As we all settle into the first week of school and for me, as my husband and I adjust to being empty nesters with our daughter returning to college as a junior at the University of Rhode Island, and our son starting his freshman year at Michigan State University, we can look back at the summer of 2022 in Westfield as a triumphant one.

In the past four months since my appointment as Councilwoman in Ward 1, I’ve been so happy to have a front row seat and witness our downtown continue to flourish with new store openings such as The Life By Alli and Paige, Artistique Hair Studio and eateries like La Bendita and Chutzpah Kitchen. Many new businesses are opening soon, including the beloved Millburn Deli, Kirshenbaum Baking Co., and Francis Henri, a baby boutique, just to name a few.

As town council liaison to the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC), I get to see firsthand how hard the DWC works, along with the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC) to support, not only our businesses downtown, but also, to spread joy to residents with events such as this summer’s weekly music festivals, the hugely popular Sweet Sounds, as well as new events such as the fantastic Shakespeare in Foundation Park play “Twelfth Night.”

I hope an annual Shakespeare summer play can be something Westfielders enjoy in the years to come.

Additionally, the Downtown 5K Pizza Run returned for the first time in 3 years with over 800 runners and walkers joining in the fun and coming together to celebrate a Westfield tradition. The Westfield Police Department held its annual National Night Out event at the train station, which gave our residents an opportunity to meet police, fire and rescue squad personnel. Also this year, we celebrated the 241st anniversary of the march to Yorktown, Va., with the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association thanks to Julie Diddell.

As a Councilwoman, I am passionate about keeping our downtown’s traditions while recognizing that modernizing to allow for growth and bringing in more office workers and residents is necessary to sustain our downtown in the long term.

I wish you and your family a great start to the school year, and stay tuned for more downtown events to take place, including FestiFall on Sunday, September 18, which for the first time will feature a beer garden.

Our downtown remains one of our town’s greatest assets. As the days get shorter and the weather cools, let’s all continue to support downtown businesses by dining in town and shopping locally whenever possible.



Emily Root


Westfield First Ward Councilwoman