Special to the Journal
Vowing to bring transparency and accountability to city government, lifelong resident and small business owner Michelle Kelley announced her campaign today to be Revereâ€™s next At-Large City Councilor.
Kelley, an attorney and realtor, outlined a â€œneighborhood watchâ€ approach to governing and said she will help neighborhoods confronted by an onslaught of irresponsible development.
â€œItâ€™s time that the government of Revere is restored to the people of Revere,â€ Kelley said. â€œIâ€™ve lived here my whole life, started a business here, and watched with dismay as deals get made to the detriment of quality of life here. Iâ€™m running to be an At-Large City Councillor because Revere citizens deserve to know that their voices matter.â€
The proud granddaughter of immigrants, Kelley lives with her husband, David, in West Revere. Kelley believes that hard work is the path to the American dream, and that seniors have earned the right to live in their homes and in the neighborhoods they have helped build.
A more responsive city government, she said, means listening to Revere residents, rather than dictating from City Hall. â€œThatâ€™s how I want to make decisions,â€ Kelley said. â€œI want to know what people think about the issues. Iâ€™ll be working for them and I will be their voice.â€
â€œWe need a new high school,â€ Kelley continued, â€œand we need to be fiscally responsible about how we conceive, design, and pay for it. We arenâ€™t doing future generations any favors if we arenâ€™t thinking strategically about how to move forward, and doing so with taxpayers in mind.â€
In holding city leaders to account, Kelley helped engineer policy changes during the debate over the allowance of the biolab at Suffolk Downs. She said she wants to bring the same approach, that of a concerned citizen with a â€œneighborhood watchâ€ attitude, across city government. A smarter approach to development, and ensuring that developers adhere to the zoning code written by the people of Revere, will help preserve the cityâ€™s neighborhoods.
Kelley also believes that Revereâ€™s seniors deserve more respectful treatment from city government, including common courtesy from city officials and at public meetings. Revere should be a place where people of all generations and backgrounds can feel comfortable and pursue their dreams.
The first person in her family to graduate college, Kelley attended Revere Public Schools and worked her way through both college and law school, receiving degrees from Salem State University and New England School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts state and federal courts.
Kelley said her political ideology is â€œcommon sense,â€ a value she finds lacking in todayâ€™s politics.
â€œEveryone is so busy paying attention to whoâ€™s â€˜winningâ€™ on TV or on social media that weâ€™ve lost sight of right and wrong,â€ she said. â€œI believe extreme points of view on any issue lead to division and shut down lines of communication.â€
Kelley said her campaign will work with Massachusetts-based Shawmut Strategies Group as General Consultant, a firm that has worked for former U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh, during both of his winning Boston mayoral runs, and for the State Police Association of Massachusetts and the Mass. Housing Coalition, among others.
Kelley plans a campaign kickoff on June 24th.