Bio and Achievements
I moved to Northampton with my family in 1995 and we have resided in Ward 3 since 2000. My wife, Dora Lewis, and I feel fortunate to have raised our children, Robert and Sophia Lewis-Nash, right here in Northampton.
My politics are progressive. I am also a pragmatist and I like to get things done. The hallmark of my leadership has been to promote inclusion and respectful dialogue no matter how difficult the issue.
I am the founder and director of Careerworks, Inc., a non-profit organization providing vocational consulting and programing for youth struggling with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges. I have worked in Human Services for over 35 years.
Community Care and Alternatives to Policing
During deliberations for last year's budget I stated the need for the city to engage in a public process to review policing practices. I strongly supported Mayor Narkewicz and Council President Sciarra's proposal to establish the Northampton Policing Review Commission (July 2020).
In March 2021, after months of intensive and thoughtful work the commission produced "Reimagining Safety" with fourteen recommendations. In May 2021, I joined my colleagues on City Council backing a resolution (May 2021) calling for Northampton to embrace the NPRC recommendations to take “actions at the local level to combat the public health crisis of systemic racism."
In April 2021, I supported the Mayor's financial order to designate cannabis mitigation funds towards purchasing a property to house the Community Resilience Hub.
In June 2021, I supported the Mayor's 2021-22 Budget establishing the Department of Community Care.
I am excited that this year Northampton is thoughtfully spending $2.4 million to establish an innovative emergency service while also creating needed infrastructure to house emergency and preventative services.
I was honored to serve on the ordinance review committee - a joint committee of City Council and the Mayor's office that reviews city ordinance every five years to recommend revisions. Typically, this process features trimming outdated language and laws. However, this year City Council tasked Ordinance Review to apply a social and racial justice lens to this work as outlined in Resolution 20.107.
The final report can be found here,
My work on Ordinance Review is reflected in some of my current priorities to improve city systems for providing information about critical housing matters such as tenant assistance programs, eviction notification, and parking bans during snow emergencies.
With Co-sponsor Councilor Klein, we sponsored a resolution to establish a Select Committee to review the use of pesticides on city owned property and make recommendations for reducing pesticides. City Council enacted legislation to ban pesticide use in city parks and recreational fields. Recently, Northampton School Committee followed our lead and the playfields at NHS will now be managed organically. I continue to work with our Agricultural Commission on our final goal to lease all of our city owned farmland to organic farmers.
With Co-sponsors Marianne LaBarge and Bill Dwight, along with Diana Sierra of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, we crafted resolution passed unanimously passed by City Council and sent to President Trump asking that he preserve the DACA program and extend Temporary Protected Status. The resolution was read into the record in both Spanish and English, and public comment featured moving testimony by neighbors in danger of being deported.
Community Advocacy and Leadership
Bridge Street School Traffic Congestion and Pedestrian Safety
Partnered with the W3NA, the PTO, and city administrators to secure the Safe Routes to School grant which will improve the sidewalks and crosswalks at BSS
The Walking School Bus program was such a great idea that I committed to "driving" the bus everyday until it had momentum. This winter will be year five and the program featuring two routes to BSS, one from Sheldon Field and the other from the Lumberyard
I worked to install improved traffic signals at the crosswalk, eliminate unnecessary "no parking" zones for pick-up & drop-off, and move the bus stop towards downtown where it will be ADA accessible
Established that our lost truck problem and our truck eating bridge issue were one and the same through my Bridge Strike Report for the Transportation and Parking Commission
Recently secured a commitment from Coca Cola to fund a traffic study to recommend solutions to lost trucks on neighborhood streets
Ward 3 City Councilor
City Council Vice President, 2020 to present
Chair of Community Resources Committee, 2020 to present
Ordinance Review Committee, 2020-2021
Chair of Transportation & Parking Commission, 2017-2019
Committee on Finance, 2016-2017
Committee on Public Works, 2016-2017
Committee on Legislative Matters, 2016-2017
Chair of Northampton Passenger Rail Advisory Committee, 2012 to 2014
Northampton Public Transit Subcommittee, 2007 to 2013
Northampton Committee on Disabilities, 2001 to 2012
Zoning Revisions Committee, 2009 to 2011
Ward 3 neighborhood Association
Board Member since 2006
Vice President, 2006 to 2008
President, 2014 to 2016
Northampton Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Member since 2001
Education Team, 2002 to 2006
Economic Development Committee 2005 to Present
Northampton Democratic City Committee
NDCC Member since 2012
Elected Ward 3 committee chair, 2015
Cutchins Programs for Children and Families
Board Member since 2012
Board President, 2017-19