Andreae Downs

My interest in Newton’s government began shortly after I moved here in 1992. The speeding traffic on my street (Chestnut) started our family’s quest to make Newton’s streets more family-friendly and safe for all. I first attempted to calm traffic by planting masses of flowers in front of the house. This allowed me to meet the neighbors, but I am still trying to get drivers to remember to stop for kids and others in the crosswalk.

After my two daughters entered Angier Elementary School, I decided to learn more about local government and local issues by joining the League of Women Voters. I “observed” (a kind of reporting) various government bodies (Community Preservation Committee and Aldermanic committees) and my interest in transportation and the use of public space deepened. My job as a freelance reporter for the Boston Globe and other local news outlets equipped me well for this kind of work as it was a similar type of municipal meeting reporting. I expanded my role with the League to include local action and the environment committee, both of which push for government action to be transparent, well-planned and consistent. 

After helping to put on two League forums on water and flooding and two on transportation and parking, I was appointed chair of the mayor's Transportation Advisory Group, which has been dedicated to increasing safe transportation options, creating safer streets, and in general, making Newton more livable. 

Professionally, I work for the Wastewater Advisory Committee to the MWRA.