Craig Kelley

Craig Kelley
2019 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
6 St. Gerard Terrace
Cambridge MA 02140

Contact information:
Tel: 617-354-8353

Send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Craig Kelley
6 Saint Gerard Terrace
Cambridge, MA 02140

Craig’s Commitment to Cambridge
Now 57 years old, Craig and his wife, Hope live in North Cambridge with their two sons, Robbie (22) and Cooper (20). The friendly neighborhoods, dynamic schools, bustling shopping areas, wonderful parks, impressive libraries and great people have earned Cambridge a special place in Craig's heart. After ten years of advocacy in his local neighborhood group, Craig was elected to Cambridge City Council in 2005 and he has been helping Cambridge meet the 21st Century’s economic, housing, transportation and educational challenges ever since.

Craig understand that Cambridge, and the entire region, faces a real housing crisis. He feels strongly that the Affordable Housing Overlay, as written, was poorly drafted and would have had many negative consequences, including the redevelopment of eastern Cambridge’s livable low-scale affordable housing developments into dense, multi-story complexes with minimal open space, no parking and no interesting architectural features. Craig understands that increased density is how Cambridge, and the region, will help meet our housing needs and he has supported good zoning that promotes appropriate development. He wrote, and got passed, zoning to legalize and regulate short-term rentals like AirBnb, legislation that will return hundreds of units back to the traditional rental market. He also wrote and got passed zoning to make it easier to develop auxiliary dwelling units throughout Cambridge.

Sustainability and Resiliency
Craig was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School in Municipal Resiliency and Democratic Institutions. He understands the tension between annual budget cycles, two year election cycles and a climate change timeline that is impacting us now and will continue to do so for the indefinite future. To help meet our climate change and sustainability challenges, Craig has supported a stronger tree protection ordinance and funding to expand our tree planning and canopy maintenance programs. He wrote and got passed an ordinance to help counter the threats posed by the invasive species of running bamboo, proposed zoning to incentivize carbon emission reduction in existing buildings, supported zoning to mitigate flooding issues in places like Alewife and chaired a Mayor’s Special Task Force on Municipal Resiliency to map out ways Cambridge can mitigate the Urban Heat Island effect, build stronger communities and address larger issues such as the fragility of our electrical grid.

Craig and his wife have been car-free for over a decade. He, and his whole family, bike all over Cambridge. He sees the possibilities, and the challenges, associated with Micromobility devices like Ebikes and scooters as tools to cut congestion associated with our last-mile transportation needs. He supports expansion of MBTA facilities, including more and better bus options, more effective and comprehensive traffic enforcement and education and more aggressive infrastructure improvements to create and maintain safe spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.

City Council
As a City Councilor, Craig chaired the Council's Traffic, Parking & Transportation Committee for his first three terms. He currently chairs the Council's Public Safety Subcommittee, where he has focused on surveillance issues, police oversight and legalizing and regulating short-term rentals like AirBnB. He co-chairs the Council’s Ordinance Committee and has also served on a variety of other Council and City committees, including chairing the Mayor’s Special Advisory Committee on Neighborhood-Based Resiliency. Without a car for the past twelve years, Craig is the leading voice for cyclist and general street safety both on and off the City Council. He continues to promote safe bike-accessible infrastructure while thinking beyond that to the traffic safety impacts of the Delivery Economy and what safe and accessible Urban Mobility looks like as E-Bikes and similar personal electric vehicles become more popular. He has helped implement more expansive Inclusionary Zoning requirements, wrote and got passed that zoning that makes it easier to build residential units and is working to protect hundreds or expiring use affordable housing units throughout Cambridge.

Cambridge Public Schools
In addition to his City Council duties, Craig served for years on the Maria L. Baldwin School Advisory Council and, understanding the importance of the “A” in STEAM, he is an active supporter of all things having to do with visual and performing arts both in and out of the Cambridge Public Schools. He was a Cambridge School Volunteer at CRLS for several years and both his children are CPS K-12 graduates.

Craig believes that vibrant local democratic institutions and the give-and-take of honest, robust dialogues, in person or on-line, are crucial to the health of not just Cambridge but the entire United States. Transparency, accountability and openness are the cornerstones of good government. In keeping with these democratic truths, Craig regularly attends public meetings, maintains dozens of topical email lists and is accessible to his constituents as he walks or bikes around town. He is renowned for his constituent services efforts and his ability to effectively and quickly communicate complex civic issues to the general public. Special interest money funneled into politics via PACs, whether in Cambridge or in Washington, DC, subverts the core values of democracy and Craig has been a leading voice in trying to get Cambridge to rethink the role of money in politics and the possible implementation of municipal financing of local campaigns.

Leisure activities
Besides playing board games with his wife and children, Craig enjoys canoeing, bicycling, hiking, reading and writing. He recently completed the third leg of a four-stage bike trip from Canada to Miami, during which he has asked hundreds of people what makes them feel safe and what makes them feel nervous. These interactions, and more, help Craig understand the context of Cambridge issues that often stretch far beyond our borders. See for more.

2019 Campaign for City Council
Craig is eager to bring his experience and education to City Hall for another term. His focus will be:

  • Help Cambridge create a better future for all of its residents, with special emphasis on equity, street safety and transparent, inclusive governance.
  • Using zoning and planning to develop and successfully implement goals to help meet our local and regional housing and transportation challenges.
  • Build a more collaborative City/school relationship.
  • Develop safety programs, both locally and regionally, that address the social and climate change challenges we all face and which we must solve together.

Craig Kelley in DC

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Page last updated Monday, October 28, 2019 2:14 PM Cambridge Candidates