Westwood, MA

In reference to political capital, Green and Haynes, talked about the “Access to decision-making”. This is very important to have within a community to maintain a relatively good political capital. Westwood, Massachusetts gives its residents “access to decision-making” by holding local town level elections. The electing of selectmen, and two other town officials takes place at town meetings. Town meetings are held about once a year, and during these meetings residents may choose to bring up issues to vote on, and the residents will also vote on these proposed issues at the meetings. Other than the yearly town meetings, there are consistently other community meetings taking place. For example the school committee will meet, and the PTO board will have meetings. There are just a plethora of ways to get involved. This is giving residents of the community a chance to be heard, and get issues resolved. This shows community power, and resilience.

It is found that most of the community is represented at these meetings, no one really feels unheard. It is small community of people, making it much easier to be heard and to get things done.

One community based organization that really is necessary for political capital in Westwood, is the newly founded WESTCAT. WESTCAT streams videos publicly of all town meetings and events important to Westwood residents, and allows them to stream it easily from their home. This is making public political events much more accessible to those with busier schedules or kids, that cannot always make the town meetings.