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FRAMINGHAM – I have lived in Framingham since I was 8 years old. This community means the world to me, as it has changed the trajectory of my life. Growing up here, I was taught by many incredible educators who believed in me, accepted me for who I am, and instilled in me the importance of paying
attention, listening, and diligently finding solutions to problems.

Over the past few years, I have continued to pay attention and listen to our local government, and I have not seen the innovative solution-finding our city deserves. Framingham is a beautiful, vibrant community teeming with passion, creativity, and grit, yet we see very little of this in our own government.

Like many of you, I have grown tired of watching our leaders be bogged down by drama as our city fails to make progress on our most pressing issues. I have also grown tired and increasingly concerned about seeing the school system used as a backup savings account when the city needs to make the budget work. By listening to almost any meeting addressing Framingham’s financial issues, it is painfully obvious that some on the Council see the school’s budget as the first resort for budget cuts and fiscal solvency. Our schools deserve all of our support, not constant undermining. This hurts teachers, this hurts students, and this hurts Framingham. It must stop.

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While our government has been pointing fingers and laying blame, our district has not been well-served and our needs have gone unresolved. The lumberyard, which has sat vacant for as long as I’ve lived here, has infinite potential to be a new gem in our neighborhood, all it takes is proactive, dedicated leadership. Imagine, rather than a paved eyesore, we could have a new green space, connected to the nearby walking trail, with dedicated structures for small business pop-up shops to promote the creation of new local businesses, an outdoor stage, walking paths, and so forth. While this is just one idea, we cannot keep kicking the ball down the road, and we have the opportunity now to make bold moves to improve our community.

Furthermore, Saxonville desperately needs work to improve the ability of residents to safely and conveniently walk around and go to local restaurants, shops, and businesses. As is, it is dangerous for a pedestrian to do so, and certainly not convenient. This is exactly the type of issue that demands practical solutions from thoughtful leaders,

It has become far too common to hear name-calling, insults, and observe immature behavior during Council meetings, and I cannot just watch and listen anymore. That is why I have decided to run for City Council in District 2.

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Throughout my life, I have been dedicated to helping others, being a calm voice, advocating for my community, and finding creative solutions. When I was at Framingham High, I proudly represented Framingham’s students on the School Committee for two years, advocating for student mental health initiatives and supporting our students, teachers, and parents.

At the age of 15, I was appointed to the Community Development Committee where I served for 6 years allocating funds to our community’s many incredible nonprofit organizations.

While pursuing my Master’s of Public Policy at UMass Amherst, I sat on the UMass system-wide Board of Trustees where I dedicated my time to advocating for student member voting rights and overseeing the financial operations of the University.

I also worked for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council under the Director of Municipal Collaboration where I facilitated collaborative projects between member towns and cities on issues like police reform, public safety, and the environment.

For the past two years, I have served on the Mayor’s 2030 Advisory Council representing District 2 advising the Mayor on the quality of life for young adults in Framingham.

I am currently at Boston University Law, where I serve as a representative of my class and the treasurer of OutLaw, an organization focused on providing leadership and educational opportunities to LGBTQ+ students in the law.

My education, experience, and upbringing in Framingham has taught me that we can do much better, and we must. Rather than just preach collaboration, my actions as your Councilor will embody it. I have worked first-hand with communities in the Greater Boston region coming together and finding solutions to mutual problems, so I know that it is possible for Framingham to achieve more and to better serve our residents. It starts with a new voice on the Council, and I will be that voice.

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I am running to:

 Conserve open space, increasing walkability, and create a greener, healthier Framingham — including the lumberyard, developing a fully-connected network of walking trails throughout the city, reorganizing intersections like Central and Concord to promote walking as a means of transportation and supporting our local businesses.

 Support our students, teachers, and schools by pushing back against reckless cuts, continue advocating for student mental health initiatives, working with our students, teacher, and parent leaders.

 Foster innovation to attract new businesses, experiences, and opportunities to the community. Framingham has the ability and capacity to attract new opportunities, we just need to be more proactive. This involves things like providing low-cost space as a starting point for new ventures and establishing a competitive tax rate

 Work with our local businesses, not against them. After this last year and a half, our business leaders need a city that is actively rooting for their success and enabling them to thrive.

 Bring civility and kindness to the City Council

 Focus on finding solutions rather than just identifying problems It is far beyond time for our officials to end the drama and get to work. I will be a dedicated, passionate, kind, and creative Councilor and I will spend every moment of my time on that body to making District 2, and Framingham as a whole, a better place for you and your family to live, work and enjoy.

If you are committed to a more productive, focused, and effective local government, please join me in this race.

Jake Binnall
District 2
(508) 808-8378

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.