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After serving on the City Council for six years, I’ve seen firsthand the qualities that make someone an engaged and effective Councilor. With that experience in mind, I am proud to endorse Stephanie A. Smyth and Katherine A. Jessup for Newport City Council At-Large. These women have been canvassing throughout Newport, talking about the issues and listening to resident concerns. Stephanie and Kate are passionate about our community and will work to help Newport thrive. Both are committed to transparent governance and embracing public participation as a part of the decision-making process. They will uphold our community values while fighting for things Newporters care about. Many of the issues we have here will take significant time and effort. Stephanie and Kate each have assets that will serve them well on the City Council.

Stephanie works in government contracts, which will give her a head start working through some of the complex issues in municipal government. At the same time, her experience as a union representative means that she knows how to collaborate and work with people from all walks of life. Her skills and process improvement expertise make her capable of teasing apart problems and finding solutions others may not see. She also served on the recent Charter Review Commission and fought to ensure that resident perspectives were included in the recommendations to the Council. Above all else, Stephanie is committed to Newport; as a lifelong resident, she wants to enrich our community and ensure that all Newporters can thrive here.

Kate is an expert in master planning and has spent her career working with municipalities to develop long-term strategic plans. Every day she works directly with local governments and their communities to envision and map out their plans for the future. In Newport, we face multiple issues requiring complex solutions with long-term implementation; we need Councilors like Kate, with her expertise and experience. She recognizes the value of the community’s voice in decision-making and wants to ensure the Council works with residents collaboratively. She knows the importance of transparent processes and straightforward, reliable methods of resident engagement. Kate will answer to all Newporters and work for their best interests.

Serving the residents of Newport on the City Council is complex; we need people who can analyze the situation, problem-solve, and take the long view. Stephanie and Kate will each bring individual strengths to the Council and their passion for Newport. We need Councilors who are energized and committed to progress; councilors who will engage residents in our government processes. I believe this is who Kate and Steph are and that they will be assets to the City Council and our community. Please join me in voting for Stephanie A. Smyth and Katherine A. Jessup this election.

By Jamie Bova, Newport resident and Member of Newport City Council At-Large

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