Candidate Announcement, 2021: Margot Fleischman to Run for Reelection to Bedford’s Select Board

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Margot Fleischman, candidate for reelection to the Bedford Select Board

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for reelection to the Bedford Select Board. It has been my privilege to serve in this position since 2012, and I would be honored to be given another three-year term to continue to work on behalf of the people of Bedford.

I got involved with town government almost as soon as I moved to Bedford in 2003 with my husband Bill and our two (then little, now grown) children, Giuliana and Theo. My first volunteer job in town government was as a member of the Sidewalk Committee, which I joined in 2005 because I wanted to help make all our neighborhoods more walkable. For over 15 years, through my service on elected boards and volunteer committees, from the Planning Board to the Violence Prevention Coalition to the Community Preservation Committee, I have worked on policies and projects that have moved Bedford forward.

I first ran for the Select Board because I wanted to make a real difference in the lives of Bedford residents. Now as then, we care about housing affordability, providing a great education for our kids, taking care of our seniors, supporting our local businesses, strengthening our cultural institutions, protecting our environment, having a fiscally healthy town, and, of course, dealing with traffic. I’m proud of the projects I have advocated for through the years, from preserving the affordability of over 90 apartments at Bedford Village so that our lower-income neighbors would not lose their homes, to constructing the Davis Road Boardwalk so that the residents of West Bedford could safely walk or let their kids bike to the center of town.

But nothing I have done in the past nine years compares to what we are facing as a community at this moment. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, our major challenge has been to protect public health while we continue to work on these important issues and tackle new ones, like growing food insecurity, housing insecurity, mental health needs and social isolation. Town staff has worked ceaselessly to keep the doors of Town Hall open and the wheels of local government turning. It is a testament to this hard work that the Town of Bedford successfully held the first municipal election in the Commonwealth just four days after Governor Baker’s declaration of a public health state of emergency last March, stood up a weekly Emergency Food Bank, and launched a website to support Bedford restaurants and businesses all within a few short weeks.

This ongoing crisis has had so many facets and has touched our lives on every level. From how we work, how our kids do school, whether our favorite local restaurant will stay open, and when we might be able to hug our parents again, the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, and I know it has been hard on everyone. And while some of us have had to adjust to dramatically reconfigured lives, others have lost livelihoods and, tragically, fifty members of our community have died.

Throughout these difficult months, we have strived to be there for each other, as neighbors helping neighbors. In this moment of great challenge, our strength has been how we have pulled together to work collaboratively for the best outcomes possible. We have benefited from the competence, creativity, and good will of so many people – dedicated town staff and tireless volunteers – and I am incredibly proud of how we have all rolled up our sleeves to solve our problems. From Operation Feed the Soul, a community-led effort to provide meals to healthcare workers while supporting local restaurants during the early days of the pandemic, to finding a way to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for the BHS class of 2020, to the town-wide COVID-19 testing program our Fire Department launched just this month, everyone has strived to offer whatever they could to make things better for Bedford.

There are still many months to go before we can begin to get back to normal, or even find out what our “new normal” will be. I want to continue to serve Bedford so that I can be part of that collaborative effort, doing as we always do: our very best to make good decisions in the face of a complex and changing reality. I feel that my years of experience have prepared me to be of service at a critical time.

I would be honored for the chance to continue this work and I respectfully ask for your vote on March 13.


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