My full name is Rena Louisa Getz Escudero de Geltman — Rena Getz for short.
My name truly describes who I am. I was born in Spain and was fortunate to grow up in many different parts of the world due to my parents’ professions – my father was an international public servant, and my mother was an agricultural engineer, the first woman of her country, Colombia in this profession. I believe the experience of living in different cultures gave me the gift of cultural sensitivity and the ability to interpret and act on differences of opinion.
I am a scientist, trained in neurochemistry. When my husband and I first moved to the Boston area 30 years ago, I worked in a research group at MGH for five years studying neurodegenerative diseases before committing to raising our children full time. My husband, Paul Geltman, is the Chief Medical Officer for a clinic in Dorchester and the Medical Director for Refugee & Immigrant Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Life in Newton
Like many, we moved to Newton to raise our family. We chose Newton because of its walkable neighborhood schools, historic village centers and abundant green open space. Our three children are all graduates of the Newton Public Schools. We are fortunate they have all chosen to return to the Boston area to pursue their professional careers or attend graduate school.
Volunteerism within the community is important to me and on a personal level enriches my life. During my children’s primary education. I served on the Angier School Building Committee and co-chaired the Respect for Human Differences Committee for the years my youngest daughter attended Angier School.
My civic engagement in Newton began in 2012 through my relationship with my dear friend and mentor, Brian Yates. Brian was our former, longstanding Councilor At-Large from Ward 5 and an exemplary humanitarian. I knew him well as both a dedicated public servant and as a friend. I had the privilege of running his last three election campaigns, along with other citizen volunteers. His passing motivates me to run for office, to honor his priorities and the vision he held for Newton – a city rooted in “village values – protect the environment, preserve the villages and prevent overdevelopment.” I share Brian’s sensibilities and a passion for my community and a belief that city government needs to care for the most vulnerable among us, as well as to respect and to preserve the uniqueness of each of our villages. I am committed to valuing these priorities and to being a true voice for the residents of Newton.
More recently, I became involved with Neighborhood Area Councils. I am a founding member and the current Vice-President of the Waban Area Council on which I have continuously served in leadership since 2013. On the Council, I serve to educate my community on pending City legislation, as I believe a well-informed and engaged citizenry is foundational for good governance. We, the residents, are the most important and affected stakeholders of any proposed changes to our municipal governance, whether it’s our zoning code or the billing rate for water. In addition, I have been active with The Friends of Hemlock Gorge, and I am a Board member. Hemlock Gorge is a treasure in Newton and is well worth the visit!
Recently, I was elected as a delegate to represent Ward 5 at the 2021 MassDems Platform Convention, taking place this fall. I look forward to the discussion and in participating in updating the Party Platform.
I continue my interest in learning everything I can about housing and zoning through my active participation in regional planning groups. I am a member of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and the Congress of the New Urbanism (CNU). I wish to be well-informed on regional housing policy as well as recently adopted state legislation, (i.e., Economic Development Bond bill with the Housing Choice language).
I am ready and able to serve as your Newton City Councilor – I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family and is the place we call home.