Mushtaque Mirza

Mushtaque Mirza
2013 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
843 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Contact information:
Tel: 617-372-5969

Send contributions to:
Committee to Elect Mushtaque Mirza
843 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Dear fellow Cantabrigian,

I am a candidate who can provide a fresh perspective to the City Council. Born in India of Persian ancestry I have made Cambridge my home since 1973. Ever since coming to Cambridge I have immersed myself in the community and worked to give back to our great city. I have participated in the Greater Boston Interfaith program since 1992, served as a member of Cambridge Peace Commission for seven years, and volunteered regularly at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter for over a decade. Now I am running for City Council to ensure Cambridge remains a great place to live for all who make Cambridge their home.

If you are looking for a candidate who is a knowledgeable, articulate advocate for environmental, energy, and housing issues then I am your candidate. I am a Diplomate Environmental Engineer and member of civil and environmental engineering societies that promote environmental activism locally and globally. I have worked on public works projects which have both aided the environment and saved taxpayers thousands of dollars in water bills by reducing extraneous flow entering into wastewater treatment plants. I have also built housing projects and medical diagnostic centers for low and middle-income residents.

If you are looking for a candidate who is dedicated to core Democratic values then I am your candidate. I have worked tirelessly for local, state, and national Democratic candidates since 1988. I have been a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic State Committee since 1999 and Chairman of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee for Ward 4 since 1994. I was also a vice president of the Electoral College in 2004 and proudly voted for John Kerry for President.

If you are looking for a candidate who is experienced with labor and issues affecting working people then I am your candidate. I served on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists from 1990 to 2003 and have been endorsed by them in this election. If elected, I will put workers' rights first.

I look forward to working with you on the path to victory on November 5th. By giving me your #1 vote, you will be supporting a candidate who represents dedication, experience, and diversity. I encourage you to contact me so I can speak with you personally and I would be honored to receive your #1 vote for City Council.


Top Priorities
My priorities as a city councilor will be protecting the environment, increasing availability of affordable housing, and managing Cambridge's growth with smart, comprehensive city planning. As an environmental engineer, I have experience in all these areas. I have managed multimillion-dollar public works projects, such as reducing extraneous water flow into the sewer system. This work protects our environment and saves taxpayers money. I am also a professional construction supervisor and began my career by designing and building low-income housing.

Protecting the environment is of critical importance and will be one of my top priorities as a city councilor. In my career as a diplomate environmental engineer I have had 26 years of experience working to enhance the environment and public health of my community. I have worked on enforcing Safe Drinking Water Regulations as well as on water and wastewater projects for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I have even personally traveled to Antarctica and the Arctic Circle to study the effects of climate change.

Global warming is one of the most critical problems facing us today and we must take affirmative steps to combat it. I completely support the goals of the proposed net-zero energy petition. We must reduce carbon emissions from many sources including the development projects that would fall under this petition. As an environmental engineer I have seen firsthand the effect that construction projects have on our community. It is essential that future development is environmentally friendly. Requiring net-zero energy standards encourages the use of alternative energy sources that create less carbon emissions and will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This petition, which would only affect large buildings, is just one of many steps Cambridge should take to protect its environment, but it is a step in the right direction.

A clean environment also provides protection against pollution that causes asthma, cancer, and other serious diseases. For instance, there is a higher incidence of asthma in children in polluted, urban areas. We must work to keep our environment clean to protect our residents' public health.

I would advocate for increased open space, both at street level and by creating more green roofs, I would strongly promote the use of alternative energy, and I would encourage the expansion of public-transportation and bike and car sharing programs that lead to less crowded roads and less pollution.

Affordable Housing
Affordable housing must be a priority in Cambridge in order for the city to retain the diversity that makes it great. We should raise the percentage of units that developers must set aside as affordable housing from 15% to 20% on projects with at least 10 units. We should increase the availability of affordable housing options for the elderly and ensure that priority goes to longtime Cambridge residents. In addition, the city should create a revolving fund for affordable housing that can be used to build low-income and middle-income housing. Houses should be sold to Cambridge residents who qualify based on their income.

I began my career by designing and building low and middle-income housing. As a registered professional engineer and registered construction supervisor, I will bring to the city council the experience necessary to ensure affordable housing options are maintained. Cambridge belongs to all residents irrespective of their race, religion, color, national origin, and income and I will work to ensure that remains true.

City Planning
Land use and zoning have tremendous impact on our community and properly managing this impact will be one of my top priorities as a city councilor. Cambridge residents are rightly concerned with uncontrolled growth of new development and I will be an advocate for them. The city needs a policy that balances community concerns with the needs of businesses. I support a general height limit on building projects, but one that allows for flexibility to encourage businesses to come to the city. Cambridge's master plan must take into account the needs of all Cambridge residents and analyze the effects of future growth and development on the city's residents. All development projects should be analyzed together to ensure that the overall needs of the city for housing, transportation, parking, and open spaces are met. I am familiar with Cambridge zoning and planning laws and have many years of experience working on zoning issues. I will bring all of this knowledge to the city council.

Maintaining our transportation infrastructure is extremely important to the future of Cambridge. We must ensure that public transportation remains fully funded and available to all residents and workers in the city. I will advocate for more funds to ensure the MBTA's Red Line and Green Line are adequately maintained and delays are reduced. I support the Green Line extension project which will provide more public transportation options for residents living in East Cambridge and Inman Sq. I believe the MBTA should increase the number and frequency of bus routes within Cambridge so that more people have access to high-quality public transportation.

In addition, our transportation policy should contain a strong focus on public safety. The streets of Cambridge are more crowded than ever and are shared between drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. I support an increase the number of bike lanes and will advocate for programs which encourage people to bike or walk more often, for both the environmental and the public health benefits. I support the growth of bike sharing and car sharing programs which make our roads less crowded and decrease pollution. At the same time, the city must work harder to enforce traffic laws for all, no matter what mode of transport one is using.

Mushtaque Mirza 2013 Candidate Profile - Cambridge Chronicle

CCTV Candidate Video (2013)

Page last updated Thursday, October 3, 2013 11:24 PM Cambridge Candidates