We earned 62% of the vote and won the general election!
Thanks to your support I have the opportunity to be your next Newton Ward 2 City Councilor.
I’m going to admit up front that this thank you email is way too long - so if you don’t like words, scroll down to the bottom for pictures. There’s a whole lot of people that gave serious time and effort to this campaign so if you can handle a wordy email, this one's for you! I promise my regular newsletters will be more concise…
I want to start by recognizing and applauding the strong campaign efforts of my opponent, Dan Gaynor. Dan brought tremendous energy, a relentless work ethic, and sharp thinking to the race. He pushed me to run harder than I (or my wife!) ever realized I was signing up for, and the competitive spirit between us helped get more voters to the polls which is a good thing for democracy - Ward 2 turnout was 39% compared to the city average of 27.5%. Thanks, Dan, for all that you brought to the race and looking forward to future opportunities to work together for the city we both grew up in and love.
I want to follow that by thanking and acknowledging the incredible support and partnership of Peter Bruce, who has been a committed ally on the campaign, starting just days after the preliminary election. Once it was clear there was sufficient alignment on the issues, he didn’t just offer his endorsement, Peter went all in, organizing meet and greets, raising funds, putting up signs, and most importantly, speaking to his strong base of supporters one resident at a time, making the case for why they could trust me with their vote. I don’t know how many people can confidently say they would do the same if they were in Peter’s shoes but that is what makes Peter so special - he is a true community organizer, putting ego aside to focus on approaching the issues with a critical and independent mind and organizing people and power to advance causes he believes in. Peter - I’m so grateful for your partnership, we could have never achieved this without you, and I’m excited to continue to build on our relationship looking forward.
Thank you to Ben Paton, NNHS 2018 and lifelong Ward 2 resident, who reached out to me just days after I announced the campaign in March offering to volunteer. To be honest, Ben and I both didn’t really know how to run a campaign at this scale, so we just started knocking on doors in Ben’s neighborhood asking residents what they thought about Newton and what could be improved. We knocked in the rain. We knocked in the high heat. And we knocked through the spring, summer, and fall. And through all that time, what impressed me most about Ben was that no matter how competitive the race got, no matter how important it was to reach new doors and win more votes, Ben helped keep the campaign focused on how we started and what mattered most - listening to residents. There are countless times when Ben would meet a resident, win their support, and tell me, I had to follow up and go hear their story myself. They were already going to vote for us but that didn’t matter to Ben - he said they needed to be heard. And through that process, of taking the time to really listen, we had the opportunity to develop a deeper sense of what people are going through and what they need from their city - and now that we won, we are better set up to be advocates for all those people we connected with along the way. So thank you, Ben, for all your time and energy, and for helping to keep the campaign’s north star focused on the residents, from day one until the end.
Thank you to Jack Norton, a 20-year old lifelong Ward 2 resident, who served as Field Director of the campaign after the preliminary. Jack first started knocking doors when he was just 5 years old, so while he may have been the youngest member of our team, he actually brought the most canvassing experience. And it showed. Jack would knock at all hours of the day and leave such a great impression on residents with his ability to talk through the issues at all levels of detail succinctly and clearly that I worried if I followed up on a door Jack already knocked it would only serve to damage whatever incredible impression Jack had made. Jack was instrumental in organizing and managing our volunteer efforts. As the campaign gained momentum, the number of volunteers that joined us grew, and Jack was highly effective in identifying each volunteer’s strengths and giving them a role that would be best for both them and the campaign. Jack brought a determined and focused discipline to our campaign, skipping sleep and putting his personal life to the side to ensure we would have no regrets come election day. Thank you, Jack, for giving your all to this campaign and bringing out the best and most from everyone on the team, including me.
Thank you to Jane Frantz, a lifelong Newton Public School Educator, who in many ways embodied the heart and soul of our campaign. Jane’s support wasn’t easily won - it took real time and energy for her to be confident in my commitment to our teachers and our schools - but once she was in, Jane was all in, and I am ever so grateful to have had her as a core part of the team. Jane believes, as do I, that City Councilors have a real role in being public advocates for our schools, and Jane opened up her personal network and helped me connect and develop real relationships with so many incredible Newton Public School educators and parent leaders. But what made Jane the heart and soul of the campaign isn’t her view on the schools or any other particular issue, it’s her view on approach and how we should be with one another - her aspiration for the city to move beyond the polarization of “this camp vs that camp”, her demand for city leaders to focus on policy debates rather than frame differences of opinion as a matter of “good guys vs bad guys.” And most of all, her push for us to not let zoning take up all the oxygen at City Hall and distract us from all the other important basic city services we need to deliver as a municipality. Jane was not just an endorser, she was a rockstar campaigner - knocking doors in the rain and shine, putting up signs across the ward, making calls regularly, and always thinking through how we could effectively reach and engage with more residents.
Thank you to City Councilor Becky Grossman and School Committee Member Chris Brezski - you were the first elected officials to endorse me…and the only ones until after the preliminary! During those summer months when it was clear that I was the “monkey in the middle” as the City Council split their endorsements between the other two candidates, having your names behind me gave our campaign hope at a time when our odds were low. It was a political risk for both of you to put your necks out there for me when no one else would. And it meant a lot to earn your support in particular given how I see the two of you as independent and moderate voices that are willing and able to work with elected leaders and residents across the political spectrum, with a focus on the nuts and bolts of the issues and what our city and schools need. Thank you - we need more elected leaders like the two of you!
Thank you to Patrick Song, who is a neighbor I met early in the campaign, and who was instrumental in helping me navigate the lay of the land of NPS teachers and parent leaders. Patrick is another one of those special residents that refuses to be put in a box, and instead stays focused on the issues, advocating for what he thinks is best for our city, networking and organizing across factions and groups. He helped expand my network and thinking in meaningful ways throughout the campaign. Him and Jane also made up the best duo of sign holders at the library on both election days!
Thank you to all the folks who spent their weekends and evenings knocking doors for us, with a special shoutout to City Councilors Tarik Lucas (who knocked the most!), Marc Laredo, and John Oliver, who all gave what little free time they have to knock on doors across the Ward and reach out to their networks encouraging them to support us. I’ve known these three guys for a few years (even ran against Tarik in 2021 and he still helped!) and it was a fun and meaningful experience to be working so closely with them. Also, thank you to Abby Brown (high school student and Ward 2 resident) and William Sullebarger (previous student of mine) who were two of the regulars on our weekend door knocking crew. You brought great energy and charisma to your canvassing efforts!
Thank you to Jessica Weed and Rebekah Gewirtz - Cabot School Parent leaders who opened up their homes and networks and connected me to the incredible Cabot school parent community. We’re districted for Mason-Rice which we are excited about (my wife went there so it’s full circle for us), but after meeting so many awesome Cabot school parents, I’m thinking maybe we should try to see if there is a way we can send at least one of our kids to Cabot just to have a chance to hang out more with the amazing Cabot parents I met through the two of you.
Thank you to Julia Gaebler, the legendary school committee candidate from the 4 day write-in campaign years ago. Your unstoppable energy helped me get over the preliminary hump with another 4 day campaign of relentless campaigning and texting. In the fall, with more time to plan, you opened up your home and introduced me to your neighbors and friends from the Horace-Mann parent community. I’m so glad we got to meet on the trail and excited to stay in touch.
Thank you to all the supporters, contributors and volunteers. A special thanks to the election day team which included friends and family from all parts of my life: Harrison Shulman, Tzachi, Jeremy Shaw, Jake Eisenhard, Matt Creighton, Adam Aroesty, Esther Lyon, Gabe Gelbtuch, Sam Israel, Jay Goldman, Bob Kavanagh, Joelle Pedersen, Barbara and James Allaire, Mike Patchen, Anna Norregard, Jeremy Micley, Josh Micley, Don Chadis, Elizabeth Chadis, Dan Kessler, Jacob Grill-Abramowitz, Naomi Osher, Ronda Jacobson, Noah Jampol, Maria Knourenko, Ezra Brettler, Jacob Karas, Lynne Karas, Lee Levin, Asher Lyon, Ethan Mandelcorn, Miguel Jimenez, Vivian Graves, Toby Kuperwaser, Sheila Waxman, Barbara Rosenblum, and Cyndi Koebert.
Thank you to Aaron Lyon, who was the campaign treasurer, and Moshe Arazi, who led branding and design, and who are two childhood best friends that I grew up with in Newton. These two were with me from the start and made themselves available all times of the day to help with anything and everything campaign related. The two of them, along with a core group of Newton childhood friends (known as DTK) formed a nucleus of inner advisors, people I would go to for the last look on a mailer before it went out or some final thoughts before heading into a debate, to make sure I was staying true to me and running a positive, issues and policy based campaign.
Thank you to my parents, Lisa and Bruce, who helped the campaign in so many ways. From helping to watch my three children so I could spend more time at the doors, to emailing and calling their networks to build out our base of support. I grew up immersed in the Jewish community and my parents were early role models of the importance of community engagement, both of them having served as the president of our synagogue at different points. One of the best parts of the campaign was connecting with the many people in the Jewish community that my parents and grandparents had impacted in one way or another over generations. Some of these people voted for me and others didn’t but that was besides the point - what made campaigning amazing was a chance to bring to life so many stories from the past. So much of this campaign was about the power and potential that lies in community, community that my parents have spent a lifetime dedicated to cultivating and nurturing.
The biggest thank you goes to my wife, Molly Chadis Micley. Campaigning for me is a joy - I love knocking doors and getting to know new neighborhoods and neighbors. To make that possible, though, someone had to be at home, watching our three little children, who are also a joy, but watching three kids on your own for many hours a day…well if you’ve done it, you know it’s not all fun and games. And Molly did it. A lot. For way more time than either of us ever expected she would. I told Molly at the beginning of the race that if I announced early and ran hard from the beginning, it would deter competition and we could have a more relaxing summer. I couldn’t have been more wrong. A preliminary election and general election later, Molly has been on her own with our three kids for more days and dinners than I dare to count. Without a doubt, she has made the biggest sacrifice and given the most to make this campaign possible. If there’s a campaign hero, it’s Molly. I’m lucky I married her and even more lucky that after this whole thing she still wants to be married to me. Thank you Molly - I love you and can never fully repay you but I will try!
Finally, thank you to the residents of Ward 2 - whether you voted for me or not, I thank you for engaging with the campaign and sharing your ideas and feedback for what you love about Newton and ways we can improve. I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to represent and advocate for you at City Hall and serve you as your next Ward Councilor. As always, if you have questions, suggestions, or requests for help, don’t hesitate to reach out - my cell is 617-413-6330. Call or text anytime!
Newton Ward 2 City Councilor Elect