Setti Warren back from Iraq, prepares for election

By Roxanne Glazier
Published: December 2008

After spending a year in Iraq, Newton mayoral candidate Setti Warren has returned to the city, focused on the upcoming election.

Warren’s campaign recently released a “10 in 10 list of priorities for the city of Newton and is currently in the process of developing more detailed plans and descriptions for each goal.

Education is placed at the top of the list, followed by public safety and maintaining city infrastructure. Other items on the list include “excellent and efficient city services and making Newton cleaner in terms of energy.

Warren believes that good schools rest in the hands of strong, inspiring teachers.

He believes that while we must work to strengthen the schools we must also work within the constraints of the budget and finances.

According to Warren, “Newton and other communities around our country will need to continually think creatively about how we can prepare our students for the global economy in the face of difficult economic times.

Warren plans on holding a meeting for all of Newton, but there will also be smaller discussions for individual neighborhoods and communities. Warren hopes to hear Newton residents’ opinions on the “10 in 10 priorities.

“This is not just my campaign for mayor, but a collective effort of citizens across our city to have their voices heard about their own hopes and dreams for our city, Warren said.

In the past Warren has held a variety of political positions in the local, state, federal governments, which he believes “give [him] the experience needed to bring our city together, make the tough decisions that need to be made, listen, be transparent and accountable, and deal with the unexpected [situations he would face as mayor.]

Warren’s past experience in Newton include working for the Newton Foundation for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Harmony, the Newton the Economic Development Commission, and the Newton Community Preservation Committee.

“Each gave me a good understanding of how the city works from different perspectives, Warren said.

On the national level, Warren has worked for the Clinton administration in the Departments of Justice and Treasury and FEMA.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton selected Warren to be the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As director, Warren controlled a multimillion-dollar budget and nearly 100 workers.

Starting in 2004, Warren worked for the state of Massachusetts under Senator John Kerry. His position involved helping several cities in Massachusetts with their “economic development issues and small business issues.

Most recently Warren spent a year in Iraq as a reservist. He served as an intelligence specialist for the Navy.

“The experience [in Iraq] strengthened my ability to make decisions and provide leadership under pressure and¯in difficult circumstance. It has also made me appreciate the wonderful, world-class city that we have here in Newton, Warren said.

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