Two years ago, I went to the ballot box and voted for change. Not just for the sake of it, or because I was against the then mayor and council—I simply liked the bolder, vibrant, more cohesive vision Westfield residents were presented with.

Today, I can’t imagine a Westfield that isn’t led by proactive leadership. Having a Mayor and Council actually fighting hard for peak direct train service to NYC, a DPW that responds in a flash on the new Westfield Connect app, more paved roads than ever before, common-sense policies on the environment and gun legislation, and a new crown jewel for our town in—Addamsfest. And yet, there’s so much more work ahead of us. From achieving a comprehensive bike and pedestrian plan, to solving our parking problem, and ensuring that we continue drawing new businesses Downtown. As a Green Team member, I want to see more sustainable infrastructure that mitigates our flooding issues, and Town use of cost-saving, clean energy.

With November 5th around the corner, I want my vote to count for all this and more! In Ward 3, we need a Councilperson who’s aligned with the progress set in motion during this past two years ago. Mark Logrippo has been our councilman the past 8 years, and I’m grateful for his service to

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Ward 3. And now it’s time for fresh ideas, and to elect someone who will take the bull by the horns, push new initiatives and actually do the work required to make them successful. Jenn Gilman is a proven leader who doesn’t hesitate in the face of a challenge. If she encounters something that needs to get done—it gets done. Jenn has already begun working to resolve pedestrian safety concerns in this school-dense neighborhood, successfully pushing for a Beacon Light to be installed at the South Avenue & Cacciola Place crosswalk.

Jenn is tirelessly walking Ward 3, meeting every resident she can. I’ve seen her provide answers, explain what’s possible, and identify solutions. She gets it, and has done her homework. During a recent trash clean-up of our open spaces, Jenn was able to explain the land-use opportunities we have, while highlighting the geographic diversity of Ward 3—from parks to wetlands. It was impressive to hear it in action.

Her background as a legislative leader for Moms Demand Action, a public and private school teacher, and a sleep consultant, shows me she can balance her passions, values, professional life, and apparently get a good nights’ sleep too! Jenn is whip smart, organized, and keenly aware of the demands on Westfield parents. As a volunteer, I know the hours of work and energy it takes to bring any project to completion. Jenn is committed to putting those hours in, and doing the hard-work it takes to get the job is done.

As residents, we’ve experienced this inflection point before. When the former mayor sought a fourth term, we recognized his 15-years of service to Westfield, knew it was time for a fresh approach, and voted for it. No one has a monopoly on loving Westfield, because we all do—it’s why we live here. And no one should have a monopoly on serving Westfield, because that’s not the kind of community stewardship we need or deserve.

The most qualified candidate should have the opportunity to serve this town and the Ward they love. That’s why I’m voting Jenn Gilman for Ward 3 on Tuesday, November 5th—and I encourage you to vote for her as well. It’s time.

Kirti Malik
Westfield, NJ