~ Submitted by Bopha Malone
I’m excited to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Bedford Select Board. I was elected in March 2020, one day before the Governor’s Covid-19 stay-at-home order, and I’m now serving as its Clerk. It’s been one of my greatest honors to serve Bedford, especially during one of its most challenging times. I’m passionate about making a difference, I care deeply about Bedford, and I would love the opportunity to continue to serve and work with everyone to continue to make Bedford the best place to live, work, raise a family, and retire!
I believe good government is about representation and collaboration. In my first term, I have listened to residents and business owners and collaborated with stakeholders to respond to their needs.
I’m happy to have contributed to many critical Covid-related efforts to help everyone in the town, especially its most vulnerable, have the support that they need. This included collaborating with others in:
- Establishing and promoting the Bedford Food Bank;
- Establishing a rental assistance program;
- Re-establishing a small grant program to provide financial assistance to renovate existing homes;
- Issuing license fees waivers;
- Increasing licenses for outdoor dining;
- Supporting ongoing community testing and vaccination efforts.
- Supporting the Future of Work initiative.
I am a passionate advocate for social justice issues. I believe that good democracy is possible only when its leadership reflects the people they serve. I believe that Town Hall should be accessible to all, that housing is a basic human right; and that climate change is real. I am proud to:
- Participate in Racial Equity Municipal Action Plan (REMAP) work;
- Help to recruit new people, especially those who haven’t been involved to join boards and committees.
- Advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- Support Bedford Embraces Diversity, Council on Aging, and Girls Scout in programming to celebrate Pride Month.
- Create more flexible, affordable, and diverse housing options through accessory dwelling units and local initiative programs;
- Advocate for amendment to the zoning bylaws related to two family housing;
- Support reducing carbon emissions by supporting a higher percentage opt-in community choice aggregation at 20% during its renewal in 2021.
- Support the hiring of an Energy and Sustainability Director.
I am fiercely committed to public engagement and excellent constituent services. I have been open, accessible, and engaging, and have brought government closer to the people of Bedford. I have been happy to introduce “Bedford Connect” – a regularly-occurring Zoom meeting that brings together all interested Bedford residents to share info and listen to concerns. I’ve attended many community events and participated in many efforts to get to know residents and the issues that are important to them and link them to the resources they need.
It’s been a privilege to serve on the Select Board. My first term has been challenging, but the knowledge, experience, and relationships that I’ve built have been incredibly rewarding, and have helped me to become a better public servant. I know that we still have a lot of challenges ahead of us, and there’s a lot of healing that needs to be done in the community. But as a refugee who experienced first-hand what happens when government fails its people, and as an immigrant who has lived in various zip codes and experienced first-hand the inequities of access to good education, jobs, and healthcare, I understand how fortunate we are to live in a community like Bedford. I truly believe that we can overcome our differences and unite as a community, and I’m committed to helping make this happen if I’m re-elected.
I’m grateful for the support and encouragement that the community has given me during my first term on the Select Board. I respectfully ask for your vote at our Town Caucus on January 10, 2023, and again on March 11.
Please visit my website at BophaForBedford.com, visit and follow/like my Facebook page at facebook.com/BophaForBedford, to learn more about me and the issues I’m passionate about; and please email me at BophaForBedford@gmail.com to continue to share about the issues that matter to you!