Nicola Williams

Nicola Williams
2019 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
8 Brewer St. #5
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact information:

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Nicola Williams is a new candidate this year.

My name is Nicola Williams and I'm running for Cambridge City Council to ensure that we create a community that is equitable, environmentally-friendly, and puts people before profits. As a longtime Cambridge resident, business owner, and community activist, I will bring over 30 years of leadership, community organizing, and job-creating experience to the City Council. As a Jamaican immigrant, I will also work to ensure that Cambridge is a socially just place for all of its residents.

I'm grateful to be endorsed by the Massachusetts Sierra Club for my record of fighting for the environment and to be the only new candidate to be endorsed by the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus as a defender of women's rights and health.

The principles that drive my campaign come out of a deep belief in social and economic justice, which is why I am not accepting donations from corporate PACs or special interest groups. Instead, I am running on a community-first platform to ensure that Cambridge's City Council cares more about the will of its residents than corporate developers.

I'm proud to have established and developed some of Greater Boston's premier food and cultural events, including the Cambridge Carnival, the Boston Local Food Festival, and Boston JerkFest. These events are my way of giving back to Cantabrigians. Additionally, I currently serve on the board of directors of three Cambridge non-profit organizations: Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, Community Art Center and Harvard Square Neighborhood Association.


I believe in a Cambridge for all its residents, regardless of their income or documented status. To fulfill that goal, I will work on a regional approach to housing and transportation with elected leaders in Boston, Somerville, and other nearby municipalities, to help end displacement, create reasonable rent stabilization policies, and create a pathway for economic empowerment for our residents. I know that affordable housing is one of the top concerns for the residents of Cambridge and I will meet the needs of our community.

As Your Councillor, I Will Advocate to:

  • Develop a comprehensive housing strategy that addresses housing that is affordable for all Cambridge residents
  • End displacement (not just evictions) by providing tenant protections through bills like HD.1100 (Act Enabling Local Housing Options for Tenant Protections)
  • Institute rent stabilization policies that incentivize property owners to offer below market rents for stable housing
  • Provide concrete goals and pathways to economic empowerment and home ownership
  • Increase the availability of affordable housing by building on city properties like libraries and parking lots
  • Make government put people before profits by centering community input into city planning
  • Invest in housing cooperatives in order to house more people affordably
  • Overturn policies that perpetuate historic inequities, particularly the racial wealth gap
  • Work with other municipal city councils to explore a regional approach to housing and transportation
  • Ensure that we have a green housing plan
  • Strive to end homelessness in Cambridge by supporting Mike Connolly's "Housing For All" bill

Green and Sustainability Platform

I am qualified to be a leader in advancing Cambridge's commitment to environmental sustainability. The City has made a lot of progress in advancing our climate action goals, but we need to do more.

I have been involved in environmental activism for decades and this work is sure to continue if I am elected to City Council.

Specifically, I will:

  • Support the Green New Deal for Cambridge and develop local green jobs
  • Continue to fight to protect Cambridge's tree canopy and maintain open space for all Cambridge residents. I supported the tree moratorium in mitigating and preparing for climate change
  • Support the Net Zero Task Force and expand net zero ready building requirements for new construction for not only municipal development, but also for private development and ban fracked gas consumption.
  • Promote "greener" modes of transit affordable and accessible and work on a regional transportation strategy with our neighboring cities in Somerville, Watertown, Belmont, Arlington and Boston.
  • Support the efforts of Zero Waste Cambridge for expanding and increasing city composting for larger apartment buildings
  • Encourage the expansion of the "greening" of Cambridge arts, cultural, and community events
  • Continue to work with the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts to encourage our school systems, after school programs, and affiliated institutions such as Cambridge Health Alliance to shift their purchasing to include more local food.
  • Work with Green Cambridge in advancing their climate action initiatives.
  • Work with Climate Action Business Association in supporting legislation that would effectively curb carbon pollution, provide a rebate to all households and businesses in Massachusetts, and reinvest in our infrastructure to make the Commonwealth more resilient to climate change
  • Monitor the City's investments to ensure no support of fossil fuels.
  • Encourage the expansion of urban farming and community gardens in Cambridge, especially in areas across the city with limited access to open space.

Cyclist, Pedestrian, and Driver Safety
I was honored to have spoken with Cambridge Bicycle Safety in March to discuss bicycle and pedestrian safety, specifically how Cambridge Bicycle Safety can work with local businesses and the local community in helping to achieve their goal of protected bike lanes through all of Mass Ave.

Through my work as board member of Harvard Square Neighborhood Association, I have also been supporting the efforts of the Memorial Drive Alliance comprising environmentalists and bicycle groups with others. Our shared goals are saving the trees along Memorial drive and adding separate bike lanes in part on Memorial Drive itself, thus limiting vehicular traffic to two lanes and bike lanes to two lanes.

So naturally I am taking a stand with this incredible organization to commit to rapid implementation of a citywide network of protected bicycle lanes. I will do my utmost as a City Councilor to make this city safe and accessible for everyone.

I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes as described in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan. Specifically, I support complete implementation of the Bicycle Plan in the near future, within the next 5 years, using a combination of quick-build and capital improvements.

Additionally, I recognize that Mass Ave is the most important street in Cambridge and needs protected bicycle lanes for its entire length as soon as possible.

Accordingly, if elected, I pledge to do everything in my power including by voting in the City Council, proactively working with the City Manager and City Staff, and promoting this initiative publicly to ensure that the City of Cambridge installs continuous protected bicycle lanes along the entire length of Mass Ave from the Charles River to the Arlington border, by the end of the next council term, or has started a capital project to do so. These improvements should also include bus transit priority and pedestrian safety improvements.

CCTV candidate video (2019)

Page last updated Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:34 PM Cambridge Candidates