In a prepared statement, candidate for Madison Borough Council, Planning Board member Rachel Ehrlich of Kings Road discusses her reasons for running, what she hopes to accomplish as a member of the council, and confirms her support for the current council’s fiscal policies. Ehrlich is running for a first term on the council. She is teamed with running mates Mayor Bob Conley of Brittin Street and Councilwoman Maureen Byrne of Alright Circle, who are both running for re-election on November 5th.
Ms. Ehrlich stated: “I’m an architect. I’m also a mom. I’ve helped raise elegant, energy-efficient buildings and, with my husband Jeremy, I’m helping to raise our warmhearted 5-year-old son. These two very different jobs offer me blended insights and expertise in listening to people to capture their concerns and to create solutions that work: Solutions to protect and improve Madison’s wonderful quality of life.
It’s this quality of life that motivated my family to move here five years ago. It’s this quality of life that inspires me today to run for Madison Borough Council.
I’m excited to share the 2019 Democratic ticket with Mayor Bob Conley and Councilwoman Maureen Byrne. Under Bob’s leadership, the council has put the borough on a solid financial footing. This year, there was no increase in our municipal tax rate, while the utility dividend – paid to customers as a rebate on our monthly electric bill – was increased by a third. The council has invested in our roads, upgraded utilities, and improved our athletic fields, parks, and playgrounds, all while maintaining an enviable AAA credit rating for the borough.
With Bob and Maureen, I share a vision that focuses on what matters to Madison residents, both now and for the future: calming and improving our streets so that they are safe for all; guiding sensible development that maintains the scale and fabric of our neighborhoods; meeting our obligation to plan for housing that is affordable to all Madison residents; and making our town a leader in environmental stewardship.
We will continue conversations in Madison about the need to address climate change. It's time to elevate this discussion with serious proposals and with an urgency that meets the level of threat we face from the worsening climate crisis. Working to slow the pace of climate disruption is not political, nor is it a matter of opinion. It is risk mitigation of a credible threat with dire consequences. As a borough, we must address the climate crisis directly and take collective action to secure a safe and stable future for ourselves and our children.
As an architect with fifteen years of experience, I’ve trained to plan and prepare for the future. I became an architect as a professional way to serve people, to help communities, and to do good by improving lives. I am ready to translate my professional experience and passion for service into success for Madison.”
Rachel Ehrlich is a graduate of Skidmore College, and earned her Master of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She was the 2004 recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Henry Adams Medal and Certificate for general excellence in architecture. Ms Ehrlich currently practices as a Senior Associate and Studio Director for housing design at Dattner Architects, an award-winning New York City firm that is guided by its civic mission. She is a member of the AIA and the Policy Innovation Network of the Citizens Housing Planning Council.
Ms. Ehrlich is a board member of NJ11th for Change, an unaffiliated organization dedicated to advocating for all people of New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. NJ11th for Change fosters an engaged and informed community with the power to shape our political representation so that it is transparent, responsive, and accountable.
Rachel Ehrlich continued, “I currently serve on the Madison Planning Board along with Mayor Conley, Councilwoman Astri Baillie, and a group of other thoughtful and committed residents. Working together with planning board members, I've gotten to know our town more deeply – its people and its places, its priorities and its challenges. As a member of the Board’s Master Plan subcommittee, I've identified actions that we can take to preserve the scale of our residential neighborhoods, encourage the principles of smart development, and cultivate a lively town center that draws families and visitors to our community.”
As a member of the Madison Borough Council, I will focus on health and safety, a vibrant downtown, a verdant and sustainable Madison, and shared opportunity for all, including the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the future of Madison. I deeply value the meaningful conversations I’ve had with Madison voters during our campaign, and I look forward to acting on their concerns.
Madison is a wonderful place to live – rare and fortunate in its deep ties to history. Together, we can build on this foundation to make it an even better place for the future.”