Knocking on doors and talking to other families who call Springfield home has taught me a lot. One of the most important things I learned is that many parents struggle with a dilemma that my wife and I have also struggled with: How do we give our kids the freedom and independence they need to grow while making sure that they are safe?

Because I am a dad raising two kids in Springfield, my plan for Springfield’s future puts our kids front and center. The Chisolm Center is a great place, but I know a lot of parents are nervous letting their kids go there after school because there isn’t any adult supervision outside. I want all our kids to use the great facilities we have in town, so I have a plan to recruit volunteers to staff the outdoor portion of the center from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every night of the week. In addition, a key piece my downtown redevelopment plan is renovating the Sarah Bailey Community Center so we can use it to host family-friendly activities like free movie nights as well as after-school and summer programs for kids of all ages.

I also have a plan to make sure our teenagers can use their free time in safe, productive ways that will prepare them to succeed in today’s job market. As your representative, I will work with business owners and entrepreneurs to create an after-school and summer internship program for high-school students that will give them the chance to learn the skills they need to succeed while making some money and contributing to Springfield’s local economy.

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To help kids get around town more safely, I also have a plan to improve our sidewalks and roads. Expanding sidewalks and repairing cracks will make it safer and easier for kids to get around, and adding bike lanes to our roads will keep bikers safe and encourage more people to use alternative transportation. Together, these changes will make our roads last longer and protect the environment.

As a parent, my kids always come first. And far from taking away from my ability to represent you well on the Township Committee, my experience raising kids in Springfield has made me even more motivated to develop a smart plan plan for Springfield that focuses on our kids. From bringing in adult supervisors for the Chisolm Center to working with businesses to create a summer internship program for high-schoolers to adding bike lanes so our kids can get around town more safely, I have a plan for smart solutions that work for all of Springfield—and especially for our kids.