I want to help Cambridge protect its progressive mojo.
The “People’s Republic” has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the nation’s most progressive cities. Certainly, we have much to be proud of, especially in our demonstrated commitment to social justice, human rights, and diversity, and our commitment to remaining a Sanctuary City. Innovation drives our economy, but are we always at the forefront of innovative policymaking that furthers forward-thinking progressive values? I think there is always room for improvement.
In organizing and leading a grassroots community group before I was elected, I discovered that while good intentions abound, accountability, creativity, and transparency often are in short supply. To my dismay, I’ve come to the conclusion that the “People’s Republic” is far less progressive than it’s cracked up to be. We should be leading, not following, by taking more bold, decisive action on affordable housing, environmental sustainability, and multi-modal transportation. A few recent examples: the Council’s delay, despite my urging, to take up municipal lobbying regulations; a resistance to discussing campaign finance reforms; a reluctance to review the fee for residential parking permits to fund sustainable transportation; a refusal to consider a tree protection ordinance; and the years it has taken to raise the Inclusionary Zoning requirement to 20%.
Through my activism and work as a Councillor, I’ve met countless talented and likeminded people who are working hard to keep Cambridge at the head of the progressive pack. Unfortunately they don’t get consistent enough support at City Hall. Many complain that their emails to other councillors go answered. When I joined the Council in 2016 Council as the only new member, the balance tilted left.
In the next term I want to continue building a truly progressive coalition whose bold leadership will help Cambridge remain a national leader in housing affordability, resilience to climate change, sustainable transportation, campaign finance reform, government transparency, and civic engagement.