I oppose the proposed Newton city charter for a number of reasons. The elimination of ward councilors chosen only by voters who live in each of our eight wards is a great loss, and one which will force me to vote NO, although other provisions may be an improvement over what we have now.
Diversity on the council is important to me and many other people who live here -- diversity of ethnic, religion, race, sex, income level and national origin and people who live in all wards of the city. We have currently no person of African-American descent on the council and only one of Asian descent. There is a diversity of religions and European origins. However, most are Caucasian. Historically there have been few Asians and one African-American serving on the Board of Alderman, now called the council.
What has occurred in other cities like Worcester and Lowell that have switched to all at-large councilors or aldermen and reduced the size of the council is that the majority of the council are Caucasian, are from one high-income area of the city and are well off economically.
Newton deserves better than this. If you value diversity, please vote NO in November on the proposed city charter.
Priscilla M. Leith