Candidate at a glance

NEW BEDFORD RESIDENCY
Lived in the city for 36 years (my whole life)
WORK:
Director of business development at the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce. In my current role at the OSC Chamber, I oversee all membership recruitment, retention, marketing and public outreach for the second-largest chamber of commerce in Massachusetts. I also direct any and all business development for our small- to medium-sized businesses within the chamber’s network (help with their business plans, hiring/workforce needs, and marketing strategies).
ENDORSEMENT:
New Bedford Firefighters Local 841, Construction & General Laborers’ Union Local No. 385, Carpenters Local Union 330, and the Greater New Bedford Educator’s Union
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK PAGE

Q&A
Ian Abreu

Tell us briefly about your qualifications and why you are running.

I am running for re-election as your councilor at-large because I believe, given my extensive background and record of success in public policy advocacy areas such as: infrastructure, public safety, economic development and constituent/taxpayer services, more work lies ahead of us as a community; and it’s a mission I am fully committed to. 

Amid rising home prices and escalating monthly rents, what can New Bedford do to ensure there is enough affordable housing for those who want to continue living in the city?

Anytime a developer proposes new market-rate housing opportunities, we must always hold the line and ensure that affordable housing be a part of that new infusion of housing stock. I have no problem with market-rate housing units in our community, but I personally would have great hesitation in supporting new developments that did not include affordable and equitable housing for those who already live here.

Police and fire departments recently shifted staff and consolidated operations in a new public safety station in the city’s South End. Is there still adequate public safety across the city? How will you work to keep the neighborhoods safe?

The men and women of our Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Departments have my support, and I have seen first-hand how difficult their jobs are. There are certain gaps here in our city that could use more adequate public safety coverage — like in our downtown (where the police station is slated to close), and at our North End police station where the desk officer has been removed. These types of decisions, in my view, have created a vacuum for some illicit and illegal activities in our city. Working with our police chief to further develop a more concrete community policing model in light of these closures is the best route forward.  

New Bedford has a higher rate of COVID-19 than the state average, along with a lower vaccination rate. Are you in favor of mandatory vaccines for public employees as announced by Mayor Jon Mitchell? If not, what would you do to make New Bedford residents safer?

I would support mandatory vaccines for public employees only if there was a weekly COVID-19 testing option for those who do not wish to become vaccinated. I believe in the science. I am fully vaccinated, as is my entire family — but I do believe in the rights and liberties of each individual to decide what is best for their own bodies. I fully acknowledge that becoming vaccinated is in no way the panacea in abating this global pandemic, either, but it is certainly a “tool” in our public health department’s “tool belt” in slowing the transmission.


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