Candidate Statement 2012: Donald C. Weitzman

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Dear Neighbor,

I have lived in Brookline since 1990 and been active in Brookline civic affairs since 1993, including representing precinct 12 in Town Meeting since 1994. While my political interests and involvements have been quite varied (please see the details of my résumé below), three general principles tend to govern my decisions.

Government (at all levels) has a responsibility to protect its citizens from the excessive power of the private sector. In particular, however much the Town might need and desire the revenue that comes from development, we in local government must ensure that such development is shaped by the needs of our neighborhoods and individual residents. To this end, I was a founding member of the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance, which I served in a variety of offices, and have been an active board member of the Fisher Hill Association for several years. My votes in Town Meeting on development issues have always been influenced by this vision.

Long-term sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) must be a key criterion for every governmental decision. We cannot ignore the forces at play in the larger world as we vote on local issues, forces such as climate change, growing energy and clean water scarcity, population pressures, growing national debt, encroachment on green space, etc. A decade ago, I helped found Climate Change Action Brookline (CCAB), which continues to shape our local response to this global threat, and I currently serve as a Co-chair of the Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee, founded through the efforts of CCAB in 2008. In 2009, I spearheaded the Green Neighborhoods Challenge, a friendly contest to see which Brookline neighborhoods could do the most to cut their carbon footprints. In addition to supporting environmentally responsible decisions in Town Meeting, I also support aggressive approaches to meet our ten percent affordable housing quota, and sustainable budgeting practices.

Process is important: how we make our decisions strongly influences how effective those decisions turn out to be. Participatory democracy doesn’t just happen; it needs to be encouraged through open and transparent governmental processes, and respect for the opinions of others.

I grew up in Washington, DC in the ‘40s and ‘50s, part of a family that was targeted by McCarthyism.  I learned at a very early age a profound lesson about the relationship between the individual and one’s government. I was also acutely aware that, as residents of the District of Columbia, we had no vote. So when I moved to Brookline decades later, I think I was more appreciative than most of our Town Meeting form of government, and our culture of citizen activism. It is part of what I love about our community.

My wife, Harriet Goldberg, and I are eternally grateful to our school system: our daughter Lily received more than a terrific academic education at Runkle and BHS, she also developed a deep social conscience. Our schools do far more for our community than keep real estate values high. I came into Town Meeting 16 years ago campaigning strongly, along with my Neighbors Building Brookline slate, for the first general override for the schools. My commitment to our schools has never wavered.

I would love to continue representing our precinct in Town Meeting. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, May 1, and support for the Neighbors Building Brookline slate. Thanks for reading, and do let me know what you are thinking.

Don Weitzman
123 Buckminster Road
_____________________

Donald C. Weitzman
123 Buckminster Road
Brookline MA 02445
(617) 738-7864 (H)
(617) 640-3718 (C)
donweitzman@rcn.com

Born Washington, D.C. 1942

B.A. Carleton College 1963
M.A. New York University 1964

Retired, former teacher and teaching consultant, private investor.

Brookline resident and homeowner since 1990.

Married to Harriet Goldberg, songwriter. Father of Lillian, graduate of Runkle School and School Within a School at Brookline High School.

Town Meeting Member, 1994-present.
Founding member, Neighbors Building Brookline (precinct 12 TM slate).
Advisory Committee member, 1996-1997, 2007-2009.
Selectman, 1997-2000.
Founding member and past co-chair, Town Meeting Members Association.
Founding member, former Treasurer, former co-chair, Brookline Neighborhood Alliance.
Board member, Brookline PAX.
Board member, Fisher Hill Association.
Former Board member, Brookline GreenSpace Alliance.
Associate Member, Brookline Democratic Town Committee.
Host, Brookline Beat, Brookline Access Television
Founding member, past co-chair, and current Treasurer, Climate Change Action Brookline (CCAB). Sponsored and co-authored Article 29 (May 2008 TM) that established Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee.
Organized the Sustainable Brookline Forum, February 2008.
Co-chair, Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee, 2009-.
(Appointed to several Selectmen’s and Moderator’s Committees, most recently the PAYT Committee.)

Directed the Green Neighborhoods Challenge, 2009, a friendly carbon-cutting contest among Brookline’s neighborhood associations, co-sponsored by BNA & CCAB.

Awards
Neighborhood Leadership Award, Brookline Neighborhood Alliance, 2009
Jack Backman Social Justice Award, Brookline PAX, 2010

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2 Responses to “Candidate Statement 2012: Donald C. Weitzman”

  1. Candidate Statements 2012 Roundup « Neighbors Building Brookline Says:

    […] Neighbors Building Brookline Working Toward a Better Brookline « Candidate Statement 2012: Donald C. Weitzman […]

  2. Election Day Tomorrow – May 1, 2012 « Neighbors Building Brookline Says:

    […] Don Weitzman If you’ve been with us for the past few weeks, you’ve seen candidate statements from all of our endorsed candidates. Clicking on any of the names above will bring you to that candidate’s statement. […]

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