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Gastfriend: Khan is a visionary leader

Type:  Campaign 

Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Why re-elect Kay Khan as our State Representative? Others have noted Kay’s 17-year experience representing Newton, her advocacy in community health, criminal justice and public safety and her deep values as a nurse, therapist, school and community activist – and grandmother.


But voters also need to know: Kay Khan is a visionary for Newton’s future. Newton offers an enormous range of fine arts, music, dance, theatre and other cultural entities. When these groups thrive, our quality of life thrives, our children are enriched, and our businesses and community investment can grow as well.


Kay Khan anticipated the budget challenges for school arts programs. She foresaw the need to strengthen after-school music and arts education. She recognized that Newton arts organizations needed space, reliable leases, Internet presence to grow their audiences, and the room to house concerts, plays and exhibitions. A founder of the Newton Culture Alliance, Kay rolled up her sleeves, helping 24 arts and cultural organizations to coalesce under a single umbrella, the NCA. NCA members now reach about 60,000 of us each year in educational programs, concerts and festivals – not in downtown Boston, but here at home in Newton.


This has been a weekly effort for years, getting cultural leaders together, meeting with city and state leaders, and coaxing cooperation, encouraging grant-seeking and fund-raising. Kay’s intuitive sense of interpersonal relations makes her a consummate diplomat. But she is also a driving force for progress in Newton – especially in hard times. One only needs to visit newtonculture.org to see what she has helped build in the arts realm. Kay is so much more than a legislator. We vote to re-elect Rep. Khan because there is no one better equipped to lead Newton’s community life forward – and help Massachusetts in numerous other ways – as our state legislator this Nov. 6.


—David R. Gastfriend, Orient Avenue, Adrienne Hartzell, Centre Street, Andris Vizulis, Washington Street