The recent movements – like Franklin Area Against Racism – have demonstrated the potential for activating a larger share of the Town’s population in local politics. We must take steps to ensure all voices – young or old, black or white – feel safe and included in town conversation. Community coalitions – like the Freedom Team currently in construction – can proactively create central leadership to respond to local crises. Technology also affords us greater opportunity for real-time discussion, knowledge-sharing, and feedback – and I commend efforts like Franklin Matters and #VOTEFranklin to increase access to formerly tight-held public institutions. I am committed to regular updates through mixed media, open opportunities for feedback, and regular attendance of a diverse set of public gatherings to ensure my seat is representative of the people.
To further combat growing disillusionment, Franklin must take tangible steps to restore faith in the Town’s election process. The Town – whose last full municipal election required the support of only 7 percent of registered voters to become a representative! – should also take steps to increase voter participation and ensure our representative bodies reflect the wills of our people.