Mayor Setti Warren is an Iraq War veteran and two-term mayor of Newton who has spent his life in public service. A graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, Setti worked in the Clinton White House and in John Kerry’s U.S. Senate office. In 2003, Setti went to work for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, where he met his wife Tassy on the campaign trail.
Setti’s parents, Joe and Elpidia, were born into two rough neighborhoods in New York City. Joe enlisted in the Air Force, serving in the Korean War while sending money home to his mother and brother. After he returned home, he and Elpidia moved down to Greensboro to attend North Carolina A&T University. While attending college at the height of the civil rights movement, they joined the effort to desegregate lunch counters and movie theaters. Inspired by his father’s military service and work during the civil rights movement, Setti enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves after 9/11, serving for nine years. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq as a Naval Intelligence Specialist.
After returning from Iraq, Setti decided to run for mayor of his hometown. When he took office, Newton was in the midst of a financial crisis. The city was facing a $40 million projected deficit and an empty rainy day fund. Setti worked closely with unions and community members to create a balanced budget without sacrificing vital services that residents depended on. Today, the city is one of a few select municipalities to earn two AAA bond ratings and has a rainy day fund approaching $20 million. While under Setti’s leadership, Newton’s innovation-based economy has been reinvigorated. The city has slashed its carbon footprint while investing in housing, transportation, and infrastructure projects that reduce inequality and strengthen the community.
A lifelong resident of Newton, Setti lives with his wife Tassy and their two young kids, Abigail and John, in the home where he grew up.