David Contract for Westfield Town Council Ward 3
David Contract, like many of us, fell in love with Westfield while searching for a community to raise a growing family. “Valerie and I were struck by the welcoming people, the amazing restaurants and shops, the family-oriented atmosphere, and top-notch schools,” says David. “I’m running for Town Council, to represent Ward 3 and to make sure Westfield preserves that appeal for newcomers and longtime residents alike.”
David has already brought positive change to Westfield. Prompted by personal experience and health concerns, David spearheaded a smoking ban for downtown. He collected research on the dangers of secondhand smoke, talked to other residents, and presented his proposal to the Town Council. “I followed up repeatedly for over a year because I knew from talking to my neighbors this was an issue whose time had come,” David recalls. Last November, the Council adopted an outdoor cafe ordinance ensuring a smoke-free experience for residents, visitors and employees “It’s a reminder that each of us can make a difference,” explains David.
David’s wife, Valerie Latona, is also passionate about making a difference in Westfield. With David’s strong support, they together created Westfield’s Wall (of Love), at the corner of their property at Shackamaxon and Rahway. There are almost 300 hearts —written and designed by Westfield residents — on the Wall now, all about love and respect. David’s strategy for improving the Westfield community is rooted in bringing people together. “We wanted to enable people to engage in a positive open dialogue,” he explains. As Councilman, he’ll have an open-door policy for residents of Ward 3, be it in person, by phone, via e-mail or text. “If you have a concern,” says David, “let’s talk and do something about it.”
Listening to people’s needs and wants is what David does professionally as a marketer working on brands like Chips Ahoy!, Dr. Scholl’s, Milk-Bone, and NUK. “A key part of managing a brand is understanding what people want, and implementing solutions,” says David. “That’s what I’ll do if elected to Town Council.”
David and Valerie have three children, a seventh grader at Edison Intermediate School, a third grader at Tamaques Elementary School, and a preschooler. As an active volunteer in various Westfield sports activities, David officiates Westfield Y swim meets and has coached his son’s baseball and basketball teams. He and his family are members of the Unitarian Church in Summit, where David teaches religious school classes.
David graduated from Princeton University and received an MBA with Honors from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Valerie — the former Editor-in-Chief of Shape magazine — is a writer who covers healthy living, as well as an author, editor, and media consultant. David offers his passion and experience to address the challenges facing Westfield — specifically the future of downtown Westfield — while preserving what makes our town special.