By Jessica Cortes - Westfield
When I heard Amanda Como was running for town council, my immediate reaction was, “Yes! This makes perfect sense!”
For nearly 10 years, since our kids were in pre-school, I have been lucky to call Amanda my friend. We have taken our daughters to girls’ leadership workshops together, she has coached my daughter’s softball team, she has helped me come up with creative and inventive ideas to help organize our kids’ rooms for studying success (no small feat!), and my son has even inherited her son’s old baseball glove.
Along the way, we have shared family occasions and had numerous conversations about work, raising a family, health and nutrition, building confidence in our kids and ourselves, and making contributions to our community in meaningful ways.
Amanda has been a consistent, valuable resource to me. Even though our kids are now in different schools, and we don’t see each other as often as we used to, we can always pick up where we were. She is thoughtful, she listens, she challenges me, and she can back it up. She educates herself about issues she is passionate about, and she thinks before she speaks. In today’s political climate, unfortunately, it does not seem that these qualities are a given for elected officials. But they are for Amanda.
So here’s the thing. I’m a democrat. I mean democrat with a capital “D.” And I’m a proud supporter of Mayor Brindle and the work that she and the current town council have done since coming into office. I have been extremely disheartened over the last several years to see how divisive politics in our town has been, and that, from my perspective, people have been instinctively and automatically striking down her ideas simply because they are hers, rather than considering their merits, or discussing the ideas constructively.
So that brings me back to Amanda. I realize that if I want to try to improve the current division in our town, I have to do my part to step up and make sure that I don’t fall prey to that same negativity and divisiveness I have seen from so many others. That is why I’m very happy to support Amanda’s campaign for town council.
Local government should not be about red and blue. We all live together in this community, and we should all be focused on what is best for our community and for our families. That is a key tenet of Amanda’s platform. I know personally that Amanda will make great contributions to the betterment of our community as a member of the town council — as I have seen her make so many contributions over the years through school events and town organizations already.
Amanda will be thoughtful and constructive, and she will work with and not against her fellow council members, regardless of political affiliation. It doesn’t mean everyone has to always agree, but it means that there should be constructive dialogue, and even — gasp! — compromise, to get to the right result for Westfield.
I wish Amanda the best of luck in this election and urge the community to focus our energies on moving forward, together, in the best interests of our town. I am confident that Amanda can play a tremendous part in that effort.