Planning For Dedham's Future
I am excited to announce I am running for re-election to Dedham’s Planning Board.
For those who don’t know, the Planning Board is responsible for both comprehensive and site planning in our Town. Comprehensive planning includes things like planning for Dedham’s future transportation and traffic, housing, open space, and recreation needs. Site planning, another main function of the Board, involves working with developers to a) determine if certain types of projects are appropriate for Dedham and b) ensure those that are built will meet the needs and desires of the community.
A little about me: I moved to Dedham 22 years ago and have raised my family here. I quickly fell in love with our town - first and foremost the people, but also the schools, the mix of open space and convenient shopping, access to the Charles River, and the spirit of community in Dedham. I began my community work as a Town Meeting member, and also served as an associate on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Chair of the Master Plan Implementation Committee before running for Planning Board five years ago.
Over the past five years, my goal has been to inform, engage, and respect the public. I’ve worked with neighbors on various projects to get questions answered and incorporate their suggestions into new projects. As someone who lives on Providence Highway, I work hard to protect neighborhoods from the noise, lights and traffic of commercial areas. I actively participated in the development of Dedham’s Climate Action Plan; I recognize how important it is to build climate resilience and sustainability into both private and municipal developments.
As co-chair of the Designing Dedham Master Plan steering committee, I helped oversee a process that engaged over 2,500 residents through multiple meetings, surveys, and events in order to create a plan that reflects the many voices and diverse perspectives in our community. As co-chair of the Dedham Square Planning Committee, I led almost a dozen meetings with merchants, neighbors, seniors, youth, and the public at large to get community input on the future of the current Police Station property in Dedham Center. I’m currently vice-chair of the Town Green Working Group, supporting the Town Manager and Select Board in developing that space into a park for all residents to enjoy.
Serving on the Planning Board for the past five years has been a pleasure. I have learned so much from the professionals we work with, my fellow board members, and most of all the community. I am proud of the impact I have had, and there’s still more to do. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next two months during the campaign. If you have any questions about Planning in Dedham, I encourage you to visit my facebook page (facebook.com/JessicaPorterDedhamPlanningBoard) or feel free to email me at Jess4Dedham@gmail.com. Please remember to vote on or before April 8th; I humbly ask for your vote for Planning Board!