The Two Opponents of the Mayoral Election Both Want to Make Malden a Better Place

As the year comes to a close, the spotlight will be on the race for the Mayor of Malden. Both candidates, incumbent Mayor Gary Christenson and Lissette Alvarado, who was a White House staffer under the Obama administration, have an astounding affinity for progression in the City of Malden and for its people. Here are their ideas.

Christenson, throughout his 12 years as Mayor, has made it a crucial point to ‘work together’ as best the city and its people can. Mayor Christenson believes the actions taken by him and his team in City Hall to combat gentrification issues in the future will prove successful, most notably with the recent affordable housing strategies that are now set in place such as an inclusionary zoning ordinance which was proposed and supported by the City Council. The ordinance states that any developer building a project with eight or more units sets aside 15% of said units. The city has also partnered up with Housing Families, Inc. to create an Office of Housing Stability to help those being evicted or who are behind on rent. 

Mayor Gary Christenson holding his campaign sign. From Mayor Gary Christenson’s Instagram page.

Christenson’s opponent, Alvarado, gave insight into what her vision for the city is should she be elected the next Mayor of Malden. Alvarado plans on making sure Malden is more inclusive. She believes that there is more work that needs to be done in Malden. One of the first things on her list is creating an office of public engagement, which is a construct she picked up working within the White House to be in constant contact with different groups and demographics around the city, fostering constant conversations to help those in need if need be. 

Lissette Alvarado, the opponent of Gary Christenson, holding a mayor’s office envelope. Photo from Lissette Alvarado’s Facebook page.

Both candidates believe in patching teacher-district relations, and both start with one major crucial factor: communication. Christenson believes every disagreement can be solved if we just come together and talk it out. Alvarado believes that her new relations with 110 Pleasant Street will help restore the bridges that were burned. As she stated, “It’s not going to be easy because of the break that the strike caused. We lost a lot of trust. Parents lost trust, teachers lost trust in the administration, and we must fight to work to rebuild that trust so that we once had and come towards the best solutions for all of our kids.” 

The two both have some notable things that should be mentioned. Christenson stated, “I’m hard-working, hard-charging and I’ll never stop doing the work here that I am so passionate about. The day I stop is the day I’m done unless the voters say that ahead of time.” Christenson affirmed that he is “very grateful for the support and I think it proves that hard work and dedication are the keys to success. I don’t think you would have seen that if we had taken some days off during the past 12 years.”

Additionally, Alvarado grew up in Chicago in a mixed neighborhood. She stated she was very grateful to obtain a scholarship to a Catholic high school, which reminds her of Malden’s very own Malden Catholic. She believes that opportunity opened many doors that brought new opportunities. 


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