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The single most effective thing I can do if I am elected City Councilor will be to help make residents more effective as citizens. We face serious and growing challenges and we need to tap the knowledge, energy, and abilities of residents to devise and implement new policies and solutions for our environmental, transportation, housing, and forestry challenges. That's how democracy works best!
If I am elected to the City Council, my goal will be to involve a new generation of Cambridge citizens in finding solutions to today's problems.
I am a regular pedestrian, and frequent rider on public transportation, including the 83 bus.. I believe we must reverse our dependence on private automobiles for transportation within Cambridge and balance the needs of different modes, including bicycles, on our narrow roadways.
More parks, less pollution of all kinds -- air, river, noise, and light -- and protection of natural areas are essential to the quality of life in our city.
My past environmental efforts include being first signer and advocate for the so-called Pitkin petition, in 1997, to rezone much of the city, which led to greater protection for existing public and private open space, co-initiator and organizer of the 2009-10 and 2016 Cambridge Climate Congresses, and core member of the Friends of Inman Square’s campaign to save Vellucci Plaza and its trees.
This committee would be charged with recommending more progressive and effective housing policies for both immediate and long-term implementation. It should help the City Council to ensure that scarce resources of land and affordable-housing funds are being as effectively as possible. It should put forth creative planning and zoning measures to encourage new middle- and low-income housing that will be accepted in all neighborhoods.
We can also increase incentives and subsidies for income-qualified homebuyers and renters above existing levels.
I oppose the Affordable Housing Overlay because developers are not planners, and zoning is the only plan we have. “Breaking” zoning, as some would have us do, would leave us without a plan for residential neighborhoods and quality of life and the environment at the mercy of unstable, speculative market forces.
Cambridge did a massive upzoning in the 1960s that created the strip of Mass. Ave. between City Hall and Putnam Square as well high as rises and “Arlington pill-boxes” on the side streets in Mid-Cambridge. Two examples are 295 Harvard Street and 28 Lee Street, a typical pillbox.
By all means, let’s have an honest, informed, civil conversation about how to increase the supply of affordable housing, limit gentrification and displacement, and build broad support for necessary new policies. I believe we can do this in the next Council term, but not if we continue the divisive debate about the Affordable Housing Overlay as if that is the only possible solution or as if housing is the only issue that needs urgent attention and action.
Quality of Life
Municipal Finance & Government
The City Council has ceded too much influence over policy-making to the City Manager. As the top democratically elected officials in the City, the Council should begin immediately to reclaim this authority by appointing all future advisory and study committees itself, rather than delegating this task to the City Manager.
City services that benefit Harvard and M.I.T. cost many millions to provide, yet the universities' voluntary payments to the city in lieu of taxes cover only a fraction of the costs to taxpayers. This fiscal relationship between the city and the universities was forged more than a century ago. It is obsolete and needs to be restructured. The City Council is the only body that can provide sustained public leadership to bring this about.
Further university expansion must be jointly planned and regulated by zoning. Housing is a continuing need.
Cambridge Public Schools
CCTV candidate video (2019)