2015 CCJ Notes - July through December
[items moved from main page]

City Council Scoreboard: 2014-2015 term

Here's an update of the scoreboard of activity of the individual city councillors for the 2014-2015 term. Though there are other matters that occupy the time of these elected officials, the records of committee attendance and the number and type of City Council Orders and Resolutions introduced are two objective measures for which data is readily available. Here are the figures through Dec 21, 2015 (several committee reports are still outstanding):

City Council Committee meetings
chaired and attended (2014-2015)

through reports of Dec 21, 2015
Councillor Chaired Attended
Carlone 50 102
Mazen 16 98
McGovern 14 89
Benzan 50 85
Kelley 9 75
Cheung 7 73
Simmons 21 65
Toomey 6 47
Maher Mayor chairs all
Council and School
Committee meetings

There were 130 committee reports (so far)

Council Orders and Resolutions:
2014-2015 Final Results
Councillor  P I R M D C A F
Benzan 63 32 5 16 28 264 7 5
Carlone 46 12 10 9 0 29 1 6
Cheung 111 40 14 37 30 335 9 3
Kelley 22 23 6 17 0 8 1 0
Maher 24 4 26 11 230 237 16 1
Mazen 68 27 10 13 0 8 2 8
McGovern 77 32 9 28 6 204 5 1
Simmons 73 31 14 22 58 234 5 10
Toomey 28 19 6 26 176 111 1 0
Total 317 140 84 144 487 1355 42 22

There were 2591 Orders and Resolutions
filed during the 2014-2015 term.

The distribution of Orders and Resolutions by city councillors can provide insight into how they approach their job and how they spend their time and staff resources.

P - Policy orders

I - Requests for information from the City Manager and City departments

R - Rules and procedural items, such as the scheduling of hearings

M - Maintenance orders: fixing things, putting in stop signs, potholes, traffic, etc.

D - Death resolutions

C - Congratulations, get-well wishes, birthdays, naming of street corners, etc.

A - Announcements of upcoming events, holidays, proclamations, etc.

F - Foreign and national policy matters

Year-by-year and current totals can be found on the City Council page. More detailed information on each City Council committee can be found on the City Council Committees page (including links to each committee report).

Dr. Kenneth SalimCambridge's new Superintendent of Schools

Oct 27, 2015 - The Cambridge School Committee voted 6 (Cronin, Kelly, Fantini, Nolan, Osborne, Maher) - 1 (Harding) to appoint Dr. Kenneth Salim as the next Superintendent of Schools pending contract negotiations, tonight.

Dr. Salim is the current Superintendent in Weymouth, MA and previously work in the Boston Public Schools as Senior Director for the Chief Academic Office and Interim Assistant Superintendent for Professional Development.

Cambridge Housing Authority Board Vacancy

City SealDec 21, 2015 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Housing Authority is seeking to fill a vacancy on its Board of Commissioners.

Established under state law in 1935, Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance to more than 6,500 low-income families, elders and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs. It has an annual budget of $87 million and currently has over $150 million in active construction contracts with significant, additional, capital investment and construction to continue over the next 3-5 years as CHA revitalizes all the public housing in Cambridge.

CHA also invests in Cambridge families and provides enhanced support to 10% of the city population. By tailoring its approach to focus on policy innovation and family economic opportunities, CHA is able to meet its mission to develop and manage safe, good quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner which promotes citizenship, community and self-reliance in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

A five-member Board of Commissioners governs CHA. One member is appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts and the remaining four members are appointed by the Cambridge City Manager and confirmed by the Cambridge City Council. By law, the Board must include a housing authority resident and a representative of labor unions; both of these positions are currently filled. All Board members must be residents of Cambridge.

The CHA Board oversees the Agency's overall direction and approves all significant contract awards, budget decisions, formal submissions to state and federal funding agencies, planning and reporting documents, all major policy decisions, and many other important matters. Commissioners also serve as board members on CHA’s three non-profit affiliates. The Board sets policy but is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the agency. CHA’s Board of Commissioners meets regularly on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, at 5:30pm, at the Agency’s office, 362 Green St., 3rd floor, Cambridge. Additionally, the board may occasionally meet for special meetings as needed.

A letter of interest and brief resumé should be sent by Friday, January 29, 2016 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Cambridge City Offices Closed for New Year’s Day Holiday
January 1 Trash and Recycling Daily Pickup Route Delayed One Day

City offices will also be closed on Friday, January 1, 2016 in observance of the New Year’s Day Holiday.

There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Jan. 1 and regular pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of that week. Street sweeping and yard waste have ended for the year and will resume in April.

The gates of the Cambridge Cemetery at 76 Coolidge Avenue will be open from dusk to dawn, though the office will be closed.

All Cambridge Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Thurs, Dec. 31 & will be closed Fri, Jan 1. Cambridge Senior Centers will also be closed on Jan. 1.

White Squirrel at the Volpe Center in Kendall Square enjoying a Spring day on Christmas Eve
White Squirrel at Volpe Center

Episode 101 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 29, 2015)

Episode 102 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 29, 2015)

Episode 99 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 22, 2015)

Episode 100 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 22, 2015)

Episode 97 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 15, 2015)

Episode 98 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 15, 2015)

Episode 95 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 8, 2015)

Episode 96 - Cambridge InsideOut (Dec 8, 2015)

Second City of Cambridge Participatory Budgeting Winning Projects Announced!

Dec 18, 2015 – City officials announced the winning projects of Cambridge’s second Participatory Budgeting (PB) initiative. PB is a democratic process in which residents directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. [Editor's Note: Democratic does not necessarily mean representative of the whole community. It simply means that anyone could participate.] From December 5-12, 2015, Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted on how to spend $600,000 of the FY17 Capital Budget. The following seven projects won funding:

  1. Cambridge Prepared Food Rescue Freezer Van ($48,000)
  2. Separate Bike Lanes from Traffic ($50,000)
  3. 5 Water Bottle Refill Stations ($40,000)
  4. Make Massachusetts Avenue Safer for Bikers ($70,000)
  5. Shape Up Our Squares! ($40,000)
  6. Faster, Better #1 Bus for Cambridge ($250,000)
  7. New Chairs for Cambridge Public Schools! ($102,000)

Over 540 project ideas to improve Cambridge were submitted by community members in August. Volunteer Budget Delegates worked from September to November to research and develop the highest priority ideas into 23 proposals to be voted on by residents in December. This time, 4,184 residents voted — a 53% increase over the City's pilot PB process.

Many thanks to the PB Cambridge Steering Committee, the Budget Delegates, the Participatory Budgeting Project, City staff, the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team, and all of the volunteers and participants who helped make the second PB process a success.

“This has been a terrific civic process, full of so much community spirit,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi.

For more information, please visit pb.cambridgema.gov or contact the City’s Budget Office at pb@cambridgema.gov or (617) 349-4270.

Who Voted in the 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election?

For the November 2015 Municipal Election, there were 63,338 registered voters with identified birthdates. Their median age was 38.7. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters - 2015
Registered Voters - 2015

Of these registered voters, 17,885 voted in the 2015 municipal election. Their median age was 56.0. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2015 Municipal Election

For the November 2014 State Election, there were 66,315 registered voters with identified birthdates. Their median age was 37.9. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 4, 2014) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters - 2014

Of these registered voters, 32,569 voted in the 2014 State Election. Their median age was 49.3. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 4, 2014) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2014 State Election

For the November 2013 Municipal Election, there were 70,601 registered voters with identified birthdates. Their median age was 37.0. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 5, 2013) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters - 2015
Registered Voters - 2013

Of these registered voters, 17,800 voted in the 2013 Municipal Election. Their median age was 56.4. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 5, 2013) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2013 Municipal Election

Changes from 2013 to 2015:

The total number of voters in the 2013 and 2015 Cambridge Municipal Elections were comparable, but there were some noticeable differences by age. Here's a table showing some of this information:

age voted
2015 pct.
2014 pct.
2013 pct.
2013 to 2015
18-20 205 15.5 392 21.6 291 12.4 –86
21-23 303 8.2 884 25.1 361 10.1 –58
24-26 666 12.4 1956 32.6 620 9.7 +46
27-29 878 12.8 2423 33.5 763 9.5 +115
30-32 787 12.6 2329 34.8 791 10.5 –4
33-35 841 17.3 1974 37.1 742 12.5 +99
36-38 797 21.7 1680 43.3 632 14.6 +165
39-41 709 24.1 1406 46.8 677 21.2 +32
42-44 741 30.3 1355 50.8 763 27.0 –22
45-47 786 32.8 1331 56.7 733 29.5 +53
48-50 759 35.4 1297 57.7 788 33.5 –29
51-53 855 38.6 1485 64.6 915 38.7 –60
54-56 931 42.2 1571 68.4 1050 42.9 –119
57-59 1086 46.5 1692 70.0 1095 45.4 –9
60-62 1067 45.1 1824 74.4 1200 47.5 –133
63-65 1171 50.0 1797 75.6 1229 50.8 –58
66-68 1219 53.0 1775 78.3 1172 53.1 +47
69-71 1035 56.0 1428 77.8 1015 57.1 +20
72-74 880 57.3 1108 79.5 738 59.0 +142
75-77 608 57.4 797 76.6 596 58.4 +12
78-80 500 57.7 638 76.3 460 55.8 +40
81-83 351 52.2 483 70.0 382 53.9 –31
84-86 285 47.9 402 66.7 321 54.3 –36
87-89 202 47.6 263 58.8 224 48.0 –22
90-92 137 42.5 163 51.3 139 41.1 –2
93-95 59 33.0 71 38.0 64 37.6 –5
96-98 17 22.7 29 39.2 27 30.3 –10
99-101 10 35.7 14 36.8 11 27.5 –1
102-104 0 0.0 2 16.7 0 0.0 0
105-107 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 25.0 –1
Total 17885 28.2 32569 49.1 17800 25.2 +85

2013 to 2015


2016 Cambridge Resident Parking and Visitor Parking Permits Now Available
Save Time and Renew Early and Online

Photo by Holly DonaldsonNov 16, 2015 – 2016 Cambridge Resident and Visitor Parking Permits are now available. Although current permits do not expire until Jan. 31, 2016, residents are encouraged to renew online early to avoid delays. You must have an active 2015 residential parking permit to renew online.

Households without vehicles that have an active 2015 visitor permit may also be eligible to renew online. The new permit features the winning entry from the 2016 Resident Permit Photo Contest, which is the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility, submitted by Holly Donaldson.

The City is again offering the opportunity for residents to make a voluntary contribution that would be allocated to climate change initiatives. For more information, call 617-349-4700 or visit: www.cambridgema.gov/traffic.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Dec 16 - Now that the year is winding down, I thought it might be interesting to do a review of the past year and, more specifically, the 2014-2015 Cambridge City Council term as well as the 2014-2015 School Committee term (which I have not personally followed all that closely). What have been the successes and failures? What expectations were not realized and which were exceeded? My plan is to make this the theme for the Cambridge InsideOut program on Tues, Dec 22, but it might also be nice to get some written contributions on this theme to be posted here or, better yet, on the CCJ Forum where people can respond. If you would like to make an appearance on the TV program, that's also a possibility.

The following week (Tues, Dec 29), my plan would be to do the theme "Looking Ahead to 2016-2017" for the TV program and the CCJ Forum. Please let me know if you would like to contribute to either the "Looking Back" or the "Looking Ahead" themes. - Robert Winters

Morning Thoughts

Vision Central SquareWed, Nov 25 - I walked through Central Square on my way to MIT this morning and finally reached the breaking point concerning the complete disregard of residents, business and property owners for the area. I removed posters (many outdated and some not) from most of the poles along the way - some many months old. If you operate a business or occupy offices in Central Square, would it be so much to ask for you to just give a shit about your surroundings? These are not things for which you should pass the buck to the Department of Public Works. Just clean up your act. You're adults. Try acting like it.

Maybe it's time for vigilante cleaning crews. From now on, whenever I have more than a few free moments, I will tear down every illegal poster I see anywhere in Central Square. If this means having one less person at your "Occupy Something" rally, then tough shit. You're a parasite and we don't need you. Maybe I'll give a grace period for Yard Sales but, seriously, is it so much to ask you to take down the posters that you put up after your event is over?

How about the proprietors of the Middle East (wonderful people by all accounts) taking responsibility to remove all the stickers from the poles within several hundred feet of their clubs put there from the fans and members of the various bands who play at their clubs? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, the people who operate The Dance Complex might hire somebody to remove the grafitti from their building? Don't get me going about Morris Nagger and his perpetual negligence of the properties he and his family own in Central Square. Thanks, Morris, for bringing H-Mart to Central Square (we love you for it), but could you now start removing the enormous amount of graffiti that has been growing unabated on your buildings over the last decade?

If anyone would like to sit down with me and help write the Code of Conduct and How-To Guide for Living, Working, and Owning Property in Central Square, I'll be accepting applications over the next few days. I'm not interested in waiting for others to do this. Email me at Robert@rwinters.com or call me at 617-661-9230. Once we're clear about this basic stuff, we'll take on some of the bigger issues. - Robert Winters

Je Suis Charlie Liberty

Members Sought for Cambridge GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Commission

City of CambridgeDec 3, 2015 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking individuals to fill vacancies on the Cambridge GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Commission. Prospective Commissioners must either reside or work in Cambridge.

The mission of the Commission is to advocate for a culture of respect and to monitor progress toward equality of all persons with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Commission also monitors policies and practices that have a positive effect on the health, welfare and safety of all persons who live, visit or work in the City of Cambridge with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. For more information about the Commission, visit www.cambridgema.gov/glbt or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Cambridge.GLBT.Commission.

The Commission normally meets on the 4th Thursday of each month and Commissioners are expected to volunteer some time outside of meetings for various projects. Agendas, minutes, and other information can be found on its webpage.

A letter of interest and brief resumé should be sent by Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 to:
citymanager@cambridgema.gov or via mail to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph: (617) 349-4300; Fax: (617) 349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Members Sought for Cambridge’s New Open Data Review Board

City of CambridgeNov 23, 2015 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking Cambridge residents interested in volunteering to serve on the newly created Open Data Review Board. The Review Board will include three members from the public. The City Manager is seeking representatives from public, private, academic, or nonprofit sectors with expertise in or relevant experience with Open Data.

The Review Board will make recommendations to the City Manager on policies, rules, and standards related to Cambridge’s Open Data Program, including methods for determining the appropriate level of accessibility for new datasets and timelines for making new datasets available. The city’s Open Data Program makes government data easily available in useful formats, and is intended to increase transparency, foster engagement among residents, and create new opportunities for collaboration between Cambridge and the public.

The Review Board will help ensure that the program balances its goals of transparency and accessibility with the City’s obligation to protect private, confidential, and sensitive information.

Residents who wish to apply may email or send a letter of interest and resume by Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015, to:
citymanager@cambridgema.gov or via mail to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

For more information, contact Josh Wolff at 617-349-9447 or jwolff@cambridgema.gov.

Members Sought for Community Advisory Board on the Living Wage

City of CambridgeNov 16, 2015 – Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on the Community Advisory Board on the Living Wage. Made up of 9 members, which includes representatives of labor unions, community organizations and the business community, the Board meets as needed, typically 2-3 times per year.

The Board’s purpose is to review the effectiveness of the City Living Wage Ordinance (Chapter 2.121 of the Cambridge Municipal Code and City Council Order, 1999) at creating and retaining Living Wage jobs; to make recommendations to the City Manager regarding the granting of Waivers to Covered Employees; to review the implementation and enforcement of the Ordinance; and to make recommendations in connection to the Ordinance.

For more information, contact Sheila Keady Rawson, City of Cambridge Personnel Department, at 617-349-4341 or skeady@cambridgema.gov.

Applications including letters of interest and resume can be sent via mail, fax or e-mail by the deadline of Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

It's Not Just About Medicine

Nov 13 - Speaking of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, it's been entertaining to read elesewhere what people have to say about a current zoning petition that wants to locate one at 1001 Mass. Ave. which is not anywhere near the two zones that were previously established for this purpose. Some residents are opposed and others say things like: "I’m not trying to be obtuse; there is a lot of research about all of these things, and I’d be happy to post some links to facts and studies, but I’d like to understand better exactly what your concerns are so that I can provide some information that will allay your fears. No matter what though, I don’t think a medical facility will lead to greater substance abuse anywhere."

Allow me to explain. In another year or two there will be a statewide initiative petition on whether the use and sale of marijuana should be legalized outright with appropriate regulation. Those who wish to open "medical marijuana dispensaries" today are fully aware of the possibility that this inititaive petition may pass and become law. Any facilities that sell marijuana for medical purposes today will almost certainly become the initial locations for marijuana sales if and when this inititaive petition passes, and they will likely reap enormous profits when that day comes. So the real question is: "Do you want the 1001 Mass. Ave. location to be a prime location for general marijuana sales upon legalization?"

If you think this debate is just about making marijuana available for the treatment of illness, think again. - RW

CRLS Alumni Association - 2015 Homecoming Calendar

CRLSA series of events for alumni and staff of CHLS, CRLS and Rindge Tech from Sat, Nov 21, 2015 through Sun, Nov 29, 2015 including the Annual CRLS ALUMNI Luncheon & Association Meeting "Back to the Future" on Fri, Nov 27, 2015.

  • Sat, Nov 21 – "Homecoming Kick-off" - Meet and greet the new Visual and Performing Arts Director, Mr. George Simpson prior to the Fall Musical – 6:00pm @ the Fitzgerald Theater, Broadway, Cambridge.
  • Sat, Nov 21:  CRLS Musical "Footloose! The Musical" - 7:00pm @ the Fitzgerald Theater, Broadway.
  • Mon, Nov 23:  Annual Rindge Tech Dinner - 6:00pm @ Hellenic Cultural Center, 25 Bigelow Avenue, Watertown.
  • Tues, Nov 24:  "First Annual Alumni Panel Discussion" for CRLS Juniors and Seniors at CRLS.
  • Wed, Nov 24:  Annual Football Team Reunion – 6:00pm @ Russell Field, 335 Rindge Ave., Cambridge.
  • Wed, Nov 25:  Welcome Back to the Future - at the renovated CRLS with tours, discussions and meeting with Principal Damon Smith – 10:30am @ the CRLS Campus, 459 Broadway, Cambridge.
  • Wed, Nov 25:  Annual Alumni Reunion Night - 8:00pm @ Grendel's Den, 89 Winthrop St, Harvard Square, Cambridge.
  • Thurs, Nov 26:  CRLS vs Somerville Football Game Pre-Game Tailgate – 8:30 to 10:00am @ Russell Field, 335 Rindge Ave., Cambridge.
  • Thurs, Nov 26:  CRLS vs Somerville Football Game – 10:00am kickoff @ Russell Field, 335 Rindge Ave., Cambridge.
  • Fri, Nov 27:  Boys Alumni Soccer Game - 9:30am to 11:00am at Danehy Field, Cambridge.
  • Fri, Nov 27:  "Back to the Future" Annual CRLS Alumni Luncheon and Association Meeting – 11:00am @ CRLS Media Cafe, 459 Broadway, Cambridge.


  • Fri, Nov 27 – Classes 1971-1979 Reunion @ 7:00pm to midnight, Sons of Italy, Woburn. Contact Lenny Vigilante 781-301-1973 or lennyv838@aol.com.
  • Fri, Nov 27 – Class of 1995 Reunion, Our 20th high school reunion at 7:00pm @ Fire & Ice in Harvard Square. Click here to register: Eventbrite page
  • Sat, Nov 28 – Class of 1970 Reunion, VFW, 600 Huron Ave., Cambridge @ 7:00pm to midnight. Tickets $20.00. Contact John Campbell, 617-291-3222 or soup287@comcast.net.
  • Sat, Nov 28 – Class of 1980 Reunion, Crowne Plaza Woburn, 15 Middlesex Canal Park, Woburn. Cocktails @ 6:00pm, Dinner @ 7:30pm, $55 in advance, $70 at the door. Visit: http://www.crlsalumni.org/ for more information or e-mail crls80reunion@comcast.net.

Visit:  http://crlsalumni.org for more Homecoming 2015 information.

Visit:  CRLSHomecoming2015 to RSVP and/or purchase tickets.

Visit:  Reunions for information on Class Year Reunions.

Comments? Additional Information?

Tues, Nov 24 - It's looking like we won't be doing our weekly Cambridge InsideOut show on CCTV tonight at 5:30pm and 6:00pm due to my co-host Judy Nathans being out sick today. If you are reading this and might like to stand in as co-host tonight, give me a call right away at 617-661-9230. Otherwise, we'll be back next Tuesday. - Robert Winters

Post-Election Observation #1: I have to say that after seeing many (probably most) of the Cambridge City Council personal aides playing leading roles in the election campaigns of their respective councillors, it is time we revisit the ethical foundation of the City Council aide positions. They are CLEARLY taxpayer-supported campaign workers. I don't have any personal issues with the individuals, but the positions should be eliminated and replaced by additional staff hired by the City Council office based on professional standards.

Cambridge Candidate Pages - 2015

Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2015
(candidate lists with sortable tables)

2015 Calendar of Election-related Events

Campaign Finance
2015 Cambridge City Council Candidates

Final Official Election Results (Nov 13, 2015) - including all ballots

City Council (in order of election)
Nadeem Mazen
Denise Simmons
David Maher
Jan Devereux
Tim Toomey
Craig Kelley
Leland Cheung
Marc McGovern
Dennis Carlone

Incumbent Dennis Benzan is defeated

School Committee (in order of election)
Patty Nolan
Fred Fantini
Richard Harding
Kathleen Kelly
Manikka Bowman
Emily Dexter

Incumbent Fran Cronin is defeated

Full Final Official Election Results (Nov 13, 2015) - City Council & School Committee

City Council #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF)

School Committee #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF)

Alternate measures of Popularity - 2015 City Council Election (PDF)

Note 1: On Tuesday night, Nov 3, the Election Commission announced the preliminary winners in the order of election.

Note 2: On Wednesday, Nov 4, hundreds of additional "auxiliary ballots" were scrutinized for voter intent and then included with the Tuesday ballots to determine the "Unofficial Results". This produced the same winners, though in the City Council race the order in which candidates were elected changed.

Note 3: On Friday, Nov 13, the Final Results were determined when a small number of overseas absentee ballots and provisional ballots were examined. This resulted in an additional 8 ballots for each of the City Council and School Committee races. The margins in both the City Council and School Committee elections were such that there was no realistic possibility that the candidates elected would change, though the order in which Craig Kelley (6th) and Leland Cheung (7th) were elected was reversed.

Pell Grants Program Could Affect Extension School (by Siqi Liu and Ifeoluwa T. Obayan, Harvard Crimson)

One more example of why neighborhood associations in Cambridge are meaningless

Oct 24 - I am a recipient of messages on the Riverside Neighborhood Association listserv moderated by a woman named Carolyn Shipley who is listed among the leaders of the "Cambridge Residents Alliance". She has a history of only allowing messages to be posted to the Riverside listserv that are in agreement with her views. This is not the only such listserv in Cambridge that operates in this way. Today Ms. Shipley posted a message meant to rally people in Riverside (and along Western Ave. in particular) against a zoning petition (the Alexandrov Petition) that was filed at the most recent City Council meeting and referred to the Ordinance Committee and Planning Board.

In her screed, Ms. Shipley asserted that "Usually, something like 250 registered voters are required to go before city council. How did they get this through?" She also asserted that "Nine of the 21 signers are not Cambridge voters and may not even live in Cambridge."

Ms. Shipley has a long history of being wrong on just about everything, so it's not at all surprising that she spewed pure nonsense in her message sent (primarily) to people living in the Riverside neighborhood. The real issue here is that as moderator of this supposed "neighborhood listserv", she does not even permit anyone to correct her on matters of fact. My attempt to correct her misinformation was rejected by her policy that only she or another moderator may post messages there.

So, just in case Ms. Shipley or anyone else in the Riverside neighborhood would like to see the rebuttal I attempted to make, here it is.:

At 06:16 PM 10/24/2015, Carolyn Shipley [riversidena] wrote:
>They got 21 signatures on a petition.  Only 21!  And 9 of the signers are not registered voters!  Usually, something like 250 registered voters are required to go before city council.  How did they get this through?

The petition has 23 signatures, including those of Kiril and Catherine Alexandrov. The law requires the signatures of 10 registered voters and there have been MANY petitions over the years that had few more than the mandatory minimum of 10 signatures. There is absolutely nothing anywhere that says that "something like 250 registered voters are required to go before city council". A typical petition has a few dozen - just to be sure.

>Nine of the 21 signers are not Cambridge voters and may not even live in Cambridge.

Also incorrect. Of the 23 people who signed the petition, 17 are registered Cambridge voters and they most certainly do live in Cambridge. These include members of the Spears family who have been vital community members for as long as anyone can recall.

                        Robert Winters

Veterans Day 2015

Final Official Election Results (Nov 13, 2015) - including all ballots

City Council (in order of election)
Nadeem Mazen
Denise Simmons
David Maher
Jan Devereux
Tim Toomey
Craig Kelley
Leland Cheung
Marc McGovern
Dennis Carlone

Incumbent Dennis Benzan is defeated

School Committee (in order of election)
Patty Nolan
Fred Fantini
Richard Harding
Kathleen Kelly
Manikka Bowman
Emily Dexter

Incumbent Fran Cronin is defeated

Full Final Official Election Results (Nov 13, 2015) - City Council & School Committee

City Council #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF)

School Committee #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF)

Alternate measures of Popularity - 2015 City Council Election (PDF)

Unofficial Election Results (Nov 4, 2015) - including all auxiliary ballots

City Council (in order of election)
Nadeem Mazen
Denise Simmons
David Maher
Jan Devereux
Tim Toomey
Leland Cheung
Craig Kelley
Marc McGovern
Dennis Carlone

Incumbent Dennis Benzan is defeated

School Committee (in order of election)
Patty Nolan
Fred Fantini
Richard Harding
Kathleen Kelly
Manikka Bowman
Emily Dexter

Incumbent Fran Cronin is defeated

Full Unofficial Election Results (Nov 4, 2015) - City Council & School Committee
Preliminary Election Results (Nov 3, 2015) - not including auxiliary ballots

City Council (in order of election)
Nadeem Mazen
Denise Simmons
Jan Devereux
David Maher
Craig Kelley
Dennis Carlone
Leland Cheung
Tim Toomey
Marc McGovern

Incumbent Dennis Benzan is defeated

School Committee (in order of election)
Patty Nolan
Fred Fantini
Richard Harding
Kathleen Kelly
Manikka Bowman
Emily Dexter

Incumbent Fran Cronin is defeated

Full Preliminary Election Results (Nov 3, 2015) - City Council & School Committee

Note 1: On Tuesday night, Nov 3, the Election Commission announced the preliminary winners in the order of election.

Note 2: On Wednesday, Nov 4, hundreds of additional "auxiliary ballots" were scrutinized for voter intent and then included with the Tuesday ballots to determine the "Unofficial Results". This produced the same winners, though in the City Council race the order in which candidates were elected changed.

Note 3: On Friday, Nov 13, the Final Results were determined when a small number of overseas absentee ballots and provisional ballots were examined. This resulted in an additional 8 ballots for each of the City Council and School Committee races. The margins in both the City Council and School Committee elections were such that there was no realistic possibility that the candidates elected would change, though the order in which Craig Kelley (6th) and Leland Cheung (7th) were elected was reversed.

Farmers Unite!2015 Cambridge Election Fun Facts (Oct 24, 2015):

There are currently 63,325 registered Cambridge voters.

Of these, 45,038 are listed as "active" voters.

There are 16,479 registered voters who voted in the 2013 municipal election.

There are 10,248 registered voters who voted in both the 2011 and 2013 municipal elections.

There are 7,890 registered voters who voted in the 2009, 2011 and 2013 municipal elections.

There are 6,052 registered voters who voted in the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 municipal elections.

There are 152 registered voters who have voted in every citywide primary and general election since 1997.

There are 5,157 voters who registered this year (2015).

There are 7,409 registered voters who list their occupation as "student".

There are 1,109 registered voters who list their occupation as "professor".

There are 369 registered voters who list their occupation as "artist".

There are 161 registered voters who list their occupation as "musician".

There are 9 registered voters who list their occupation as "farmer".

In 2011 there were 60,367 registered voters at the time of the municipal election.
Of these, 4,413 registered during the year 2011.
736 of these recently registered voters (17%) voted in the Nov 2011 municipal election.

In 2013 there were 70,618 registered voters at the time of the municipal election (typically higher after a presidential election year).
Of these, 4,291 registered during the year 2013.
809 of these recently registered voters (19%) voted in the Nov 2013 municipal election.

In 2015 there are 63,325 registered voters eligible to vote in the municipal election.
Of these, 5,157 registered during the year 2015.

Nov 10 - On Cambridge InsideOut today (5:30pm and 6:00pm on CCTV) we'll analyze the 2015 Cambridge Election results. We'll do it again next week with lots and lots of quantitative information derived from the actual ballot data once the Final Official Results are made available this Friday, Nov 13. - RW

Flashback to March 1998 (Issue #7 of the original Cambridge Civic Journal)

Save Central SquareI was looking back at some early writings in the original Cambridge Civic Journal and took note of some of the similarities between then and now. This was before the invasion of the millennials and hipsters and the full buildout of Kendall Square and its associated companies and high-income employees. Surprisingly, the tenor of the conversation hasn't really changed all that much. Just replace "Holmes project" with "Mass & Main" and the group "Save Central Square" with "Cambridge Residents Alliance" and subtract out some of the most severe Marxists among them, and it's hard to tell them apart. Here are a few sample quotes, starting with my own:

"Civic participation has become a way of life for me over the last twelve years and has served as a kind of free education about government and society. In recent weeks I have been having second thoughts due to all the rancor associated with the Holmes project in Central Square. In all my time in Cambridge, I have not come across a more vicious, mean-spirited group of people than the gang that calls itself Save Central Square."

"There are some in Cambridge who have a distorted view of what democracy is all about. I watched last summer as propagandists from SCS, unencumbered by employment, galloped out from Central Square yelling that "the yuppies are coming", that a building 15 stories tall was about to be built, that everyone's rent would rise because of the Holmes project, that it would cause traffic to become unbearable, that The Gap and malls and chain stores were coming in, that all commercial tenants would be thrown out permanently, that former Gov. William Weld was behind it, and that people like me who didn't buy the propaganda did not live in Cambridge. When you lie to people and threaten them and attribute rising housing costs to a single project, and if you have unlimited time on your hands, it is no surprise that you can gather several thousand signatures. If I believed what was being said, I would have signed their petition. Fortunately I knew better. I also know what democracy isn't."

"Cambridge has a serious problem of authenticity. Every week I hear individuals claiming to speak for entire neighborhoods with nothing to back up their claims. Neighborhood associations with ancient membership lists and no discernible outreach will meet and make declarations about what other people supposedly believe. They will gleefully blend their own personal agendas with their associations and claim authenticity. I propose that in all public meetings there should be a prohibition against anyone claiming to represent neighborhoods unless they can provide objective substantiation of that claim. Individuals will be free to speak their mind, representatives from organizations can speak for their members, but we should have no more advocating without representation." - Robert Winters, Mar 29, 1998

In that same issue, Clifford Truesdell of Essex St. was quoted:
"Save Central Square is not the community. They are a subset of the community. The community is a lot more diverse, a lot less 60's-ish, and a lot better mannered."

Bill Cunningham's remarks focused on his perceptions of urban renewal and tokenism and denounced the recently passed Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. Basev Sen asserted that the Holmes project would draw high income shoppers from the suburbs. He characterized traffic studies as somewhere between shoddy and outright deceptive. Ellen Al-Wequayan characterized the Holmes project as "the death of the neighborhoods." Jeff Duritz called Central Square the most unique place he'd ever lived and warning of "downstream social consequences" of the Holmes project. He railed against Starbucks, calling on the City to take the Holmes property by eminent domain. Michael Isenberg focused on his belief that the Holmes project was not consistent with the guidelines for development in Central Square. Waddie Taylor called for a moratorium on all development in Cambridge.

Loyd Smith was inexcusably insulting to the City Council and others and was followed by James Williamson, who has become the poster boy for incivility during this entire process. Jimmy repeatedly accused City officials of lying and disrespecting guidelines for Central Square development as he went on for 15 minutes in spite of a 5 minute limit on public comment under the rules. He repeatedly characterized minor revisions to the Holmes proposal as "new proposals". He labeled the use of City funds for facade improvements in Central Square as bribes. He accused officials in the Community Development Department of deliberately withholding information from him. My favorite quote of his: "We ARE the rest of the community." If this is the case, God help us all.

My own remarks on the Holmes project went something like this:
"When we were first introduced to the proposal a year ago, we viewed it as an opportunity. We understood the process through which the proposal would have to go. We asked for the inclusion of affordable housing and this was done. Some of us asked for reduction in height and this was done. We asked for alterations to the massing of the building and this was done. We asked that light be allowed to reach Carl Barron Plaza and this was done. This was a long process, a very inclusive process, and a largely successful process. There have been calls for a greater percentage of affordable housing, as was done in the neighboring Church Corner apartments, but the density of that project was far in excess of what is called for in the Holmes proposal and should not be used as a model." Some have characterized the Holmes project in extreme terms. This is neither the death of a neighborhood nor anything else akin to the apocalypse. To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a building is just a building.

[Report on the Mar 17, 1998 Planning Board meeting where the Holmes project was approved (CCJ#7)]
You may recognize some of the players - then and now. - RW


2015 Receipts with Cambridge totals, overall totals recorded through Nov 21 with the
Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), and Cambridge percentage of total receipts
Summaries (2015) Open Bank
Expend Balance Cambridge
Benzan, Dennis 8207.46 68674.87 75762.44 1119.89 26490.00 66212.27 40.0% 0.00
Carlone, Dennis 4272.67 32289.18 29196.05 7365.80 22635.00 31192.96 72.6% 0.00
Cheung, Leland 6002.06 76231.05 32935.30 49297.81 27276.00 76130.05 35.8% 0.00
Connolly, Mike 0.00 45936.72 37160.86 8775.86 23925.30 29891.14 80.0% 13525.00
Courtney, Kim 0.00 1869.94 1588.70 281.24 905.00 2135.44 42.4% 100.00
Davidson, Mariko 0.00 15203.44 12608.41 2595.03 4687.00 15167.16 30.9% 1280.00
DeGoes, Plineo 0.00 4550.00 4158.79 391.21 1950.00 4665.00 41.8% 1950.00
Devereux, Jan 0.00 54443.70 50150.60 4293.10 47123.00 55959.00 84.2% 0.00
Dietrich, Xavier 0.00 1960.00 1785.77 174.23 600.00 600.00 100.0% 600.00
Kelley, Craig 2601.58 38728.01 29725.35 11604.24 29250.00 38747.76 75.5% 1000.00
Levy, Ilan 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none 0.00
Maher, David 28741.21 51722.86 44552.66 35911.41 28386.05 51722.86 54.9% 0.00
Mahoney, Paul F. 0.00 100.00 126.15 -26.15 1100.00 2075.00 53.0% 100.00
Mazen, Nadeem 12273.54 67221.63 75278.35 4216.82 12372.00 64482.62 19.2% 0.00
McGovern, Marc 6098.45 67196.18 67410.51 5884.12 29265.80 67149.13 43.6% 0.00
Mello, Gary 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none 0.00
Moree, Gregg 0.00 13300.00 13205.62 94.38 13300.00 13300.00 100.0% 13300.00
Sanzone, John 0.00 3085.28 1875.67 1209.61 2175.00 3020.00 72.0% 1100.00
Simmons, Denise 7447.29 59391.39 57690.82 9147.86 27343.11 57791.39 47.3% 0.00
Toomey, Tim 18782.29 41738.14 48154.46 12365.97 18783.17 43117.69 43.6% 0.00
vanBeuzekom, Minka  7380.40 45615.43 45689.24 7306.59 27711.00 38425.23 72.1% 13000.00
Waite, Romaine 0.00 3417.97 3199.08 218.89 1913.25 3141.14 60.9% 0.00
Williamson, James 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none 0.00
Total 101806.95 692675.79 632254.83 162227.91 347190.68 664925.84 52.2% 45955.00

(1) Some of the totals listed as Cambridge receipts come from individuals who give their Cambridge business address but, in fact, live outside of Cambridge.
(2) In the case where candidates have loaned their campaign a substantial amount, this skews their Cambridge percentage of receipts considerably.
(3) If a candidate has not listed his personal loans with the OCPF, the total has been adjusted to match the bank figures.
(4) Receipt and expenditure figures adjusted to the best extent possible to reflect returned donations.

2015 Campaign donations - Percentage from Cambridge (through Nov 21)
(only candidates with a minimum of $2000 in Cambridge receipts included)
Candidate Cambridge 2015 Total Receipts Cambridge % Loan Expenditures
Moree, Gregg 13,300.00 13,300.00 100.0% 13,300.00 13,205.62
Devereux, Jan 47,123.00 55,959.00 84.2% 0.00 48,459.25
Connolly, Mike 23,925.30 29,891.14 80.0% 13,525.00 24,287.58
Kelley, Craig 29,250.00 38,747.76 75.5% 1,000.00 31,729.84
Carlone, Dennis 22,635.00 31,192.96 72.6% 0.00 30,529.49
vanBeuzekom, Minka  27,711.00 38,425.23 72.1% 13,000.00 42,661.98
Sanzone, John 2,175.00 3,020.00 72.0% 1,100.00 1,875.67
Maher, David 28,386.05 51,722.86 54.9% 0.00 64,969.67
Simmons, Denise 27,343.11 57,791.39 47.3% 0.00 68,963.35
McGovern, Marc 29,265.80 67,149.13 43.6% 0.00 63,686.19
Toomey, Tim 18,783.17 43,117.69 43.6% 0.00 49,131.38
Benzan, Dennis 26,490.00 66,212.27 40.0% 0.00 71,888.54
Cheung, Leland 27,276.00 76,130.05 35.8% 0.00 30,257.05
Davidson, Mariko 4,687.00 15,167.16 30.9% 1,280.00 10,882.40
Mazen, Nadeem 12,372.00 64,482.62 19.2% 0.00 75,874.97

Note: Percentages for candidates with more than 70% or less than 30% receipts in bold.

The 2015 Candidates - Final List of Candidates Appearing on the November 3, 2015 Ballot

City Council Candidate Address   Birthdate Occupation
Dennis A. Benzan 1 Pine Street, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 1/25/1972 Attorney
Dennis J. Carlone 9 Washington Avenue #6, 02140 Candidate for Re-Election 5/7/1947 Architect
Leland Cheung 157 Garden Street, 02138 Candidate for Re-Election 2/11/1978 -
Mike Connolly 20 Harding Street #3, 02141   6/3/1980 -
Kim Courtney 2 Ware Street #401, 02138   12/6/1973 Attorney
Mariko Davidson 2 Ware Street #411, 02138   11/20/1981 -
Plineo T. Degoes, Jr. 99 Garden Street, 02138   2/10/1981 Teacher
Jan Devereux 255 Lakeview Avenue, 02138   5/13/1959 Writer/Commun.
Xavier Dietrich 2 Ware Street #401, 02138   12/2/1961 -
Craig A. Kelley 6 Saint Gerard Terrace, 02140 Candidate for Re-Election 9/18/1962 Politician
Ilan S. Levy 148 Spring Street, 02141   11/1/1967 Software Engineer
David P. Maher 120 Appleton Street #2, 02138 Candidate for Re-Election 8/8/1958 Non-profit Mgr.
Paul F. Mahoney, Jr. 23 Lawn Street, 02138   5/8/1950 -
Nadeem A. Mazen 720 Mass. Avenue #4, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 9/20/1983 Entrepreneur
Marc C. McGovern 15 Pleasant Street #2, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 12/21/1968 Social Worker
Gary W. Mello 324 Franklin Street #2, 02139   5/24/1953 Clerk
Gregg J. Moree 25 Fairfield Street #4, 02140   6/16/1957 Carpenter
John Sanzone 540 Memorial Drive #304, 02139   10/16/1988 -
E. Denise Simmons 188 Harvard Street #4B, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 10/2/1951 Public Office
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. 88 Sixth Street, 02141 Candidate for Re-Election 6/7/1953 Councillor
Minka Y. vanBeuzekom 20 Essex Street #1, 02139   7/24/1960 Government
Romaine Waite 60 Lawn Street #5, 02138   6/7/1991 -
James M. Williamson 1000 Jackson Place #45, 02140   1/13/1951 -
School Committee Candidate Address   Birthdate Occupation
Manikka L. Bowman 134 Reed Street, 02140   11/27/1979 -
Pia Cisternino 62 Holworthy Street #1, 02138   8/28/1974 speech-lang. pathologist
Fran Albin Cronin 1 Kimball Lane, 02140 Candidate for Re-Election 2/14/1952 School Committee
Jake W. Crutchfield 281 River Street, 02139   3/31/1987 Teacher
Emily R. Dexter 9 Fenno Street, 02138   3/16/1957 Educational Researcher
Alfred B. Fantini 4 Canal Park #203, 02141 Candidate for Re-Election 6/8/1949 Retired
Richard Harding, Jr. 189 Windsor Street #1, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 10/16/1972 Administrator
Elechi M. Kadete 10 Laurel Street #4, 02139   9/30/1989 Accountant
Kathleen M. Kelly 17 Marie Avenue #1, 02139 Candidate for Re-Election 3/8/1960 Social Worker
Patricia M. Nolan 184 Huron Avenue, 02138 Candidate for Re-Election 8/28/1957 School Committee
David J. Weinstein 45 S. Normandy Avenue, 02138   12/10/1972 Writer/Commun.

CC = City Council, SC = School Committee

Official List of Candidates for the 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election (PDF - released Aug 19, 2015)

This list of candidates is also available as sortable tables at http://cambridgecivic.com/?p=4193.

Campaign RoboCalls - Let's Get Scary!

Happy Halloween!Don't say I didn't warn you. Cambridge voters should expect to be inundated this week with campaign robo-calls. In keeping with this year's political rhetoric that "the sky is falling" and "our city is on the brink of ruin" that's been flying around for the last few months, don't be surprised if some of these calls are especially frightening. In addition to the basic "vote for me because I really care" calls, you should expect some really scary calls similar to the famous "Pearl Harbor" robo-call of the campaign of two years ago.

In honor of Halloween which conveniently coincides with the peak of the municipal election season, if you have the capacity to record any especially fright-inducing robo-calls, please send 'em and maybe we'll post the audio recordings here.

Get ready to be really scared! - RW

Watch candidate forums, profiles and live Election Day coverage on CCTV.

Cambridge InsideOutLearn about candidates and issues on CCTV and keep informed about the 2015 election.

This year's Cambridge City Council and School Committee Election will be covered on CCTV's channels and websites, CCTVcambridge.org and NeighborMedia.org. Keep abreast of local Cambridge politics and tune in on Election Day, November 3rd, for up to the minute live coverage at the Cambridge Senior Center. Learn about the issues and keep informed about results.

Watch CCTV live on Election Night from the count at the Senior Center on Channel 8 at 8pm and at CCTVcambridge.org/channel08. Robert Winters and Susana Segat will fill you in on the issues and interview candidates and pundits until the results are in.

Election-related programming will run at the following times on Channel 8 and stream at CCTVcambridge.org/channel08. These times are subject to change, but will be updated regularly at CCTVcambridge.org/ElectionCoverage. Select events will also be archived on this page as they become available.

To read what citizen journalists have to say about election events and issues they care about, visit NeighborMedia.org/tags/government-politics.

Cambridge Community Television is an award-winning, nationally recognized community media center that provides tools and training to foster free speech and creative expression, involving people from across the city as producers and viewers of media that is informative, engaging and as diverse as the Cambridge community. CCTV operates local cable channels 8, 9 and 96, offers hands-on media production and technology workshops for people of all ages, runs NeighborMedia.org, an innovative citizen journalism project, and a vibrant Youth Media Program, hosts computerCENTRAL public computer labs, and manages a dynamic, media-rich website at cctvcambridge.org.

Oct 21 - The "Random Draw of Precincts" took place tonight at the Cambridge Election Commission. This determines the order in which ballots from precincts throughout the city are counted in the election. Though this has a relatively minor effect on the tabulation of the ballots (because of the "Cincinnati Method" used to transfer surplus ballots), it can potentially make a difference in a very close election. It's also somewhat significant during rounds of the election count when candidates reach quota and are elected. Here's the ordering determined by lottery (read down the columns):


Oct 20 - The main topics on tonight's Cambridge InsideOut will be PR voting and Candidate Slates. Tune in to CCTV at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [Video recordings of the shows]

Sam Seidel's take on last night's (Oct 15) City Council Candidates Forum hosted by "A Better Cambridge"

and this: Mazen...36 v. Toomey...2   (perhaps not what you think.....)

I always love it when people in very thin glass houses throw very large stones.
How is it that a candidate who gets only 17.5% of his campaign donations from people in Cambridge (by far the lowest of all candidates) and who has been contacted by the Office of Campaign Finance more than any other candidate for lack of transparency in his campaign finance reports can make the problem of "money in politics" one of the core issues of his campaign?

There's also this:  How is it that a City Council Aide paid by tax dollars is identified as "Campaign Manager at Nadeem Mazen"? Should the City of Cambridge be listed as a campaign donor for paying Dan Blake Schwartz to manage a City Council campaign? Those Council Aide positions have always been suspect, but these last two years have seen unbridled politicization of the Council aide positions by at least two city councillors.

Mazen Campaign Manager

Oct 6 – Quick Notes on a City Council Candidate Forum

I just got back from the City Council Candidate Forum hosted by the Ward 6 Democratic City Committee at the Senior Center. There were 17 of the 23 candidates there, though Councillor Simmons and Vice Mayor Benzan left before I arrived due to a conflicting engagement. Mayor Maher was also chairing the School Committee meeting. Much of the forum was taken up by responses to questions submitted by attendees, so they were not necessarily representative of what the candidates are actually hearing outside the forum as they move about the city. That said, some of the responses were interesting. Here are just a few observations I took away from this event (and from a previous one held last week by the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association):

The first observation is that some people seem to be obsessed by the existence of candidate slates in this year's election and think they are supposed to be something more than a strategy for enhancing the chances of election of the candidates included on a given slate. Councillor Mazen started this ball rolling by creating his own slate of candidates (Mazen, Davidson, Sanzone, Waite) that most people see as specifically designed to reelect Mazen. That said, the other three candidates on that slate have some good qualities - even if they are perhaps not really yet ready to be elected officials. The four candidates on this slate also happen to be the four youngest candidates of the 23 who are running.

The second candidate slate to appear was the Unity Slate (Benzan, Cheung, Kelley, Maher, McGovern, Simmons, Toomey) that consists of seven incumbents, though they were apparently open to including challengers. This slate is very diverse and all of the candidates are socially and politically progressive relative to any reasonable standard, but the slate is based more on collegiality and the idea of working collaboratively to actually move some things forward. It is not an ideologically-driven slate. Those who have watched local Cambridge politics over the years understand well that progressives simply "talking the talk" does not necessarily translate into concrete actions. In the end, of course, this slate like all other slates is primarily about strategically enhancing the election chances of its member candidates.

The latest candidate slate (whether they call it a slate or a list of endorsees) is the one put together by the Cambridge Residents Alliance (Carlone, Connolly, Devereux, Mazen, Waite). It's ironic that several members of this slate seem bothered by the existence of the Unity Slate when they are, in fact, designed for exactly the same purpose - to enhance electability. Unaligned candidate Ilan Levy has even gone so far as to file a legal challenge to the existence of the Unity Slate, though it should be obvious to anyone that the election of individual candidates or a group of candidates has never been a policy issue before the City Council subject to either discussion or a vote. No whistle, no foul; and certainly no violation of the Open Meeting Law. I suppose all it takes is a pen and a grudge to file a complaint.

The existence of candidate slates should not have been a topic at either of these forums. Individual candidates certainly could have and should have promoted their slates at these forums, but this is not what forum organizers should be doing. Their focus should be on the qualities of the candidates, where they stand on current issues, and any new ideas they might pursue if elected.

Several candidates expressed interest in having a directly elected mayor. Councillor Carlone even went so far as to suggest that Cambridge might do this the way it is done in Worcester. He neglected to mention that in that city there are many city council candidates who declare for mayor, but the field is reduced in a preliminary action. Cambridge has no preliminary or primary elections thanks to our proportional representation system of election with its ranked preferences and transferable votes, so if one assumes there would be close to 9 mayoral candidates (or more), the likelihood of electing a mayor that way with majority support would be virtually nil. These details matter. At candidate forums, the candidates can say almost anything without having to provide any information that might cause their positions to come into question. Thankfully, most of the candidates in attendance expressed general satisfaction with the system of election that we use in Cambridge.

Councillor Carlone also made the claim that the Town of Belmont had offered $10 million toward the purchase of the so-called "Silver Maple Forest" in the Belmont uplands bordering on Cambridge. Perhaps he has some inside information but that's the first I ever heard of Belmont putting $10 million on the table to prevent the housing project now under construction from being developed at that site.

There are many other things that could be said about these forums. I was glad that candidates Courtney and Dietrich were absent at the Ward 6 forum. They would likely have just used the opportunity to again gripe about their failure to secure a license for their proposed wine bar and how this indicates that all of Cambridge's boards and commissions are either corrupt or incompetent or that the City Manager needs to lord over them at the expense of their independence.

Perhaps the most disturbing position taken by any candidate at this forum was Councillor Mazen's proposal to eliminate the Residential Exemption on the property tax bills of Cambridge residents except for those who can prove with their tax returns that their income is sufficiently low to deserve this benefit. This is something Mazen promoted recently at the City Council meeting when this year's proposed tax rates were voted subject to approval by the Mass. Dept of Revenue. The Residential Exemption this year is $277,937 and with an approved tax rate of $6.99/thousand this translates into a tax savings of about $1,943 per residential homeowner. In other words, Councillor Mazen wants homeowners to pay an additional nearly $2,000 per year in property taxes unless they can prove to City officials with their tax returns that they should get the exemption. This is what he calls "progressive taxation". Perhaps a good question for the next candidate forum should be directed to Mazen's fellow slate members asking whether they also feel that homeowners should be asked to produce either $2,000 or their tax returns. Fortunately, state law supersedes City Council politics, so the question is purely academic. - Robert Winters

Cambridge Human Rights Commission Vacancy - Deadline Extended to October 30

City of CambridgeCambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC). Made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms, the CHRC meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00pm. The Commission seeks Cambridge residents representing the diversity of Cambridge.

Commissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.76). Commissioners are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees on outreach and public education, and work with Commission staff on the investigation, mediation and resolution of complaints filed with the Commission which allege discrimination in housing, public accommodation, employment or education based upon race, color, sex, age, religious creed, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income.

For more information, contact Nancy Schlacter, Cambridge Human Rights Commission, at 617-349-4396 or nschlacter@cambridgema.gov.

Letters of interest, including resume and/or applicable experience, can be sent via mail, fax or e-mail by Friday, October 30, 2015 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Cambridge InsideOut Returns on Tuesday, October 13

Cambridge InsideOut is returning to CCTV weekly starting Tuesday, October 13 at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The back-to-back programs will be produced by Robert Winters and Judy Nathans. The producers will host the first programs, but other Cambridge luminaries will occasionally serve as guest hosts on the programs. We will often have guests on the programs in addition to providing news and commentary on current Cambridge civic and political matters. Videos of the programs will be made available after the live shows. Questions? Suggestions?

The show happens every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm.

Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots for the Municipal Election, November 3rd

Vote!The 2016 Cambridge Municipal Election will be held on Tues, Nov 3, 2015. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wed, Oct 14, 2015 from 8:30am to 8pm.

Please contact the Cambridge Election Commission office to find out when the Absentee Ballots will be available. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission by Noon on Mon, Nov 2, 2015. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular City office hours: Mon, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tues-Thurs, 8:30am-5:00pm; Fri, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for Absentee Voting on Fri, Oct 30 from 8:30am until 5:00pm and Sat, Oct 31 from 9:00am until 5:00pm. The polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00am until 8:00pm.

For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit our website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.

Select Stories from the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Putnam Square Apartments preserved for seniors in Harvard Square (Sept 30, 2015)

Cambridge votes to triple linkage fees in support of affordable housing (Adam Sennott, Sept 29, 2015)

Guest Column: How to keep Cambridge affordable (Jess Kansen-Benanav, Sept 29, 2015)

Curbside composting to expand in North Cambridge (Sept 28, 2015)

Farooq to take helm at Cambridge Community Development Department (Erin Baldassari, Sept 23, 2015)

Cambridge councilors look to 'take back' a deteriorating Central Square (Adam Sennott, Sept 22, 2015)

Guest Column: Cleaning up Central Square (Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan, Sept 21, 2015)

Editorial: We want your news – here's how to share it (Sept 18, 2015)

Consumer advocates take aim at home insurance soaring rates (Gerry Tuati, Sept 18, 2015)

Topics for Municipal Election Candidates - 2015

Candidates for City Council and School Committee in each municipal election since 2003 have been asked to submit statements to be posted on their Cambridge Candidate Pages on a range of topics relevant to the respective offices. Candidates can also submit statements on other topics of importance to them. The request will soon go out again to this year's candidates. Are there any particular topic areas that should be on this year's list? Please let me know what you think so that we can have a good starting point for all candidates. For reference, the topics from the 2013 election are listed below with some modifications based on submitted suggestions. - Robert Winters

City Council candidates were asked in 2013 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three, then elaborate]
3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density
4) Economic Development and Commerce
5) Housing and Residential Development
6) Energy, the Environment, and Public Health
7) Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
8) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
9) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)
10) Quality of Life and Public Safety

Other topics that you might wish to address (including some submitted suggestions): Civic Participation; Government and Elections; Plan E Charter; City Manager; University Relations; Youth Programs; Senior Programs; Arts and Public Celebrations; Cambridge Public Schools; Future of the Foundry Building; Municipal Broadband/Cable TV; Planning and budgeting for snow removal; Oversight of City contractors doing road, sewer, and water work.

Priority Question: What is your vision for Central Square over the next decade?

School Committee candidates were asked in 2013 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three, then elaborate]
3) Top Challenges Facing CPS today
4) Evaluation of the Innovation Agenda
5) School Department Administration and Superintendent
6) School Department Budget and Capital Needs
7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students
8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners
9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies
10) Curriculum and Programs
   a) Elementary School Grades
   b) Middle School Grades
   c) High School Grades

Other topics that you might wish to address: MCAS and Measuring Student Achievement, Teacher Evaluations and Performance Measures, School Safety and Student Behavior, World Languages, Parent Involvement and School Councils, Enrollment in Public vs. Charter vs. Private Schools

Priority Question: What are your recommendations for meeting the needs of high-achieving/advanced learners, especially in the middle-school grades?

Any topics to add, delete, or modify?

Conversations about the Volpe Site

The Volpe Outreach forum originally scheduled for Aug 17 has been rescheduled to Saturday, October 17th, 10am-12pm at the Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring St. An agenda will be posted on the Volpe webpage before the forum. http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment/Zoning/Amendments/PUDKSVolpeSiteVolpe Site Conversations

Full-Scale Flyer (PDF)

A Better Cambridge Holds Fall Discussion Series on Affordable Housing and Development in Cambridge

HousingA Better Cambridge (ABC), Cambridge's citywide group of residents working to build a more diverse and livable Cambridge, has announced a fall discussion series to help engage Cambridge residents, political candidates, and policy experts in planning for the growth of a sustainable Cambridge that provides affordable housing options for all families.

Affordable Housing in Cambridge - At the Epicenter of Development and Demand

As Cambridge embarks on a citywide plan for development our real estate market booms and our population is expected to grow in the coming decade, low and middle-income families in Cambridge city still struggle with unaffordable and rising housing costs. How can we ensure that new development in Cambridge serves the housing needs of all families including those with lower incomes? How does this relate to other important development issues – density, walking/biking/public transit, parking, and creating exciting, walkable neighborhoods? A Better Cambridge brings together experts to discuss what Cambridge can do to build a more diverse, affordable, and livable city for all families.

This panel will be held on Saturday, 9/26, 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the Citywide Senior Center (806 Mass. Ave, Central Square). For updated information, including the announcement of additional panelists and moderator, visit the ABC website: http://www.abettercambridge.org/housing_forum_2015.


Cambridge stands at a crossroads and the next City Council will play a major role in determining the future diversity, sustainability, and character of our city. As we look to this November's municipal election, residents want to understand how all City Council candidates approach the development challenges and opportunities facing our city. Join candidates for Cambridge Cambridge City Council in a moderated discussion about their plans and visions for our city's future.

This candidates forum will be held on Thursday, October 15th, 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the Broad Institute (415 Main Street, Kendall Square). The moderator will be Robin Young, host of "Here and Now" on WBUR. Please stay tuned to the ABC website for more details.

ABC is Cambridge's only citywide pro-smart growth resident group. Since our founding in 2012, ABC has been instrumental in opposing the downzoning of Central Square, advocating for expansion of a mixed-use neighborhood in Kendall Square, and most recently, securing the promise of 50 units of affordable housing at Mass. Ave & Main Street. For more information about ABC or either of these events, contact jesse@abettercambridge.org.

Cambridge School Committee Announces Superintendent Finalists
Selected by Community Stakeholder Search Committee

CPSOct 13 – The Cambridge School Committee today announced the names of the three finalist candidates to be considered for the position of Superintendent of Schools. A Town Hall Community Forum will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm in the Fitzgerald Auditorium at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School where members of the public may meet the finalists, to be followed by public interviews of the finalists by the full School Committee on October 16 at a Special Meeting.

The three finalists are:

Dr. Sergio M. Paez is a consultant to the Holyoke Public Schools, where he formerly led the district as Superintendent, appointed in 2013. Dr. Paez was previously Assistant Superintendent and English Language Learners Director for the Worcester Public Schools, and Language Acquisitions Director for the Leominster Public Schools. He also served as an Assistant Principal in Fitchburg where he began his educational career as an elementary bilingual teacher. Dr. Paez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Fitchburg State College, Master’s degree in School Administration from Harvard University, and Doctorate degree in Education from Boston College. Recent honors include the 2014 and 2015 Holyoke Early Literacy Initiative Award, 2014 Pacesetters Award, and 2015 Gateway Cities Innovation Award in Education.

Dr. Kenneth N. Salim is Superintendent of the Weymouth Public Schools, having held that position since 2012. Dr. Salim was previously employed by the Boston Public Schools as Senior Director of the Chief Academic Office, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Professional Development, Director of New Teacher Support and Teacher Development, Science Department Supervisor, and Technology Support Teacher Leader. He also served as Special Assistant for Policy and Planning for the San Francisco Unified School District. Dr. Salim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management and Doctoral degree in the Urban Superintendents Program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Recent honors include membership in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Professional Development Brain Trust, the 2014 Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and the 2013 American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education.

Dr. Stacy L. Scott is Superintendent of the Framingham Public Schools, having joined that district in 2012 following his previous appointment of Superintendent of the Dracut Public Schools. Dr. Scott was formerly Associate Superintendent for the Office of Shared Accountability at the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, Founder and President of the Center for Understanding Equity in Boston and Co-Founder, and Principal of ExecResults Consulting in Westford, MA. He also served as Director of Diversity at the Park School, taught Math and Spanish at the Noble and Greenough School, and has practiced as a Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Government from Harvard-Radcliffe, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Scott’s recent presentations include Making Equity Work, Five Steps in Changing School Culture, and Accountability in Action.

Questions are currently being accepted for the Superintendent Finalist forum Thursday night! If you are interested in submitting a question, please visit: Superintendent Search: Question Suggestions for Community Forum Survey

The three finalists were selected from among a nationally generated candidate pool following screening and interviews conducted by a nineteen-member Superintendent Search Interview Committee (SSIC) which was convened in September. School Committee representatives Fred Fantini, Richard Harding and Patty Nolan joined the search committee which was comprised of a diverse cross-section of Cambridge Public Schools stakeholders inclusive of educational, parent/guardian, union, administrative, city, business, non-profit, diversity, and higher education representatives.

The School Committee launched a national search led by Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) last spring to seek a successor for Dr. Jeffrey M. Young, who announced last year that he will stepping down as Superintendent at the conclusion of this school year. The search, led by HYA President Hank Gmitro and search consultants Ed McCormick and John Connolly, yielded a pool of 42 applicants, 12 of whom were considered and seven of whom were interviewed by the search committee, resulting in these three finalist candidates being recommended to the School Committee for further consideration.

“It was such an honor and a pleasure to work with this team,” said Tracey Pratt, an Upper School Special Education teacher who served on the search committee. “I enjoyed the process and meeting all the wonderful, committed people who I may not otherwise have had the opportunity to connect with,” stated Geeta Pradhan, President of the Cambridge Community Foundation, who also served on the committee.

Other search committee members included parent representatives Trina Abbott, Sachiko Rodes, and Michael West; diversity representative Lewis Bryant; educational, union, and administrative representatives Ross Benson, Katie Charner-Laird, Terry Gist, and Maryann MacDonald; City Manager representative Ellen Semonoff; higher education representatives Bridget Rodriguez and Lloyd Sheldon Johnson; and business and non-profit representatives Karen Greenleaf, Jeff Lockwood, and Elissa Spelman. Nolan, Bryant, Charner-Laird, Rodriguez, and Greenleaf are also parents of Cambridge Public School students. CPS Executive Director for Human Resources and Superintendent Search Liaison Barbara Allen and Alanna Mallon, the Mayor’s Educational Liaison, are supporting the process.

“We look forward to the final phases of the search, and on behalf of the entire Cambridge School Committee, I extend sincere thanks and appreciation for the dedication and thoughtful work performed by each of the Superintendent Search Interview Committee members,” said David Maher, Mayor and School Committee chair. “There was a tremendous amount of synergy and forward-thinking gained by bringing this great, diverse group of talented people together. It has been the School Committee’s goal to have a transparent and inclusive process, informed throughout by the rich mosaic of voices of the City’s public school stakeholders. We hope that many people are able to join us at the Town Hall Community Forum to meet the candidates on October 15, and welcome this additional opportunity for community engagement and feedback.”

The initial interviews performed by the Superintendent Search Interview Committee were preceded by a series of over forty community focus groups, coffees, and surveys, leading to the development of a leadership profile that reflected the opinions of over 600 stakeholders.

Other School Committee members include incumbents Fran Cronin, Kathleen Kelly, and Mervan Osborne. The Community Forum will be broadcast on Channel 99, and can also be livestreamed online at the Cambridge Public Schools website, www.cpsd.us. Those attending will be provided the opportunity to give written feedback to the School Committee and a feedback form will also be included on the CPS website’s Superintendent Search link for those engaging while at home. Members of the public may also submit online advance suggestions for questions to be posed to the candidates at the Forum.
Prior to Thursday evening’s Town Hall Community Forum, the three finalists will visit the district to tour elementary, upper, and high school classrooms, and will also meet with CRLS student representatives.

The School Committee anticipates making a selection decision prior to the end of October.

Superintendent Finalists Forum

Random Thursday Thoughts

The Midsummer Cambridge City Council Meeting is coming up this Monday, August 10. With this being a municipal election year, it's likely there will be a few very politically-oriented Council orders on the agenda (available tonight) illustrating just how much Councillor X cares about the needs of every voting constituency that can be harvested in November. I expect to see scores of Orders and over a hundred Resolutions.

Random ThoughtsWe now have our first candidate slate - basically one incumbent councillor (Mazen) and several feeders (Davidson, Sanzone, Waite) recruited to help ensure the reelection of the incumbent though it's being portrayed as a selfless act in support of civic engagement.

I expect there will be other candidates slates before all is said and done. The Cambridge Residents Alliance (CResA) is guaranteed to assemble its own slate - perhaps under an alias because, after all, they are a non-profit, charitable tax-exempt organization and not a political organization. If you believe that, I have some nice bottomland at Alewife for sale just for you. As for the election, it will be interesting to see if the CResA challengers help to re-elect their favorite incumbent (Carlone) or facilitate his exit by elevating one or more of their challengers past him.

I'm curious to see how Minka vanBeuzekom fares. Two years ago she was ranked very favorably by many voters (4th best out of 25 candidates if you count the number of voters who ranked her #1 through #5 on their ballots), but she lost by a narrow margin because many of her supporters chose to give their #1 vote to a newcomer. Will they come back? We'll have to wait and see. - RW

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Sept 19, 2015)

First of all, there's Danehy Park Family Day today! Don't be surprised if you see a few City Council and School Committee candidates there working the crowd. There's also the first City Council meeting of the fall this coming Monday (Sept 21). Any human beings out there may also be interested in serving on the City's Human Services Commission (application deadline Sept 30).

How many City officials and Outdoor Lighting Ordinance Taskforce committee members does it take to change a light bulb?

Proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance (as of June 4, 2015)

Participatory Budgeting

The City is once again undertaking its Participatory Budgeting process. Idea Collection ended on August 31 and Proposal Development is now ongoing. Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project Proposals during Sept-Nov 2015. City staff vet proposals for Feasibility and Cost during Nov 2015. Residents will Vote on which projects they’d like the City to fund during Dec 5-12, 2015. Results will then be announced. Winning projects will then be included in the City’s FY17 capital budget (Dec 2015). The pilot PB process will later be Evaluated during Jan-Mar 2016 and projects will be Implemented July 2016 onward.

2015 Receipts with Cambridge totals, overall totals recorded through Sept 12 with the
Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), and Cambridge percentage of total receipts
Summaries (2015) Open Bank Receipts Expend Balance Cambridge 2015 OCPF Receipts Cambridge %
Benzan, Dennis 8207.46 31950.00 23927.39 16230.07 14150.00 36610.00 38.7%
Carlone, Dennis 4272.67 20889.46 4100.00 21062.13 16725.00 20822.18 80.3%
Cheung, Leland 6002.06 30899.60 14667.83 22233.83 10925.00 30964.60 35.3%
Connolly, Mike 0.00 4568.15 1537.26 3030.89 2490.00 3842.00 64.8%
Courtney, Kim 0.00 1472.91 1366.15 106.76 555.00 1685.44 32.9%
Davidson, Mariko 0.00 4792.84 387.53 4405.31 1502.00 4493.05 33.4%
DeGoes, Plineo 0.00 4050.00 1416.51 2633.49 1450.00 1450.00 100.0%
Devereux, Jan 0.00 37086.35 31948.56 5137.79 32280.00 39335.00 82.1%
Dietrich, Xavier 0.00 300.00 0.00 300.00 300.00 300.00 100.0%
Kelley, Craig 2601.58 6679.01 3909.38 5371.21 9177.00 11232.00 81.7%
Levy, Ilan 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none
Maher, David 28741.21 20505.07 10205.73 39040.55 12696.05 23330.07 54.4%
Mahoney, Paul F. 0.00 100.00 74.00 26.00 0.00 0.00 none
Mazen, Nadeem 12273.54 6834.33 14680.09 4427.78 661.00 4029.19 16.4%
McGovern, Marc 6098.45 44366.62 25223.36 25241.71 21175.00 47789.86 44.3%
Mello, Gary 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none
Moree, Gregg 0.00 2100.00 1689.63 410.37 0.00 0.00 none
Sanzone, John 0.00 2047.64 647.12 1400.52 1550.00 2170.00 71.4%
Simmons, Denise 7447.29 30206.10 20107.37 17546.02 15293.11 31447.93 48.6%
Toomey, Tim 18782.29 24901.50 25520.60 18163.19 8026.50 25401.50 31.6%
vanBeuzekom, Minka  7380.40 22342.12 16629.80 13092.72 16345.00 23128.16 70.7%
Waite, Romaine 0.00 1221.02 825.57 395.45 0.00 0.00 none
Williamson, James 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 none
Total 101951.77 106025.38 70315.37 137661.78 148033.72 261865.26 56.5%

Cambridge Education Association to host School Committee Candidate Debate/Forum

Cambridge Education AssociationThe Cambridge Education Association will sponsor a forum/debate on Wednesday, October 7, for candidates seeking election to the Cambridge School Committee. The event will take place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Cambridge Public Library-Main Branch Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway. Earl Wiman, a member of the Executive Committee of the 3-million-member National Education Association, will serve as moderator. The public is invited to attend.

Voters will elect six candidates to the Cambridge School Committee on Tuesday, November 3.

If you are interested in submitting a question for the forum, please e-mail info@cambeducation.org.

For more information, please contact Robert Travers at 617-492-4709 or e-mail him at treas@cambeducation.org.

This election will give voters the ability to make decisions that will have a significant impact on the Cambridge community. The Cambridge School Committee oversees the district’s budget, approves curriculum, and represents the school district in labor negotiations with the unions. It also serves as the voice of the public in the school district, and it must communicate the needs of the school system to the public.” – Terry Gist, president of the 1,200-member Cambridge Education Association

A Calendar of all candidate forums is at: http://cambridgecivic.com/vote/calendar2015.htm

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - September-October 2015

recycling symbol

Pumpkins, Leaves & Free Compost until 10/31
Cambridge Kids are Green :)
Curbside Pickup of Food Scraps Expands! Oct 19
Volunteers Needed for Door to Door & Schools
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept 12 and Oct 17
Shredding Event Oct 17
Fixer Fair Oct 24

Pumpkins, Leaves & Free Compost until 10/31

After Halloween, pumpkins are accepted with yard waste for curbside collection (remove candles). But, consider cooking your sugar pumpkins! Chop it and roast in the oven or steam/puree it to use in delicious roasted breads, soups, cookies, pies and more.

Save fall leaves to cover up or bury food scraps in your backyard compost bin, and remember to keep right ratio: 3 parts “browns” to 1 part “greens”. Remember that separate yard waste collection (leaves, grass and small twigs & branches), ends the week of Dec 14-18 and begins again April 1st. For yard waste stickers, order them online, call DPW, or stop by the office. Cambridge residents can get free compost in small quantities at the Recycling Center during open hours: Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm and Sat 9am-4pm. Bring your own containers and get some while it’s available this year, through October 31. Thanks to Rocky Hill Farm for giving back our food scraps as rich beautiful soil!

Cambridge Kids are Green :)

Last school year, Cambridge Public School kids, teachers and faculty recycled over 765,000 pounds of paper and containers to be made into new products. At the 10 schools with lunchroom composting programs, over 120,000 pounds of food scraps were collected to be made into rich soil. In June, CPS received the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award in Washington, D.C. presented by U.S. Secretary of State and the White House Council on Environmental Quality!

Here are some green ideas for parents:

  • Send a reusable water bottle to school with your child so they can easily drink water at meal times and in the classroom. Help your child learn by sending healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and items made with whole grains and low-fat dairy. More tips from CPS wellness policy.
  • Limit screen time and create family activities to enjoy play, music, food, and nature together. Teach your kids to be conscious consumers. Talk about where things come from, who made them, what they are made of, and what happens when they are thrown away. Sometimes it's better to buy used or to not buy at all. More tips from New Dream's Kids Unbranded guide.

Curbside Pickup of Food Scraps Expands! 10/19

Curbside pickup of food scraps is expanding in Cambridge! The pilot program of 600+ households in North Cambridge was so successful that it will expand to 5,000 more households in the Monday route. From October 6-14, eligible residences with 12 units or less and City trash service will get: how-to instructions, a kitchen bin with compostable bags, a green curbside bin (to share at multi-family buildings). Free weekly collection begins Monday, October 19.

Volunteer to knock on doors and educate North Cambridge households!
Visit CambridgeMA.Gov/CompostPickup for more info.

Door to Door in North Cambridge in October
Curbside pickup of food scraps expands in Cambridge October 19! Thousands of eligible residences will get green bins, bags, and instructions in early October. We need 40-50 volunteers to knock on doors for 2-3 hours on four weeknights: Thurs 10/8, Tues 10/13, Wed 10/14, and Thurs 10/15. DPW staff will provide each volunteer with canvassing supplies and training. Help educate residents and maximize participation, reduce waste, and protect our climate. Click here to sign up and thank you!

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept 12 & Oct 17

  • Saturday, Sept 12, 9am-1pm, Danehy Park Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St.
  • Saturday, Oct 17, 9am-1pm, Volpe Transportation Lot 4 (via Munroe off 3rd St.)
Cambridge residents only, bring proof of residency. We accept auto fluids, batteries (non alkaline), car tires, glues, medications, mercury items, paint products, solvents, and propane tanks (20 lbs or less). If the product label includes the words POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION, bring to HHW day. Click here for more info including alternative options and what you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours.

Shredding Event Oct 17

The Cambridge Consumers’ Council and US Postal Service are offering a free document shredding on Saturday, October 17 from 10am-2pm, in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave, rain or shine. Members of the public can securely dispose of personal and confidential paper documents. Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Limited drop-off parking will be available on both Mass Ave and Bigelow Street. Please call the Consumers Council at 617.349.6150 or email consumer@cambridgema.gov.

Fixer Fair Oct 24

The Somerville Arts Council is sponsoring another Fixer Fair on October 24 from 3pm-7pm, Union Square Plaza, organized by the Somerville Tool Library. Fixer Fair is a free, public, outdoor event devoted to repair! Cambridge residents are totally welcome. We're collecting fixers, tinkers, sewers, carpenters, electricians and all sorts of folks to help organize the Fair. The Somerville Tool Library will also have a table and we're specifically interested in Tool Library members who would be willing to staff that area, explain to attendees how the tool library works and accept tool donations.

If you're interested in participating in any way, please email somervilletoollibrary@gmail.com with your availability, interests, questions & suggestions!

Know that recycling is easy and mandatory in Cambridge! Review what to recycle and help educate new residents! Encourage others to stay in the loop and sign up for the City’s monthly e-newsletter on recycling, composting and reducing waste. Just email us at recycle@cambridgema.gov.

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use iReport or call DPW at 617-349-4800 no later than 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2015 collection schedule online for full details.
  • During winter, Clear snow to curb so collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters so that they are not behind snow banks. For more info click here. Thank you.

Select Stories from the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Medford man arrested in connection with Cambridge murder (Sara Feijo w/Amy Saltzman, Aug 24, 2015)

Cambridge looks to build variety among street performers (Sara Feijo, Aug 21, 2015)

Cambridge skatepark completion slated for late fall; work surpasses halfway mark (Sara Feijo, Aug 19, 2015)

Mid East owners look to expand club into former T.T.'s space (Sara Feijo, Aug 18, 2015)

Metered parking extended in Harvard and Porter squares (Aug 18, 2015)

LETTER: Cooperate with Cambridge police to help bring justice to Area Four murder (Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan, Aug 17, 2015)

COLUMN: Progress is accumulative (Cathie Zusy, Aug 16, 2015)

Cambridge police probe continues as neighborhood reacts to fatal shooting (Sara Feijo, Aug 13, 2015 w/Aug 19 update)

‘Stop killing our future:' Murder victim’s mom says Area Four violence needs to end (Sara Feijo, Aug 13, 2015 w/Aug 18 update)

Family, friends mourn man slain in Cambridge shooting (Sara Feijo, Aug 13, 2015)

MLK school to be complete in December (Sara Feijo, Aug 13, 2015)

60 Seconds: Cambridge City Council (Aug 10) meeting highlights (Sara Feijo, Aug 12, 2015)

Story maps show off Cambridge city data (Haiyun Jiang, Aug 11, 2015)

Growing Older column: Newspapers must not be abandoned (Richard Griffin, Aug 9, 2015)

West Nile virus found in Cambridge mosquitoes (Aug 9, 2015)

Divide remains over Forbes Plaza proposal (Sara Feijo, Aug 6, 2015)

Kendall 3.0: MIT submits plans for square remake (Erin Baldassari, Aug 4, 2015)

Angry cabbies bash Uber, march on Cambridge City Hall (Amy Saltzman, Aug 3, 2015)

West Nile virus found in Cambridge mosquitoes (July 31, 2015)

Cambridge seeks public's input on how to spend $600K (July 31, 2015)

Developer sought for 14-acre Volpe campus (Sara Feijo, July 29, 2015 w/July 31 update)

Second rabid raccoon captured at Fresh Pond (July 28, 2015)

Developers' affordable housing payments could triple (Sara Feijo, July 23, 2015)

Garden Street housing development to stay affordable (July 20, 2015)

Multi-use path unveiled near Cambridge Common (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)

Cambridge's superintendent search moves to interview phase (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)

Guest column: Significant victory for affordable housing in Cambridge (Denise Simmons, Dennis Benzan, Marc McGovern)

Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe sold after six decades in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 13, 2015)

Timeline set for Cambridge superintendent hire (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)

Big plans for Out of Town News in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)

Visiting Lucius R. Paige and I.F. Stone at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Rev. Lucius R. Paige was the Town/City Clerk of Cambridge in 1839 and from 1843 through 1855. In 1877 he published his History of Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1630-1877, the definitive text on the subject. Lucius Paige lived from 1802 to 1896.

Lucius R. Paige portrait

Lucius R. Paige

Lucius Paige

Lucius R. Paige

 I. F. Stone

Not far from the grave of Lucius Paige is the final resting place of I.F. Stone (Isador Feinstein Stone). As his Wikipedia page says: "In 1999, a New York University poll of journalists ranked I.F. Stone’s Weekly at 16 in "The Top 100 Works of Journalism in the United States in the 20th Century," placing the Weekly second among print journalism.

Both Lucius Paige and I.F. Stone are inspiring figures for anyone who cares to write about local history, government, or politics. Mount Auburn Cemetery is an inspiration in so many ways.

City of Cambridge Selects Consultant for Citywide Plan
Utile Architecture + Planning team selected to run multiyear process

Cambridge NeighborhoodsAug 21, 2015 – Today, Cambridge Officials announced that an interdisciplinary team led by Utile Architecture + Planning (Utile) has been selected for the Cambridge citywide planning project. “The City is looking forward to embarking on this important citywide process with Utile,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “This multiyear effort is a major investment that the City is making in the future of our community. Residents, business employers and employees, property owners and developers, institutions, non-profit organizations, and many other stakeholders will be active participants in this process and a key component to ensuring that the citywide plan reflects the values of our community. I want to thank the other highly qualified and respected firms that participated in our selection process.”

The other finalists in the City’s selection process were Sasaki, and Perkins + Will.

On July 27, 2015, the finalists made presentations to and answered questions from the public in an event held in the Sullivan Chambers in City Hall. Following the public presentations, the City’s Selection Committee conducted a multi-day evaluation process that resulted in City Manager Richard C. Rossi accepting the recommendation to hire Utile. Over the next few weeks the City will be working with Utile to finalize a contract, including financial arrangements, for the public process that will begin this fall.

“The Utile team brings a deep understanding of local planning issues and a fresh, creative approach to public engagement,” said Lisa Peterson, Chair of the Selection Committee. “Using a rigorous, data-driven process, the Utile team will complement and augment the capacity of City staff to develop a strategic framework to address a broad range of issues including mobility, housing, land use, urban design, environment, social equity, economic development, and open space.”

The planning process that will be kicked off this fall will span multiple years and will include a robust community engagement process.

“Cambridge’s citywide plan will create a shared vision for the city, develop policy and design goals and actionable recommendations to guide future changes in the city,” said Iram Farooq, Acting Assistant City Manager for Community Development. “The end result of this process will be a shared vision on how Cambridge can remain livable, sustainable, and equitable not just for the current generation, but also for generations to come.”

The citywide planning process aims to integrate and build upon the City’s existing policies, programs, and initiatives through an inclusive, wide-reaching process that looks beyond traditional planning efforts to guide future change in Cambridge. During the multi-year process, early action items and pilot projects may be identified and launched. [Read Utile Proposal (22.6MB PDF)]

The planning process will examine a broad range of issues, including mobility, housing, land use, urban design, environment, social equity, economic development, and open space. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks about the public process that will begin this fall!

For more information, please visit the project page on the Community Development Department's website, or email CambridgeConversations@CambridgeMA.gov.

Utile is a 40-person, Boston-based planning and design firm. Built like a think tank, the firm thrives on solving complex problems in intelligent and pragmatic ways. From theoretical issues that frame policy to the practical implementation of architectural commissions, Utile develops a rigorous research-based approach for finding the best solutions. Utile specializes in unique regulatory, political, and design challenges, and is committed to the revitalization of the American city through proactive planning and design that bridges public and private jurisdictional boundaries.


Bow Tie Ride - September 27

We'll travel from east to west, on a two-hour, 13 mile route tracing the bow-tie shaped boundaries of the city. Meet at the Cambridge Library, 10 AM, Sunday, September 27 and join this celebration of biking on a beautiful autumn day.

Bow Tie Ride - 2015

Cambridge Council on Aging Public Forum on Too Much Stuff Sept 26

Sept 10, 2015 – Cambridge’s Council on Aging is hosting the public forum “Too Much Stuff” presented by Lee Shuer, Sat, Sept 26, from 9:30am-12pm, at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.

Lee Shuer, is a self-defined “Finder/Keeper.” Lee is acknowledged as a leading proponent of self-help and peer support for making and sustaining progress towards a life less cluttered. Do you have too much stuff? Do you know someone who does? Is the clutter creating problems in your life? Are you willing to begin to examine this issue? If so, please join us.

This event is free, but registration is required. To register for this public forum, contact Liz Seelman at eseelman@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-6048.

Cambridge Human Services Commission Vacancies

City of CambridgeCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking Cambridge residents interested in volunteering to serve on the nine-member Human Services Commission.

The Commission advises the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on human services policy issues, needs assessment, and funding allocations. In collaboration with the Department of Human Service Programs, the Commission also promotes activities that enhance the quality of life for Cambridge residents.

Over the years, the Commission has responded to local needs by recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a wide range of programs offered by the City of Cambridge and community agencies.

Commission members serve without compensation. The Commission usually meets on the second Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm, at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.

For more information, contact Mike Payack at 617-349-6208 or mpayack@cambridgema.gov.

Residents who wish to apply may send a letter of interest and resume by September 30 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Danehy Park Family Day Saturday, Sept 19

Danehy Park Family DaySept 3, 2015 – The City of Cambridge will host the 20th Annual Danehy Park Family Day on Saturday, Sept 19, from 11am-4pm.

Enjoy a fun-filled day of children's amusement rides, arts and crafts, music and roving performers, plus free hot dogs, chips, sodas and T-shirts while supplies last! Check out performances throughout the day at the children's stage. Other special giveaways include colorful kites that appeal to kids of all ages! The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 20. Danehy Park is a 55-acre facility located at 99 Sherman Street in North Cambridge (adjacent to Garden and New Streets). This free event, sponsored by the City of Cambridge, attracts over 4,000 people annually and offers something for everyone.

Shuttle buses will be running throughout Cambridge to provide transportation. Danehy Park can be reached by public transportation: #74 bus or #78 bus from Harvard Square; #83 bus from Central Square; or take a shuttle bus from the Alewife MBTA Station. Picnics and lawn chairs are encouraged.

For more information, call 617-349-4301 or visit www.cambridgema.gov/danehypark.

Affordable Rental and Homeownership Programs Information Session Sept 22

Sept 3, 2015 – The Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Tues, Sept 22, from 10am to 2pm, at the City Hall Annex, 2nd Floor Community Room, 344 Broadway, Cambridge.

Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs.
1st Session starts at 10am.
2nd Session starts at 11:30am.
3rd Session starts at 1pm.

Currently, the Housing Division is accepting applications for the Homeownership Pool and the Rental Applicant Pool. Preference is given to Cambridge residents and families with children.

For more information, please contact us at housing@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4622.

Middle-Income Rental Units Available in Cambridge

Sept 3, 2015 – The Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department is introducing the availability of 15 rental units that are affordable to middle-income households. These units are located in a newly constructed, 91 unit mixed-income building in East Cambridge/Kendall Square.

Units are available to income and asset eligible households. There are 8 middle-income units for households with incomes between 80% and 100% of AMI and 7 units for households with incomes between 100% and 120% of AMI. Preference will be given to Cambridge residents and to families with children. There will be a one-time lottery to establish the order of applications. The application deadline for participation in the lottery is Thursday, Oct. 8 at 4pm.

Information sessions will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6-8pm, at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave. and on Tues, Sept 29 from 10am-1pm, at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

For more information, please contact us at housing@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4622.

Cambridge reacts while police continue search for shooter (by Sara Feijo, Cambridge Chronicle, Aug 13, 2015)

Family, friends mourn man slain in Cambridge shooting (by Sara Feijo, Cambridge Chronicle, Aug 13, 2015)

Medford man arrested in connection with Cambridge murder (Sara Feijo w/Amy Saltzman, Aug 24, 2015)

Message from Councillor Denise Simmons:
In response to the shooting earlier this week, the Cambridge Police will be convening a community meeting on Monday night at 6:30pm at the Pisani Center (131 Washington St.). Over the weekend, the CPD will be canvassing the neighborhood to notify the community.

The Volpe Outreach forum scheduled for Monday August 17 is being postponed. The rescheduled date for this meeting will be announced on the City's website in the coming weeks.

Evening Parking Improvements between Harvard and Porter Squares
Cambridge extends metered parking until 8:00pm in select areas

Harvard to Porter parking meter changesAug 3, 2015 – The City of Cambridge has increased the hours of metered parking to 8:00pm for select meters between Harvard Square and Porter Square. The new hours of 8:00am to 8:00pm are currently being enforced. This change, which affects meters on Mass. Ave. between the Cambridge Common and Russell Street, Oxford Street between Kirkland Street and Garfield Street, Wendell Street between Mass. Ave. and Oxford Street, and Kirkland Street between Oxford Street and Divinity Street, follows similar alterations to metered parking hours in Harvard Square and Kendall Square.

"This section of Mass. Ave. has a great mix of restaurants, stores, and services that create a vibrant and interesting experience for residents and visitors, and we want to help support this neighborhood with how we manage our streets,” says Joseph Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking & Transportation. “Extending the hours on the meters will help create more parking opportunities for patrons visiting local businesses, contributing to the ongoing success of this unique part of Cambridge."

Previously, metered parking spaces in this area were free and unrestricted from 6:00pm to 8:00am the following morning, which had led to some use of the spaces as overnight parking. The new hours will help to limit this practice and ensure that the spaces are used as they were intended – to increase parking options for visitors and residents.

Following a similar extension of metered parking hours last year in Kendall Square, data collected from meters in the area indicated increased turnover, and therefore greater parking availability, in the evenings. The extreme weather conditions of the past winter make it difficult, however, to quantify these changes exactly.

The rate for parking at a meter, which is $1/hour, remains the same. Signage has been updated to reflect the change, and all affected meters have been marked with a decal notifying the user of the new hours.

For additional information contact Brad Gerratt, Assistant Director of Parking Management, at bgerratt@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4722.

Cambridge GIS Creating Story Maps to Promote City Resources and Events

July 17, 2015Cambridge GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is always working towards finding new and better ways to get Cambridge geographic data out to the public. The GIS team supplies datasetsservices, and applications to city staff and department websites that host GIS maps and apps, as well as to visitors of the GIS website.

The GIS website is a portal not only to interactive mapping applications, static map setsmobile GIS, the GIS data dictionary and downloads, but it also has unique tools for exploring Cambridge through the custom address specific dashboard called myCambridge.

The GIS team recently started using Story Map Applications to promote some of the city’s great resources and events.  Story Maps are simple to create, easy to use, and accessible across all devices. They use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. Story Maps can combine interactive maps with other rich content such as text, photos, video, audio, and web links all in one seamless experience. They are diverse, flexible, and can be applied to almost any theme.

This week, two new Story Maps went live highlighting Soofa Solar-Charging Benches and the 2015 Summer Food Programs.  Other resource oriented Story Maps include City Departments, Community Gardens, Historic Landmarks, Cambridge Public Schools and Watershed Points of Interest.

The project is just beginning and GIS hopes to continue to grow and expand and share these amazing stories with the Cambridge community.  For more information or to view our Story Map Gallery, please visit us at www.cambridgema.gov/gis

Want to keep up with what’s new in Cambridge GIS? Follow CambridgeGIS on Twitter for all the mapping and spatial data updates.

Three Cheers for George Scialabba

Cambridge-based "The Baffler" is presenting "Three Cheers for George Scialabba" on September 10 at the Brattle Theatre - timed to coincide with George Scialabba Day in Cambridge. Yes, that's an official proclamation. The Cambridge City Council passed a resolution to this effect on August 10.

From the balloons and brass band to the speakers, including Noam Chomsky along with Barbara Ehrenreich, Thomas Frank, Rick Perlstein, and N+1's Nikil Saval, Three Cheers is shaping up to be a memorable affirmation of the values of independent thinking in the age of Trumpism. It's a star-spangled retirement party not for a big shot in finance or law or real estate, but for a chronic depressive and Harvard clerical worker who turned himself into one of "the country's best all-around intellects," as the New Yorker's James Wood says.

There will also be video tributes from Bill McKibben and MSNBC's Chris Hayes among many others.

Cambridge Schools Update (Aug 11, 2015)

Participate in a focus group/community forum on Wednesday, August 26; Thursday, August 27; Monday, August 31; and Tuesday, September 1, 2015 to help develop a Leadership Profile for the next Superintendent. All community members are invited to participate in one of the Superintendent Leadership Profile Focus Groups and Community Forums. Sessions are scheduled for parents/guardians, students, teachers, staff, administrators, school council leadership, union leadership, family liaisons, community and business partners, members of the clergy, higher ed representatives, and other stakeholders. A number of community-wide forums are also scheduled which are open for all to attend. See focus group schedule
Superintendent Search Community Flyer

Cambridge Schools Update (July 29, 2015)

The Cambridge School Committee welcomes community involvement and is seeking to convene a Superintendent Search Interview Committee (SSIC) – representative of stakeholders in the Cambridge Public Schools – to screen candidate resumes and conduct preliminary interviews of candidates for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Interested? See the interview committee self-nomination form

The Superintendent Search Committee would like your input as they seek to hire a new superintendent. Take the survey

The 2015 Oldtime Baseball Game - Thurs, Aug 27, 7:00pm at St. Peter's Field

Jim Lonborg, whose brilliant pitching guided the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox to their first pennant in 21 years, is coming out of retirement on Thursday, August 27 to appear in the 22nd annual Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field on Sherman Street in North Cambridge.

Pre-game ceremonies begin at 7:00pm. Admission is free.

Cambridge Animal Commission Advises Precautionary Measures due to Rabid Raccoon Finding

raccoon and skunk (Wikipedia)July 16, 2015 -- On Monday, July 13, Cambridge Animal Control Officers picked up a raccoon at Fresh Pond Reservation that has tested positive for rabies.

Earlier this month, a skunk and a fox found in Belmont tested positive for rabies, though they were not found in very close proximity to Fresh Pond. The skunk was found towards the center of Belmont and the fox was located in the area of Belmont Hills.

At this time, Cambridge Animal Commission has received no reports of any person or animal having contact with a rabid animal, but advises that people take precautionary measures, especially at Fresh Pond Reservation. Dog owners should maintain their pets in clear view and keep them from running in brush areas where they cannot see if something occurs.

Tips for Protecting Against Rabies

Please notify the Cambridge Animal Commission if you see a potentially rabid animal or come in contact with one at 617-349-4376. If you get the voice mail, please try to convey the time and location of the siting and your contact number.

The Central Square Cultural District
welcomes a new weekly Wednesday evening
Food Truck Event called “Central Square StrEATS!”

Featuring the Middle East and Harpoon “Take Five” Beer Garden”
and 5 food trucks every Wednesday Night from 4 to 8pm
in the Courtyard between Sidney and Blanche at the Landsdowne Quad.

Introducing Central Square StrEATS - the city’s first weekly evening food truck event every Wednesday night at 4pm.

Central Square StrEATS features five food trucks and the “Take Five” Harpoon beer garden in the gorgeous green spaces at University Park at MIT!

This new event endeavor is a partnership between Forest City Enterprises, The Central Square Business Association, The Central Square Cultural District, The City of Cambridge, The Middle East, Harpoon and Food Truck Festivals of America!”

There is no admission fee for Central Square StrEATS. The public is invited to stop by, enjoy snacks, dinner, dessert, a beer, or all of those options from one of five of Boston’s best gourmet food trucks.

Central SquareThe participating trucks at Central Square StrEATS include:

  • Bon Me – mouthwatering Vietnamese noodle and rice bowls and banh mi sandwiches
  • Jamaican Mi Hungry – jerk chicken, beef patties and other Jamaican delicacies
  • Roving Lunchbox – savory and sweet hand pies, soups aand salads
  • Zinneken’s – gourmet waffles with fresh toppings
  • Chubby Chickpea – modern Mediterranean falafel, shwarma and more

Free raffles for Taste of Cambridge and Cambridge Jazz Festival T-shirts will be conducted weekly! These two exciting summer events are held in the same gorgeous University Park at MIT location at Central Square StrEATS! For more information and any questions about weather and cancellations, please visit @go_centralsq and www.centralsquarestreats.com.

Cleanup time: Old links and bits and pieces

2nd Quote for June 2009:
"Too bad if a governor had to go missing it couldn't have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin." Senator John F. Kerry
[Political opinions aside, what kind of man makes such a statement?]

1st Quote for June 2009:
"Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...They will not let him talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is." -- Rev. Jeremiah Wright, asked if he's talked to Obama since he became president.

Quote for March 2009:
"In Washington it's a little bit like American Idol, except everybody is Simon Cowell." -- Barack Obama
[yes, and Mr. Obama is Sanjaya.]

Quote for Feb 2009 - "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Nov 2008.

Feb 2009 - Even if you despise Fox News, you may find interesting this YouTube video about the roots of the current financial difficulties.

Nov 2008 - Change even I can believe in: "Brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What's wrong with that? Come on. Some people might not want to see your underwear. I'm one of them." -- President-elect Barack Obama

Quote for March 2008 (on a recent study on casinos): While opponents of gambling in Massachusetts have disputed his methods, Clyde W. Barrow, the center's director and an authority on the economic impact of gambling, said the figures show that “gambling revenue is resilient, even in the face of an economic downturn.” (Boston Globe article)

We're waiting for the next study on alcoholism and narcotics addiction in which these may also be called “resilient in the face of an economic downturn.”

Quote for Feb 2008:
For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” -- Michelle Obama (Barack's wife) at a Milwaukee, WI campaign event.

Is this really the first time? Surely there must have been something about the USA that gave her positive feelings before her husband Barack Obama wanted the top job? Does hubby Barack share her negative impressions about the United States? Perhaps these are “just words.”

Quote for June 2007: “He told me...that, as a martyr, he would have been granted 72 virgins. This didn't seem quite the moment to point out that there is a lively, ongoing debate among scholars of Islam as to whether the 72 promised virgins might, in fact, only be 72 raisins.”
-- The New Republic's Peter Bergen, on an interview with a would-be suicide bomber

Another Quote for May 2007: “If they f*** with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to f*** them too.”
-- Paul Wolfowitz, referring to several senior staff members at the World Bank

Quote for May 2007: “And as for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don't worry about that.”
-- Nationally renowned bigot and opportunist Al Sharpton comment on Mitt Romney

Having Your Cake
Eat you cake and have it too

City Council Goals: FY2011-12 (approved Dec 20, 2010)

City Council Goals: FY2009-10

City Council Goals: FY2008

City Council Goals: FY2006-07

City Council Rules 2012-2013

City Council Rules 2010-2011

City Council Rules 2006-2007 [Rule 26 amended Feb 27, 2006]

Will the real traitor please stand up?
“For the majority leader of the United States Senate, in the time of war, with soldiers dying on the ground, announcing that we have lost the war, is very close to treasonous. I looked it up while we were driving over here, what the definition of 'treason' is. It's the betrayal of trust.”
-- Tom DeLay, 2007

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy....President Clinton has never explained to the American people why he was involving the US military in a civil war in a sovereign nation, other than to say it is for humanitarian reasons, a new military-foreign policy precedent. Was it worth it to stay in Vietnam to save face? What good has been accomplished so far? Absolutely nothing.”
-- then-House Majority Whip Tom Delay, 1999, a month into the US mission in Kosovo

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
July 26, 1920, H.L. Mencken

Ron Suskind's essay: Without a Doubt, NY Times Magazine, Oct 17, 2004

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
-- Theodore Roosevelt (1918)

Bush Advisor Karl Rove, p. 78 of the February 19 & 26, 2001 issue of the New Yorker:
[ on education plan in general ] ... “The tax cuts will make the economy grow. As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. – Blaise Pascal

History Repeats
“Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

“I just don’t think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.”
-- Gerald R. Ford

Conversations about the Volpe Site

The Volpe Outreach forum scheduled for Monday August 17 is being postponed. The rescheduled date for this meeting will be announced on the City's website in the coming weeks.

Volpe Site Conversations

Full-Scale Flyer (PDF)

Cambridge Broadband Matters, Episode 1

CCTV logoCambridge Broadband Matters is scheduled to play on CCTV:

Saturday, August 8 on Channel 9 at noon [live stream]
Tuesday, August 11 on Channel 96 at 1:00pm [live stream]
Thursday, August 13 on Channel 96 at 9:00pm [live stream]
Friday, August 14 on Channel 9 at 7:00pm [live stream]

Cambridge Broadband Matters is a series that explores the relationship among people, public institutions, non-profit organizations, businesses, and broadband in Cambridge. This series will serve as an educational and community engagement companion to broadband planning and action already underway in Cambridge, including through the city of Cambridge Broadband Taskforce and the efforts of elected officials.

In this episode, Jay Leslie, Susan Flannery, Georgiana Chevry, and Anne Schwieger discuss how broadband enters the spheres of their work and the impact broadband has on the community members who engage with their respective organizations.


The 2015 Candidates - Final List of all potential candidates - updated July 31, 5:00pm
Note: 11 School Committee candidates submitted sufficient signatures.
24 City Council candidates submitted sufficient signatures. One candidate withdrew before the deadline.

Candidate Office Address Birthdate Occupation Signatures Certified* Notes
E. Denise Simmons CC 188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139 10/2/1951 Public Office 95 (July 2) 84 July 1
Dennis A. Benzan CC 1 Pine St., 02139 1/25/1972 Attorney 100 (July 2) 86 July 1
Minka vanBeuzekom CC 20 Essex St. #1, 02139 7/24/1960 Government 53 (July 2), 47 (July 30) 46+41=87 July 1
Mariko Davidson CC 2 Ware St. #411, 02138 11/20/1981 - 34 (July 14), 26 (July 27), 25 (July 31) 29+17+20=66 July 1
Timothy J. Toomey CC 88 6th St., 02141 6/7/1953 Councillor 100 (July 10) 99 July 1
Plineo Degoes CC 99 Garden St., 02138 2/10/1981 Teacher 92 (July 13) 84 July 1
Jan Devereux CC 255 Lakeview Ave., 02138 5/13/1959 Writer/Commun. 50 (July 8),46 (July 9) 47+44=91 July 1
Santos Carrasquillo CC 188 Harvard St. #3B, 02139 10/15/1969 - - - July 1
Gregg J. Moree CC 25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140 6/16/1957 Carpenter 97 (July 31) 75 July 1
David P. Maher CC 120 Appleton St. #2, 02138 8/8/1958 Non-profit Mgr. 100 (July 20) 96 July 1
Marc McGovern CC 15 Pleasant St. #2, 02139 12/21/1968 Social Worker 100 (July 6) 92 July 1
Kim Courtney CC 2 Ware St. #401, 02138 12/6/1973 Attorney 50 (July 13), 15 (July 14) 48+13=61 July 1
Leland Cheung CC 157 Garden St., 02138 2/11/1978 - 75 (July 8), 25 (July 31) 52+24=76 July 1
Gary Mello CC 324 Franklin St. #2, 02139 5/24/1953 Clerk 40 (July 2), 41 (July 20) 31+33=64 July 1
Craig Kelley CC 6 Saint Gerard Ter., 02140 9/18/1962 Politician 100 (July 27) 91 July 1
James M. Williamson CC 1000 Jackson Pl. #45, 02140 1/13/1951 - 49 (July 20), 26 (July 29) 41+21=62 July 1
Nadeem Mazen CC 720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139 9/20/1983 Entrepreneur 88 (July 28) 81 July 2
Dennis Carlone CC 9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140 5/7/1947 Architect 50 (July 23), 16 (July 28) 47+16=63 July 2
Paul F. Mahoney CC 23 Lawn St., 02138 5/8/1950 - 65 (July 27) 57 July 2
John Sanzone CC 540 Memorial Dr. #304, 02139 10/16/1988 - 54 (July 30), 24 (July 31) 38+19=57 July 2
Romaine Waite CC 60 Lawn St. #5, 02138 6/7/1991 - 100 (July 21) 73 July 2
Lesley R. Phillips CC 1643 Cambridge St. #52, 02138 7/18/1945 Clergy 47 (July 7), 48 (July 7) - withdrew Aug 14 44+43=87 July 2
John Summers CC - - - - - July 8
Xavier Dietrich CC 2 Ware St. #401, 02138 12/2/1961 - 35 (July 17), 22 (July 24) 34+20=54 July 13
Ilan Levy CC 148 Spring St., 02141 11/1/1967 Software Engineer 48 (July 27), 25 (July 30) 45+19=64 July 13
Lee Lynn Hershey CC 469 Windsor St. #2, 02141 1/12/1989 - - - July 15
Doug Brown CC 35 Standish St. #1, 02138 2/11/1968 Production Manager - - July 20
Mike Connolly CC 20 Harding St. #3, 02141 6/3/1980 - 59 (July 27), 14 (July 29) 57+10=67 July 24
Alfred B. Fantini SC 4 Canal Park #203, 02141 6/8/1949 Retired 100 (July 2) 98 July 1
Richard Harding SC 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 10/16/1972 Administrator 100 (July 8) 81 July 1
Manikka L. Bowman SC 134 Reed St., 02140 11/27/1979 - 97 (July 2) 89 July 1
Kathleen M. Kelly SC 17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139 3/8/1960 Social Worker 47 (July 9), 49 (July 21) 45+47=92 July 1
David J. Weinstein SC 45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138 12/10/1972 Writer/Commun. 40 (July 10), 27 (July 29), 9 (July 31) 34+23+7=64 July 1
Jake W. Crutchfield SC 281 River St., 02139 3/31/1987 Teacher 61 (July 21) 53 July 1
Elechi Kadete SC 10 Laurel St. #4, 02139 9/30/1989 Accountant 50 (July 2), 13 (July 6) 47+10=57 July 1
Fran Cronin SC 1 Kimball Ln., 02140 2/14/1952 School Committee 98 (July 13) 84 July 1
Patricia M. Nolan SC 184 Huron Ave., 02138 8/28/1957 School Committee 50 (July 14), 11 (July 24) 49+11=60 July 1
Mervan Osborne SC 89 Fayerweather St., 02138 7/16/1968 Dean - - July 2
Pia Cisternino SC 62 Holworthy St. #1, 02138 8/28/1974 speech-lang. pathologist 49 (July 27), 24 (July 30) 45+22=67 July 2
Emily Dexter SC 9 Fenno St., 02138 3/16/1957 Educational Researcher 100 (July 21) 98 July 13

Historic and Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions Seek New Members

City of CambridgeThe Cambridge City Manager is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Cambridge Historical Commission, Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission, and the Mid Cambridge NCD Commission. Nominations from interested Cambridge residents are welcome through August 14.

The Cambridge Historical Commission, a body of seven members and three alternates, establishes historic preservation policy for the city and administers two historic districts, the Harvard Square Conservation District, the citywide landmark and demolition ordinances, and the preservation grant program for rehabilitation assistance. The neighborhood conservation district commissions are made up of five members and three alternates, with most members being residents of the neighborhoods. Each of the four Commission generally meets monthly to review alterations to protected buildings.

The Cambridge Historical Commission, established in 1963, is the city’s historic preservation agency. It is managed by a professional staff that supports four Commissions made up of appointed volunteers.

The current vacancies are for one alternate on the Cambridge Historical Commission, one alternate on the Avon Hill and Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commissions, and one member, who must be a tenant in the neighborhood, in the Mid-Cambridge NCD. Alternates are expected to attend all meetings and participate fully in discussion, and are designated to vote as needed.

Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or historic preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments to the Commission are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. Individuals interested in being considered should send a letter of interest and a resume by Friday, August 14, 2015 to Charles Sullivan, Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Commission, 831 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 or by e-mail to histcomm@cambridgema.gov.

Cambridge Jazz Festival - July 26th, 12-6pm

Cambridge Jazz Festival - July 26Enjoy a day of free jazz at the second annual Cambridge Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 26th from 12-6 at University Park at MIT (Sidney Street, down the street from Mass Ave. at University Park Common). www.cambridgejazzfestival.org

Featured Musicians:

Cambridge Native Nnenna Freelon is a singer, composer and arranger who has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has performed with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, and Herbie Hancock among others. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center and has been described as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft"

Drummer Ron Savage is the chair of the Ensemble Department at the Berklee College of Music, and is a Co-Founder of the Cambridge Jazz Festival. Ron and his trio will be collaborating with Nneena Freelon to perform a salute to Billie Holliday at this year’s Festival.

JoAnne Brackeen is consistently rated as one of the best jazz pianists in the world. She has “consistently defied convention, remaking herself and her art many times over” from her early roots in the Bebop scene of the 1950’s and is a “legendary player of immense stature.”

Eguie Castrillo is latin percussionist and Grammy Award winner who has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Winwood and toured with Arturo Sandoval. He will be appearing with his sizzling international band “The Latin Jazz Connection”.

Laszlo Gardony is a unique classically-trained ‘jazz architect’ who also has roots in progressive rock, blues, Appalachian and American folk music. He’s been praised by Dave Brubeck for his “fluid pianism”. All About Jazz put him “on par with Bill Evans”.

Jazz Festival 2015

Jazz Festival 2015


Work at the Polls on Election Day!

Red Line

Election Workers

The City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals who are registered to vote in Massachusetts to work at polling locations throughout the city. On Election Day 200+ election workers are on hand to assist our citizens with a positive voting experience. Dedication, efficiency, patience and friendliness are assets.

  • Election workers are compensated at an hourly rate of $14.95- $16.95 depending the position assigned on Election Day.
  • All election workers will receive paid training. Training is mandatory!
  • Election workers should have reliable transportation, and be available to work on Election Day from 6:30am to 9:00pm.

To apply, go to http://www.cambridgema.gov/election or visit the Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA.

Recruitment Session: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 5:30–8:30pm.
Citywide Senior Center, Walter Milne Ballroom, 806 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.

You must RSVP and submit your application by Monday, August 3, 2015 to attend the information session.

The recruitment session is unpaid. Attendance does not guarantee that you will be hired to work on Election Day.

City of Cambridge Election Commission

Red Line

51 Inman St
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-349-4361
Fax: 617-349-4366
Email: elections@cambridgema.gov

Full Scale Flyer (with links)


Cambridge Conservation Commission Member Sought

City of CambridgeCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking a Cambridge resident to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Conservation Commission.

The Conservation Commission is responsible for administration of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), a state law governing activities in and immediately adjacent to local wetlands, waterways and floodplains. The Commission holds two regularly scheduled public meetings each month to review permit applications under the WPA, issue permits and conduct other business related to the management of Cambridge’s natural resource areas.

The Conservation Commission consists of seven members appointed by the City Manager to serve three-year terms. Cambridge residents with expertise in landscape architecture, civil/environmental engineering, hydrology, ecology, or law are encouraged to apply.

Interested persons should send a letter of interest and/or resume via e-mail, mail or fax by July 31, 2015 to:
Jennifer Letourneau, Director, Conservation Commission
City of Cambridge
344 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4680
Fax 617-349-4669
E-mail: jletourneau@cambridgema.gov

2015 Summer Event Listing at Magazine Beach Park

Magazine Beach 2015 Events

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - July 2015

recycling symbol

Fixer Saturdays This Summer
Two Job Openings with Cambridge Recycling
Fruit & Veggie Storage Tips
What to do with Packaging?!
Got Old Medicine or Used Needles?

Fixer Saturdays This Summer

The Somerville Tool Library, at 577 Somerville Ave (inside Parts & Crafts) welcomes Cambridge residents! This summer they have lots of cool events.  Every Saturday from 1-3pm, they invite the community to a collaborative repair event focused on one type of broken item. Free/by donation. July 11: bra repair, July 18: anachronistic audio repair and July 25: laptops. They’ll have tools, supplies and knowledgeable fixers on hand. Bring your broken stuff and learn how to fix it yourself! Novices, experienced fixers and children welcome. Email somervilletoollibrary@gmail.com with questions, to volunteer or suggestions for future events.

Two Job Openings with Cambridge Recycling

The Cambridge Recycling Division has two current job opportunities:

  1. Waste Reduction Program Manager, job description, closing date: July 16
  2. Recycling Outreach Assistant, job description, closing date: July 23

Fruit & Veggie Storage Tips

Make your fruits and veggies last longer to reduce waste and save money!

Store Inside the fridge: apples, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, lemons, oranges, almost all vegetables & herbs. After ripening at room temperature: apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.
Outside the fridge: Store in a cool place: bananas, mangos, papayas and pineapples. Store in a cool, dark place: potatoes & onions. Basil & winter squashes: store at room temperature – once cut, store squashes in fridge

If you like your fruit at room temperature, take what you’ll eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning. Many fruits give off gases that hasten the spoilage of other produce. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves and store fruits and vegetables in different bins. Check out storage bags and containers designed to help extend the life of your produce. To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating. For some really great videos on reducing food waste from our friends in Seattle, click here.

What to Do With Packaging?!

  • Cardboard Boxes: Be sure boxes are empty of any Styrofoam, bubble wrap, plastic air pockets, etc.
  • Bubble Wrap and Air Pockets: Recycle with plastic bags at the Recycling Center during open hours. Must be empty, clean, and dry.
  • Styrofoam Peanuts: Bring to a UPS Store for reuse or to the Recycling Center during open hours. No cornstarch peanuts, which dissolve in water.
  • Blister Packaging: Hard clear plastic form packaging is accepted in curbside recycling.

Got Old Medicine or Used Needles?

You can bring unused medications to the Cambridge Police Dept drop box at 125 Sixth St, first floor lobby! Place prescription & over-the-counter, vitamins, medication samples, veterinary medications and/or narcotics in a sealed bag. No open containers of liquid, no syringes. Turn in unused drugs to protect children and animals from finding them and getting poisoned, and preventing them from being scavenged and illegally sold. Don’t flush medicine down the toilet or sink, help protect our drinking water and soil... Also, the Health Center at 1199 Windsor St accepts needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container (detergent bottles, coffee cans), sealed with tape. Bring to the ground floor kiosk at the Health Center. No loose needles, no medications and no other medical supplies. Residents may request sharps containers at the Health Center.

Know that recycling is easy and mandatory in Cambridge! Review what to recycle and help educate new residents! Encourage others to stay in the loop and sign up for the City’s monthly e-newsletter on recycling, composting and reducing waste. Just email us at recycle@cambridgema.gov.

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use iReport or call DPW at 617-349-4800 no later than 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2015 collection schedule online for full details.
  • During winter, Clear snow to curb so collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters so that they are not behind snow banks. For more info click here. Thank you.

Who Votes in Cambridge?

There are 61,910 registered voters with identified birthdates (as of June 29, 2015). Their median age is 39.3. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters - 2015

Of these currently registered voters, 31,789 voted in last year's state election. Their median age is 50.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2014 State Election

Of these currently registered voters, 16,773 voted in the 2013 municipal election. Their median age is 58.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2013 Municipal Election

2015 Municipal Election: Nomination Papers

Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee will be available beginning Wednesday, July 1st at the Election Commission office, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge. The office will be open on Wednesday, July 1st from 8:30am until 5pm. The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5pm. The 2015 Municipal Election Calendar is posted on the Commission’s website: www.cambridgema.gov/election.

The requirements to run for City Council or School Committee are:

  1. The person must be a registered voter in Cambridge. To register, one must be 18 years of age by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident in the City of Cambridge.
  2. The person must file no fewer than fifty (50) and no more than one hundred (100) certifiable signatures of registered voters in the City of Cambridge.

The Commission has prepared an information kit for candidates containing important dates, Commission policies, services and publications. The kits will be available with the nomination papers on July 1st.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

Official 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election Calendar (and advice for candidates)

Fri, Aug 14: 5:00pm deadline for Election Commission to certify signatures on nomination papers.
Tues, Aug 18: 5:00pm deadline for municipal candidates to file withdrawal of nomination.
Wed, Oct 14: 8:00pm deadline to register to vote in municipal election. In person registration hours are 8:30am to 8:00pm at Election Commission office only. (Mail in registration must be postmarked by Oct 14).
Mon, Oct 26:

Deadline for School Committee candidates and Political Committees to file Municipal Campaign & Political Finance Reports. (City Council candidates should consult their OCPF packets regarding depository-filing requirements).

City Council candidates are required under state law to set up a depository account at a bank. The bank will report all deposits and expenditures directly to the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). School Committee candidates are not required to set up a depository account, but they must file a campaign finance report in mid-October and at the end of the year.

Fri, Oct 30: Election Commission will be open 8:30am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Sat, Oct 31: Election Commission office will be open 9:00am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Mon, Nov 2: Noontime (12:00pm) deadline to apply for absentee ballot, either for mail-in or over-the-counter voting.
Tues, Nov 3:

Municipal Election. Polls are open 7:00am until 8:00pm.
All absentee ballots (except Overseas Absentee Ballots) must arrive at the Election Commission office by 8:00pm to be counted. Ballot count begins at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square after the polls close. Overseas Absentee Ballots are due by 5:00pm on Friday, Nov 13, but must be postmarked by Nov 3.

Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted on Fri, Nov 13 at 5:00pm.

It is expected that the Election Commission will report preliminary election results Tuesday evening (Nov 3), but this tally does not include auxiliary ballots (write-in ballots and other ballots not yet counted for a variety of reasons). These will be scanned and tabulated on Wednesday. Unofficial election results are expected to be announced on Wednesday when all of the auxiliary ballots have been included. The official election results will not be complete until any overseas absentee ballots and provisional ballots have been included on Fri, Nov 13.

Wed, Nov 4: 9:00am-5:00pm. Ballot count resumes at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square.
Fri, Nov 13: Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted at 5:00pm.
Regular Election Commission Office Hours: (Unless otherwise indicated)  
Mondays: 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Fridays: 8:30am to Noon
Holidays: The Election Commission will be closed for the following holidays:
Independence Day - Friday, July 3
Labor Day - Monday, September 7
Columbus Day - Monday, October 12

Printable copy of 2015 Municipal Election Calendar