Well Wishes: City leaders share hopes for Newton in 2024

As we close the book on 2023 and look toward a new year, Newton’s leaders have some words to say and hopes to share for 2024.

Ruthanne Fuller, mayor of Newton

“Together we have the privilege, the honor and the responsibility to work together on behalf of a
remarkable community at a unique time in our history.

We know we face great challenges: housing, healthcare, education, inequity, climate change,
transportation, finances.

Daily, though, I go to work with some of the brightest, and most committed individuals in municipal
government. The people who work for the City of Newton inspire me. Together, we are up to the

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller speaks at the Golda Meir House in Newton.

Marc Laredo, incoming City Council president

“We should never take for granted how fortunate we are to live in Newton!  I hope that in 2024, at home and abroad, we continue to stand for democracy and respect for all, and that we continue to condemn all forms of hate.  Here in Newton, I hope that we listen carefully and thoughtfully to different points of view as we collaboratively work together to make Newton an even better place in which to live and work.  I look forward to working together with all Newton residents to achieve these goals.”

City Councilor Marc Laredo delivers a speech to city councilors-elect asking them to pick him as their president. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

Susan Albright, outgoing City Council chair

“For 2024 I foresee our new zoning code will begin a revitalization of our villages; a future with more living in proximity to bustling shops and busy eateries.  The MBTA will complete plans for our new train stations; state and federal funds (secured by our excellent Congressman Auchincloss and by our state delegation along with our Governor and Lieutenant Governor) will allow work to be scheduled for mid 2025.

Now that Newton is accepted into the 10 Communities program the City Council will pass an ordinance requiring all new construction to have only electrical utilities. Fossil fuels will begin to be a thing of the past in Newton.  Those of us who think that increasing housing at all price points in Newton (and every other suburb) will win over the hearts and minds of all Newton residents who will see that the future of our Commonwealth depends on opening the tent; that we have far more to gain and a whole lot to lose by not doing this. The city will develop a housing program for young adult Newton residents with disabilities to help them remain and thrive in Newton. A happy and healthy New Year to all.”

Newton City Councilor Susan Albright. Courtesy Photo

Anna Nolin, superintendent of schools:

“My intention is to lead the school community with care and courage and provide a world-class education for our students and ensure that NPS is the most desirable place to teach in the nation. While we are being the strongest learning organization out there, I sincerely hope we can continue to strengthen our bonds and care as a community.  I read poetry daily and I share this favorite to inspire us all.:

Turning to One Another 
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. 
Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking. 
Notice what you care about. 
Assume that many others share your dreams. 
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. 
Talk to people you know. 
Talk to people you don’t know. 
Talk to people you never talk to. 
Be intrigued by the differences you hear. 
Expect to be surprised. 
Treasure curiosity more than certainty. 
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible. 
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something. 
Know that creative solutions come from new connections. 
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know. 
Real listening always brings people closer together. 
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world. 
Rely on human goodness. Stay together. “
—Margaret Wheatley, “Turning to One Another,” 2002

Dr. Anna Nolin is the new superintendent of Newton public schools. Photo by Bryan McGonigle

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Newton

“Happy New Year to my neighbors in Newton. In 2024, I’ll continue working with my state and local partners in government to secure funding for the three commuter rail stations in Newton. More housing and better transit are complements: Newton has zoned for more housing; it still needs state and federal help to improve its transit access.

I know also that many of my constituents look to 2024 with apprehension about the state of democracy, overseas and at home. In foreign policy, I will support the president and our allies, including Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in standing up to the authoritarian axis of the Kremlin, the Ayatollah, and the Chinese Communist Party. In the United States, I will do everything in my lawful power to protect our country and Constitution from Trumpism.”

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Newton, speaks to a room full of supporters in Waban as he launches his 2024 reelection campaign. Photo by Bryan McGonigle