I hope to find you having enjoyed a beautiful Labor day weekend. For those who don’t know me, my name is Ilan Levy, I live on Spring st in East Cambridge. I’ve been in Cambridge for 12 years and have been an on/off activist for 10 years. I’m also very proud to say I was one of small group of neighbor reporter at the initial launch of CCTV neighbor media in 2007, and have been blogging ever since, check it out: https://www.cctvcambridge.org/user/932/history. (I also have a CCTVCambridge TV show, The Foundry, on channel 8, every Tuesday at 7pm).
Last year, in December, I went to a protest for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, I was 1 of 23 who got arrested. The site of a military police at the protest, where all ages were represented, was disconcerting. It crystallized for me the governance problem we currently have in Cambridge. I decided I needed to get my citizenship so I could freely help resolve deep systemic issues. On June 18th 2015, I became an American citizen. I’m now a candidate for City Council, running A NO DONATIONS, NO SPENDING campaign. My objective is to bring back Democracy to Cambridge by engaging the citizens of Cambridge, so together we can bring the People back into local governance.
The problem: Plan E, a corporate form of government. Its setup: a City Manager (salary: $330,000/year) equivalent to a CEO, a City Council (salary: $78,000/year part time) equivalent to a board of directors, amongst themselves they elect a chairman, the Mayor ( $116,000/year part time), and finally the taxpayers, the supposed ‘shareholders/consumers’.
The CEO appoints the decision makers and they are only accountable to him, not to the citizenry. The City Manager is accountable only to the City Council, not to the citizenry. The last appointment of the City Manager was done behind closed and the Massachusetts Attorney General found the City guilty of having broken the Open Meeting Law, 4 candidates in this years election were a part of this.
The City Council’s can exert lots of power through zoning, and for the last 20 years, it has always eased the way for developers, regardless of the impact on the fabric of our community. Conclusion: we are not in the People’s Republic of Cambridge, we are in the Corporate Republic of Cambridge, a perfect example of corporatocracy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy).
The City Manager’s contract will expire next year, June 2016. It is the perfect opportunity, and a necessity, to bring back Democracy, the rule of/by the people. I propose we take the next 2 to 3 years to bring our community together around the rebuilding of our Democracy. I propose a basic framework on which to build. The five foundational pillars of this framework are:
It is urgent we redefine our local governance, it is urgent we put the People back in charge. We all must take the time to get engaged and to engage others. We all need to be a part, no tomorrow but today. Our voices need to be heard ... NOW!
My goal, for this election, is to engage YOU!
Cambridge has not seen a voter turnout over 25,000 voters in 25 years, and has seen a steady decline in voter participation, hovering around 16,000 over the last 3 elections. One of the main cause of this disengagement is the intrinsic paternalism of Plan E, out of step with our times. The first step to a change in governance is therefore voter turnout. I have set for myself the unrealistic goal of turning out 30,000 voters, around 50% of the registered voters. The only possible way for this to happen is if you participate, and engage all the people around you to do the same. We can make this election day, November 3rd 2015, a true celebration of what real Democracy should look like by focusing on this one task, getting out the vote.
Together we can, and will, rebuild Democracy. It is our duty. It is our responsibility. I very much hope you will join me in this crucial fight.
No Donations, No Spending
#1 Levy, Ilan S. For Justice, For Democracy, For Cambridge City Council
Voter Registration: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/
CCTV candidate video (2015)
|Page last updated Wednesday, October 7, 2015 7:57 PM||Cambridge Candidates|