2017 CCJ Notes - January through June
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Celebrate Fresh Pond Day – Saturday, May 20
Celebrate the land, water, wildlife and people that make Fresh Pond Reservation a unique and vital part of our City!

Fresh Pond DayJoin the Cambridge Water Department at its annual Fresh Pond Day on Saturday, May 20, from 11am–3pm to celebrate Fresh Pond Reservation. Fresh Pond Reservation is truly Cambridge's green gem - an urban wild that protects Fresh Pond, Cambridge's in-city drinking water reservoir. Fresh Pond Day is the Cambridge Water Department's annual tribute to this unique Reservation that is a vital natural resource, an invaluable sanctuary for wildlife, and a beloved recreational escape in the City. This event is free and open to all; all dogs must be leashed.

The festivities are held around the Water Treatment Facility at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway. Use of public transit and bicycles to get to the event is strongly encouraged. Bus routes 72, 74, 75, 78; & Alewife T are all nearby. Visitors arriving by car are asked to park at the Tobin School on 197 Vassal Lane.

Events Schedule
11:30am – Nature Storytelling
12:30pm – Wildlife Parade (sign & mask-making all morning!)
1:00pm – Live Animals
1:30pm – Bicycle Parade (flair and decorating all day!)
2:00pm – Nature Drawing
2:00pm – "Fresh Pond Beyond This Moment" Tour

Other activities include live music, face painting, truck climb-aboards, tours and more!

Please note that rain or extreme weather cancels this event. For more information, visit www.cambridgema.gov/freshpondday or contact Martine Wong at 617-349-6489, mwong@cambridgema.gov.


Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to speak at Cambridge Public Library Democracy Day on Saturday, May 20th

Saturday, May 20, 1:15pm
Main Library, Lecture Hall

Stephen BreyerJustice Breyer will speak on the theme of the Constitution and Democracy, followed by a Q&A.

This event is part of the Our Path Forward series presented by the Library to affirm its commitment to public discourse and democracy.

About the Speaker:
Stephen Breyer, born in San Francisco in 1938, is a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard Law School. He taught law for many years as a professor at Harvard Law School and at the Kennedy School of Government. He has also worked as a Supreme Court law clerk (for Justice Arthur Goldberg), a Justice Department lawyer (antitrust division), an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee (working closely with Senator Edward M. Kennedy to pass the Airline Deregulation Act). In 1980 he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Carter, becoming Chief Judge in 1990. In 1994 he was appointed a Supreme Court Justice by President Clinton. He has written books and articles about administrative law, economic regulation, and constitutional law, including Regulation and Its Reform, Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation, Active Liberty, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View and, The Court and the World which was recently published. His wife, Joanna, was born in Great Britain and is a retired clinical psychologist. They have three children (Chloe, Nell, and Michael) and five grandchildren.


Mayor Simmons To Host Race/Class/Gender/Culture Town Hall Meeting

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 6:00pm, Mayor E. Denise Simmons shall be hosting a Town Hall Meeting to discuss how Race, Class, Gender, and Culture impact peoples' experiences throughout the Cambridge community. The meeting will take place in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall, and will be an opportunity for people from across the city to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas with City leaders about everything from police interactions, to access to and delivery of City services, to how open and responsive the municipal government is to people from various backgrounds and different walks of life. Mayor Simmons states that this is a continuation of conversations she's been leading in the public realm for many years, and it is an attempt to carry this dialogue further.

"Starting back in the 1980s, when I was Executive Director of the Civic Unity Committee, I have continually been working to hold public conversations about the role that race, class, and gender play in our society," said Mayor Simmons. "Cambridge is a wonderfully diverse, progressive, forward-thinking community. But that doesn't mean we can sit around feeling good about ourselves and believe that there isn't any room for improvement. Part of our strength lays in the fact that we know we must continually reflect on who we are as a city, how we interact with one another, and determine what is and is not working. Holding these conversations on a regular basis is essential to ensuring that we continually strive to be more inclusive, more sensitive, and more responsive to all the different segments of our community."

Mayor Simmons noted that her Race and Class Town Hall meetings have expanded in scope over the years to include the perspectives of gender and culture, adding "We must recognize the lifetime of experiences that different people bring with them when they're interacting with one another. Some people may come from other parts of the country, or the world, in which the local government is more hindrance than helpful, and they may bring that more skeptical perspective with them when they come here. Our hope is that we can show people that regardless of your race, class, gender, background, past experiences, or place of origin, we aim to treat everyone – and one another – with dignity and respect. That does not come automatically. It requires that we continually be open to one another, that we learn from one another, and that we be willing to check in with one another at meetings like this one."

Light refreshments will be provided, and this Town Hall meeting shall be recorded for archive and for future broadcast. All Cambridge residents are welcome to attend. For more information, please email dsimmons@cambridgema.gov, or call the Mayor's Office at 617-349-4321.


Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Nadya Okamoto, first-year Harvard student, announces candidacy for City Council (Mar 30, 2017)

Former Cambridge Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan mulls City Council run (Mar 22, 2017)

Cambridge planning Airbnb zoning regulations (Mar 21, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Council votes to ban smoking at construction sites, with union support (Mar 21, 2017 by Adam Sennottt and Monica Jimenez)

Schools leader asks for $10 million budget increase (Mar 18, 2017)Cambridge Chronicle

Workforce shortage hits Cambridge human services sector (Mar 15, 2017 by Gerry Tuoti)

Guest Column: Envisioning career education in Cambridge (Mar 13, 2017 by Emily Dexter and Patty Nolan)

Cambridge Public Works honors employees (Mar 11, 2017)

Cambridge City Council puts brakes on removing more Watertown trees (Mar 7, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Police report record-low level of crime (Mar 6, 2017)

Mt. Auburn Cemetery artist produces multimedia documentary (Mar 2, 2017 by Dana Forsythe)

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books in Harvard Square to close (Mar 2, 2017)

Guest Column: Emily Dexter (Mar 2, 2017)

City Council wants answers on vacant Harvard Square theater (Feb 28, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Cambridge City Council OKs Central Square rezoning. So, what will it do? (Feb 28, 2017 by James Sanna)

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books to close, turns focus online after 161 years in business (Feb 23, 2017 by Amy Saltzman)

Gov. Charlie Baker awards $400K to Cambridge Complete Streets project (Feb 23, 2017)

MIT's plans for Volpe site: mixed use, 1,000+ units (Feb 17, 2017 by James Sanna)

Council hits roadblock in effort to expand affordable housing (Feb 14, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

'Real momentum' on GLX, but questions remain (Feb 13, 2017 by Andy Metzger, State House News Service)

Residents rally resistance at town hall forum in Cambridge (Feb 9, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Council approves medical marijuana dispensary location rules (Feb 7, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

These are the ways Cambridge wants to rebuild Inman Square (Feb 7, 2017 by James Sanna)

School budget talks heat up in Cambridge (Feb 6, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Lawmakers expect to tackle millionaires tax this year (Feb 4, 2017 by Gerry Tuoti)

Members sought for new Community Benefits Advisory Committee (Feb 2, 2017)

Cambridge Community Foundation announces fall grants (Feb 2, 2017)

State of City: Mayor vows to push back against 'hateful national policies' (Feb 2, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

What's Cambridge doing to make city's streets safer? (Jan 30, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Police K9 Rumba won't retire with handler, will remain on the force (Jan 26, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Sharon school committee picks Cambridge administrator for superintendent (Jan 26, 2017 by Scott Calzolaio/Sharon Advocate Staff)

Cambridge, Somerville, Boston could lose grants in Trump's immigration crackdown (Jan 25, 2017 by Gerry Tuoti)

Report: Contractor 'sorry' for massive Cambridge fire (Jan 25, 2017 by Shaun Chaiyabhat / WCVB)

Cambridge invites residents to invest in city's infrastructure (Jan 24, 2017)

Final price tag for Volpe Center land revealed (Jan 18, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Cambridge seeking volunteers for City Manager's Advisory Committee (Jan 16, 2017)

T.T. The Bear's owner could lose $225k if license buyer can't be found (Jan 13, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Bikers, water officials clash over trails (Jan 13, 2017 by Gerry Tuoti)

Could advocates' merger boost Cambridge small businesses? (Jan 13, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Retired fire captain spends half-century documenting Cambridge's fire history (Jan 12, 2017 by Amy Saltzman)

Late Danvers coach Kevin Flynn follows the blueprint of his Matignon mentor (Jan 11, 2017 by Joe McConnell)

Councilors attack delays to Central Square revitalization (Jan 11, 2017 by Monica Jimenez)

Crimson Corner looks to relocate, owner says he was forced out (Jan 9, 2017 by James Sanna)

Pizzeria seeking to open in Crimson Corner space (Jan 6, 2017)

Councilors divided on aggressiveness of affordable housing push (Jan 6, 2017 by Bill Whelan)

Alanna Mallon, founder of Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, announces run for City Council (Jan 4, 2017)

Cambridge Rindge girls basketball sets sights on another state tourney (Jan 4 by Wayne Gethers)

Employers warn $15 minimum wage would be costly (Jan 3, 2017 by Colin A. Young, State House News Service)


Affordable Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions: Monday, May 8th

City SealThe Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Monday, May 8th at St. Paul’s Christian Life Center, 85 Bishop Richard Allen Dr. Two sessions will be held; the first at 6:00pm and the second at 7:00pm.

Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs. The sessions are open to all. No advance registration is necessary.

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.


Street cleaning and yard waste collection in Cambridge resumes on Monday, Apr 3, 2017.
Don't Get Towed!

Public Works mechanically sweeps each street in Cambridge once per month. Signs are posted on each residential street indicating the schedule. In order to ensure that streets are properly cleaned, cars must move off the side of the street being swept to avoid being ticketed and towed. [Schedule] Yard waste is not accepted in plastic bags by recycling or trash crews. Place yard waste in barrels marked with City-issued stickers facing the street, or in lawn refuse bags sold in most hardware stores. Barrels and bags must be set on the curb apart from the trash on your regular collection day. Do not staple or tape bags. Bundle small twigs and branches with string. [More information]


City of Cambridge Soliciting Membership Applications for Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit Advisory Committees
Application deadline is Friday, April 21, 2017 (extended to April 28, 2017).

Bicycle Committee
This committee works to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City of Cambridge and promote bicycling as a means of transportation. Activities include organizing and participating in public events such as biannual community bike rides; reviewing plans for road construction; commenting on proposed development projects; creating promotional materials to encourage bicycling in the city; and working with City departments on network planning. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway. For more information about the Cambridge Bicycle Program: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/bikesincambridge; for questions about the committee: Cara Seiderman, cseiderman@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4629.

Pedestrian Committee
This committee works to promote walking and to help create a more comfortable, safe, and pleasant environment for walking in Cambridge. It advises on the design of roadway projects and policies related to traffic calming, traffic signals, and sidewalk design. It also identifies intersections and other locations where it is difficult to walk, makes suggestions about proposed development projects as they affect people on foot, and undertakes other activities to promote walking. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway (November and December meetings are on the third Thursday.) For more information about walking resources in Cambridge: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/CitySmart; for questions about the committee: Cara Seiderman, cseiderman@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4629.

Transit Advisory Committee
This committee advances an agenda for a robust public transportation system for those who live and/or work in Cambridge. The committee is composed of a cross section of stakeholders, which may include individuals representing businesses and large institutions; commuters; persons with disabilities; residents that are low income, elderly, youth, and students as well as transit advocates. The committee advises on city positions and policies regarding long term sustainable funding for transit by the Commonwealth, transit expansion, service planning, and service improvements. This committee generally meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 – 7:30pm. If you have questions or require more information, please call Tegin Teich Bennett at 617-349-4615 or email tbennett@cambridgema.gov. See the committee’s webpage for more information: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/forthepublic/transitadvisorycommittee

City SealAPPLY
Applications are sought by dedicated individuals who live or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as review materials and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service.

To apply, please prepare a cover letter indicating that you are interested in the Bicycle, Pedestrian, or Transit Advisory Committee, why you are interested in this topic area, any relevant knowledge and experience you have, and any specific issues you would like to contribute time to working on. Please be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and email. Send to:
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
c/o Patricia Tuccinardi
Community Development Department
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: ptuccinardi@cambridgema.gov

Application deadline is Friday, April 21, 2017.


Nadya Okamoto Announces Candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Nadya OkamotoMar 29, 2017 – Nadya Okamoto, a 19-year-old nonprofit director and global advocate for youth empowerment and gender equality, officially launched her campaign for Cambridge City Council early this morning. Okamoto announced her candidacy in a video discussing her background, commitment to Cambridge, and key issues addressed in her progressive campaign platform.

“Right now, Cambridge as a city needs to highlight and implement specific solutions for affordable housing, economic opportunity, and education equity,” says Okamoto. She announced that her run for City Council is for:

Nadya is the Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD, a global organization providing and celebrating menstrual hygiene through advocacy, education, and service. She founded the organization when she was just 16-years-old after her family experienced living without a home of their own. Since its founding in 2014, the organization has addressed almost 80,000 periods, reaching student advocates at over 65 campuses, and engaging over 5 million people in the message of normalizing periods.

With her background in grassroots organizing, activism, and community capacity building -- and her personal connection to the key issues many underserved Cantabrigians face every day, Okamoto will bring a much needed, complementary perspective to City Council. “Whether it be fighting for affordable housing, educational equity, worker’s rights, or our environment, I’ll be right there with you as one of your city councillors, acting as a megaphone for all Cambridge residents,” says Okamoto.

Nadya OkamotoNadya Okamoto, a first-year student at Harvard College, is working with a full-time campaign team of young people eager to engage Cambridge voters -- and not just student voters. Okamoto says that this campaign is bigger than her and her team -- and hopes the initiative will also spur other young people across the United States to have confidence in the value of their voices and necessity of their civic leadership. While Nadya is excited by the unexpected national and international media attention she has already received and opportunity to model civic leadership for youth, she emphasizes that her campaign intends to win and above all to bring attention to long-standing issues that demand greater participation and innovative solutions.

“I do what I do because my purpose is to love and build community while uplifting others, and reconcile the privilege, voice, and passion that I have to serve and make a difference wherever I am and with whatever I have.”

To learn more about Nadya and her platform, visit www.votenadya.com.

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages


Quinton ZondervanBusiness leader and environmental advocate Quinton Zondervan announces candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Mar 27, 2017 – Respected Cambridge business leader and environmental advocate Quinton Zondervan has declared his candidacy for Cambridge City Council in this November's election.

"I've been a community activist in Cambridge for over a decade and thoroughly enjoy the hard work of on the ground democracy, organizing people and building a future together," said Zondervan. "I very much look forward to doing even more as city councillor."

Out of the gate, Quinton has the support of three of the most progressive incumbents on the council, Nadeem Mazen, Jan Devereux and Dennis Carlone. "Quinton's track record as an effective and forward-thinking advocate on environmental initiatives is impressive, and I think his expertise and positive outlook would be an asset to us on the Council," Devereux said.

Quinton is known for co-authoring the Net Zero Connolly petition in 2013, which led to the city's innovative Net Zero Action Plan to reduce climate causing greenhouse emissions from building energy use to 0 in the city over the next 25 years. Petition namesake and now State Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge), said: "Quinton's leadership and expertise were critical to our success with the net zero petition, and he would be a great addition to the council, where his voice is much needed on sustainability, social justice and affordability in Cambridge."

To protect the integrity of his candidacy, Quinton will not accept money from real estate developers or other special interests seeking to influence the council election. "Cambridge voters deserve to know that their interests are being represented on the city council. The money we raise to run our campaign is not to be used as a vehicle for gaining undue influence over decisions I will make as city councillor," he said.

An official campaign launch event is planned for later in the spring. The campaign website is www.votequinton.com.

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages


Cambridge Coalition Launches Solar Access Campaign

On the evening of Monday, March 13, a coalition of organizations and volunteer leaders came together to launch the Cambridge Solar Access Campaign - an initiative focused on expanding access to solar to residents across income and building type in the City. The volunteers that gathered on Monday gained practical tools and educational resources to build a grassroots outreach effort to support the development of low-income accessible solar projects in Cambridge.Solar Access Program

The Cambridge Solar Access coalition assembled in response to the DOE SunShot Solar in Your Community Challenge, and has been accepted as a participant. Coalition partners include Green Cambridge, Resonant Energy, Solstice, Sunwealth, neighborhood associations, houses of worship and engaged residents committed to creating an accessible solar program to meet the needs of Cambridge residents.

This program will work to encourage the rapid adoption of solar photovoltaics across rooftops in the Cambridge area, with a focus on serving low-to-moderate income residents and low-income serving non-profits. Specifically, the campaign will work to educate residents about the benefits of solar and the solar access program, an innovative solar model that removes barriers associated with conventional solar financing such as purchase or lease.

Steven Nutter, the Executive Director of Green Cambridge stated, “Our goal is to get a lot of solar installed, and to do it in a way that benefits the community and allows everyone to participate.” The coalition encourages interested residents to apply to participate as solar access hosts and help reach the campaign goal of 40 new solar projects in Cambridge by the end of 2017.

About the Partners
Green Cambridge works to create a more sustainable city and to protect the environment for the health and safety of all.
Resonant Energy is a community-based solar developer committed to 100% renewable energy for 100% of people.
Solstice is dedicated to helping every single household in America go solar.
Sunwealth is a pioneering solar investment firm that makes it easy to directly invest in solar projects and delivers meaningful returns and tangible impact to our community of investors.


Paul Toner Declares Candidacy for Cambridge City Council
Lifelong Cambridge resident, parent, education leader and activist announces run for Cambridge City Council with support of community leaders

Paul TonerMarch 10, 2017 – The Toner for City Council campaign released the following statement today:

Paul Toner is a lifelong resident of Cambridge who has chosen to live and work, as well as raise and educate his children in the city. An attorney and former Cambridge Public Schools teacher and lawyer, Paul went on to become one of the most influential public education leaders in the state as President of the 110,000 member Massachusetts Teachers Association. He is currently the Executive Director of Teach Plus Massachusetts and has served on the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and numerous education committees.

Paul Lonergan, Campaign Chairman for the Committee to Elect Paul Toner stated “I have known Paul Toner for many years. He is a good friend and great dad. He has been a proven leader in his career and the community and will bring common sense leadership to the City Council. I am proud to support him in this campaign.”

"I've had the privilege of working with Paul for many years on education and economic issues at the state and local level. I know he'll work tirelessly with everyone to keep our city diverse and affordable." Said David Sullivan, North Cambridge resident and former City Councillor.

“Paul will be an incredibly effective advocate for all of Cambridge,” current City Councilor David Maher said. “Paul has spent his career bringing people together to make progress towards a vision of shared prosperity and a government that works for everyone. I know he will do the same as a City Councilor.”

Toner said “Eighteen years ago, I was David Maher’s campaign manager for his first City Council race. I know how long ago it was because my daughter was 6 months old as I toted her around the city campaigning for David. She is now 18, a senior at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School and is preparing for college in the fall.”

“Throughout my life and career as a teacher, lawyer, union leader, and public school parent, I have sought to serve my community. I see running for the City Council at this time as an extension of this work and as an opportunity to use my skills, experience, and wealth of knowledge to make a meaningful impact on the council.”

“I have seen enormous changes in our community and there are new challenges ahead. I believe I can help to bring old and new Cambridge together. Through open and respectful public discourse that is so sorely needed in our political conversations right now, we can make real progress on the challenges that we face. As a leader, I have sought to build consensus to make policy decisions based on collaboration, open dialogue, and data. I am confident that I can bring the same spirit of respect and collaboration to the council. I will work with the council members, staff, and constituents to provide the solutions-oriented leadership necessary to develop and implement a vision for our city that preserves the best of our past and prepares us for the future.”

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages


Sean Tierney for Cambridge City CouncilSean TierneyThurs, Mar 9, 2017 – Sean Tierney announced today his candidacy for Cambridge City Council. Mr. Tierney is the Research Director & Legal Counsel for the Joint Committee on Housing for the Massachusetts State Legislature. In his announcement, Mr. Tierney highlighted his housing and public policy experience as crucial attributes that he would bring to the Council.

“I want to use my experience as a housing policy attorney to help Cambridge adequately address our housing needs. I am committed to developing city policies that help our longtime residents stay in our neighborhoods. I also recognize the profound need for new housing options for all income levels. This is a challenging issue for Cambridge. We must work together, but we must also partner with our municipal neighbors to confront our housing shortage as a regional crisis,” Mr. Tierney said.

In an email and Facebook message to supporters, Mr. Tierney credited his Cambridge upbringing for defining his values, political philosophy, and commitment to the Cambridge community.

“I am a proud graduate of the Cambridge Public Schools and continue to volunteer as a football coach for the Falcons. At Cambridge Rindge and Latin we were taught the importance of our high school’s motto: “opportunity, diversity, and respect.” We learned to recognize gaps in opportunity and understand the roots of inequality and privilege; to celebrate our differences, and treat each other with compassion and dignity; to question the status quo and to believe that through hard work, dedication, and consensus, we can always do better. These are the core values that drive my candidacy,” Mr. Tierney said.

Mr. Tierney began his career working at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics where he ran the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. The Tierney campaign highlighted their candidate’s dedication to public service:

Mr. Tierney hopes to weave Cambridge’s rich history with the exciting possibilities of the city’s growing economy. He is committed to fostering pipelines of opportunity for all residents by leveraging our universities and the innovation economy.

“I believe that our diverse history and shared values will guide us as we work together to make Cambridge an inclusive and world-class city for generations. As city councilor, I will honor this history and represent our shared future,” Tierney said.

In his announcement, Mr. Tierney summed up his campaign in one sentence, “This is who I am, and this is what this campaign is all about: The City of Cambridge.”

Contact: 857-217-4236

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages


Sean Tierney for Cambridge City CouncilStatement from Sean Tierney, Candidate for Cambridge City Council

My name is Sean Tierney and I am running for Cambridge City Council. I am a lifelong Cambridge resident, a volunteer in our community, and a housing policy attorney for the State Legislature. As your next city councilor, I will use my public policy experience and my passion for Cambridge to build a future for all city residents.

A Dedication to Public Service
I began my professional career working at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. I hosted national and international leaders and learned about the importance of strong and effective leadership. Inspired by President Kennedy’s famous words that an “educated citizen has an obligation to serve the public,” I decided to attend law school with the goal of serving my community.

In law school, I committed myself to public service opportunities. I taught Constitutional Law and coached a moot court team at City on a Hill High School in Roxbury, researched election law issues for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, and served as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Now, as a licensed attorney, I develop affordable housing policy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I hope to continue on my path as a public servant for our city.

A Pro-Housing Agenda
I want to use my experience as a housing policy attorney to help Cambridge adequately address our housing needs. I am committed to developing city policies that help our longtime residents stay in our neighborhoods. I also recognize the profound need for new housing options for all income levels. This is a challenging issue for Cambridge. We must work together, but we must also partner with our municipal neighbors to confront our housing shortage as a regional crisis.

Cambridge Values
I am a proud graduate of the Cambridge Public Schools and continue to volunteer as a football coach for the Falcons. At Cambridge Rindge and Latin, we were taught the importance of our high school’s motto: “opportunity, diversity, and respect.” We learned to recognize gaps in opportunity and understand the roots of inequality and privilege; to celebrate our differences, and treat each other with compassion and dignity; to question the status quo and to believe that through hard work, dedication, and consensus, we can always do better. These are the core values that drive my candidacy.

A Commitment to Community
Sean TierneyCambridge is many things to many people. It is a new and exciting place centered around our universities, life sciences, and technology sector. It’s also a community with deep roots, family ties, and streets that are neighborhoods.

To me, Cambridge is also a place where friendships are forged on our athletic fields and in our classrooms; it’s playing on Huron Ave. and sleepovers on Western. It’s an afternoon in Jefferson Park and a night in Harvard Square. It’s S&S wings, Coast Café, Angelo’s cheese fries, Izzy’s, and a slice at Armando’s. It’s 1369 coffee, Memorial Drive on Sunday afternoons, and the graffiti wall on Modica Way. It’s Hoyt Field, Gold Star Pool, and a walk around Fresh Pond. It’s helping your neighbor shovel snow and finding a gift of Haitian griot and pikliz at your door. It’s art, it’s style, it’s individuality, and at the same time it’s community.

I believe that our diverse history and shared values will guide us as we work together to make Cambridge an inclusive and world-class city for generations. As city councilor, I will honor this history and represent our shared future.

This is who I am and this is what this campaign is all about: The City of Cambridge.

I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.


City SealParticipants Sought for Cambridge Works Transitional Jobs Program

Mar 6, 2017 – Are you a Cambridge resident, age 18-35, without a college degree, looking for a full-time job? If so, Cambridge Works might be able to help if you’ve had difficulty finding jobs due to limited work experience, gaps in your work history, legal or personal issues.

Cambridge Works is a free, transitional jobs program where participants receive:

Applications for the next program are currently being accepted. To find out more, contact: Michele Scott at 617-349-7741 or mscott@cambridgema.gov or Michael Merullo at 617-349-7743 or mmerullo@cambridgema.gov.


Nominations Sought for 2017 Outstanding City Employee Awards

City SealMar 6, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking nominations for the 2017 Outstanding City Employee Awards program which recognizes employees for exemplary performance and contributions that go above and beyond job requirements.

Cambridge city government is made up of dedicated employees who strive to provide a high level of quality services to all its citizens. The annual awards ceremony provides a special opportunity to give extra recognition to a few exemplary individuals who will be recognized at a special awards ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Outstanding City Employee Awards are designed to recognize contributions that are above and beyond job requirements. Criteria for determining outstanding performance include:

All City employees at all levels of the City workforce are eligible for nomination. Anyone who lives or works in Cambridge may nominate one or more City employees for recognition. Individuals are not limited as to how many employees s/he chooses to nominate but must submit a separate Nomination Form or letter for each employee. An employee may not nominate her or his own supervisor or department head for recognition.

Online Nomination Forms can be accessed from link below. A signed nomination letter may be submitted instead of the nomination form. Completed nominations must be submitted to the Personnel Department by Friday, April 7, 2017. In addition, you may email nominations to mcarvello@cambridgema.gov or fax to the Personnel Department at 617-349-4312. For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at mcarvello@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4300.


Forward Fund 2017

The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority announces the third year of the FORWARD FUND. This micro GRANT PROGRAM is intended to support civic improvement projects and creative physical interventions that better Cambridge's built environment for the benefit of all the city's residents, workers, and visitors by non-profit organizations, community groups, and small businesses throughout Cambridge, MA.

The theme for the 2017 program is to support projects that create, maintain, or enhance Connections within Cambridge.

We're awarding Civic Experimentation Capital Grants; and Community Infrastructure Capital Grants. The awards will range from $5,000 up to $25,000. Grant applicants should approach the theme for the program by promoting inclusive, collaborative, and a resourceful process.

For more information or to apply online click here.


Rabies Vaccination Clinic for Dogs Only
Saturday, April 1, 9-11am – $15/Dog
Cambridge Department of Public Works, 147 Hampshire St.
Dog Licenses for April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018 Available

Dog!Cambridge Animal Commission will be holding this Rabies Vaccination Clinic and also issuing 2017-18 Dog Licenses for period April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018. Cost is $10 (Spayed Female/Neutered Male), $30 (Un-Spayed Female/Un-Neutered Male). The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Laws state that all dogs and cats over the age of 6 months must be vaccinated against rabies; some veterinarians will vaccinate at an earlier age.

Rabies has and will continue to be present in Cambridge and throughout the Commonwealth. The best thing you can do for your pet (dogs and cats) is to have it vaccinated and to teach your family and friends to avoid contact with wild animals. The basic rule is to “leave wildlife alone.”

Controlling your dog at all times is an excellent way to keep them protected. When you are outside with your dog, please obey the leash law. When you are in shared use areas in the city, always have your dog under control and within your sight (particularly at Fresh Pond). Regulations are posted in shared use areas and at designated dog parks in the city. Cat owners should keep their cats indoors; it’s a safe and controlled environment. For your pet’s safety at the Rabies Vaccination Clinic, dogs must be leashed at all times. You are still welcome to attend if your dog is up to date on its rabies vaccination and you just need a license. You will need a current rabies vaccination certificate and proof of spay or neuter if your dog has not been licensed in Cambridge before.

A vaccination clinic for cats has not been planned. If your cat needs to be vaccinated, there are clinics in the area that administer low cost programs for rabies vaccinations. For more information, please call the Cambridge Animal Commission Office at 617-349-4376. If we are not in the office when you call please leave a convenient time and number and we will return your call as soon as possible.

As always, the Cambridge Animal Commission would like to remind dog owners of the three L’s of dog ownership – License, Leash and Love your pet.


Cambridge Health & Human Services Job Fair March 28

The City of Cambridge Office of Workforce Development is sponsoring a Health & Human Services Job Fair on Tuesday, March 28, from 11am to 1pm, at the Central Square Library, 45 Pearl Street, Cambridge.

This will be a great opportunity for job seekers to connect with employers such as Cambridge Health Alliance, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Perkins School for the Blind, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Nurtury, Arbor Associates, Inc., Community Resources for Justice, Commonwealth Care Alliance, ABCD Boston, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Vinfen, Always Here Home Care, and Franciscan Children’s Hospital.

Prospective job applicants are urged to research companies in advance and apply for positions online.

For more information, contact Josh Foley at 617-349-6259 or jfoley@cambridgema.gov.


A Better Cambridge (ABC) March General Meeting
with a presentation by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's (MAPC) Tim Reardon about housing demand in Cambridge and Greater Boston
Tuesday, March 28th, 6:30pm (postponed from Mar 14) at the MIT Stata Center, Room 32-141, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Please RSVP to let us know you're planning to come.
RSVP is not required, but will help us ensure the room can accommodate everyone.

As MAPC detailed in regional housing projections issued in 2015, demand for housing across our region expected to grow significantly over the next 25 years. This demand is due not just to new residents moving into our region, but also changing housing preferences of many families already living here, including aging baby boomers looking to downsize from suburban homes into more urban areas near public transportation, services, and amenities.

YIMBYs including A Better Cambridge believe that housing production is critical to provide affordable housing opportunities to families and renters across the income spectrum...but just how much new housing is needed to make an impact? Join us for an insightful presentation to help us better understand housing demand in our community the critical role that housing production plays as we seek to build a more diverse, affordable and sustainable city and region.

Please note that everyone is welcome at ABC general meetings.
http://www.abettercambridge.org/

March 14, 9:50pm – I am furious because City of Cambridge contractors just dumped all of the snow from across the street in front of my house and in front of my neighbors' houses - blocking storm drains and flooding the street. Does the City check the credentials of these contractors? If I only had a plow I would move all of the snow back across the street. This is an act of WAR. We have complained repeatedly about this in the past, but I guess nobody in the City listens anymore. So much for SeeClickFix and Commonwealth Connects. - RW


City of Cambridge Lifts Snow Emergency Parking Ban Ban lifted as of 7:00am on Wednesday;
Trash/recycling collection 1 day behind schedule

The Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 7:00am on Wed, Mar 15, 2017. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted.

Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.City Seal

Due to icy conditions caused by the storm, people are urged to stay off the roads tonight. If travel is required, please use extra caution and leave additional distance between other vehicles and snow crews.

City of Cambridge offices, programs, and library branches will be open on Wednesday. Because curbside trash and recycling pickup was canceled on Tuesday, pickup routes will be delayed 1 day for the remainder of the week.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Crews will also be working to remove downed trees. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance. Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.

The public can follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City uses the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.


City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban
Ban goes into effect at 7:00am on March 14; Trash and Recycling Pickup Cancelled

Mar 13, 2017 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 7:00am on Tues, Mar 14, 2017. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.Snow on Broadway

There will be no curbside trash or recycling collection on Tues, Mar 14 because of weather conditions. All curbside trash and recycling daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of this week.

The Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Tues, Mar 14, 2017.

Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.

Below is important information from the City:

Please report any power outages directly to Eversource at 800-592-2000.

In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow. As always, if you need immediate assistance, please contact the Police Department’s Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.


Cambridge Affordable Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions March 14

City SealThe Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Tuesday, March 14, from 6-8pm, at Trolley Square, 2nd floor, 2401 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Two sessions will be held at 6pm and 7pm.

Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs. The sessions are open to all. No advance registration is necessary.

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.


Cambridge Announces Public Forums on Police Commissioner Search
Public invited to contribute to the development of leadership profile

Cambridge Police DepartmentFeb 22, 2017 – The search process for hiring a new Police Commissioner in the City of Cambridge is underway. City Manager Louis A. DePasquale has hired the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a Washington, DC based non-profit that over the past decade has assisted with more than 75 executive searches, to assist with the development of the leadership profile, the recruitment of highly qualified candidates, and the applicant screening process.

City SealThe public is invited to assist the City with the development of the leadership profile for the Police Commissioner search. Members of the public may participate in the process by attending one of the Citywide Public Forums or by providing written feedback. Two Citywide Public Forums, facilitated by PERF, are being held on:
  • Thursday, March 2, 2017, from 6-8pm, School Committee Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 10am–12pm, Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue.

During these sessions, the public will be asked to discuss:
What are the leadership qualities that you want the Cambridge Police Commissioner to possess?
What are the challenges and opportunities that the next Police Commissioner will need to address?

Members of the public can send their written comments on these key questions, along with other any other relevant feedback, directly to PERF by emailing Cambridgecomments@policeforum.org.

In addition to the public forums, PERF will be conducting multiple interviews with various constituencies, including: school staff; business and university representatives; City employees; non-profit community; neighborhood associations; faith community; youth representatives; City board and commission members; and community agency partners. The collective feedback will assist with the development of the final recruitment profile.

The City anticipates candidate recruitment to commence in mid-March and interviews with candidates to take place in May. The selection and appointment of the Police Commissioner is made by the City Manager.

For more information about the public forums, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 617-349-4300.


Central Square is a Grandma
Snaggle-toothed and silent
Dozing by a drafty window
In a faded cotton dress.
Her stories need no telling
Even the blind can read her features
In the roughness of her knuckles
Or the rattle of her sigh.
She danced ballet and scrubbed the floor
Raised children and taught them in school
And was a Patroness of the Arts
With big green rhinestone earrings.
She's been in clubs and fights and station wagons
Behind a desk and in the hospital
And life keeps moving into her
Like it does with old people.
When there's Greek music playing
Her feet will stamp and shuffle
And she'll always ask for seconds
When the catfish is fried just right
She may mumble Haitian stories
Or hum a Vietnamese lullaby
While she rolls her endless tortillas
And sips papaya punch.
She's old, as old as we will be
And who wants to be old?
Only old people like old people
We can try to make her young
We can fix her hair up pretty
But the hairpins pinch and scratch her
We can buy her a chrome-plated wheelchair
And push her out of the way.
She'll sleep when she takes her medicine
And she weighs almost nothing
But now her heart must go
There's money to be made.

Hilda Marshall
April 1987

 
Central Square is a Grandma

 

 

Poem "Central Square is a Grandma"
written by Hilda Marshall in April 1987

contributed by Judy Nathans
from her archives


"Gerrymander" Born in Massachusetts: February 11, 1812

ON THIS DAY...
...in 1812, a political monster -- the "Gerrymander" -- was born in the Massachusetts State House. Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that created oddly-shaped voting districts in several parts of the state. The lines of these districts gave Gerry's party an advantage in the upcoming election. An artist added a head, wings, and claws to the strange shape that was the governor's new home district and declared it looked like a salamander. A quick-witted friend decided a better name was "Gerry-mander." Within a month, the image appeared as a cartoon in the local papers and gerrymander, later gerrymander [with a soft "g"], entered the language. The term has referred ever since to any deliberate redrawing of voting districts to influence the outcome of an election.

Gerrymander


Free Document Shredding
Saturday, Mar 11, 9:30-1:30pm
Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

Please join the Cambridge Consumers’ Council for National Consumer Protection Week, along with the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Telecommunications and Cable and Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Information for consumer rights and safety will be distributed. Please note this if a free event based on first come, first served or until the truck is full to capacity.


To the members of the MIT community:

MIT President Rafael ReifJan 18, 2017 – Last November, the federal government announced its plans to work with MIT to negotiate an "exchange" that would give us the right to own and develop a multi-acre site in the heart of Kendall Square: The Volpe parcel. Today, we signed the exchange agreement.

You can explore the details in the MIT News story and a 3Q with Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.

With the contract finalized, I'm writing to share my excitement and explain why this initiative is so important for the long-term interests of MIT and of our Cambridge neighbors.

The Volpe site offers an opening that will not come again: 14 acres, mostly underdeveloped, nearly contiguous with our campus and in the thick of Kendall Square. When this parcel became available, it felt obvious to us that we should pursue this unique opportunity to work with the City and our Cambridge neighbors to help shape the future of the Kendall Square neighborhood, so that it would serve both MIT and the broader community.

From the entrepreneurial energy and culture of its hundreds of start-ups, to the research might and market reach of its major corporate players, Kendall Square is a vital source of opportunities, talent and resources to help the people of MIT deliver their ideas to the world. The emerging strengths of this ecosystem already offer powerful advantages to MIT; it is now clear that our future success depends on making sure that Kendall succeeds as a place – a place where people want to live, work and play, and a place that makes our city stronger, too.

It's important to understand that the agreement we signed today will be paid for entirely with MIT's investment funds, just as if it were a purchase of stocks or bonds; MIT's development on the site will serve as a long-term source of funds to support the Institute, just as with any income property MIT might own anywhere.

In effect, the Volpe project is simultaneously a way of generating future financial support for our mission, while enhancing an innovation ecosystem and neighborhood that support that mission, too.

Today's signing marks the latest step in a community-wide process that began four years ago. In that time, city and neighborhood leaders have developed a broad vision for how the Volpe site might be used, and MIT faculty and staff have worked with them closely to understand their priorities and values. As we begin detailed planning for the site, we are confident that we can develop it consistent with the vision that the City and the community outlined, so that Kendall Square can grow into a lively, distinctive neighborhood with an irresistible personality that is welcoming to all.

I am inspired by the possibilities, and I look forward to working with many of you as we work to shape the future of this remarkable place.

Sincerely,
L. Rafael Reif


City Announces First Minibond Issuance, Invites Residents to Directly Invest in Cambridge

City SealJan 23, 2017 – The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce that it intends to offer Cambridge residents the chance to invest directly in Cambridge infrastructure by purchasing minibonds. Minibonds enable residents to earn tax-exempt interest and invest for the future while supporting the Cambridge capital budget.

A minibond is similar to a traditional municipal bond in which investors loan money to a city or public agency for an agreed period of time, receive interest on the investment, and get their loan paid back when the bond matures. The City will use minibond proceeds to support capital projects such as school building renovations, municipal facility upgrades, and implementation of the Complete Streets plan.

All municipal bonds previously sold by the City were sold in denominations of $5,000 or more. Minibonds are different because residents can purchase them for as little as $1,000, making them more accessible than traditional municipal bonds for potential investors.

The City is working with Neighborly Securities* to issue the minibonds. Neighborly is not affiliated with the City of Cambridge in any way, other than as the broker-dealer for this sale of minibonds.

The City expects to sell up to $2 million of minibonds in its first minibond sale, which will take place from February 17-23, 2017. Each Cambridge resident may purchase up to 20 minibonds for a total possible investment of $20,000 (20 x $1,000/minibond). The interest rate on the 2017 minibonds will be determined on February 17, 2017 and interest will be paid semiannually. Principal on the 2017 minibonds will be paid in five years in 2022.

Minibonds will only be offered to investors following release of a Preliminary Official Statement of the City that will describe the terms of the minibonds and provide other financial information concerning the City. The City expects to issue a Preliminary Official Statement by February 13, 2017.

Residents who are interested in buying Cambridge minibonds will need to create an account through Neighborly.com before the order period ends or purchase minibonds through their own broker. Once a minibond order is submitted through Neighborly, Neighborly’s investment team reviews it for approval and allocation. If the order is approved, minibonds will then be allotted and filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Neighborly representatives will be at Cambridge City Hall on Wednesday, February 15 from 6-8pm and Tuesday, February 21 from 6-8pm to provide assistance and discuss the minibond process.

For questions about setting up an account with Neighborly to purchase minibonds, please contact Neighborly at (866) 432-1170, support@neighborly.com, or www.neighborly.com/cambridge.

For general questions about Cambridge minibonds, please visit http://minibonds.cambridgema.gov or contact the City’s Budget Office at minibonds@cambridgema.gov or (617) 349-4270.

*Minibonds will only be ordered through Neighborly Securities, member FINRA, SIPC & registered with MSRB, pursuant to a preliminary and final official statement to be made available during the ordering period. This information does not constitute an order to sell or the solicitation of an order to buy any securities. You will be responsible for making your own independent investigation and appraisal of the risks, benefits, and suitability of any securities to be ordered and neither the City of Cambridge nor Neighborly Securities is making any recommendation or giving any investment advice.


One way to cope:

Smile!


Feb 2 - Some days the Little Free Library at the intersection of Main Street and Ames Street is especially generous to me. Today's gift seems strangely relevant to the time at hand. Here's a little something from The Onion in 2001.


Renae Gray


City SealLiving with Coyotes Presentation
Thursday, March 9, 7-8:30pm
Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge

Learn all about the most misunderstood and remarkable animal in North America during this presentation by John Maguranis, Belmont Animal Control Officer and Massachusetts’ Representative for Project Coyote. Presentation topics include: natural behavior, myths and facts, habits, diet, identification, plus helpful information related to pet and human safety.

This free educational program is sponsored by Cambridge Animal Commission and Cambridge Water Department.


Members Sought for New City Manager’s Advisory Committee

City SealJan 13, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking volunteers to serve on the new City Manager’s Advisory Committee. Community input is a vital component of the decision making process in Cambridge and the City strives to engage and involve all stakeholders. In an effort to foster community collaboration and deepen the understanding of community issues, the City Manager is forming this new advisory Committee.

The City Manager’s Advisory Committee will consist of 12-15 residents and stakeholders who will meet at least quarterly to discuss issues happening in the city, develop working relationships, work with organizations, bring different opinions to the table, and work to resolve problems in advance.

Selection of individuals to serve on the City Manager’s Advisory Committee will be based on their ability to represent the diversity of the Cambridge community. The final group of committed participants selected will be broadly representative of many backgrounds including: small/local business community, large business community, non-profit community, neighborhood associations, higher education, arts community, primary/secondary education, public health and human services, housing advocacy, faith community, new immigrant/under represented communities, youth community, senior community, LGBTQ+ community, and mobility community (bike/transit/pedestrian).

Applicants should be Cambridge residents or individuals with a strong connection with the City.

For more information, contact Lee Gianetti, Director of Communication and Community Relations, at 617-349-3317 or lgianetti@cambridgema.gov. Letters of interest, including resume and/or applicable experience, can be sent via email or mail by the deadline of Friday, February 17, 2017 to:
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Update on December 3, 2016 Ten-Alarm Fire in Cambridge

City SealJan 24, 2017 – On Saturday afternoon December 3, 2016 a ten-alarm fire occurred in the Harrington/Wellington section of East Cambridge that damaged multiple residential buildings and automobiles. 18 buildings sustained varying degrees of damage and over 100 residents were displaced.

An exhaustive investigation that included the Cambridge Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit, the Cambridge Police Department as well as the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit commenced before the fire was brought under control. The investigation which lasted several weeks included numerous interviews of neighbors, contractors and eyewitnesses along with the review of many photos and videos from multiple sources. The elimination of alternate causes and sources of ignition were also part of the investigation.

It has been determined the fire originated at 35/37 Berkshire Street, on the left side, rear (known as the Bravo/Charlie corner) in and around some recycling bins that had remnants of construction debris from an ongoing gut/rehab of this property. The cause of the fire was careless disposal of smoking material by subcontractors working at the site on the day of the fire.

Despite the significant destruction, investigators were able to uncover the scene and locate this point of origin through the utilization of witnesses, photos and additional investigative methods.

The investigation into whether any criminal charges are appropriate remains open and ongoing. For this reason names are not being released at this time.


Members Sought to fill Vacancy on Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women

City SealJan 13, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women. Commissioners support staff in their mission to create and promote programs that increase public awareness and understanding of multiple issues affecting women and girls, particularly marginalized women and girls, within the city; advocate to improve the quality of women’s and girls’ lives; and build coalitions and partner with community organizations on these issues.

The Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women meets the second Wednesday of every month, from 6:30-8 p.m., at 51 Inman St., Cambridge, in the Women's Commission Conference Room, 2nd floor.

For more information, contact Kimberly Sansoucy, Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women, at 617-349-4695 or ksansoucy@cambridgema.gov. Letters of interest, including resume and/or applicable experience, can be sent via mail or e-mail by Friday, February 17, 2017 to:
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Affordable Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions February 13

City SealJan 24, 2017 – The Housing Division of the city’s Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Monday, February 13, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs. The sessions are free and open to all. No advance registration is necessary.

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.


Evenings with Experts 2017

First Wednesday of each month, February through May 2017, 7:00pm-8:30pm
A free public lecture series presented by Grow Native Massachusetts at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
For more information, visit us at http://grownativemass.org/programs/eveningswithexperts, or call 781-790-8921.
CEUs Available for each lecture: APLD (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (4 credits)

February 1 - Nurturing the Liberated Landscape
Larry Weaner, Author of Garden Revolution & Founder of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
    All too often we think of gardens and landscapes as static compositions of carefully placed and managed plants. But a more dynamic and rewarding approach takes advantage of the unique characteristics of plant species and communities, working with ecological processes, not against them. Learn how designer Larry Weaner utilizes the natural adaptations and reproductive abilities of plants to create engaging, ever-evolving landscapes that bring new meaning to partnering with nature. Using examples from his own property and from client projects, Larry will share how this give-and-take approach results in compelling, low-maintenance landscapes that free plants to perform according to their natural abilities and liberate people from having to cater to their landscapes’ every need.
    Larry Weaner has been creating native landscapes since 1977. His work is nationally recognized and has received awards from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Cultural Landscape Foundation, Garden Club of America, and others. His new book, Garden Revolution, is a “must read” for all who seek to integrate landscape design with ecological processes.

March 1 - The Art and Science of Growing Native Plants from Seed: Why, When, and How
Randi Eckel, Founder of Toadshade Wildflower Farm
    As we incorporate more native plants into our landscapes, there are so many good reasons to use plants propagated from seed. But wild plants have evolved with a dizzying array of mechanisms, including chemical-induced dormancy and mandatory cold stratification, to ensure that their seeds disperse, persevere, and germinate at just the right time under natural conditions. These mechanisms are not in place to frustrate would-be plant propagators, but must be understood by gardeners to successfully grow native plants from seed. Come for a far-reaching discussion of the issues surrounding seed collection, procurement, and propagation, with information that will encourage the novice and challenge the professional alike.
    Randi Eckel has been studying native plant seed propagation and plant-insect interactions for over thirty years. She is the founder of Toadshade Wildflower Farm, which supplies both seeds and plants of species native to eastern North America.

April 5 - How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Pollinators
Annie White, Ecological Landscape Designer & Adjunct Professor, UVM
    Initiatives to address pollinator decline are widespread and native plants are the preferred choice for pollinator habitat restoration. The growing demand for natives, coupled with a longstanding desire of horticulturalists for enhanced bloom, color, or other characteristics, has led to the increased selection and breeding of native cultivars. Although these cultivars are typically marketed for their ecological benefits, until now there have been no scientific studies to support or refute these claims. So are native cultivars as valuable in pollinator habitat gardens as the true native species? Annie White will help answer this question by sharing the results of four years of field data. Her research is groundbreaking and remarkable.
    Annie White is the founder of Nectar Landscape Design Studio and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Vermont. She earned her MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent PhD in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont was focused on this exceptional new research on native plant cultivars.

May 3 - The Challenge of a Public Native Plant Garden: Maintenance, Interpretation and Compromise
Michael Hagen, Curator of the Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden
    The New York Botanical Garden’s new Native Plant Garden opened in 2013. Designed by Oehme van Sweden, it includes a diversity of microclimates on 3.5 acres of varied terrain with a planting plan of almost 100,000 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, and grasses. Curator Michael Hagen will explain how this garden is successfully maintained, and their criteria for what constitutes “native” in species selection and the use of cultivars. This very public landscape presents native plants in a contemporary style, with an emphasis on aesthetics over recreating habitat. Michael will share his observations about how the public perceives and responds to the value of this native plant palette, along with ideas for inspiring others to “go native.”
    Michael Hagen is Curator of both the Native Plant Garden and the Rock Garden at NYBG. He previously served as Staff Horticulturist for over 11 years at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, New York and was Garden Manager at Rocky Hills in Mt. Kisco, a preservation project of the Garden Conservancy.


City of Cambridge Lifts Snow Emergency Parking Ban
Ban lifted as of 10:00am on Monday

Feb 13, 2017 – The Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 10:00am on Monday, February 13, 2017. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted. Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.

City of Cambridge offices and library branches will be open on Monday, however, the Cambridge Public Schools are closed. Certain programs for the Department of Human Services Programs are operating on the following modified schedule:

There is no rubbish, recycling, or curbside compost collection on Monday, February 13 and all curbside trash and recycling daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of this week.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance.

Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.

The public can to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City uses the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.


City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban - AGAIN
Ban goes into effect at 8:00pm on February 12.
Due to the winter weather conditions, Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Mon, Feb 13.

Feb 12, 2017 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 8:00pm on Sunday, February 12, 2017. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.

There will be no rubbish, recycling, or curbside compost collection on Monday, February 13 because of weather conditions. All curbside trash and recycling daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of this week.

Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.

Below is important information from the City:

Please report any power outages directly to Eversource at 800-592-2000.

In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow. As always, if you need immediate assistance, please contact the Police Department’s Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.


City of Cambridge to Lift Snow Emergency Parking Ban as of 7:00am Friday (Feb 10)

Snow on BroadwayThe Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 7 A.M. on Friday, February 10, 2017. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted. Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance.

Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.

The public can to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City uses the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.

Broadway snow
Count your blessings. It was a lot worse in 2014.


Snow Emergency

A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 7:00am on Thurs, Feb 9, 2017. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.

To assist residents in parking their vehicles, free parking is provided at a number of facilities beginning at 8:00pm on Wed, Feb 8, 2017.

Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.

City of Cambridge buildings are closed on Feb 9.


Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - January 2017

recycling symbolHoliday Tree Collection
Three Items That Can't Go in Curbside Trash or Recycling
What to Do with Broken String Lights?
Introducing Did You Know?
Glocal Challenge: CRLS Students Propose Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Cambridge
Stuff Swap at the Winter Farmers Market
We're Hiring!


Holiday Tree Collection

Holiday trees will be collected curbside with your trash/recycling until this Friday, January 13. Remove all decorations and the stand. Place bare trees (no plastic bags) at the curb with your trash and recycling.

Residents may also bring bare trees to the Recycling Center during open hours until January 31, 2017.


Three Items That Can't Go in Curbside Trash or Recycling

Cambridge has a goal of reducing waste by 30% by 2020, with a baseline of 2008. To reach this goal, DPW hired consultants to analyze Cambridge's trash and recycling. In our audits, we found the following items that shouldn't be put in trash or recycling:

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury and should never be in the trash or recycling. To dispose of them properly, please bring CFLs to the Recycling Center or visit our website to a disposal site. Incandescent bulbs go in the trash.
  • Electronics (anything with a cord or battery) contain valuable metals and materials. Please take a moment to find out how to get rid of it right or call 617-349-4800.
  • Textiles, such as clothing, shoes, bedding, and just about any other clean textile can be recycled. Nonprofits such as Big Brother Big Sister, Goodwill, and Red Cross benefit from your donated textiles. Torn, ripped, or broken textiles ARE accepted for donation or recycling.

Chose to ReuseWhat to Do with Broken String Lights?

String lights can't be placed in curbside recycling. Electronics such as these should not be in the trash either. So what are your options?

  1. Bring to the Recycling Center during open hours for recycling.
  2. Ship them to HolidayLEDs.com for free and receive a 15% off discount on new string lights.
  3. Ship them to Christmas-Light-Source.com and they'll give you a discount and donate proceeds to Toys for Tots.

Introducing Did You Know?

Did You Know?To start 2017, we are introducing a new section to the newsletter: Did You Know? This section's goal is to inform our readers of different topics in the waste industry.

Did you know the 2014 Massachusetts food waste ban, the first such ban in the US, created 900 jobs and added millions of dollars to the economy?

ICF, a Cambridge consulting firm, published this analysis: "Commonwealth's Food Waste Reduction Initiative Creates 900 Jobs, $175 Million of Economic Activity."


Glocal Challenge: CRLS Students Propose Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Cambridge

The Glocal Challenge is an annual competition at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) to tackle a global issue at the local level.

GLocal ChallengeFor three months, students attended expert-led workshops and received mentorship from local professionals to tackle the issue of food waste in Cambridge.

Student teams pitch their ideas to judges and compete to win funding and paid internships from the City to implement their proposal. The top two teams will earn scholarships to the EF Global Leadership Summit in Italy this summer.

Cantabrigians are invited to attend the Glocal Challenge Finals and vote for your favorite project on January 19, 5:30-8:30pm at EF Education First.

Email glocalchallenge@ef.com to RSVP.


Stuff Swap at the Winter Farmers Market

Cambridge Winter Farmers Market will be hosting Buy Nothing Cambridge on Saturday, January 14th, 10am-12pm in the common room (upstairs from the gym where the market is located).

All are invited to share clothing, accessories, books, DVDs & small household items. Bring something or nothing and leave with a neighbor's previously loved items. No large/bulky items and no electronics. All remaining items will be donated. Cambridge Recycling will have a table and information on how to get rid of it right.


We're Hiring!

Cambridge Recycling is hiring a full-time Waste Reduction Program Manager.


  • recycling symbolMissed recycling or trash? Please use Commonwealth Connect and report it online or via mobile app (iPhone / Android) or call DPW at 617-349-4800 by 12 noon the day after collection.
  • Need toters, brochures, labels, or posters? Email recycle@cambridgema.gov or fill out this form.
  • Following a weekday holiday, curbside trash, recycling, compost and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2017 collection schedule.

Cambridge Human Services Commission Vacancy

City Manager Louis A. DePasquale 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.

City SealWorking 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.

The Commission usually meets with the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on the second Thursday of each month, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

For more information, contact Mike Payack at 617-349-6208 or mpayack@cambridgema.gov. Commission members serve without compensation. Residents who wish to apply, may send a letter of interest and résumé by January 11, 2017, to:
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Martin Luther King Jr.: April 26, 1967, Cleveland (excerpt)

So, set out to do a good job and do that job so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn couldn’t do it any better. And let me say that we’ve got to prepare now to compete with people. Many of our parents have been so scarred by years of denial and neglect that they cannot face the same challenges that we face. But I say to you that you have the opportunity to assert certain things and get ready to compete with people. Don’t set out merely to do a good Negro job. If you’re setting out one day to be a good Negro doctor or a good Negro lawyer or a good Negro schoolteacher or a good Negro preacher or a good Negro skilled laborer or a good Negro barber or beautician, you have already flunked your matriculation exam for entrance into the university of integration.

Set out to do a good job and do that job so well that nobody can do it any better.

If it falls your lot to be a streetsweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.

Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.

Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music.

Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say here lived a great streetsweeper who swept his job well.

This is what Douglas Malloch meant when he said, "If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill, be a scrub in the valley -- but be the best little scrub on the side of the rill. Be a bush, if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be the sun, be a star. It isn't by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are!"

Full text of speech and audio recording here: http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2012/01/martin_luther_king_jr_april_26.html


City Manager Appoints Brent B. Larrabee as Acting Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department

Jan 9, 2017
To the Honorable, the City Council:

Effective Jan 9, 2017, I am appointing Brent B. Larrabee as Acting Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department. Mr. Larrabee is taking over for Acting Commissioner Christopher Burke who is retiring on Jan 6, 2017 after 32 years of service on the Cambridge Police Department and 8 months as Acting Commissioner. Incoming Acting Commissioner Larrabee is expected to serve for the next 6-8 months until a permanent Commissioner is appointed, a position that he is not pursuing.

Brent Larrabee holds a Master of Public Administration from Framingham State College, has assisted in the selection of numerous Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, and has served as:

Former Commissioner Haas has known and worked with Brent Larrabee for many years. He highly respects him and strongly recommended Brent for appointment as Acting Commissioner for the Cambridge Police Department.

Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager


Traffic

Jan 1, 2017 - It's interesting to occasionally look at the traffic numbers for my civic websites - especially the distinctive spikes that occur every two years around the time of the municipal election. In addition to the legitimate views, there is definitely some annoying Spam in the mix. I more aggressively filtered this starting in late 2014 (hence the dip), but even with the filters the traffic continues to grow. It does seem a bit curious that the hits are growing so far in advance of the 2017 municipal election. Perhaps there's more Spam to beat back, or maybe there's a high likelihood that this will be a very busy municipal election year. - RW


UPDATE (4:30pm): It is now reported that James Walter Morales has been taken into custody on Wheatland Street in Somerville.

CAMBRIDGE POLICE NOTICE: Bank Robbery in Central Square and Possible Suspect

Jan 5, 2017 – The FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, along with the Cambridge Police Department, responded to an attempted bank robbery at Bank of America, 772 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge earlier this morning.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5'10", with a mustache, dark skin, husky build and wearing a black jacket, gray sweatshirt, black knit cap and black sneakers. He did pass a note, but did not manage to obtain any money.

As part of this investigation, we're running down every possible lead, working with our federal, state and local partners. While we do not have an identity of the suspect at this point in time, investigators are looking at the possibility that the suspect generally fits the description of escaped federal prisoner James Morales, who fled the Wyatt Detention Center last weekend. A photo of Morales is attached [after the photos taken at the bank].

Bank Robber - Jan 5, 2017

Bank Robber - Jan 5, 2017

Bank Robber - Jan 5, 2017

Morales Wanted

Alanna Mallon Announces Run For City Council
Founder of the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program will run in November.

Jan 4, 2017 – As we enter this New Year and all that it promises to bring, I am excited and energized to declare myself as a candidate for Cambridge City Council this November.

Alanna MallonI was born and raised in Massachusetts, and I moved to Cambridge with my husband in the summer of 2004 and we are proud to call Cambridge home. We have two children, a third and sixth grader, both of whom have been enrolled in the Cambridge Public School system since they were in Junior Kindergarten. In 2013 as an active participant in our school community and civic life as a Cambridge resident, I became aware that food insecurity was a barrier for academic success for many of our students. This realization was a call to action, and I became determined to ensure that my childrens’ classmates had their basic needs met and could capitalize on the incredible CPS curriculum at every grade level.

I founded the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program to address the needs of food-insecure students, but also to connect their families to other vital resources that are available in our community. This critical work was so important to me, that I left the private sector to focus on it full time. For the last three years I have passionately dedicated my life to working on issues of food insecurity in Cambridge and I have had the privilege and pleasure of helping schools, families, the business community and concerned residents form a partnership to help our students succeed.

For the past year, I have been a Program Director at Food For Free, working closely on issues of food insecurity in Cambridge not just for students, but for various vulnerable populations in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area. Through this work, I have come to realize that there is a link between the resources and services that residents need: affordable housing, access to high quality day care and early education opportunities, mental health and human services, and many more. I am truly energized at the thought of working on these linked issues for our residents and using my skills to build broad coalitions of support to find meaningful solutions to the complex issues and challenges that face our community members.

As Mayor David Maher’s Education Liaison for two years (2015-2016), I observed that dedicated public service combined with strategic public policy can be an effective tool to change our residents’ lives for the better. Our elected leaders have the power to impact how our funds are spent and where to direct our collective energies. Our city has a great many resources, but many who live here are facing significant challenges and their needs are not being met. We must work to ensure that those resources can be directed to those who may not have a voice in decision making.

It’s become clear after the national election that much of the important and critical governing work in the coming years will happen at the state and local levels. I also strongly feel that there need to be more women in government at every level, bringing their unique experiences and voices to policy decisions. These things combined with the damaging political rhetoric of the past year crystallized my decision to seek office in November. Given my experience, knowledge of our governing systems, and relationships with community partners, the time is right for me to bring these unique experiences to the Cambridge City Council. As City Councilor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that all city residents, including our most at risk, get the representation that they need and deserve at the highest level. My experience over the last few years has affirmed that the City of Cambridge is unparalleled in its focus on the needs of our most vulnerable residents, but that there is so much more that we can, and must do.

I love working, living, and raising my children in this city. I am inspired by my friends, neighbors, and colleagues who, through their daily efforts in the neighborhoods of Cambridge, make our city a better place to live and work. There is no place I’d rather be at this moment in history, and it would be a privilege to serve as a City Councilor.

Alanna Mallon