Why I Want To Be Your Next Mayor

Why I Want To Be Your Next Mayor

I want to be your next Mayor because I have always wanted to build something and to do it in a collective fashion.

By Mike Zwirko, Local Official, Melrose Patch, Sep 9, 2019 11:34 am ET

It is the most often asked question, but also, the most important one: Why are you running for Mayor?

I want to be your next Mayor because I have always wanted to build something, to improve something and to do it in a collective fashion. I view the role of Mayor as being the CEO of a community in an occupation that demands "Swiss-army Knife" solutions; not just singular approaches to problems. A 21st century Mayor is no longer a political job; it is one of dynamism, agility and stamina. Political skills matter less and less for a Mayor as it is really a job filled with the nuts and bolts of administering services and executing on projects.

My approach to governing has always been the same: Be inclusive and engage with the public often. Be approachable and listen, because you are going to learn something. Focus on the details, because that is the best way to get results. And always be moving with energy and focus on the pursuit of progress. How I have governed so far as an Alderman is a direct window into how I will govern, as Mayor, going forward.

In 2015, I successfully ran for Alderman-at-Large and I am currently in my fourth year in that role. In 2018, I served as the Board's President during a time of transition in our city. In my time on the Board of Aldermen, I have been an active member, leading on initiatives and focusing on areas that have been ignored. I uncovered that we were two years behind on our statutorily mandated charter review and I filed an order invoking that the Charter Review Committee be constituted.

Working with the parks department, I found the location of the community garden that had been languishing without a home for years. Focusing on reducing waste and local ways to combat climate change, I spearheaded the effort to ban single-use plastic bags. It was hugely successful and passed unanimously. Finally, with the advent of recreational adult use marijuana coming to Melrose, I passed a rule that mandated 50% of all taxes received from the sale of marijuana be dedicated to education, public safety and substance abuse prevention efforts. Because if we are going to have this new product in our community, we want to ensure it pays for its impacts.

Melrose demands bold leadership and I will meet that challenge. Like many of the people I speak with, I am done waiting. It is time for Melrose to lead and move forward. I see Melrose at the crossroads of opportunity and obstacles. We have so much promise here before us, but we often can't get out of our own way; particularly due to the lack of leadership and political courage. Whether we are talking about economic development efforts, parking, traffic reduction or enforcement, addressing our public safety buildings or any work towards implementing the vision that is our Master Plan, we have not moved forward.

Why is this the case? Because for too long we have allowed the status quo to govern us. With the outcome of the override this past April, continuing down the path of more of the same is perilous. Regardless of whether you supported it or not, everyone is making the additional investment in our community. Because of this, we need a fundamental change in our approach to problems. We don't need more lists, we don't need more task forces, we don't need more meetings: we need action. A plan is nothing without action. Now is the time for action.

We have an opportunities out there that are ours to capitalize on. We can make government better, more responsive, accessible and accountable. We don't have to settle for the way it has always been and hope that things change. Instead, lets drive that change on our terms and demand it. More of the same is not a path towards prosperity, it is stagnant and our future can't afford it.

I hope you will support me, Mike Zwirko, as your choice for Mayor on September 17th. I'd greatly appreciate your vote.

Mike Zwirko