Ward 1 Councilwoman Emily Root was appointed to the Westfield Town Council in April to fill a vacant seat and was elected November 8, 2022 by a 12-point margin of victory to serve out the one-year unexpired term. She is running for a full, four-year term in November 2023. She is the chair of the Public Safety Committee and serves as a member of the Finance Committee.
Councilwoman Root moved to Westfield in 2000 after finishing graduate school. She was attracted to Westfield's vibrant downtown, great schools, and the proximity to New York City.
She purchased a home on Edgewood Avenue with her first husband and had hoped to start a family. But her life changed when her husband died of cancer in 2009. She was 35 years old.
Councilwoman Root remembers how her neighbors helped her get through those tough days and lonely nights. For her, that’s when Westfield became not just a community, but a family.
Being a young widow made her who she is today: resilient, independent and compassionate. It made her understand that life doesn’t always go as planned. She had to restart.
She focused on growing her business – a speech pathology private practice in Berkeley Heights. When the COVID 19 pandemic struck in 2020, she immediately lost 50% of her client base and worried how she would stay open after 17 years. But she adapted, persevered, came out stronger and today, thankfully, her business is thriving. As a small business owner, she understand the struggles that small business owners often face and has worked to make Westfield a town where businesses can thrive.
Nine years ago, she met someone who would change her life. She married Bruno Tedeschi in 2015 and moved to Mountain Avenue with two amazing step kids as a bonus. Both children attended Westfield public schools from kindergarten through high school. Zoe is a junior at the University of Rhode Island while Dylan is a freshman at Michigan State University.
Family is important to Councilwoman Root. Her father was a police Lieutenant in the Bay Area. Growing up the daughter of a law enforcement officer gave her a profound respect for our men and women in blue. When she was in middle school, her father decided to change careers and join the State Department to work in diplomatic security in embassies around the world.
Living abroad gave her a new perspective and an appreciation for what it means to be an American. She also saw firsthand the importance and value of public service. And that’s one of the reasons why she is so glad to have been elected to serve on the Town Council. She strives to give back to a town that has given her so much.
As the council's newest member, Emily looks for opportunities to continue growing in her position as a leader in the community. In 2023, she assumed the chair of the Public Safety Committee, where she is focused on making Westfield safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. She is working to increase the number of speed boxes on streets where speeding has been an ongoing concern and adding pedestrian beacons at key intersections to make crossing busy streets safer.
Councilwoman Root understands her most important role on the council is to serve as a good fiscal steward of our taxpayer dollars. That's why she was thrilled to be appointed to the Finance Committee, where she helps draft the municipal budget. She is guided by conservative fiscal principles that ensure Westfield will remain affordable for families and seniors. She also understands the need to make ongoing investments in our community that enhance the quality of life and make Westfield a town we can all be proud to call our home.
Emily with her family, Dylan, Zoe and husband Bruno.
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