Joshua Ostroff


for Natick

Josh Ostroff for Board of Selectman



Personal and professional

  • Resident of Natick since 1988
  • Brandeis University, B.A. 1980
  • Outreach Director, Transportation for Massachusetts, statewide coalition supporting transportation funding/reform
  • Former President of Virtual Media Resources, a public health research company in Natick Center
  • Married to Jeanne Williamson Ostroff, artist and community relations specialist for the Stoughton Public Schools
  • Parent of Jonah Ostroff, PhD, university mathematics instructor, NHS class of 2004
  • Natick Education Foundation (former President)
  • The Center for Arts in Natick
  • Friends of the Senior Center
  • Natick Rotary Club
  • Natick Center Associates
  • Mass Audubon/Broadmoor

See also Community Achievements

Personal History

My family lives in a house on Erlandson Road (just north of the former gravel pit) that we bought when we moved to Natick in 1988, and have since renovated and expanded. Building on the problem-solving and public service skills I have used as a Selectman, I have changed careers to work professionally in an area of lifelong interest, transportation policy and innovations. 

My wife Jeanne Williamson Ostroff is an artist, public school communications professional, web designer, Town Meeting member, and a past member of the Community Senior Center Building Committee, Natick Housing Authority Board, and Council on Aging. Our son Jonah (NHS 2004, Carleton College BA 2008, Brandeis PhD 2013) is a mathematis instructor at the University of Washington in Seattle (sigh).

I am a native of Fall River, where my parents were born and raised, and have lived in Providence, Rehoboth, Brookline and New York City. My late father Earl was an insurance executive and a scholar in Mediterranean Studies (the ancient near east). My mother Elaine is a pioneering advocate, author, speaker and champion for people with disabilities; the founder of the Institute for Human Centered Design, and a future Natick resident.  She is currently a member of the Westport (MA) Planning Board and Commission on Disability.

Work experience

I am the Outreach Director for Transportation for Massachusetts, a statewide non-profit coalition that works for transportation funding and reform  to provide safe, affordable, sustainable transportation choices for all.  I performs similar work at the national level for Transportation for America, and work for smart growth policies and projects through LOCUS, a coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors that is part of Smart Growth America.

My professional background is in advertising media planning and research, including a ten years as a subcontractor for the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.  I have worked as a prep cook, deli man, busboy, hardware clerk, stationers deliverer, advertising intern, custodian, taxi driver, newspaper business manager, bicycle parts clerk and bike repair tech.  All good experience for understanding people from different walks of life.

Community (See also Achievements)

Like many who live here, not long after I moved to Natick, I started volunteering to help where I could, and to apply my skills and interests to serve our community. From direct experience I know that government works best for the people when the people work to improve government. The same is true for schools, non-profits, charities, sports leagues, etc. People must get involved, know what is going on and organize effectively if they want to change things for the better. 

Among the things I have been involved with are the Natick Education Foundation from 1993, the successful Middle School campaign in 2000, Town Meeting since 1998, the Pay-As-You-Throw program in 2003,, a community web site since 2002 that is now largely dormant, as well as various projects with the Natick Service Council, the Morse Institute Library, the Kennedy Senior Center, NHS and other public schools in Natick, the campaigns for a new Community Senior Center and High School, and much more while a member of the Board of Selectmen.

I am fortunate to have made some wonderful friendships in Natick with people of every generation and many walks of life.  I am inspired by our long time residents and by those who just got here. I love many things about our town, and for those that are not what they could be, my reaction has always been: what can we do to fix it? I have tried to bring that constructive approach to the Board of Selectmen.


Paid for by The Josh Ostroff Committee· PO Box 31, Natick MA 01760