proposal that a Department of Community Care be housed under the city’s Board of Health as it is busy with COVID-19. She added, “I don’t think it’s an either-or situation — I don’t think that necessarily means to defund the police.”

Disability is another policy area Gordon is interested in. “I am a woman who is physically disabled,” she said. “I am a strong advocate for people with disabilities and the elderly.”

Gordon said she lost her job in social work amid the pandemic.

“Now my job is to get elected as the mayor of the city,” she said.

Previously, she has worked for the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services as a social worker, done social justice training and curriculum development, and received a masters degree in social justice education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“I bring a strong occupational and educational background as well as civic involvement and political experience,” she said.

Nomination papers are due to the City Clerk by Aug. 13. If three or more candidates for mayor turn in completed papers, it would trigger a preliminary election on Sept. 28.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.


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