I am writing in support of Emily Root for Ward 1 Town Council. I have known Emily for several years and throughout that time she has always been a thoughtful, engaged member of this community.

When I learned that she was going to fill my vacated seat on the Council, I felt confident that she would bring a conscientious and independent voice to the dais.

Her profession is one that requires careful and deliberate listening skills.As a speech pathologist, she works with children and young adults to respond to their unique challenges, and as a professor she imparts that knowledge to the next generation of young professionals. Emily is passionate about the difference she makes in the lives of those around her and takes great pride in her student’s achievements.

It is that same sense of passion that Emily Root brings to her Council duties. She has already demonstrated her ability to actually listen to her constituents.

Upon appointment, Councilwoman Root hit the ground running, setting up meetings with residents and taking their concerns to heart. And as a resident who previously lived near the downtown, she could relate to the many issues that compound their lives.

This ultimately led to her voting against the Prospect-Ferris Redevelopment project, stating on the dais that “a project of this size and scale would be smart for a corner in downtown Westfield, but just not this corner.”

When I encounter those who are concerned that Councilwoman Root will be swayed by “party politics” and unable to think for herself, I can’t help but push back.

Unlike myself, Councilwoman Root does not have the conflict of her home’s proximity to the upcoming redevelopment projects which will shape our town for generations to come.

I trust that Councilwoman Root will approach these important upcoming decisions as she did the Prospect-Ferris Redevelopment vote; she will listen to her constituents, without ego or conflict swaying her decision-making process, and ultimately formulate the best course of action.

I hope you will join me in voting for Councilwoman Emily Root on November 8.