tristan law portsmouth city council

Candidate Survey: Tristan Law

News, Portsmouth Voters Guide
Portsmouth City Council candidate Tristan Law answers questions on local issues

For information on polling hours, voting locations, voter registration, and more, contact the city clerk’s office.

Name: Tristan Law

Age: 35

Occupation: talent buyer / promoter of rock and roll music

Years living in Portsmouth: gosh, 14?

Public service experience: Portsmouth Taxi Commission

Q1: What can the city do to increase its supply of affordable housing?

Vote for Rebecca Perkins and let Craig Welch work his magic! They’re both two incredible leaders on the subject in this community and have done great work in the pursuit of affordable housing. Unfortunately, there’s not one panacea for this issue; we’ll have to build some higher-density units, we’ll also have to reimagine zoning — can that 2,000-square-foot house become four 500-foot units? Can you turn your garage into an apartment? Encourage people to rent their extra space long term vs. turning them into Airbnbs.

Also, let’s look at what is “attainable” housing and ask those questions. One of the reasons I’m able to afford my rent is because I forgo the car and the payments that accompany. Granted, I’m lucky in that I can walk to work.

Last, we can’t just think of the city as an island; we have to think of Portsmouth as part of a greater ecosystem within the surrounding towns and work with them to provide safe and reliable public transit for those that have left but still work within the community.

Q2: Are there specific areas in the city budget where you think spending cuts can be made? Are there specific areas where you think spending should be increased?

Sure, I imagine there’s more than a few places we could trim a little fat, though I’m always going to support measures that help our weakest citizens, be it making sure a kid has a full belly every day or that the homeless have proper shelter or that the elderly have the care they need.

Q3: Do you support a citywide ban on single-use disposables such as plastic bags, plastic straws, and Styrofoam containers?

Yeah, I do. I think in years we’ll look back and wonder what took us so long.

Q4: Regarding the McIntyre redevelopment project:

     A) Do you support the Redgate/Kane plan?

I appreciate the process! They certainly submitted a plan that checks off a lot of boxes, and, the pictures are nice, but the whole thing leaves me feeling a little “meh.” This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity; I feel like we should be able to come up with something better than an outdoor mall.

     B) Do you think the Council should step back and consider other plans, such as the one put forth by Bill Binnie?

I’d like to think we could honor the agreement and work with R/K to come up with something our kids will be proud of, maybe even think is “cool.”

Q5: What can be done to clean up and prevent PFAS contamination and other chemical contaminants on the Seacoast?

I don’t often agree with the governor, but I’m 100 percent behind the lawsuits filed to hold the companies responsible for the manufacture and dissemination of these chemicals and the cost of their recovery. I would support a ban on their usage.

Q6: Do you feel that development in Portsmouth — particularly of luxury condos, hotels, and other large-scale buildings — should be curtailed?

Yeah. Unless, of course, it’s high-density housing.

Q7: What are your feelings on the idea of building a permanent covered stage in Prescott Park for festival events?

It’s terrible to have your fortunes based on something as fickle as the weather (especially in New England) and I wish PPAF all the success in the world. Having a bigger footprint gives me pause and I believe there’s a way to protect the stage without a big build.

Q8: Should the city add more bike lanes and/or take other measures to improve bicycle safety and/or reduce motor-vehicle traffic downtown?


Q9: Are there any significant projects that should be undertaken outside of the downtown area and Islington Street corridor?

I would love to see Lafayette become more walk/bikeable. Tried to ride my bike out to the post office and that was about the scariest thing I’ve ever done.

Q10: At times this summer, there were road closures on Islington Street, Woodbury Avenue (by the traffic circle), Maplewood Avenue, and other roads all at once. Is there a way to reduce the heavy concentration of road work that creates detours and traffic congestion in the summer?

Feels like a map should be consulted. Also, it’s summer! Let’s get people walking, biking, and using public transit!

Q11: What actions should be taken at the city level to address climate change?

Oh, lots of stuff. We’re sticking with the Paris Climate Agreement, yeah? So let’s actually do it. Move off of the wood chips at Schiller to wind or hydropower. Let people power their homes by solar — heck, even mandate it. New construction should be carbon neutral. No more concrete. Get people to ditch their cars and walk/bike/take the bus. It’ll take some serious political will to get it done, but I believe it’s doable. Gosh, it has to be by 2050 so I sure hope it is.

Q12: Name one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest opportunities Portsmouth will face in the next 10 to 20 years.

Probably sound like a broken record by this point, but I think getting people to ditch their cars and embrace the walking/biking/bus lifestyle will be the greatest challenge and our biggest opportunity. Going car-free will require people to sacrifice the convenience we’ve grown so accustomed to, but will ameliorate so many issues. No more parking problems, no congested streets, cleaner air, safer roads, healthier citizens, smarter kids… Should I keep going?

BONUS: What are you gonna be for Halloween?


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Tristan Law

Peter Whelan

Paige Trace

Nancy Pearson

Rebecca Perkins Kwoka

Petra Huda

Ned Raynolds

Derek Nadeau

Paul M. Mannle

Deaglan McEachern

Jim Splaine

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