The Text of David Narkewicz’s Mayoral Announcement
Editor’s Note: The following is a verbatim copy of the speech that Northampton, Mass. City Council President David Narkewicz read to reporters, supporters and neighbors on Friday, March 18, from the front steps of his South Park Terrace home. He was kind enough to provide it to Northampton Media at our request.
David Narkewicz Press Announcement
Today I’m proud and humbled to announce my candidacy for Mayor of the city of Northampton.
Mayor Higgins’ recent decision not to seek re-election after her long and distinguished service has created an opportunity for new leadership, new energy, and new ideas for our city.
I believe deeply in public service and have been involved in it for most of my life. I served my country in the Air Force after high school, was a student leader at UMass, worked as a congressional aide both in Washington and here in Massachusetts, and have been an active community volunteer whether serving on the Zoning Board or Transportation & Parking Commission, or helping raise money for our schools as a long-time board member of the Northampton Education Foundation.
During my 5 years on the City Council, I’ve strived to be a positive and productive leader. I’ve never been afraid to tackle tough issues, whether it’s traffic, zoning, government reform, or the budget.
I’ve put forth ideas for improving our city and never shied away from the tough decisions, all while working hard to solve problems, bring people together, and produce tangible results to advance the needs of our community.
I believe that all of my experience in public service and government both at the national, state, and local level and my record of accomplishments have prepared me for this day and this new challenge.
Northampton is one of the best cities in America. And one of the things that makes it great is our incredible spirit of community. Whether rallying around fellow citizens in times of tragedy or joy, raising money for important projects or causes, or mobilizing around important issues, this community embodies civic pride and responsibility.
As Mayor, I want to marshal that spirit and the incredible energy and talents of people all across our community to find innovative ideas and common sense solutions and meet the challenges of the next decade.
I plan to bring all members of our community to the table and foster an open and active dialogue about what kind of city we want and how we can work together to reach our goals.
Like other cities and towns across the nation, Northampton has had to grapple with difficult economic times and ever-shrinking support from the state and federal government. In short, we’ve had to do more with less.
As Mayor, I will work to make city government as smart, lean, and efficient as possible, so we can continue to deliver high quality services in the most cost-effective and resourceful ways possible, while also making prudent, long-term investments in critical infrastructure.
As Mayor, I will continue my strong support for education and high-quality public schools. We’re the proud parents of two kids who’ve gone through the elementary schools and are now both at JFK. I know how important Northampton’s schools are not only for our kids’ futures but for the overall social and economic strength of our community.
As Mayor, I will promote economic development that both supports our local businesses while attracting new entrepreneurs and new businesses to expand our commercial tax base, create good paying jobs, and ease the residential tax burden on city homeowners.
As Mayor, I will advance Northampton’s leadership role as a green community by pursuing innovative, forward-looking solutions for energy conservation, reducing and recycling our waste, developing sustainable transportation, promoting local agriculture, and protecting our environment and natural resources.
I want to be the next Mayor of Northampton because I believe I have the experience, ideas, energy, and commitment to offer a new generation of leadership to move our great city forward.
Today is just the starting point. I look forward to expanding on my vision and goals as the campaign officially kicks off and moves forward into the summer and fall. I especially look forward to getting out into the neighborhoods of Northampton, Baystate, Florence, and Leeds to listen to the issues and concerns that are on people’s minds.
In closing, I want to thank my family – my wife Yelena and our daughters Emma and Zoe – for their constant love, for supporting my decision to run, and for their willingness to share in this journey with me.