Thank You for a Great Party on Sunday!

We had a great Summer Party and Celebration of Newton's Future (and Ken's birthday) on Sunday at the home of Alderman Vicki Danberg and her husband Dr. John Ficarelli.  The turnout was fantastic, School Committee Member Geoff Epstein and Alderman Parker's speeches on Education and the work of the Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee were very well received.  We were able to try out a possible theme song as suggested by Newton TAB Columnist Ed. Prisby--Journey's "Don't Stop Believing", which added some fun and excitement to the evening. 

If you missed the party, NewTV's Newton News covered the event and interviewed a number of our supporters.  You should be able to catch their coverage on Wednesday.evening and reruns at a variety of other times during the week.  Also, the broadcasts are available on their website.

So many of you have been working hard for us in a variety of ways over the last several months and we are grateful for your support and involvement.  Our team is making great progress on the Blueprint for Newton's Future, which we are looking forward to releasing this Fall.  If you would like to read the full press release about the party, please click here.



Save the Date! Party and Fundraiser on July 27th

The Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee

Invites you to a Summer Party and Fundraiser for Newton’s Future

Sunday, July 27th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

At the home of Alderman Victoria Danberg and Dr. John Ficarelli

30 Chase Street , Newton Centre

Suggested donation: $38
(just one dollar per Ken-year …it’s also his birthday!)

Host: $500 - Sponsor: $250 - Friend: $100

Food and refreshments will be served – bring family, friends and neighbors

Contribute on-line at http://www.parker2009.org/contribute/
or by check: Committee to Elect Ken Parker, 965 Walnut Street, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

Questions? Contact Shawn P. Fitzgibbons at (617) 997-2577 or shawn@parker2009.org

To view the official invitation, please click here.




School Committee Member Geoff Epstein Endorses Ken Parker

Newly-elected School Committee member Geoff Epstein announced his support today for Alderman Ken Parker for Newton Mayor in 2009 and will co-chair the Education Policy Subcommittee of the Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee. Mr. Epstein is a fresh new voice on the School Committee in support of strong math and science programs in Newton Schools and has taken a collaborative approach to soliciting community input.

The Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee is a group of over 100 citizens who are working together to establish a plan to restore Newton’s excellence.  The group is divided into three subcommittees—Education, Environment & Sustainable Growth, and Finance & Management—which are working over the summer to develop specific policy proposals to improve Newton government and services.

“Geoff Epstein is a creative thinker who has demonstrated his ability to reach out to the community to solicit input and ideas on how we can improve our schools,” said Alderman Parker. “With Geoff working on our education platform, I know we will put together a great plan for the future of public education in Newton. I am honored and humbled by Geoff’s support and can’t thank him enough for joining our effort and for all his work on behalf of our community as a member of the Newton School Committee.”

“Alderman Parker’s vision for Newton includes innovation and excellence in our schools as well as a strong commitment to improve math and science education,” said Epstein, “As Mayor of Newton, Ken will use his leadership skill, management experience and strong policy knowledge of the inner workings of Newton’s government to the benefit of our school system and our entire community. I’m excited to be part of this effort to develop a blueprint for the future of the Newton Public Schools and to bring such durable, enthusiastic and open leadership to the executive office at Newton City Hall."

All Newton residents are encouraged to participate in this collaborative process.  More information can be found on www.parker2009.org or by contacting the Exploratory Committee Field Director Shawn P. Fitzgibbons at shawn@parker2009.org or (617) 997-2577.

 UPDATE (June 17) ...Geoff Epstein's letter to the TAB in support of Ken follows....

Newton schools need Ken Parker’s leadership

I am writing to announce my support for Ken Parker for Mayor and to urge my fellow Newton residents to join Alderman Parker’s exciting effort to explore new ideas for improving Newton government and services.

As a new member of the School Committee, it has been my privilege to work with other elected officials, parents and members of the community to develop creative ideas for improving our schools. But for real change to take place, we need a leader who is not afraid to question assumptions and find new ways to tackle the challenges that face us.

Ken Parker has demonstrated, both as an Alderman and community leader and as a company executive and entrepreneur, that he has the skills needed to get Newton back on the right track. As an Alderman, Ken has shown unswerving commitment to the search for innovative ways to improve services and to lower costs. His broad policy knowledge, business management experience and open, collaborative leadership style will be a strong asset not only for our schools, but for all our city’s programs and services. Many of us have been inspired by Ken Parker’s ability to bring people of different viewpoints together for the common good.

I am pleased to join the Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee as a co-chairman of the Education Policy Subcommittee. I urge my friends and supporters and everyone who cares about the future of the Newton Public Schools to join our effort to develop new ways to provide better educational services while controlling costs.

In these challenging times, Ken will be a strong, effective advocate for change. As Newton’s mayor, he will restore our city’s excellence. Please visit www.parker2009.org and join our effort today.

Geoffrey Epstein

School Committee, Ward One



Residents Begin Drafting a Blueprint for Newton's Future

Yesterday our subcommittees on Financial Management, Environment and Sustainable Development met to begin planning for Newton's future.  We had a great turnout--many thanks to all those who attended--and a very lively and engaging discussion.  This is the start of a process which will result in a detailed plan for improving our City government and addressing some of the challenges we face today.  If you were not able to attend yesterday, please stay tuned as the subcommittees will continue to meet over the summer.  If this is the first you've heard of this effort and you would like to sign on, please get in touch!  The full press release about yesterday's meeting is below.


Monday, June 2, 2008, Newton, MAChange has officially commenced in Newton. On Sunday, June 1st, dozens of members of the Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee gathered at the Boys and Girls Club in Newton to brainstorm and lay the foundation for a plan to restore Newton’s excellence. Meeting as three subcommittees—Financial Management; Environment and Sustainable Development; and Education—residents began to take an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities faced by City government. Their goal— to develop a blueprint for Newton’s future.

The Financial Management Subcommittee is chaired by Todd Krasnow, an entrepreneur who helped to start a number of locally-based businesses, including Staples and who is currently with Highland Capital, a venture capital firm based in Lexington, MA. Mr. Krasnow led the group’s discussion about improving management of the City and its finances.

“Thanks to Ken’s commitment to open, collaborative government we have a real opportunity to work together to address some of the City’s financial and management challenges,” said Krasnow, “I’m glad to facilitate this important discussion.”

Newton Alderman George Mansfield is chairing the Environment and Sustainable Development Subcommittee. His group’s discussion addressed pressing issues relating to the quality of life in Newton, including protecting the residential character of Newton’s neighborhoods, planning for environmentally-sustainable development and improving public transportation and other safe and efficient modes of mobility.

"I'm pleased to facilitate and expand this important discussion with residents about maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in our city,” said Alderman Mansfield, whose subcommittee members are focused on keeping “Newton a wonderful place to live and raise a family.”

Parent activist Lucia Dolan and former School Committee member Leslie Schneider are serving as co-chairs of the Education Subcommittee. Their group, which includes Newton North High School student representative to the School Committee, Ben Miller, began to explore areas of excellence for teachers and students and growing programs like the Daytimer, which require administrative support to flourish.

“I am excited to be working with Ken because I know he is a strong supporter of neighborhood schools and of excellence in Newton schools, said Dolan. “Neighborhood schools are great for children and help build the communities that make Newton a wonderful place to live. I know Ken would work to provide the support they need.”

Throughout the lively evening session Alderman Ken Parker, an entrepreneur and experienced business strategist himself in addition to his local government work, served as a resource for participants as they put their creative minds to work for Newton’s future.

“We have a talented and knowledgeable group of people developing an exciting plan to make Newton’s government work better,” said Parker. “It’s a privilege to work with this dedicated group of volunteers on improving our local government. I look forward to hearing from more and more Newton residents as we move ahead with this process.”

Newton residents interested in participating in this initiative should get in touch with Shawn P. Fitzgibbons, the Field Director of the Ken Parker for Newton Mayor 2009 Exploratory Committee. Shawn can be reached at shawn@parker2009.org or (617) 997-2577. For more information on this effort, please visit www.Parker2009.org.