The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jessica Sizer '20 Elected to Palmer Town Council

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

People often compare Jessica Sizer '20 to the main character of the popular TV show Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope. In the show, Knope is tireless and optimsitic as she climbs the ladder of public service from thankless municipal worker to federal dynamo. The comparison is indisputable; Sizer, barely a month removed from graduation, won an at-large seat on the Palmer Town Council on Tuesday, June 11. Sizer received 514 votes to incumbent Mary Salzmann's 132.

"I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I’ve received from not only voters in the Town of Palmer, but my community at UMass and the network I’ve gained over the years as a young professional," said Sizer. "With the voter turnout rate being higher than expected, I see there is a vested interest in the wellbeing of our community and the voters looked energized and excited."

The election marks the latest step in Sizer's rise through the ranks. As an undergraduate, the political science major interned during the 2017–2018 academic year for the Palmer Town Manager and Executive Assistant. She participated in the SBS in DC program—a 10-week internship in and around Capitol Hill—and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), both of which gave her first-hand experience on how government functions at the local level up through the federal level. In addition, she'll draw on her time in the classroom where she learned the value of effective communication, data analysis, and policy interpretation.

"Seeing civic engagement on a local level is personally exciting for me and I look forward to hopefully continuing that energy throughout my term," said Sizer. "As a member of Palmer’s Town Council, I will focus my attention on economic and workforce development, East-West rail, community engagement and more."

As Palmer's latest Councilor, Sizer will also continue her studies in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, where she plans to close in on her ultimate goal: to become a town manager.

- By Nick DeLuca, Communications Manager