SALEM'S WARD 1
Ward 1 is one of 7 Wards that make up the City of Salem in Massachusetts. One of the coastal sections of the city spanning almost the entirety of Salem Harbor including the Waterfront District, Shetland Park, Derby Warf & National Park, Footprint Power site, Winter Island, The Willows and Collins Cove, Ward 1 encompasses a diverse population spread between two Precincts. The location of Derby Warf within the Ward is emblematic of the area's rich history and connection with the sea, and a variety of maritime industries. Meanwhile, the location of the Point Neighborhood connects the Ward with a vibrant history of welcoming immigrants who are seeking new opportunity in America.
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Ward 1 Precinct 1 begins in Salem's downtown and extends up through Derby Warf and the Historic Derby Street Neighborhood, ending within the Willows Neighborhood and Winter Island. A majority of Precinct 1's borders are ocean, as it is surrounded by Collins Cove, Beverly Harbor and the Salem Harbor. It contains a mix of denser neighborhoods closer to the center of Salem that then spread out into the vibrant green space of Fort Lee, The Willows and Winter Island. It has a deep, rich history tied to the ocean and Salem Sound, but now finds itself particularly vulnerable to the most extreme elements of the climate crisis, from severe storms and storm surge to the general effect of sea level rise.
Voting Location is Bentley Academy, 25 Memorial Drive
Ward 1 Precinct 2 begins at the South River and extends from Derby St southward into the Point Neighborhood. The Point Neighborhood Historic District, also known as "El Punto", makes up the vast majority of Precinct 2, and vice versa. It is a densely-built neighborhood that was the target of significant redevelopment after the 1914 fire. Originally constructed as housing for mill-workers, El Punto has maintained significance as a welcoming neighborhood with secure housing for those coming into the country seeking opportunity. What once was a large French-Canadian immigrant population has shifted to a majority Latinx population with Spanish being a main language spoken.
Voting Location is 135 Lafayette St in the Community Room
WARD 1 SPECIFIC CONCERNS
FOOTPRINT PROPERTY REDEVELOPMENT
The redevelopment of the Footprint Power land parcel presents Salem with a tremendous opportunity to invest in the future of Salem that should not be squandered in the pursuit of short term residential development. The property's location along the coastline already raises concerns about the long term viability of a residential project on the land. Salem should seize the opportunity of state and federal administrations friendly to the pursuit of green energy projects such as offshore wind. Salem's harbor meets the ideal criteria for an offshore wind marshalling yard, a move that would get Salem invested in an important industry addressing the shift from fossil fuels and would bring a number of new jobs to Salem that will help bolster our local economy. As your City Councillor, I will work closely with SAFE, SERC, the Resilient Together program and local stakeholders to ensure that the Footprint redevelopment will be for the greatest benefit to Salem while addressing the needs for coastal resiliency and climate change mitigation policy.
LEE FORT TERRACE
Lee Fort Terrace, a property owned and managed by the Salem Housing Authority, is currently in the initial stages of redevelopment, and it is important that the Ward 1 City Councillor is engaged in the process to ensure that residents of the development and other community members will benefit from the project and remain protected from unchecked developer interests. The development is currently under active threat from sea level rise and coastal flooding so it is highly important that a reimagining of that complex takes into account protecting residents and neighbors from risk while giving them quality, affordable homes. As Councillor, I will work closely with the Salem Housing Authority to ensure that Ward 1 residents, particularly those within the Lee Fort Development, have a voice at the table who will side with them over the interests of more profit-driven stakeholders.
Shetland Park is located in Precinct 2 along the coastline. Originally the old mill buildings, Shetland park is now home to a diverse array of businesses. It was recently acquired by a New York holding company that hopes to redevelop the property, proposing a mix of residential and retail/industry uses. Considering the property's location on the coast within a flood zone, it is highly important that coastal resiliency is taken into consideration with this property and its potential future. As your Councillor, I will take an active role in the maturity of this project, seeking input from El Punto residents, SAFE, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and the Salem Conservation Commission.
TRAFFIC AND ROAD REDESIGN CONCERNS
I am incredibly concerned about both the dangerous driving trends neighbors have noted within the Ward and the road redesigns that the city has implemented. While I appreciate the intention behind Salem's efforts, the city should have participated more actively in efforts to engage with the neighborhood and inform residents of project plans, design elements, and timelines. The city should be working to reimagine some of our roadways so that they can be safer for residents, but those efforts will always fall short if community engagement is not afforded enough importance within a project. Meanwhile, throughout the Derby St neighborhood, there is an increasing concern of drivers speeding along narrow, heavily populated roads that needs to be addressed, not to mention the consistent instances of drivers going against traffic on one-way streets due to insufficient signage.