Candidate Profile: Jody Santagate for Select Board
What sets Jody Santagate apart from other Select Board candidates, she says, is something that makes her similar to the voter base: being a “regular, every day person who lives in the community” who’s experienced many hardships.
“I am one of the candidates who have actually stood in line at the food pantry,” Santagate said. “I’ve gone to the soup kitchens for dinner. I bring a different perspective.”
She first ran for a seat on the board in 2020, with priorities like working with Wareham’s homeless population, promoting education about the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and improving the town budget.
Now, her top priorities include making the town’s processes more transparent, improving trust between officials and residents and having voters hold her accountable for her actions.
Santagate authored a citizen’s petition last fall to require many town entities to provide remote access to their meetings for citizens to watch and participate in from home. The petition was approved by the town’s voters and the Attorney General.
This spring, she’s submitted a citizen’s petition to celebrate either Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Native American Day instead of Columbus Day on the second Monday in October. That petition will be up for a vote at the Spring Town Meeting on Monday, April 25.
“There’s an opportunity to bring in new eyes, different perspectives,” Santagate said. “The world is changing. And it’s changing quickly.”
Santagate is also working with the Decas Steering Committee to determine the future of the old school building. An active participant in the Council on Aging, Santagate is invested in bringing the council and its activities for seniors to the property.
As a member of the Council on Aging’s board, she spends time at the council’s events for seniors, posting photos of bingo and chair volleyball on Facebook.
“I have good, strong relationships with the youth, with the elderly, the homeless,” Santagate said.
Santagate said she wants to continue the kind of meet-and-greets she’s held as a candidate if she’s elected to the Select Board. Meeting at a nearby Dunkin’s on a Saturday and chatting with constituents a couple times a month is the plan, she said.
“I want to be held accountable,” she said, adding that she wants residents to make sure she holds true to her plan of meeting with residents regularly. “As an elected official, I understand that I work for the people.”
Residents can find more information about Santagate on her campaign website, www.jodysantagate.com, or on her campaign Facebook page, “Santagate for Selectman.”