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WHY I'M RUNNING:
When my father immigrated to Cambridge from China in 1969, what he found here was so special that he became determined to instill in me an appreciation for the same. With occasional trips to visit relatives in China to compare my life to theirs, he showed me the importance of a community that governs for the future, catches people when they fall, and helps people create a better life for their children. I soon realized the dual nature of democracy - giving us on the one hand freedom, but on the other the responsibility to participate in shaping our government.
It was with that sense of responsibility that I ran for City Council after leaving the innovation economy in Kendall Square. For the past four years, I have worked tirelessly to realize these ideals for our community, earning a reputation as the hardest working City Councillor by passing the most legislation and proactively responding to every resident. Together, we've tackled challenging issues and worked collaboratively to improve our community. For more on my background and legislative victories, please visit my website at http://www.LelandCheung.com, email me at Leland@ElectLeland.org, or call my cell at (617) 444-9080.
As a new father, it is clearer to me now than ever that we all face the same questions my father faced when he first move here. How do we pass on our values through education, experience and example? How do we ensure that Cambridge continues to exemplify my belief that government can be a force for good and that, by working together, we can solve problems today and lay plans for a better future? Collectively, the choices we individually make define us, define our community, and define the world as it will be. Together, we've accomplished a lot, but the work isn't over yet. By voting Leland Cheung #1, you are sending a message that you want a responsive, innovative, and collaborative City Council who will never stop raising the bar for us and our children.
The son of immigrants, Leland developed a deep appreciation for American values and the importance community participation. Guided by these principles, he ran for office on the platform of strengthening the community and creating opportunities for the next generation. Leland carries out these beliefs as he advocates for job growth, government transparency and affordable housing across Cambridge each and every day.
Leland was first elected in while pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before assuming his role as City Councillor, Leland worked as a Senior Associate at Masthead Partners, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm focusing on digital media, mobile, and internet infrastructure. He has used this background to guide his efforts on the City Council, and is currently the chair of the Cable TV, Telecommunications & Public Utilities Commission as well as the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee.
Throughout his tenure on the Cambridge City Council, Leland has remained committed to maintaining a style of progressive and innovative leadership that is akin to the moral, cultural, and intellectual climate of the surrounding community. As City Councillor, Leland has worked to preserve Cambridge's culture of entrepreneurship by facilitating an open dialogue between local businesses and community members throughout the development of Kendall and Central Squares. He has fought to maintain Cambridge's long history of promoting justice and equality by supporting measures to expand the rights of women, immigrants, and LGBT members of the community. He has partnered with local innovators to make municipal data more readily available to the residents of Cambridge through mobile applications. Most importantly, he has worked to ensure that the City of Cambridge is built on a foundation of community input – one that listens to the suggestions, criticism, ideas, and beliefs of its constituents.
Leland currently lives in Cambridge with his wife Yin and their newborn daughter, Lela. He can be seen commuting around Cambridge on a homemade electric scooter.
TOP PRIORITIES AND ISSUES:
Regional Collaboration: For the first time in decades, the City of Boston will have a new mayor. When I chaired the first-ever joint meeting between the Boston and Cambridge City Councils, some of my colleagues scoffed – now, they're realizing the foresight of my actions. A new mayor in Boston brings the prospect of collaborating to tackle regional issues, including transportation, housing, municipal broadband, the fight against climate change, job creation, and more. I want to build on what we've begun to create a working relationship that could benefit Cambridge and the rest of our region immensely.
ON THE ISSUES:
Safeguarding Affordable Housing: As a new father growing my family in Cambridge, I recognize the importance of protecting the unique spirit that lies within our community – we're a large, diverse city with a small town feel. It is essential that we maintain affordable housing options so that residents of all ages and walks of life are able to call our community home. During my time in office, I have prioritized reducing the foreclosure rate, stabilizing the housing market, and increasing the amount of affordable housing available throughout our City by:
To learn more about my views about keeping housing affordable, visit my website.
Sustainability: Promoting an eco-friendly way of life is the key to ensuring our community is both healthful and sustainable. We only have one environment, and I took steps throughout my time in office to preserve our surroundings by investing in parks, hybrid taxis, and open spaces to maintain our community feel. I led the policy initiative to develop a curbside composting program to reduce waste, cut down on greenhouse gases, and delay the need for new landfills. This year, I've also led the charge in urging Cambridge investors and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to divest from fossil fuel companies by testifying at the State House, urging Harvard University to revaluate their portfolio, and bringing stakeholders from the Cambridge Retirement Board to the table to discuss plans for the future. Other environmental initiatives I've spearheaded include:
To learn more about my past work making Cambridge more sustainable, visit my website.
Public Safety: Nothing is more important than ensuring that the streets of our city are places across which our children, family members, and neighbors feel safe to walk. By working collaboratively with the Cambridge Police Department, I have pioneered a variety of safety measures to ensure that our community is secure and informed going forward, including:
For more information about my past efforts to make Cambridge safer, visit my website.
Creating Jobs and Growing the Economy: During my time in office, I have been proud to lead several initiatives to pave the way for local economic growth with a focus on creating and sustaining jobs. I have worked to make Cambridge more business friendly by reevaluating out-of-date laws that hinder business growth, worked behind the scenes to keep companies like Novartis in the City, and partnering with Boston City Councilors to hold the first ever joint meetings on the topics of economic development and talent retention. Prior to joining the Council, I worked as a venture capitalist in Cambridge investing in startup companies and know what it takes to grow businesses in the City. Some of my accomplishments include:
To learn more about my efforts to grow our economy, visit my website.
Protecting Cambridge's Workers: Throughout my tenure on the Cambridge City Council, I have been proud to stand with the working men and women of Cambridge as partner and advocate. Whether it be repeatedly insisting on the use of union labor on all projects undertaken by the City, leading by example by vocally supporting labor agreements and prevailing wages on all initiatives, or steadfastly fighting against institutions that have tried to dismantle unions, circumvent labor agreements, or unnecessarily lay off employees, I am proud to work on behalf of labor each and every day. Most recently, I have:
To learn more about how I've protected the working men and women of Cambridge, visit my website.
Keeping City Hall Honest: I believe that transparency in City Hall is necessary to foster trust in government. Building on this mission, I introduced a 'Good Government' rules change requiring the City Council to publicly post any new City Manager's contract before it is voting on – before, it was approved simply as a motion on the floor. In order to make the City website accessible to residents with disabilities, I developed a live-streaming video of Council meetings on the City website that works with all – not just some – computers. I introduced a non-emergency phone line (311) pilot that connects residents to the services to they need more efficiently. I am currently using online tools to crowd-source an open data ordinance, allowing the public to take a hands-on approach in the lawmaking process, working with neighborhood associations to create new procedures to better connect them to City Hall, and continuing to introduce good government rules changes to make our community feel at home at City Hall and connect them to it via technology. I apply the same rule of transparency to myself, and encourage residents to call my cell phone if they have questions or concerns about items that are before the Council.
For more information about how I've opened City Hall to residents, visit my website.
What is your vision for Central Square over the next decade?
Furthermore, I have been instrumental in supporting non-zoning changes that were suggested by the C2 Committee, including developing a business improvement district, allowing existing retailers to engage in outdoor sidewalk vending options, and more effectively utilizing the space to allow for interaction. Going forward, I believe it is essential that we respect and follow through on the community input provided by the C2 Committee. As chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee, I am hosting a series of committee meetings commencing on October 16 to eliminate homelessness in Central and Harvard Squares without pushing those in need to other neighborhoods or cities. In ten years, my ideal Central Square would preserve its quirky and unique personality while allowing for increased housing, more local businesses, and a safer outside environment. To learn more, visit my website.
Investing in Parking and Transportation – Cambridge is the fifth most densely populated city in America and the second most densely populated city in Massachusetts. The large number of cars, buses, bikes and trucks are equally matched by the number of pedestrians who walk the sidewalks. Throughout my short tenure on the Council, I have repeatedly committed to investing in infrastructure, ensuring that drivers, walkers and bikers can get to their destinations safely, including:
• Bringing the Hubway bikesharing program to Cambridge to provide residents with a cost-effective and sustainable way to traverse the City;
• Fighting to reduce congestion, speeding, and crowding of parking on our streets;
• Spearheading safety initiatives to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers including state-of-the-art truck side guards, pylons, and heightened police enforcement.
• Urging the Traffic Department to grant the benefit of doubt to residents who had parking violations due to unavoidable circumstances;
To learn more about my efforts to improve infrastructure, visit my website.
To learn more about me and the issues I care about, please take a moment to visit my website at http://www.LelandCheung.com. I am always looking for eager volunteers to join my campaign and appreciate additional support. Take the first step and sign up today. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will join me on Election Day to make Cambridge #1!
CCTV candidate video (2013)
|Page last updated Monday, October 7, 2013 10:07 PM||Cambridge Candidates|