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Recently, Richard has organized and facilitated two community wide conversations in the area of justice – Civil Rights: Policing, Discretion and Race, and Not Guilty, a forum that examined police conduct in the Eurie Stamps and DJ Henry incidents. Richard is a proud recipient of the NAACP Education Excellence Award and the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award.
As a School Committee member, Richard’s bold, effective leadership included serving as Vice-Chair and co-chairing the Budget Committee and Contract Negotiations. Richard has co-chaired the Kids Council and brought his leadership to the Neighborhood Safety Task Force’s Employment Sub-Committee. Richard currently runs the Men of Color Health Initiative and is a program consultant to the job training program, CambridgeWorks. Richard attended the Kennedy Elementary school, received his high school diploma from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and is a graduate of Fitchburg State College. His daughter is a 2015 graduate of the Cambridge Public Schools.
Housing (in general) and Affordable Housing (in particular) – priorities, plans, proposals
The attack on and degradation of working families is unacceptable, some of our policies exacerbate the problems these families are facing and we have to find ways to support working families. We need creative solutions for affordable and low income housing with a clear understanding of who we are trying to serve – both low income residents and middle income families. With over 3000 people waiting on a stagnant housing list, we have to be proactive in increasing the number of affordable units.
Many of the projects that have been pushed through have needed relief through special permits and variances. This relief should come with benefits for the neighborhoods and community residents. The city must have the goal of building more family friendly affordable housing within the inclusionary housing and not micro units. We cannot allow developers to exploit this loophole.
We need to explore raising the inclusionary zoning guidelines to 25% within certain parameters and ensure that qualifying units are family sized and not micro units. We must find ways to work with developers such as those in the North Point, Alewife and Volpe projects to create more affordable housing and still use our values to determine what is needed and connect these projects on the periphery to the community.
Another idea is to increase the tax incentives/relief for neighborhood friendly affordable housing such as PortLanding and Immaculate Conception. Vail court needs to be an opportunity to see these policies, our community values and the need for affordable housing working together.
Economic Development and Retail Viability
One idea to support retail viability is to pilot a 4 am license for a small number of current license holder in the squares. With the advent of the Winn Casino in Everett, local businesses will feel the pinch of having a dining and entertainment juggernaut in the area. For Cambridge to compete as a world class city it must have the amenities and possibilities this would provide. This pilot program would allow us to test the pros and cons of the changes to our entertainment and dining zones.
Income Inequality, Economic Opportunity
To address the income inequality gap, we must:
We must not criminalize poverty. We must continue to support the safety net services that provide families with what they need. We must continue to support our food pantries and specifically we must support programs that help to alleviate homelessness, especially those that service individuals with substance abuse issues and those in recovery.
I would work to bring back the extended T hours. This is good for residents who work late nights, many of our families are supported by late second shift and third shift workers who cannot find economical ways to get to and from work. It will also support local small business, who have been challenged to find people to work night time shifts as employees are not able to get home from work in a safe and affordable manner.
Human Rights, Civic Unity, Diversity
I stand firm in my support of Cambridge’s stance on protecting our members who are under attack by the Trump regime which has attempted to divide our community with an agenda that supports and advances xenophobia. Cambridge must support all of our people with the clear fact that they are all a part of the fabric that creates our community. Cambridge is great but is not immune from the policies at the national and state level, we must proactively seek justice for all of our residents.
Having a young daughter, I understand the blatant inequality around pay that women face, there is still not equal pay for equal work. Currently white women make 77 cents on the dollar, black women make 63 cents on the dollar and Latina women 55 cents compared to their white male counterparts. It is an indictment on the city if we cannot level the playing field and eradicate this disparity. We need to examine and fix the gender pay gap as more women are becoming the breadwinners in their households and we know that those households with children are disproportionally disadvantaged by this pay gap.
We need to make sure that there are open and transparent processes in hiring for city jobs. Far too many times good candidates who happened to be women and people of color have been passed over, we must examine this to ensure we have a diverse, talented workforce. I am particularly concerned with fire and safety jobs, where Cambridge people are being shut out. The pressures of affordability are leading to our families and younger residents having to leave the city due to high housing costs. I plan to propose an extension of the residency eligibility for public safety jobs for 10 years such that those who have lived, learned and spent their most formative years in Cambridge, who have deep ties to the community and are invested in it, can serve and protect it.
CCTV candidate video (2017)
|Page last updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 9:30 AM||Cambridge Candidates|