Plinio Degoes Jr., Esq., Ph.D., is a member of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts and their candidate for Cambridge City Council. He is an immigrant from Brazil who earned a doctorate from Harvard in Romance Languages and Literatures and taught courses about his native country at Harvard. He worked in Brazil as an assistant to the secretary of education of a municipality after graduating from Emory Law School. While at Emory Law, Plinio volunteered under the Third Year Practice Act to represent victims of domestic violence obtaining restraining orders. While earning his undergraduate at the University of Michigan in political science, he interned with the Green Party in Ventura, California, and volunteered for Ralph Nader's campaign. He is a husband and father.
C. Immigration issues
Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density
Mr. Degoes supports a linkage fee of $24.30 to be put into effect immediately with proceeds going to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, with the possibility of exploring an even higher linkage fee because Mr. Degoes disputes the methodology used in the Karl F. Seidman Consulting Services Nexus Study. Mr. Degoes also supports increasing commercial and residential property taxes and dedicating additional revenue to affordable housing in the form of rent supplements for long-term residents facing gentrification. He also supports inclusionary zoning at a higher percentage.
Economic Development and Commerce
The desirability of economic development must be balanced against the need for affordable housing. With regards to new, non-residential developments of more than 30,000 ft., Mr. Degoes supports a $24.30 linkage fee.
Mr. Degoes supports higher property and commercial property taxes and linkage fees in order to better fund affordable housing, favoring rent supplement vouchers. See Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density above.
Energy, the Environment, and Public Health
Mr. Degoes is happy that the City Council has moved in the direction of converting city vehicles to electric and in the direction of implementing net zero. He favors a comprehensive bicycle initiative, but he also favors a monthly day without a car (with only public transportation and emergency vehicles), rooftop gardens on public buildings, encouraging solar panels, and increasing the number of charging stations for electric cars and recycling bins. He supports the acts of civil disobedience which were carried out in opposition to building at Silver Maple Forest.
Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
Mr. Degoes understands that focusing on bicycle use may result in increased congestion but believes that undertaking the challenges of climate change require such a move. He opposes building new parking lots and believes the city should improve public transportation.
Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
Cambridge has one arborist and it should have more than one. The city should have urban rooftop gardens in public buildings, a better bicycle infrastructure, and explore possibilities to stop development which could affect existing green space. The city should also invest in healthy food pantries, to help existing pantries with storage and also to provide aide to allow these pantries to provide low-caloric, nutritious, vegetarian options (which would help the city show that it is serious about climate change).
Mr. Degoes favors higher linkage fees and higher property taxes as well as some borrowing in order to fund affordable housing goals. The city must take measures to rebuild the middle class.
Quality of Life and Public Safety
The biggest threat to public safety is nuclear weapons and, in 1983, Cambridge almost banned nuclear weapons research but Draper Labs is still conducting research into nuclear weapons guidance systems. As opposed to demonizing immigrants, Mr. Degoes supports municipal IDs for the undocumented as well as representation in city government for the undocumented. He supports police wearing body cameras and community police practices, as well as additional services to the homeless. In terms of quality of life, he supports additional testing of water in culverts and action to address elevated levels of sodium and chloride.
CCTV candidate video (2015)