Janneke House

Janneke House
2013 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
12 Hilliard St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact information:
Tel: 617-299-6278
website: http://votehouse.org/
e-mail: votehouse1@gmail.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Jannekehouse
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JannekeHouseCampaign

Send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Janneke House
12 Hilliard Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

A final letter to Cambridge Voters:
Hello Friends,

We've done our work and it's in your hands.

I've knocked on over 15,000 doors  and asked 2,000 Cambridge residents personally for their #1 vote.  It's an old-style campaign for a new City Councilwoman.

I'm joining other Candidates, including my colleagues Nadeem Mazen and Dennis Carlone from "The Clean Slate", for a walk down Massachusetts Avenue on Monday November 4th, 2013. We'll gather at the Porter Square T around 3:00pm and leave at 3:15.  Around 2 hours later we'll end at Jill Brown-Rhone Park (intersection of Mass. and Main) in Central Square.  Please come and join us along the way!

I am proud to say I rent in Harvard Square, work in Kendall Square and shop in Central Square.  I am proud to have canvassed all of the diverse neighborhoods of Cambridge, not just my own.  I am proud of my tag line: "One House, One City".

I have promised you that I'll be a full-time, open and collaborative Councilwoman.  I have the qualifications to back that up: Degrees in City Planning, experience in constituent services and economic development, and I've shown with worn shoes and aching feet that I'll bring City Hall to the neighborhoods.

Please drop me a line if you'd like to help with donations or time.  I am extremely grateful to all of you who've helped so far.

Give your #1 vote this Tuesday November 5th to the candidate who will work hard for everyone in Cambridge.


Statement from campaign kickoff (July 14):

My name is Janneke House and I'm running for Cambridge City Council.

Henry David Thoreau said, "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." My parents taught me from a very early age about the importance of public service and getting involved in the community. My father was a police officer and my mother was a schoolteacher. My grandfather worked for the department of the interior as a speechwriter under President Truman and Eisenhower on the topic of our national parks and my grandmother worked for the League of women voters and the national Democratic Party. They would call her when a new president would move into the White House and she would unwrap the gifts and write thank you notes to people from all over the world. I remember from a young age being dragged by my mother going door to door working on campaigns and stuffing envelopes. I guess you can say it's in my blood.

After college, I went to work for the mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. He was a very progressive mayor in one of the reddest states in the country. I remember one of the first projects that landed on my desk was started by an article written about how Salt Lake City was one of the worst cities in the country for pedestrian fatalities. We had to fix this. So we started a program putting flags at all of the crosswalks for pedestrians to carry with them across the street. At first, people wouldn't do it, they were too cool to carry flag, but it caught on and soon the city became one of the safest pedestrian areas in the country.

When I moved to Cambridge, I was the Executive Director of Cambridge Local First and now I'm the community liaison for the Kendall Sq Association. As someone who lives and works in Cambridge, I know that that residents value local businesses, good public transit, affordable housing, green energy, good jobs, a strong local economy, and more responsive city services. This is the Cambridge way.

Filling a pothole on a neighborhood street....that is the highest of arts. Making sure swing sets are fixed in a park....that is the highest of arts.

I am running, because I believe that by getting involved and working together we can imagine and actively participate in making certain that our city, and our neighborhoods can be based on the values of respect, transparency and hard-working good government.

I am running because it is we who must decide how to build a city of lasting value, to make sure that new developments improve our quality of life, not risk what we love about Cambridge. The greatest communities grow and evolve out of the intelligence of many different people working together over time. That is the highest of arts.

With the transition of a new city manager, two councilwomen who are leaving, and the evolution of our neighborhoods, now is the time to elect some new voices to the council. I left my family and friends, moved across the country, left my comfort zone, but landed in the most perfect place. "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." I am running for Cambridge City Council to affect the quality of the Cambridge day.

Thank you and I look forward to this campaign and ask for your support.

The Clean Slate
There are 25 candidates for election and I have joined with two other first time candidates, Dennis Carlone and Nadeem Mazen in an effort to help voters focus on challengers who are committed to collaboration, to doing the hard work of gathering community input, and just as importantly, to be open to compromise in crafting solutions. I feel it's important to bring a new approach to Cambridge voters.

We are committed to: affordable housing, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) summer and out of school programs, as well as a fresh master plan for development.

And we're suggesting you " VoteThe Clean Slate" #1 #2 and #3 on your ballots.

It has long been my belief that it’s important to know as much about a field of candidates as possible before you vote. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to find the information – if it’s available. With that in mind, I’d like to share the various questions and questionnaires I’ve received, and the answers I’ve given.

Available Questionnaires

A Better Cambridge

Cambridge Local First

CRA (Cambridge Residents Alliance)

Sierra Club

I’ve also made available two recent OP/EDs I’ve written, to give you a further example of who I am and where I stand.

Net Zero -
Mike Connolly, on behalf of Green Cambridge and the Cambridge Committee for Net Zero Buildings, has submitted a zoning petition to the City Council that would require all large buildings to meet net­zero energy standards. The question is asked, “If the vote were held today, would you support this petition as written?” - Click Here to Read

Women choosing not to “lean-in” in politics - There is a national dialogue occurring with regard to Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, the 50th anniversary of The Feminine Mystique, and the 2012 election cycle. Women are not holding themselves back, as much as they are choosing not to engage in the political process. As a board member for Emerge, MA, the political leadership training program for Democratic women and a current candidate for Cambridge City Council, I am asked“why aren’t there more women in politics?”  - Click Here to Read

Cambridge Chronicle Question Of The Week!

Responses to Cambridge Chronicle questions:

If the vote were held today, would you support the net-zero petition?
Janneke House: As drafted, I would not vote for the petition, for the following reasons:

1) The petition, at its heart, is very simple. It requires the property owner to show that the building is not creating any greenhouse gasses. The reporting and approval process to meet this standard is overly complicated and should be simplified.

2) We need to make sure the requirements mandated by the petition are flexible enough to adapt to the everchanging energy marketplace without having to change the zoning law.

3) We should encourage compliance by offering city negotiated RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) to the owners. The city should also consider property tax exemptions for property owners who have zero emission properties (residential and business alike).

4) The petition is a good start, but should be drafted with full input from all stakeholders. The formation of a Net Zero Task Force would accomplish this.

How can the city ensure affordable housing is available to Cambridge residents?
Janneke House: Cambridge is a product of its own success because more and more people are discovering what a wonderful city this is and want to live here. When prices increase, it is often because the supply and demand are off balance. The city can and does offer programs which create affordable and more diverse housing, such as: mixed-income housing, accessory apartments, cluster housing, shared residences, accessory dwelling units, and single room occupancy (SRO) developments, as well as providing regulations allowing these strategies. The city has a good percentage of affordable housing. As a councilor, I would expand development regulations to reduce housing stratification (too many high- and low-end units) and spur the development and preservation of affordable housing at middle-income levels.

How should money in the community benefits fund be appropriated?
Any money set aside to mitigate the negative impact of large-scale development should go to the neighborhoods which suffer from the impact. I am opposed to putting this money in the general fund and I am opposed to using the money to fund projects unrelated to the impacts of the development. This is precisely what the sitting Council did with the Community Benefit Fund money from the recent MIT Kendall Square rezoning. A group of neighborhood stakeholders, like the committee recommended by the City's Kendall Square Advisory Committee is capable of recommending mitigation work to the City Council for appropriation.

The current City Council has received some criticism from residents about taking votes on issues that haven't been vetted publicly. Do you agree with this assessment? If so, what can be done to increase transparency on the City Council?
Yes I agree with this assessment. The recent selection of city manager is an unfortunate example of this. For years, the council has operated under arcane rules and procedures, which discourage open debate and discussion. The Massachusetts Attorney General found that the council violated the Open Meeting Law when they chose the new city manager outside of the open meeting process. The method they used had been used for years, without question, by the councilors. The council must not rubber-stamp its ancient rules for yet another term. It should examine them and, in consultation with the AG, improve them to facilitate a transparent and open discussion of the issues before them. In addition, public comment is guaranteed by the City Charter. Both the council and the public need to work harder to turn this right into an opportunity for discussion, not lecturing.

When former City Manager Robert Healy announced his retirement in 2012, current City Council members told residents they would establish a visioning process that would include a national search to select the next manager. How should the next City Manager be appointed? What is your plan for selecting the next City Manager?
It is important for the council to perform a substantive evaluation of the city manager every year. The process will help the council identify what the public expects of a city manager and how well he or she is doing the job. This should include comparisons with other cities for their approach to common problems. This evaluation process will be a great foundation for a visioning process. The public should be involved early and often in a visioning process. The process should include everything from social media to neighborhood meetings. I have no predetermined preference for in-house or national candidates, so I would object to a process which predetermines that the manager should be one or the other. The only way to do this is to have a hiring process which includes a national search for out-of-town candidates as well as an in-house search.

Is the council’s current relationship with the School Committee effective? How could communication be improved?
As long as both councilors and School Committee members understand their roles well, there is no reason the relationship will be as poor as it was last year. During this year’s budget process, some School Committee members and even fellow councilors publicly berated councilors for asking questions, even though it was the appropriate time and place, according to State Law, for them to ask questions. A joint School Committee-City Council meeting at the beginning of the school year to discuss roles and responsibilities may have avoided this disagreeable disagreement. I would also suggest that the mayor, as the City Council representative and sitting member on the School Committee, report to the council on the latest committee issues at every normal City Council meeting.

Janneke's call-in on Cambridge Inside Out (Oct 1, 2013)

Janneke House 2013 Candidate Profile - Cambridge Chronicle

   CCTV candidate video (2013)

Page last updated Sunday, November 3, 2013 8:39 AM Cambridge Candidates