Nicola Usher: Consider me for Town Council

Thursday, November 01, 2018
Consider me for Town Council

It’s an exciting time in Amherst as we near the seating of our first-ever Town Council. The inaugural council will have immediate and critical work to do. Most important, it will need to deliver on the promise of accountability, transparency, and greater representation that those of us who voted for a change in government believed in.

Local government needs to be accessible to those without the privilege of time — whether to serve or as constituents. Working full-time, caring for young children, not having extra cash to finance a campaign should not be barriers to entry.

I see the role of councilor largely as one of community engagement and education. When communicating with the public, the council should convey information in various formats, locations, and times — having a robust virtual presence will work for some constituents, while physical accessibility will be preferable for others. If elected, I plan to hold open office hours at varied times and locations and would make sure district meetings take place in child-friendly spaces or with childcare provided.

Obviously, decisions matter but so does process. I am concerned with how we make and communicate decisions. We are neighbors first; respect and civility must prevail. We need to be able to disagree without accusations, suspicion, and assuming the worst about each other. We need to appreciate that we all care deeply about this town and its residents despite our disagreement on particular issues.

As a working mom who has direct experience with daycare, preschool, elementary school, playgrounds, libraries, searching for housing for a potentially expanding family, and trying to find employment, I will make sure that the concerns of busy parents who want to settle or stay in Amherst are heard and represented. If we want to attract young families, then we need to ensure that their experience is represented on the council. If you live in District 1 (Precincts 1 & 3) please cast a vote for me on November 6.

Nicola Usher

Precinct 1 Amherst Town Meeting Member, Candidate for Town Council, District 1