|Abolish Involuntary Poverty In Cambridge Over The Next Five Years||Take A Stance|
|Cambridge Is Experiencing Serious Traffic Gridlock Morning And Evenings||Support Strongly|
|Campaign Finance Reform||Support|
|Community Walk And Bike Path Along The Grand Junction Railroad||Support Very Strongly|
|Investment In Our Public Schools||Support Very Strongly|
|Low And Medium Income Housing -- Increase In Density Or ....||Support Very Strongly|
|Low And Moderate Income Housing -- Inclusionary Zoning Results In 25% Affordable Housing.||Support Strongly|
|Net Zero Buildings||Support|
|One Year Moratorium On Construction To Study Impact Of Development On Livability.||Opposed|
|Plan E Charter||Support With Reservation|
|Privacy -- Police Public Safety Security Cameras||Opposed Very Strongly|
|Public Toilets On Cambridge Common||Take A Stance|
|Reject Dramatic Up-Zoning Changes In Central Square.||Opposed With Reservation|
|The Foundry||Support Strongly|
Candidate Info PARTICIPATING
Cambridge, MA 02139
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my campaign for Cambridge City Council. I’m running for City Council because I have lived in Cambridge all of my life, I’m raising my family here and after 8 years of being a leader on the School Committee, particularly for our most vulnerable children and families, I feel compelled to bring this experience and commitment to the broader range of challenges facing our city. With an open seat on the Council, I’ve been encouraged by family, friends and supporters to pursue this tremendous opportunity and I’m extremely excited about it, but I need your help. If elected, I will continue to put the good of the City and its residents ahead of personal or political gain. I will champion such issues as early childhood education, family friendly low and middle income affordable housing, continuing education and job training for young adults and supporting the thousands of Cambridge families struggling with poverty. For 20 years, I have worked as a social worker with at-risk children and their families. I have spent my professional life advocating and ensuring that our most vulnerable have a fair chance in our world. I have worked collaboratively with state agencies and non-profits and have spent my days solving problems to improve lives. With your help, I will bring these progressive values to the City Council.
Abolish Involuntary Poverty In Cambridge Over The Next Five Years
Take A Stance
Cambridge Is Experiencing Serious Traffic Gridlock Morning And Evenings
I support evaluating traffic and congestion city wide. The city needs to increase it’s resources to mitigating traffic congestion--which will include evaluating our transportation needs, continuing to aggressively promote alternative commuting, evaluate our development decisions in the context of transportation needs while also challenging the Legislature to do better in meeting our transportation and infrastructure needs.
Campaign Finance Reform
Community Walk And Bike Path Along The Grand Junction Railroad
Support Very Strongly
Open space is at a premium in Cambridge; in certain neighborhoods like East Cambridge, it is even more of an issue. I would absolutely look to fund this project.
Investment In Our Public Schools
Support Very Strongly
As the only candidate for City Council currently serving on the School Committee, I understand these issues better than anyone. The Council has an important role to play in supporting our schools, the problem is that they don't know what the role is. Instead of grilling the SC and Superintendent on what positions are hired or what curriculum is being taught, the Council should increase the number of city run pre-school programs so that every child in Cambridge has access to a high-quality, early childhood education. The Council should invest more resources in after-school programs and solve the digital divide that exists in our city. As School Committee budget co-chair three times, I believe that the current way we determine the school department budget is backwards. Currently, the City Manager gives the school department a dollar amount before any plan is developed; leaving the school department to fit their educational plan to a pre-determined number. I would like to see the school department develop a plan for what they need to improve the schools and then see if the we have the budget to pay for it.
Low And Medium Income Housing -- Increase In Density Or ....
Support Very Strongly
I remember when Cambridge was a city where teachers, fire fighters, police officers could buy a home and raise a family. We are no longer that city and that is a huge loss to us as a community. In a city as dense as Cambridge we will need to build more housing and that will mean building up. We need to increase the inclusionary Zoning that currently calls for 15% of any housing being build over 10 units to be affordable. We could raise that percentage to 20 or 25%. We need to broaden the definition of who qualifies for affordable housing so that more moderate/middle income family can qualify for assistance. We need to build on city owned land and ensure that we are preserving the current low income housing we have as more and more of it is expiring. This is one of, if not THE, most pressing issue facing our city. As a social worker who has dedicated his life to working with at-risk children and families, my work will be focused on these populations and ensuring that our most vulnerable are cared for in our city.
Low And Moderate Income Housing -- Inclusionary Zoning Results In 25% Affordable Housing.
I support working to increase the inclusionary housing higher than the current 15% and will be working with stake holders who share this goal. I would not feel comfortable committing to any % or set asides without a more informed discussion that included the affordable housing trust members, housing developers, and housing advocates. I am running for the city council because I have watched support for affordable housing on the council wane. This becomes even more of concern with the loss of two of the strongest affordable housing advocates on the council-Councilor Decker and Mayor Davis
Net Zero Buildings
I support the goal of Net Zero. I have stated that I would not support the Connolly Petition as filed, not because I don't believe in the goal, but because this is one groups idea of how to reach that goal. I applaud the filers of the petition because they forced a conversation we should be having, however, sometimes leadership is taking a step back, even when there is a great goal, and making sure that you are doing it correctly. I support the task force being set up by the City Manager that will include all stake holders, and through a carefully thought out process we will reach our goal.
One Year Moratorium On Construction To Study Impact Of Development On Livability.
I don’t support a moratorium because I don’t believe in shutting off possibilities. I think moratoriums and other imposed barriers tend to lead to less discussion not more. My opposition is not to having a broader plan for development, but to moratoriums in general.
Plan E Charter
Support With Reservation
I support plan E. I think its easy for people to say that it isn't working, but Cambridge is very well run. Its not plan E that isn't working, its councilors who don't know how to hold the City Manager accountable in a constructive way. Too often personality conflicts and in-fighting interfere with sound policy decisions. As a member of the School Committee, I have been able to hold the Superintendent accountable when I have felt it necessary, but do so in a way that allows for constructive conversation and relationship building that leads to positive outcomes. If the public is upset that Councilors aren't holding the Manager accountable or working constructively, then they have an opportunity to elect new leaders ever two years.
Privacy -- Police Public Safety Security Cameras
Opposed Very Strongly
I do not support the use of security cameras. What will make our community safer is improving our community policing; getting officers out of their cars and walking the neighborhoods. We also have many non-profits who employ social workers who work in the community getting to know the residents and young adults who are most often the victims and perpetrators of crime; the city should do this as well. We need to increase funding for our continuing education and job training programs to help move our young adults from street corners to jobs.
Public Toilets On Cambridge Common
Take A Stance
Reject Dramatic Up-Zoning Changes In Central Square.
Opposed With Reservation
If we are going to build more low and middle income housing in a city as dense as Cambridge it means that we will have to build up. The question then becomes how high "up". I will need to look closely at any plans to determine what makes sense for the neighborhood and what will bring the greatest number of low and middle income units. This is not a "yes" or "no" question, in my opinion. This will need to be looked at very carefully. I live in Central Sq. I was raised in Central Sq. I'm brining up my four children in Central Sq. I care as much about this neighborhood as anyone, but I also understand that if we are ever going to have more low and middle income housing it means will have to build more.
Politics is the only profession where people think experience is a negative. Would you ever go to a doctor who says, "I'm an outsider, I've never done this before. Let me operate on you." Of course you wouldn't. Politics is about building relationships, knowing how to collaborate and compromise and having institutional knowledge to get things done. I would support campaign finance reform, caps on campaign spending and public financing of campaigns to give more people a chance to run, but having an arbitrary number of terms is not the way to go.
Some Councilors are talking about selling the Foundry building. I believe the city should keep the building and use it for community use. I think there are many possible uses. The arts, an early childhood education center (which would include not only "one stop shopping" for families, but play space for children), non-profits, etc. With land and buildings at such a premium in Cambridge, we should not sell property lightly.