Rena Getz - President
I moved to Boston with my husband 22 years ago to follow our academic and professional careers. When it came time to identify where we wanted to raise our children it became Newton. We live in a home that was built at the turn of the last century by Nelson Marvin whose legacy for the Waban community was the founding of the Waban Land Trust, of which he was the original co-trustee. The Trust donated the land for the Waban Library. I cherish this legacy, and it gives me a sense of being part of a continuum of Waban residents who care about the future of our community.
Raising three children in Waban, I had always been involved with school issues and life at Angier by serving on both the School Council as well as co-chairing the Respect for Human Differences Committee. I later became involved with broader community issues, as many do, when one landed at my doorstep. The more I got involved, the more committed I became. I believe, as many of my neighbors do, that we are the best stewards of our communities and that it is our collective responsibility to leave our community better than we found it. Like Nelson Marvin, we each have a role to play in that story.
The formation of our own Neighborhood Area Council in Waban will be a step in that direction. This forum will allow us to identify our issues and, with civility, debate to reach some level of consensus. It is important for us to be data-driven yet informed by the experiences of our families and neighbors as we educate ourselves on how best to proceed on an issue. As an informed Waban community, we will be better able to express our opinions at the table in City Hall.
Over the last few years as I’ve watched overdevelopment in Waban and the City in general, I have been educating myself on zoning issues. I believe that we all need to understand that we have the responsibility and the ability to play an active role as stewards of our community. This is particularly relevant in the upcoming Zoning Reform Initiative. As one of the founding members of Residents for Responsible Development, I believe that we as residents of Newton have a critical role to play in that process. The better informed and educated we are in zoning matters the more effective we will be in playing a role in the outcome that ultimately defines our future landscape here in Newton.
The Waban Area Council will allow us to think through and coalesce around what we value in Waban and, by extension, Newton. I believe that it is vital for us to maintain socio-economic, cultural, and generational diversity within our community. We need to think through what needs to be put into place now to support those long-term goals. I would like to be part of the Council to help Waban envision what we would like to be in the next 20 or even 50 years by playing a role in advising our City government on the Waban Community’s needs and opinions.