-Submitted by Gyasi Burks-Abbott
When Bopha Malone first ran for Select Board, she said that, if elected, she’d continue to have dialogue with voters. She wouldn’t be going door-to-door as she did so diligently during her campaign, but she’d host town halls and informal gatherings to keep the lines of communication open. Of course, COVID-19 changed all that. The day after Malone was elected to the Select Board, the Governor issued a stay-at-home order, eliminating any possibility of in-person get-togethers.
But Bopha Malone didn’t let that stop her. She collaborated with another elected official (the Planning Board’s Jacinda Barbehenn) and started Bedford Connect, a virtual town forum that has met regularly since the beginning of the Pandemic. Through Bedford Connect, Malone provided a measure of transparency about town government while also creating a space for the productive exchange of information and ideas between town residents. Bedford Connect also demonstrated Malone’s strengths as a leader: her community spirit and commitment to Bedford, her ability to work with others, and her agility in responding to crises and unexpected events.
Malone’s leadership helped guide Bedford during the Pandemic. But that’s not the only reason I support her. I’m also inspired by her vision for the future. Malone wants to bring people together to address the issues that affect us all. As she explains on her campaign website:
“I truly believe that we can overcome our differences and unite as a community…
It’s been one of my greatest honors to serve Bedford, especially during one of its most challenging times. I would love the opportunity to continue to serve and work with everyone to continue to make Bedford the best place to live, work, raise a family, and retire!”
Malone showed great promise as a candidate with her unique style of retail, pound-the-pavement campaigning; she kept her promise to stay engaged with voters once elected; and she rose to the occasion during a once-in-a-century global pandemic. I hope you’ll join me in casting a vote for Bopha Malone on March 11. She’s already contributed much to Bedford, and she’s ready to keep giving it her all as a member of the Select Board.
Burks-Abbott is a member of the Bedford Commission on Disability but is writing in his capacity as a private citizen.