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During Covid-19, 3 support Martyn, Exton

Anne-Marie Hilbert of Jason Street submitted this letter.

Elizabeth Exton, School Committee candidate, 2020 photoExton

Lynette Martyn, School Committee candidate, 2020 photoMartyn

This year has brought us a crisis of unprecedented proportions. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the inherent unfairness of our society. News stories reveal that people of color are getting sicker from the virus and experiencing much higher death rates compared white people.

Those with disabilities who are most vulnerable to its worst risks are discussed as potential collateral by our president and his staff. Remote learning poses serious challenges for K-12 students and their families from low income homes who cannot access reliable broadband or other technology to get online. As a result, many will likely fall behind in their academic development in ways they may never recover from.

When I consider all of this, I realize Arlington is not immune to these issues. In fact, state government data suggests we have significant problems with inequality at our schools. This is why when it comes to choosing our next School Committee, I think it's especially important to elect leaders who will make advancing diversity and equality in our public school district a primary goal.

This is why I urge my fellow voters to cast their ballots for both Lynette Martyn and Liz Exton for School Committee. Both candidates have frankly acknowledged the existing disparities in our school system and both plan to be informed by both the data and the shared lived experiences of the students and their parents.

Both are parents with children currently in the school system, unlike their two rivals. Exton is also an APS parent, while Martyn is a former educator and senior executive for an education nonprofit.

Both Exton and Martyn bring fresh, progressive ideas to the table, and I am confident they work tirelessly for a better school system and a better Arlington overall. Please join me in helping create a better postpandemic world starting in our own backyards.


This letter was published Sunday, May 24, 2020.


Jordan Weinstein of Lennon Road, a Precinct 21 Town Meeting member, submitted this letter via the Martyn campaign.

We are at a crossroads in our nation and at home in Arlington. What kind of country do we want to become and what kind of town? Do we want to be the kind of place that allows everyone a seat at the table, elevates voices usually not heard, and values transparency, accountability and equality?

Or do we want to only be the kind of place that pays lip service to these qualities for PR purposes but in reality, suppresses or ignores the voices of those who historically have not usually been heard? Based on how our local elections are unfolding, I fear this is what is at stake.

Lynette Martyn – a candidate for School Committee – has been brave enough to name the issue of disparities in our school system. She's been hosting constant Zoom call-ins to discuss this and other pressing topics with prospective voters. She doesn't have all the answers – and doesn't pretend to – but she reaches out to others to work together for possible solutions. Her collaborative nature was apparent when she nurtured the DIGs from concept to a flourishing phenomenon.

She's fallible and admits it – which is refreshing in our local political atmosphere, where admitting error or taking accountability for mistakes is treated like the worst kind of weakness. Similarly, I find Liz Exton's campaign refreshing because it also seems to share the same values as Martyn's: honesty, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Meanwhile, I’ve watched the two incumbent candidates for the committee act defensively over having a newcomer candidate point out the simple fact that our public school system could stand some improvement in advancing equality.

It’s clear from this we need a change in the School Committee to make it more diplomatic and compassionate. So I’ll be voting for Exton and Martyn.


This letter was published Monday, June 1, 2020.


 June Rutkowski of Arlington submitted this letter, which includes support for Healy.

I am writing to advocate for the electing of strong women to our local open office seats. In particular, I would like to see more women in our town elected positions who not only have impressive resumes (though that's great, too) but who care about focusing on ensuring our town thrives by focusing on increasing fairness and equality for all our residents, students and visitors.

To achieve that end, we need some changes in town government.

As a woman of color, a pastor, a professional disability advocate, a mother of young children, and the former veteran chair of our town's Diversity Task Group, I believe Michaiah Healy is that change.

She welcomes uncomfortable conversations and can do so with openness and civility even in the face of overwhelming adversity. She'd be a welcome addition to the Select Board, and has proven she can work well with any group make-up.

Likewise, I am also voting for Lynette Martyn for School Committee. A former executive of a children's literacy nonprofit and educator, a parent of children in our town's public elementary schools, Martyn has been an impassioned, unwavering voice in advancing equity and inclusion in education.

She is the antidote to the relative gridlock we have in properly addressing our achievement and discipline gaps and other disparities that are an issue with our school system. How can we address something we won't even acknowledge? We can't.

Additionally, this is why Liz Exton would also make a superb addition to the School Committee. She's the only other candidate besides Martyn who also seems fully cognizant of our disparity problems and
wants to tackle them head-on. Like Martyn, she's a mother of children in the school system, as well as a working kindergarten teacher. So she gets both perspectives.

I hope you will consider also voting for these three strong and capable women – Healy for Select Board and Martyn and Exton for School Committee. 


This letter was published Monday, June 1, 2020.


Town of Arlington to LGBTQIA+ students: You belong
 

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