For all intents and purposes, this newsletter marks the halfway point of my term of office. Are you better off than you were two years ago? Are you more informed, engaged, outraged, entertained, alarmed or all or none of the above? Is your street scheduled to be paved? (Check here and here to find out.)
As of January 2, 2017, my plan was simple: deliver on my campaign promises. Keep my eye on the ball. Keep my nose to the grindstone. Stick to the strategic plan. Go!
But then the phone rang and the new mail sound played and Eastern Parkway construction and the Stonecote Sudbury School and Dan Johnson and the Separation Ordinance and the murder of Jason Spencer and motorcycle noise and Google Fiber and the Tyler Park tennis courts and the Castleman statue and the Sterling deal and the Gnome Thief and short term rentals and a hundred other things happened that became part of my “strategic plan,” whether I liked it or not.
I’m not complaining; that’s life, of course. However, my “One Highlands” plan has always meant a lot to me and it still does. It helps me to focus, if not always on S.M.A.R.T. goals and objectives then on the values that should underlie my decision making. It highlights the areas that need work. And it gives Jasmine and me something to do in our free time (ha!).
In all seriousness, I’m proud of the promises I’ve kept and the tremendous progress we’ve made over the last two years. Slowly but surely, we are changing local politics (hyperlocal politics, at least), and I’ll point to participatory budgeting as perhaps the best example of that. We’re reorienting transit priorities, particularly when it comes to putting neighborhood safety over commuter shortcuts. We’ve strengthened historic preservation and doubled down on advanced planning to protect the built environment. We’ve invested in litter bins and trees to help clean and beautify the area. And we are coordinating with residents, businesses, police departments – even state government – to fight crime, from theft to drunk driving to animal abuse.
I still have a long way to go to keep all of my commitments and complete my four-year plan – and “the list” is sure to grow in 2019 – but, woah, we're half way there.
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District 8 eNews will be on vacation January 2nd and return the 16th with a 2019 preview. Expect the unexpected.
Also, if in search of “beach reading” this holiday season, please allow me to recommend Seasons 1 and 2 of Eight More Miles: the District 8 Podcast. Listen on iTunes or SoundCloud to my interviews with Jerry Abramson, Morgan McGarvey, Vanessa Burns, Phillip Bailey, Aubrey Gregory, Chris Kolb, Mike Rutherford, Tom Owen, Tyler Allen and JC Stites, Barbara Sexton Smith, Lindsey McClave, Jeff Brown, Tina Ward-Pugh, Layla George, Mo McKnight Howe and Joe Heron, Dan Mann, Ryan Quarles, Aja Barber and Monica Leslie, Stephen George and Angela Leet. Thank you for reading – and listening!
For breaking news and information, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have a question or comment, please call me at: (502) 574-1108 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org (and copy email@example.com). If you have a service request, please call MetroCall at: 311 or visit MetroCall 311 online. Visit the District 8 Strategic Plan page here.