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20 support Healy for Select Board

Rebecca Steinitz of Arlington, a writer, editor and literacy consultant, submitted this letter.

Michaiah Healy, Select Board candidate, 2020 photoHealy

This is one of the most contentious elections I've seen in Arlington, so I felt it was important to share the reasons I am voting for Michaiah Healy for Select Board.

As I have read the many nearly identical endorsement letters I have received from my friends in Arlington, I have been struck by the way they talk about not supporting Michaiah for Select Board. They don't hold back in their criticism of other candidates, but they say only lovely things about Michaiah -- and then they say that we need experienced leaders in the Covid crisis, Michaiah would be a great addition to Town Meeting and they look forward to her future in Arlington politics.

But here's the thing: Putting aside all the candidates who are up for reelection, Arlington has a fantastic cadre of experienced people running our ship. To start, we have Adam, who appears to be staying put, given the offer he turned down earlier this year. On Select Board, Joe has spent my entire Arlington life in town politics and John Hurd has spent his entire life in Arlington politics. Kirsi Allison-Ampe and Jeff Thielman anchor the team on the School Committee side. And not a single one of them has experienced a global pandemic and economic shutdown, so while experience matters, 1.) we have it and 2.) it's not all we need.

Michaiah has something we don't have, and it is critical.

Whatever high ideals and innovative policies candidates are bringing to this election, the main issue our town will be dealing with for the next long time is the economic impact of Covid, which is falling hardest on low-income people and people of color. Michaiah understands this. She has been reviewing the budget process and budget with town departments, she appreciates the excellent work Arlington has done on its finances in recent years and she speaks thoughtfully about reserves, cuts and how this financial crisis will play out for us over the next several years.

She also speaks about the continued importance of including and supporting those on the margins of our community as we deal with our financial future. As she told me, "Not many of us have lived through a recession like the one we are facing. As we handle its impact on Arlington and our budget, we need to keep fighting for the people who have not been represented. I have lived through enough experiences, including poverty, and worked with enough different kinds of people that I can help Arlington do this."

Experience has too often been used -- and is still used too often -- as a screen to keep women and people of color from moving forward. Mike Capuano had experience -- but Ayanna Pressley had what Massachusetts needs. Michaiah Healy has the professional and life experience that Arlington needs, so as a white woman committed to living out my antiracist values, I am doing everything I can to help her move forward. I invite you to join me.

This letter was published Friday, May 29, 2020.

Elsa Gomes Bondlow of Hamilton Road submitted this letter.

I have known Michaiah Healey to be an inspirational leader, a thoughtful neighbor and a caring social-justice-driven person, of integrity and action, as seen by her candidacy for Select Board in Arlington. That board makes difficult decisions on town issues and holds public hearings, but needs a level-headed, fair and responsible member, as Michaiah is, to push those issues forward.

Her platform speaks for itself, her values are built upon the foundation of the acronym R-E-S-P-E-C-T = Representation + Equity + Sustainability +Public Safety and Civility + Thoughtful Housing

More than ever, we need to work together to fix our divisive environment, both nationally and locally. We need people with expertise like Michaiah of community organizing, of counseling, of mediation, of advocacy to address the systems that affect us all, albeit disproportionately, on a daily basis, whether we see them or not.

She acknowledges and celebrates diversity. Professionally she is committed to advocating for the disability community. She deeply understands the governing bodies, civic associations and social structures that make up the fabric of this town and with her collaborative spirit, she has helped me and assisted others navigate them when I have needed to.

Her education, life experience and her track record in the community is vital to the moment we find ourselves in. The fact that Michaiah looks at the community through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, driven by fairness, is a bonus for the contentious times we live in. I am proud to stand by her as her friend, her neighbor and her supporter and furthermore as a fellow mother and black women in this town, that we both care so much for and want to leave better and more welcoming for our small children than what we have found it.

I will vote for her on June 6, and I hope you will join me to.

This letter was published Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Linda Kang of Beacon Street submitted this letter.

While many may only know Michaiah Healy from her role on the Diversity Task Group, I’ve known Michaiah over the years through many different lenses. To me she’s a pastor, a friend, a fellow parent, an advocate and now a leading citizen in Arlington. Having known her personally, I believe she is one of the best to represent everyone.

Michaiah listens, really listens, to even the hard stuff and the little stuff. Where others may push your concerns to the side, she will take you seriously and treat your cares with respect. She is approachable and empathetic, and welcomes dialogue. Michaiah is patient (have I mentioned she’s a mom?) and will work hard behind the scenes to see things through. Moreover, she builds bridges by listening to everyone and working on solutions together. Where there may be divides, Michaiah seeks to understand and unite.

I believe all of these are rare qualities in a leader, and Michaiah will make Arlington a better place by representing so many of our voices. I urge you to vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board on June 6.

This letter was published Thursday, May 28, 2020.

Karen Shepard of Highland Avenue submitted this letter.

Indeed, I enthusiastically support Michaiah Healy's candidacy for the Select Board because she will be a voice for everyone in the Arlington community. Michaiah exemplifies honesty, fairness and thoughtfulness, and she has a clear vision of where she wants Arlington to go in the next three years and beyond.

Michaiah Healy has the leadership skills, background, experience, dedication and commitment to make a valuable contribution to the Select Board. Currently, Michaiah works as a counselor at the Disability Policy Consortium in the Ombudsman Program, serving the Arlington community and as a leader in her church community (Reservoir Church in Cambridge).

She has been a prominent voice in community affairs and volunteer programs since coming to Arlington. Her core values include representing everyone, equity and diversity, sustainability, public safety, the environment and climate change, civility, and thoughtful and affordable housing for all. Michaiah plans to focus on low- and moderate-income residents and supports the Housing Corporation of Arlington and the Housing Authority.

She is interested in all the residents and is involved in the Envision Arlington Diversity Task Group, whose mission is to foster awareness of issues related to diversity and make Arlington more inclusive. Her priorities are to seek out diverse perspectives so that board decisions will be more representative. Michaiah has the ability to manage diverse views and create a positive outcome to benefit all.

Additionally, Michaiah wishes to increase public involvement in town matters and be available to the entire community, which will enhance communication in decision-making. In essence, she has acquired creative, collaborative and experienced leadership as a pastor, community organizer and as a disability advocate.

With proud enthusiasm, I choose Michaiah Healy as a candidate for the Select Board in the Town of Arlington. She will be a voice for all, and in her own words, she will "make Arlington a kinder, more inclusive place for everyone" and "make Arlington the best place to live."

This letter was published Monday, May 25, 2020.

Katell Guellec of Thomas Street submitted this letter.

I hope that you will vote on June 6 -- and I especially hope you will vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board. I have gotten to know Michaiah over the last 2+ years through the Diversity Task Group in Arlington. Her approach to town concerns defines the very essence of what I think community means:

* She seeks to deeply explore issues and doesn't jump to conclusions or take the popular way out.

* Being inclusive isn't a buzzword for Michaiah; she believes that the perspective of all our town's residents need to be part of any dialogue.

* Michaiah brings an equal measure of civility and grit to her work. She models respect and determination.

Our town can tackle lots of important concerns, such as housing affordability, environmental sustainability, public safety, and building a community that serves all its citizens. To do this, however, we need to have members on the Select Board who will bridge the gaps between residents and town leaders. Michaiah has already proven herself by building excellent and broad relationships with town officials and is well-positioned to fulfill her campaign goals.

It has been an honor to serve with her on the Diversity Task Group, and I urge you to learn more about her and vote to make her the first woman of color elected to Arlington's Select Board.

This letter was published Monday, May 25, 2020.

Rosalind Shaw of Richfield Road submitted this letter.

I write in support of Michaiah Healy for Select Board. Her knowledge, experience and personal qualities make her a particularly strong candidate: She brings exactly the skills and awareness we need in Arlington’s leaders.

One of her strengths is her emphasis on representation. She understands, from her work in the Ombudsman Program of Massachusetts’ Disability Policy Consortium, from chairing Arlington’s Diversity Task Group and from her role as a pastor and community organizer, the importance of participatory process. She seeks to include the participation of all affected by town decisions -- especially those who are underrepresented. Having listened to residents, town departments and committees, she seeks to build stronger government-community partnerships by finding new ways of holding conversations. Since frustrations about inclusion and representation continue to recur in public discussions about Select Board process, Healy’s approach is sorely needed.

This means inviting a different kind of input from that of “we’ll tell you what we’re going to do, and you can ask questions.” That is the lowest form of participation. The conversations Healy envisions, on the other hand, would make Arlington stronger -- not because of fewer differences, but because people with different standpoints engaging through a participatory process make a community more robust.

This grows out of the kind of person Healy is. Unlike so many of those in (or seeking) government office, she does not go through the motions of listening to you, then bulldoze you back to whatever she wants to talk about. Instead, you feel truly heard: You can have a real conversation with Michaiah. Speaking personally, it’s been much easier to accept decisions I disagree with when my interlocutor listens properly -- as Michaiah does -- as part of an inclusive process. Importantly, Healy also insists on civility and mutual respect as part of this process. Disagreements are never going to go away -- nor should they. But Healy’s approach would help these disagreements become an opportunity for growth instead of entrenchment.

She would bring this approach to issues pivotal to Arlington -- affordable housing, density zoning, the environment, transport -- that shape our town’s future. Her expertise, which growing from extensive experience with mediation and problem solving, is especially valuable in the kinds of divisions generated by the Lt. Pedrini case. Adopting her approach more broadly could help rebuild trust between the community and the Arlington Police Department.

In sum, Michaiah would be an extremely strong addition to our town’s Select Board. She is proud of Arlington’s achievements, and would build upon the work of the town’s departments and committees. Alert to the diverse range of experiences that shape people’s lives, she would reach out to all residents affected by specific issues. Thoughtful, analytical, creative and pragmatic, she would help make Arlington a truly livable town for all its residents.

This letter was published Friday, May 22, 2020.

Michael Jacoby Brown of Brattle Terrace, a Precinct 17 Town Meeting member, submitted this letter.

I am endorsing Michaiah Healy for the Select Board. I have seen Michaiah Healy over the past year work as the cochair of Arlington’s Diversity Task Force. She knows how to listen, express her opinion and experience in a way that others can appreciate and understand — including the mostly white people on the Diversity Task Force. I think her temperament, sense of humor, intelligence and understanding of the issues of race, gender, homophobia and other “isms” would be an important addition to the Select Board.

Aside from her personal character, I support Michaiah Healy because she would bring gender balance and a needed perspective to our town’s five-person Select Board. As a veteran community organizer and organizational development consultant, one of the things I seek in any small group is “group intelligence.” The current Select Board, all good people, is composed of four white men and one white woman. Any small group like the Select Board is more than a sum of its individual members. Each member influences the others and the more homogeneous the group the more susceptible it is to “group think” and other “process losses” that harm optimal decisions.

Arlington is blessed with an intelligent and hard-working Select Board. Having Michaiah Healy on the board would be a valuable addition because it would require the board to hear on a regular and more intimate basis her counsel, experience and perspective. This would allow the board to make better decisions. As the town becomes more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity -- if not in class, since it is increasingly expensive to rent or buy in town -- Michaiah Healy’s perspective, background and experience would be a valuable asset on our Select Board.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Rebecca Persson of Fremont Street submitted this letter.

As a Town Meeting member, I have seen that members of Town Meeting and the Select Board are thoughtful people working towards Arlington’s best interest. I have also seen that there are many voices in Arlington who are rarely heard in Town Hall. Arlington will be a better community and a better place to live if everyone is brought to the table. It is for this reason I enthusiastically support the candidacy of Michaiah Healy for Select Board.

I have known Michaiah for many years and have been increasingly impressed by her leadership, wisdom and ability to build consensus. In her role as cochair of Envision Arlington’s Diversity Task Group, Michaiah actively worked to bring new voices into Town Hall. She has listened to and advocated for the inclusion of all viewpoints as she has worked with town leadership, including the members of the Select Board and the town manager. She has the wisdom and patience to find creative solutions to the complicated issues facing our town.

As a member of the Select Board, Michaiah will bring a new breadth of understanding of the needs, hopes and fears of our community to town leadership.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Mona Mandal of Water Street, a Precinct 9 Town Meeting member, submitted this letter.

Please vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board in the upcoming 2020 town election. As a brown woman who would like to see more compassionate, diverse and strong town leadership, I am glad to be backing the town’s historic first woman of color running for this position.

I have gotten to know Michaiah as a cochair for the Arlington Diversity Task Group as a thoughtful, inclusive, kind consensus builder and leader with a desire to make Arlington a place that is great for everyone. We need the skill sets she brings to the table of having worked with diverse communities, such as her leadership with the Diversity Task Group and Envision Arlington, building communities as a pastor and organizing and supporting communities with her work as a disability advocate. She is humble, detail-oriented and is a doer who has the experience and willingness to be open to all viewpoints and help guide the conversation to action.

Even her values spell out Representation, Equity, Sustainability, Public Safety, Environment, Civility, Thoughtful Housing — bringing out some of the issues she hopes to address if elected as part of the Select Board.

Arlington has many challenges in the near future, and we need Michaiah to bring that compassionate and experienced voice that will be open to listening to all viewpoints and helping to move the conversion with her consensus building skills.

Vote Michaiah Healy for Select Board in the June 6 town election.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Kate Tranquada of Park Avenue Extension submitted this letter.

I am writing to recommend Michaiah Healy for Arlington Select Board. Michaiah is a leader who listens; she has an ability to bring respectful, collaborative and productive resolutions to complex problems.

Healy is from a family of Army and Navy veterans, the daughter of a public school teacher and a police sergeant. She is the mother of three young children, two of them in Arlington Public Schools. Professionally, she has served as a pastor and a counselor.

Healy has built relationships with town leaders and Arlington Public School parents as cochair of Envision Arlington’s Diversity Task Group, and as a participant in the recent candidate interviews for the chief of police position. She has a substantial professional network in federal, state and neighboring government municipalities through her professional work and civic engagement.

As a woman of color, Healy’s election to the Select Board would be an important step in our town government’s development into a more representative system. If you’re curious to know more about her and what she stands for, visit

Please join me in voting for Michaiah Healy for Arlington Select Board on June 6.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Wynelle Evans of Orchard Place submitted this letter.

In these extraordinary times, I am grateful to our Select Board and town manager for the work they are doing to keep Arlington informed and safe, and I appreciate their decision to delay our elections. As hard as it is to keep in mind right now, at some point the virus will start to ease, and all the issues that were so important a month ago will come to the forefront again. Among them, our ongoing need for affordable housing; an increased commitment to transparency in all aspects of town government, the urgent need to create climate resiliency and the necessity to make sure all our residents have a voice and feel respected when they use it.

I believe the best candidate for Select Board to address these issues, with the interests of all Arlington residents in mind, is Michaiah Healy. She plans to focus on low- and moderate-income residents and further support the work of our Housing Corporation and Housing Authority. She plans to develop paths for residents to more-directly communicate with our town’s elected and appointed leaders, as well as expand town efforts to reach out to residents. And of course she will also direct those efforts at enhanced communication to relations between the APD and residents, with respect for all points of view as trust is rebuilt.

Michaiah comes from a family of teachers, veterans and police officers, from whom she learned the values of lifelong learning, and respect for different points of view. I’d love to see her bring these values to Arlington as a member of the Select Board, and hope you will join me in giving her your vote.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Rajeev Soneja of Mary Street submitted this letter.

I write this in support of the candidate Michaiah Healy for the Select Board in the June 6 election.

I first met Michaiah in her role as the chair of Envision Arlington’s Diversity Task Group. I was struck by her calm demeanor and effortless ability to manage disparate and sometimes conflicting views to forge a positive path ahead for the betterment of the community. Michaiah’s leadership style is such that she continuously seeks to find an approach that stays focused on the goals while also ensuring that every person’s opinion is also valued.

Last year, during a community hearing event that was held in response to the town’s handling of the offensive and racist writings of an APD officer, the town manager and then-Acting Chief Flaherty were invited to speak. Her mediation and consensus-building skills were fully evident when there were comments that were at times emotional and fractious. Michaiah’s calmness and interpersonal skills that have served her well were in full display as she managed to keep the meeting to stay focused on finding a healing path forward.

This town faces many important and challenging issues in the next few years, dealing with housing and climate change at the forefront. Especially during this time of great global crisis, I think the residents of the town will be very well served in electing Michaiah.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Silvia Dominguez of Thorndike Street submitted this letter.

Michaiah Healy offers a clear choice for Select Board in the town election June 6.

Seeking to promote an atmosphere of respect and kindness in our public conversations and interactions, Michaiah is committed to a high standard of openness, transparency and accessibility in town government. Michaiah has been extremely effective as chair of our Diversity Task Force for two years now where she has shown that she cares deeply about how we govern, work together and treat one another.

If elected, Michaiah would be the first woman of color to serve on the Select Board in our town’s history. She brings a proven track record of working with diverse groups of people in many settings and situations, has developed strong relationships with a wide range of boards, committees and departments, and has demonstrated expertise in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in all her work.

Michaiah has also made it a priority to listen to growing communities in our town who often do not have a voice — women, small-business owners, seniors, people of color, renters, teens, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, LGBTQ folks and others who are often living on the margins and out of the mainstream of the community. And she is working hard to build the broadest coalition of Arlington citizens to help inform her service on Select Board.

In addition to Michaiah’s extensive community service, she has a strong background in effective and inclusive leadership — she has worked as a pastor, community organizer and most recently as a disability advocate. Michaiah has a B.A. in psychology from Tufts and M.A. in counseling with a concentration in mental health from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Michaiah’s experience has given her the insight and sensitivity in human relations and community building that will be an asset on Select Board.

Michaiah also brings a refreshing, common-sense approach to some of the big issues facing Arlington today around thoughtful housing, public safety and civility, sustainable environment, and representation and equity. And she believes that the actions we take today have an immediate effect on all populations in Arlington and create long-term benefits for the quality of life in our community.

Please vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board on June 6.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Andrew Oram of High Haith Road submitted this letter.

I am endorsing Michaiah Healy for Select Board based on my interactions with her around the Diversity Task Group. She has led this group through years of monthly meetings, which deal with sensitive issues arousing strong feelings both on and off the committee. As a person of color, Michaiah will bring a necessary voice to the Select Board, but her long experience in public service of many types show that she will also bring fine organizational skills as well.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Carlos J. Morales of Park Avenue submitted this letter.

I have been a resident of Arlington for over 13 years, and I have observed an increase in the diversity of my neighbors, but I have yet to see the same degree of diversity in our town management and government. With that in mind, it is very encouraging to see a pool of well-qualified candidates emerge for various town elected positions, and in particular, I would like to highlight Michaiah Healy, a Select Board candidate in the oncoming town elections.

Michaiah is a forward-thinking, collaborative individual who values inclusion, transparency and communication. Michaiah attended Tufts University, where she studied biology and psychology, later earning a Master of Arts in counseling from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. She currently works in the ombudsman program of the Disability Policy Consortium, and is an active member of the community and her church.

Michaiah comes from a family of Army and Navy veterans, and her grandfather served as a New York police officer, so she grew valuing service and commitment. Her parents taught her from an early age to be observant and embrace differences. She is the mother of three young children, and loves to run and read. With her background as counselor, Michaiah can bring to town government her skills as a good listener, and with her experience in the ombudsman office, she can offer her expertise in advocating for those whose voices sometimes we forget to hear.

It is very exciting to see Michaiah run for the Select Board, and I invite my neighbors to consider voting for her. Having a diverse town government will help ensure that all voices are heard and help maintain a strong sense of community that is so important to have as we navigate the current difficult times.

This letter was published Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Mary Harrison of Albermarle Street, Arlington, submitted this letter to the editor.

Why will I vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board? Because I value listening to all voices in our community – especially those that often are not heard – and being accessible to constituents. I value working collaboratively, civilly, and respectfully with fellow board members and residents to define issues and find the best solutions. I value leaders I can trust to do the right thing, the best thing for the greater good.

In her leadership of Envision Arlington’s Diversity Task Group, Michaiah Healy has shown that she not only shares these values, but lives them. She creates safe space at our meetings and helps us explore diverse and sometimes strongly conflicting perspectives civilly and respectfully. These explorations deepen our understanding of issues and our compassion for those who think differently than we do. They expand our capacity to arrive at thoughtful, wiser solutions and actions.

These are especially valuable skills and values nowadays in Arlington and beyond.

That is why I will vote for Michaiah Healy for Select Board on June 6.

This letter was published Thursday, May 21, 2020.

GianCarlo Littell Greco of Lombard Terrace submitted this letter.

Over the years, Michaiah has been a mentor and friend, and I know that her kindness and compassion would serve the broader community of Arlington well.

I know that Michaiah is an advocate and ally for minority groups in the town and that she would use this platform to listen well to the needs of all residents.

I am voting for Michaiah because she is bringing a fresh perspective and voice to town government, one that is inclusive and sustainable.

This letter was published Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

Lynette Culverhouse of Draper Avenue, Arlington, has submitted this letter:

It is with wholehearted enthusiasm that I endorse Michaiah Healy for the Select Board.

Michaiah will bring to our town’s leadership qualities that are so badly needed in this time of hardship and division. She leads with humility, integrity and compassion, seeking to listen to people so that decisions can be made that include everyone’s voice.

She doesn’t shy away from conflict or challenging issues but rather asks questions in order to ensure that all perspectives are considered and citizen concerns are addressed.

In her leadership of the Diversity Task Group she has been a model of participatory democracy encouraging engagement from all and allowing space for all voices to be heard while always steering the “ship” toward its goals and mission.

We have people in town whose needs and concerns have been ignored, and I know Michaiah will bring everyone into the conversation and reach out to those who are routinely overlooked. Her experience as a pastor and counselor make her well qualified for this role.

Michaiah has a strong working relationship with the chief of police, the town manager and other leaders in town, having worked with these people to move us toward resolution of some complex issues facing the town. She has quietly been working behind closed doors without the need to be in the limelight because she loves this town and wants to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Michaiah is a very smart woman who will do the work to be fully informed about issues facing the town and will respond to citizen questions and concerns before moving forward. I have absolute confidence that her inclusivity and creativity will bring fresh ideas and new excitement to town government. I hope you will join me in voting for Michaiah Healy for select board on June 6 or by mailing in your ballot.

This letter was published Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Guillermo S. Hamlin, a Precinct 14 Town Meeting candidate, submitted this letter supporting Michaiah Healy:

Quarantine is awkward, lonely and dreadful. As we gradually return outside, I look forward to the company of longtime friends, but also my neighbors. I’m writing to let them and the voters of Arlington know that Michaiah Healy has my vote for Select Board.

It’s hard to canvass with others without feeling as though you’re stepping on their pitches. It didn’t feel that way when I knocked with Michaiah. In fact, it was quite delightful. It was early March, on a Sunday afternoon. As we began canvassing, we discovered similar issues that affected the both of us. We spoke to voters on Harvard Street on what it was like running as renters with familial responsibilities.

I spoke on vacant storefronts, which housing and inclusionary zoning warrants I'd vote for, etc. We sharpened our pitches entirely by engaging them where they are at. Michaiah spoke of equity while being mindful to return the focus back on those we were canvassing, asking them about what the town government could do for them, regardless of citizenship and voting status. I see how as a pastor, community organizer and now as a disability advocate, she reaches people.

Further, she reached me. Immensely qualified, as her BS in psychology from Tufts and MA in Counseling from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary demonstrates, Michaiah would be a wonderful addition to the Select Board. I respectfully ask those voting for me to cast their vote for her as well. While I wish I could have told you this near your door, please take these words of encouragement and vote for us on Saturday, June 6.

This letter was published Wednesday, April 15.

Chris DiMeo of 124 Park Ave. submitted this letter:

I’m delighted to support Michaiah Healy for Select Board in the town election on April 4. My social and racial justice work is no secret in Arlington. And I firmly believe that a townwide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is exactly the medicine we need right now as Arlington police and Human Rights Commission are reporting a sharp rise in hate crimes, hate speech and harassment for our most marginalized communities.

As a proud gay man and joyful papa of a multicultural family, I can tell you that life for communities of color, refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers, as well as religious minorities and LGBTQ+ folks has never been more challenging.

Michaiah’s election as the first woman of color in our town’s history should be reason enough to support her. But Michaiah is truly exceptional beyond any label or category.

I’ve observed her thoughtful and collaborative leadership as chair of our Diversity Task Group where she has created safe space and conversations for innovative and effective programs in diversity, equity and inclusion in our community. Michaiah’s work in Arlington has been built on the idea that we are stronger together when all voices are heard and valued. And she cares deeply about how we govern, and how we treat each other.

Michaiah is committed to promoting an atmosphere of respect by adhering to a code of kindness and equity in our public processes and conversations as well as in our personal interactions. May we have more of this please?

And Michaiah has all of the necessary ingredients for intelligent, effective and inclusive leadership on Select Board – she has worked as a pastor, community organizer and now as a disability advocate. With BA in biological psychology from Tufts and a master's degree in counseling with a concentration in mental health from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Michaiah has the well-developed soft skills in human relations and community building so lacking now in town government.

And it should not go unnoticed that she is a super loving Mom, devoted friend, respected colleague, sought after collaborator, disciplined team member, and one of the kindest and most delightful humans one could ever encounter. 

Arlington will be extremely well served by Michaiah Healy – please give her one of your two votes for Select Board on April 4.

This letter was published Friday, March 13.

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