Local residents elected a new member to the Charlestown Neighborhood Council on Nov. 18, choosing Amanda Reinfeld along with six incumbents to serve in the council's seven at-large seats.
Reinfeld lives in Charlestown with her husband David, their three kids, Sophia, 6, Jack, 4, and Margot, 1 1/2, and their dog Stella. She will officially take her seat at the council's first meeting in January.
Reinfeld recently sat down with Patch to introduce herself and talk about what she hopes to accomplish on the CNC.
How long have you lived in Charlestown? My husband and I moved here in 2005. Right after we moved here, I got involved with the Charlestown Nursery School, so that’s kind of been my major involvement in the community.
I’m originally from Michigan. My husband’s from the suburbs of Boston, so we ended up moving back because he started a business here.
What do you do for a living? I’m a stay-at-home mom, currently. I worked for a large company for a while but after we had our second child I decided to stay home.
Why did you run for a seat on the CNC? I thought about it for quite some time—my husband, too. We love Charlestown. I’m really interested in seeing how the neighborhood will develop. I think there are going to be a lot of zoning issues coming up, and there are a lot of issues currently with Whole Foods coming in. That will really drive a lot of retail coming in, so I think we need to be mindful about what works for the community.
Secondly, I think there are a lot of young families like mine that share a similar perspective, and we thought we kind of needed to get that into the council.
What are your initial thoughts on the Rutherford Corridor Improvement Project? I support the surface option. I try to walk anywhere I can and also enjoy biking, and I think connecting Charlestown as a community to the rest of Boston will foster development within Charlestown. The surface option is good for the environment and good for the community. It's great that it integrates pedestrian safety and ease and that it integrates a bicycle lane. That’s the way of city living. That’s why we love living here. I think there are a lot of people like me that maybe feel the same way but aren’t represented through the council today.
Is there a specific type of business you'd like to see come into Charlestown? I think what’s important is choosing the right mix of businesses. That’s one of the things I’ve heard from a lot of friends and people in my age group—just the need for a diversity of businesses and making sure we’re not just about one thing, making things much more neighborhood-y.
With this being your first government position, has anyone offered you some really good advice? I’ve talked to some of the people in town that have been here a long time, some of the council members as well. I don’t know that I can recall any one piece of advice. I’m just trying to understand how it works and listen to what people have to say. I have a lot to learn. I’m going to learn from those who have been there.
What's your favorite place in Charlestown? It’s kind of cliché, but the [Bunker Hill] monument. It's between the monument and the Training Field—I actually live right between the two. There are always tourists going up there, and all of my friends are up there a lot hanging out with their children. It's a great place to be out and to see people in the community and talk to them. I think those two places really speak a lot about the community. It’s all about history here.