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Jodi Murphy campaign pic 2019

Jodi Murphy

Mayoral Candidate 2019

“I am committed to Westwood’s progress.  My vision is to bring Westwood to the future through sustainable measures while still maintaining the small town feel, and preserving the rich history, that we all know and love.  I thank you in advance for your support and I am looking forward to meeting every resident in Westwood!”

- Jodi Murphy

Third generation Westwood resident Jodi Murphy is currently serving as Councilwoman for the Borough of Westwood.  Prior to that she was a long time volunteer for the Westwood Recreation Advisory Board, and assistant in the Recreation Department where she started the award winning Forever Young newsletter highlighting the programs implemented by the recreation director.  In addition she is the co-coordinator for the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign earning Westwood a Healthy Town designation each year she has served.  Murphy is the former assistant program manager for Westwood for All Ages, and continues to work hard for Westwood’s older residents.  Most recently she secured a grant from AARP to provide public seating in the central business district, as well as being an integral part in earning Westwood an Age Friendly Community designation from AARP.  When looking at the field of applicants for both the grant and the age friendly designation, it is truly an accomplishment to be one of the few communities recognized nationwide.  Murphy also served as a volunteer for Westwood’s Green Team, and is currently the Council Liaison to the Team.  She is also embarking on the second year of her PTO co-presidency at Brookside School.

Recently Murphy has been accepted in to the Bergen LEADS program where she will be part of the class of 2020.

Murphy’s volunteering has extended beyond Westwood.  She has been actively involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT) both as a participant and a coach.  During her tenure with TNT she raised over $30K by running in various marathons and half marathons including the NYC Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon and the 48.6 mile Dopey Challenge at Disney.  Murphy has also fostered dogs for Eleventh Hour Rescue, and currently has three rescue dogs.  Presently she is assisting Alumni in Recovery in planning and implementing their first annual Walk to Remember, an event to raise awareness, increase prevention and end the stigma surrounding those in recovery.

Murphy graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in education from New York University, where she was honored to be a recipient of the Founder’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Murphy resides in Westwood with her eight year old son, Cooper.


Lea Simone campaign photo 2019

Lea Simone

Council Candidate 2019

"I want the vibrant heartbeat of community, a great education for our child, a thriving business district and a town that is affordable so that this can truly be the forever home for every resident. I want fiscal accountability and responsibility, but I also want to continue, build upon, and best utilize the services we do have that benefit so many people. I want the roots laid here to never be severed because of the cost of living or lack of services. I want to be a part of the conversation and I want needs and concerns to be heard. I want the conversations to shift toward swift action."

Westwood resident Lea Simone is a veteran educator of 18 years working currently at the middle school level. Prior to that she was a high school teacher in WWRSD, where she ran the literary magazine and the yearly Coffee House, showcasing student writers, artists and musicians. She also worked with People to People International during this time and led student ambassadors on an educational, cultural and humanitarian trip to the South Pacific. She has also been involved in event planning and established The Pier Sessions for the city of Hoboken on the Hudson which featured live music, local vendors and food trucks bringing the community together for weekly events for four months a year for 3 years. Joining with the Doctor Atlas Foundation and several local businesses for a donation match, she was able to raise $5000 for the Hoboken Homeless Shelter. She was awarded Outstanding Scene Contributor two years in a row for her efforts in the city. 

Lea has been actively engaged in the Westwood Green Team, developing initiatives that will benefit Westwood for years to come.  Recently, she and the Green Team hosted a Green Screen at the Westwood Community Center featuring A Plastic Ocean with a speaker from the Norwalk Aquarium, as well as student art. This is just the first of many Green Screen events to promote environmental awareness. She has also been working with Sustainable New Jersey and the Green Team on the re-certification process and is currently working on a website for the team. She also has a working relationship with other Green Teams in the area in order to provide more to Westwood.

She is also a member of the Creative Team and was a member of the Celebrate Westwood Committee. For this role, she reached out to businesses for sponsorships and secured $2000 for the event. She also contributed the initial idea for the community quilt, helped to promote the celebration, and volunteered along with her husband at the culminating event.

Lea is also a volunteer at her daughter’s school for many events, was a class mom, and is a chair for the Brookside Bash, which brought in $16,000 for the 2019 year which was the first year she was chair. She is returning as chair again for the 2019-2020 year. She is also is a chair for Art to Remember and worked closely with the art teacher to prepare the art show. 

Lea currently resides in Westwood with her husband Erik, and their 8-year old daughter, Hayden.

Iraj Hastings campaign photo 2019

Iraj Hastings

Council Candidate 2019

"I am extremely humbled to be representing the Democratic Party as a candidate for Westwood’s Council.  My wife, Michele, and I moved to Westwood in 2007 looking for a community to raise our daughters, Claudia and Sarah, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Westwood’s residents, services, schools, parks and business district provide a perfect environment for our family and I would be honored to serve the community as councilman."

As councilman, I want to make sure Westwood is a place that families can stay for generations.  To do that, I plan to focus on making Westwood as affordable as possible for its residents by maintaining fiscal responsibility and promoting a vibrant business district.  I want to work with the Board of Education to provide programs that give our children the best chance to succeed. I want to work with our emergency services and DPW to keep all Westwood residents safe.  And finally, I want to enhance the community feel by finding activities and outreach programs to engage citizens.

I have been fortunate to take advantage of Westwood’s amazing community, playing in the men’s softball league, playing and marching with the Westwood Community Band, acting as a coach and board member for Westwood Softball and watching my girls grow through the school system.  And now, I want to use my experiences and training to make Westwood a place we all want to stay.  Thank you.

Election Day is November 5, 2019

Voter Registration

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