2017 CCJ Notes - July through December
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CHLS, CRLS and Rindge Tech Homecoming 2017

A series of events for alumni and staff of CHLS, CRLS and Rindge Tech beginning Sat, Nov 18, 2017 through Sun, Nov 27, 2017.

EVENTS:

REUNIONS:

Details and Tickets for Musical Here     Event Updates Here


.... and the award for most unethical City Council candidate goes to.... Gregg Moree

Nov 5 - Perhaps, like me, you received a robo-call today from perennial City Council candidate Gregg Moree. In this call he claims to have been endorsed by Joe Kennedy, Anthony Galluccio, and at least one other well-known individual. He has also been claiming endorsements from other members of the Kennedy family at various campaign events. None of this is factual. I generally make no recommendations publicly on how you should vote, but nobody should even consider ranking a candidate so lacking in ethics as Mr. Moree. Now get to work choosing which of the other 25 City Council candidates and 12 School Committee candidates deserve your vote and rank them as you see fit (or don't rank them if you don't care for particular candidates). Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. - Robert Winters


Nov 1 - The "Random Draw of Precincts" took place tonight at the Cambridge Election Commission. This determines the order in which ballots from precincts throughout the city are counted in the election. Though this has a relatively minor effect on the tabulation of the ballots (because of the "Cincinnati Method" used to transfer surplus ballots), it can potentially make a difference in a very close election. It's also somewhat significant during rounds of the election count when candidates reach quota and are elected. Here's the ordering determined by lottery (read down the columns):

7-3
6-1
4-2
3-3
3-2A
2-3
5-2
7-2
9-1
5-1
10-2
6-2
3-1
11-2
8-3
6-3
10-3
9-2
1-3
2-1
3-2
11-3
10-1
8-1
1-1
5-3
2-2
1-2
4-1
11-1
7-1
8-2
4-3
9-3

Politics Overtakes Reason

Nov 1 - I check the OCPF website (Office of Campaign and Political Finance) daily to update my table of contributions and expenses of this year's City Council candidates. I get especially curious as Election Day draws near and expect to see some big jumps, especially in the expenditures of the major candidates. Last night I saw something that really floored me. Apparently, on Oct 30 a new PAC was created called "Cambridge Bicycle Safety Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee" whose sole contributor is a fellow named Nate Fillmore who paid $1,792.53 in printing costs for 26 different targeted mailers for each of the City Council candidates - some in support and some in opposition and apparently all based on whether a candidate signed a pledge with his organization to support segregated bike lanes without question. What is truly stunning is that this political group that supposedly supports bicycle safety has chosen to support a candidate like Gregg Moree while opposing Councillor Craig Kelley who has been the most consistent advocate for bicycle safety who has ever served on the Cambridge City Council. The clear message being sent by this political group is that candidates had better agree with everything they want without question - or else. - RW


Members Sought for Cambridge Council on Aging Board

City SealOct 23, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking individuals to serve on the Cambridge Council on Aging Board and help advocate for important senior issues. Applicants must be age 60 or older and a Cambridge resident.

The purpose of the Council on Aging Board is to: promote and encourage existing and new services and activities intended to enhance and improve the quality of life of older persons in the city; advise the City Manager on all matters pertaining to the welfare of elderly Cambridge citizens; and advocate for Cambridge elderly residents. Board members also support the Council on Aging and Senior Center staff with community outreach related to senior services, benefits, activities and programs.

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 20, 2017. Applications to serve on these committees can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.


Solar Projects to Generate 5.7 Megawatt-Hours of Solar Electricity for City of Cambridge
Two of three virtual net metering projects now operating

Seaport SolarOct 19, 2017 – Nearly nine acres of rooftop solar arrays in Boston's Seaport District are helping the City of Cambridge save money on its energy bill, despite being located outside of the city. These two installations, along with a third solar array in Dedham that is slated to come online later in 2017, are expected to generate 5.7 megawatt-hours of solar electricity annually, enough to power nearly 970 Cambridge homes.

"The City is committed to combatting climate change by increasing the amount of renewable energy in our electricity supply," said Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager. "This program reflects the City's commitment to the Net Zero Action Plan and will bring us closer to achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century."

The 2008 Massachusetts Green Communities Act created programs to greatly expand the amount of solar energy developed within the Commonwealth. Under the Act, a city or town may enter into an agreement with a solar developer to purchase the entire output of a commercial scale solar array. Cambridge's billing mechanism allows the City to receive energy credits on its utility bill from the remotely located solar installations that feeds energy into the grid.

Two of three solar arrays for which the City has signed virtual net metering agreements are operational and generating clean, renewable solar energy. For more information about this project or other sustainability initiatives in Cambridge, visit cambridgema.gov/theworks/energyefficiency.


City of Cambridge Joins Mystic Stormwater Education Collaborative

City SealOct 23, 2017 – The City of Cambridge is partnering with the Mystic River Watershed Association in a new effort to address stormwater pollution from communities that discharge stormwater to the Mystic River and its tributaries (watershed). The Stormwater Education Collaborative includes representatives from more than 15 municipalities within the 76 square mile Mystic River Watershed.

“Stormwater pollution is a universal concern,” said Cambridge Public Works Commissioner, Owen O’Riordan. “By working together, we can raise awareness of our shared water resources and challenges. Together, we can help promote solutions to pollution that protect the Alewife Brook and the Charles River.”

The Collaborative is developing a multimedia outreach campaign for each municipality to implement, allowing for consistent messaging across the watershed. Materials will include video public service announcements, social media graphics, website content, and posters to start, with additional educational materials to be developed in 2018. This project is partially funded through a US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Urban Waters grant.

“We are excited to work across municipalities to develop an innovative and effective education campaign addressing a primary source of pollution to our waterways. There are a lot of steps community members, businesses, and developers can take to limit their impact on the Mystic, and we’re here to act as a resource for the municipality as they work to improve the local river,” said Patrick Herron, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association.

Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt flows over land and does not soak into the ground. As runoff flows over impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, oil, pet waste, litter, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants. Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution to the Mystic and Charles Rivers and their tributaries, lakes and ponds.

To learn more about the Stormwater Education Collaborative please contact Patrick Herron, Mystic River Watershed Association, at 781-316-3438. To learn more about Cambridge’s stormwater efforts, please visit www.CambridgeMA.gov/Stormwater or contact Catherine Daly Woodbury at cwoodbury@cambridgema.gov.

heron


 

City of Cambridge to Hold First Servicemembers & Veterans Appreciation Week Nov 6-11

City SealOct 26, 2017 – The City of Cambridge will hold its first Servicemembers and Veterans Appreciation Week Nov 6-11, 2017. Activities on select days of the week will include, acupuncture, guided meditation, fitness and nutrition tips, health checkups, restorative therapy, social gatherings, food and refreshments. On Sat, Nov 11, a Veterans Day Observance will be held at 11am, at Cambridge Cemetery, followed by a Luncheon at Legion Marsh Post #442, and a Town Hall at the Cambridge Public Library.

Schedule of Events:
Mon, Nov 6 (2:30-8pm), Veterans’ Life & Recreation Center, (VLRC) 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor, (in Department of Veterans’ Services, Cambridge), Buffet & Benefits
The week kicks off with food, refreshments, and a short presentation by fitness and nutrition specialists from Always Strong Fitness. Personalized one-on-one nutrition consultation will also be available.

Tues, Nov 7 (1-4pm), VLRC, 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor, Art Demonstration & Entertainment
Kenneth Headley, Cambridge veteran and local artist, will offer a demonstration of his wood burning and painting technique. Paul Brymer, Cambridge veteran and local artist, will offer insight into his unique photography techniques. Improv Asylum troop members will be on hand to perform and engage. Join us as we celebrate artistic expression and observe the power of storytelling.

Wed, Nov 8 (1-4pm), VLRC, 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor, Guided Meditation & Acupuncture
Members from Meditation as Medicine will provide guided mediation sessions for veterans. This group has veterans on staff and are uniquely experienced with navigating individuals with post-traumatic stress (PTS) challenges through the meditation process. Our acupuncturist from Community Acupuncture will be present to apply acupuncture and instruction to veteran attendees.

Thurs, Nov 9 (1-4pm), VLRC, 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor, Acupuncture & Health Checks
Join our acupuncturist from Community Acupuncture. Flu shots and blood pressure checks will also be available.

Fri, Nov 10 (2-6pm), Social Meet-up at 730 Tavern, Kitchen & Patio, 730 Massachusetts Ave.
Veterans, their dependents, and survivors are invited to gather as a community and can enjoy one free, non-alcoholic beverage and 50% off of appetizers.

Sat, Nov 11 (11am-4:30pm) Veterans’ Day Observance & Town Hall
Veterans Day Observance (11am-12pm) Cambridge Cemetery, 76 Coolidge Ave
Luncheon (12-1pm) American Legion Marsh Post #442, 5 Greenough Blvd, Cambridge
Town Hall Reception (1-1:30pm), Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway
Town Hall Forum (1:30-4:30pm), Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway
During the Town Hall, veterans will be invited to share their personal stories of combat and service.

All Cambridge Public Libraries will be closed on Nov 10-11 in honor of Veterans Day. The Main Library will be open to attendees of the Town Hall on Sat, Nov 11.


Member Sought for Cambridge Planning Board Vacancy

City SealOct 4, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Planning Board. Planning Board members must be residents of the city; and women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Cambridge Planning Board plays a significant role in planning for the future of the city and oversees its development and growth as prescribed by zoning. The Planning Board serves a quasi-judicial role as the special permit granting authority for certain types of development proposals, especially large projects. In evaluating special permits on behalf of the city, the board conducts public hearings and votes on the project based on the proposal’s conformance with the provisions of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. The board also makes policy recommendations to the City Council about proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, and engages in general planning efforts related to land use and development within the city. The work involves reviewing and commenting on building and site plans, planning and engineering studies, and zoning documents.

The Planning Board meets approximately three times each month. Meetings take place on Tuesday evenings, each lasting approximately 3-4 hours. Meetings are open to the public and are video and audio recorded. As part of their time commitment, board members are expected to review application and petition materials prior to each meeting. Materials typically include development plans, impact studies, narrative descriptions, provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, information from city departments, written comments from the public, and other documents. The board typically reviews 1-3 major cases at each meeting. Occasionally, representatives of the Planning Board may be appointed to other city committees and working groups.

Ideal candidates would possess the ability to participate in a collaborative process, work with other Board members to consider diverse ideas, and reach a decision. Members should also have strong attentiveness and listening skills. While there is no requirement for a technical background, interest and understanding of development, architecture, urban design, and zoning is desirable.

Interested persons should submit a resume and a brief letter to City Manager DePasquale describing their interest. Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply and finding “Planning Board” in the list of Current Vacancies. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 13, 2017.


How We Elect Cambridge Officials: A Discussion on Proportional Representation

Monday, November 6, 6:30pm
Lecture Hall, Cambridge Main Library

Short Description
Did you know we vote for Cambridge City Council and School Committee through a system called Proportional Representation (PR)? Discover how PR works and learn just how much your vote counts to be better prepared for the November 7th election.

Join us for a lively discussion with panelists Howie Fain (Co-founder of FairVote), Glenn Koocher (former Cambridge School Committee Member), Susana Segat (former Cambridge School Committee Member), and Robert Winters (founder of Cambridge Civic Journal).

Long Description
Cambridge municipal elections happen on Tuesday, November 7th. Do you find it curious that we rank our candidates numerically when we vote? Did you know that this process of voting is called Proportional Representation? Do you know how Proportional Representation works? Do you know how it came to be that Cambridge adopted this system?

Join us for a lively panel discussion with experts on Cambridge political history. Discover how Proportional Representation works in our city. Learn just how much your vote counts to be better prepared for the November 7th election.

Panelists include Howie Fain (Co-founder of Fair Vote), Glenn Koocher (former Cambridge School Committee Member), Susana Segat (former Cambridge School Committee Member), and Robert Winters (founder of Cambridge Civic Journal).

Howie Fain
In 1992, Fain Co-founded Fair Vote, a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice. He served as the President of the Fair Ballot Alliance of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. Fain has been a consultant to the Cambridge Election Commission, authoring the 1994 report, Computerizing a Cambridge Tradition. Fain serves as an Executive Committee Member of VoterChoice Massachusetts and is a science teacher in the Worcester Public Schools.

Glenn Koocher
A native of Cambridge, Mass., Koocher served on the Cambridge School Committee from 1974-1985. He was the budget chair during the implementation of Proposition 2 1/2 and was actively engaged in the city's multi-year desegregation effort. Koocher was the founding host of Cambridge InsideOut, a weekly TV show on CCTV focusing on current events that aired from 1989-2000. He has written extensively on the political history of Cambridge. Koocher is currently the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Susana Segat
Segat was a member of the Cambridge School Committee from 1996-2001. From 1999-2008, she served on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. A longtime union official, Segat was the President of the Local Service Employees International Union (SEIU) from 2003-2009. She is currently the Chief of Staff for the President of MassArt.

Robert Winters
Winters is the founding editor of the Cambridge Civic Journal, an online news source that monitors the Cambridge political scene. Starting in 1989, he spearheaded the campaign to bring curbside recycling to Cambridge. He ran for City Council several times in the 1990's. Since 2013 he has been the co-host of CCTV's Cambridge InsideOut, a remake of Glenn Koocher's original TV show, focusing on Cambridge politics. Currently, Winters is a Lecturer in Mathematics at MIT and the Harvard Extension School.


Central Flea will return to 95 Prospect St. on the last Sunday of the month now through October! We're thrilled to bring together local artists and vendors in partnership with New England Open Markets. 11:00am to 5:00pm.


Oct 14 - Traffic Report

Traffic is really starting to pick up on the Cambridge Candidate Pages. Usually the traffic doesn't really spike until the week before Election Day, but it's already starting to jump. Here's the chart through the end of September showing the number of unique visitors, the total number of visits, and the number of individual pages viewed.

Candidate Page Traffic: Jan-Sept 2017

It's also interesting to see the fluctuations over time of the combined traffic on the CCJ (rwinters.com) and the CCJ Forum (cambridgecivic.com). The charts below show the monthly totals as well as the annual averages (which tend to smooth out the spikes). Note what happens around each November of each municipal election year. Note: It's often the case that someone who visits one of the sites will then visit several pages of the other - hence the somewhat higher than expected numbers. Also, the anomalous bump in late 2013 included some SPAM traffic which I began aggressively combating after that date.

Traffic

Average traffic


Oct 8 - I just ran some experiments with the 2015 City Council ballot data to see what the effect of limiting the number of rankings would have been. I had previously truncated the rankings to 15 and there was not a single change. I had also limited the rankings to 9 and found only minor changes in the round-by-round results. Tonight I limited the rankings to 7, then 5, then just 3 to see what would happen. In all cases the same 9 candidates are elected, though in the most severely limited case of allowing just 3 rankings only 6 candidates reach the election quota (but are still elected, of course, since all other candidates have been defeated). The interesting observation from the experiments is that some candidates are consistently more greatly impacted by the loss of deeper rankings. - RW

I also (upon request) just updated my record of voter success. The table below indicates the percentage of ballots for which the #1 ranked candidate was elected; the percentage of ballots for which the #1 or #2 ranked candidate was elected; and the percentage of ballots for which the #1, #2, or #3 ranked candidate was elected.

Voter Success in Cambridge Elections
Election elect candidates valid invalid total ballots Pct #1 elected Pct #1 or #2 elected Pct #1, #2, or #3 elected Pct none elected Pct blank
1997 Council 9 19 16879 350 17229 88.7 96.2 97.6 1.6 0.3
1999 Council 9 24 18777 384 19161 76.5 92.5 95.5 3.0 0.5
2001 Council 9 19 17126 562 17688 83.8 94.0 96.2 2.8 1.1
2003 Council 9 20 20080 878 20958 72.7 87.0 91.0 6.7 2.0
2005 Council 9 18 16070 132 16202 78.7 93.4 96.1 2.6 0.5
2007 Council 9 16 13633 88 13721 79.3 93.2 96.0 2.9 0.4
2009 Council 9 21 15995 118 16073 75.1 90.9 94.1 4.3 0.6
2011 Council 9 18 15845 126 15971 77.8 92.6 95.5 3.3 0.5
2013 Council 9 25 17743 103 17846 68.6 87.8 93.0 4.9 0.4
2015 Council 9 23 17854 105 17959 71.7 90.4 94.8 3.3 0.3
1997 School 6 8 16386 285 16671 83.3 96.4 97.6 2.4 0.1
1999 School 6 13 17961 307 18268 76.0 91.1 94.4 4.7 0.1
2001 School 6 10 16489 1160 17649 76.2 90.5 92.6 7.1 4.8
2003 School 6 8 18698 2210 20908 81.9 89.7 90.0 10.0 8.8
2005 School 6 8 15470 719 16189 77.4 90.6 93.1 6.9 4.2
2007 School 6 9 13276 433 13709 77.0 91.2 92.7 7.1 3.0
2009 School 6 9 15423 549 15972 72.6 90.1 91.6 8.4 3.3
2011 School 6 11 15290 614 15904 77.6 90.3 92.2 6.9 3.6
2013 School 6 9 16592 1128 17720 80.9 90.0 91.2 8.5 6.2
2015 School 6 11 16797 1062 17859 69.2 84.7 88.0 11.1 5.7

Note: Almost all of the invalid ballots were blank ballots. It's common that some voters will vote only the City Council ballot and cast a blank School Committee ballot.


A CCJ Milestone

The idea of the Cambridge Civic Journal was conceived in the early morning hours of September 20, 1997 - 20 years ago (6:00am, in fact). The original planned name was "Central Square News", though that quickly changed to Cambridge Civic Journal by the time the first issue was written and distributed on November 17, 1997. There was no website then - just printed copies, a PDF version, and email (and a lot of word of mouth). After a short while the great folks at the Porter Square Neighbors Association (PSNA) voluntarily began posting each issue on their website (yes, there were issues back then). Eventually I taught myself the basics of how to do a website and began posting the issues myself on my Harvard Math Department account. By 1999 the CCJ site was moved to the domain where it currently resides. The reason for the rather personal sounding URL http://rwinters.com is that I was also a candidate in those days, and when I decided to no longer be a candidate I simply repurposed the candidate site as the new home of the Cambridge Civic Journal. - Robert Winters


&Pizzapocalypse

Sept 29 - I read last night that the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved the application of &pizza to open in Harvard Square at the former Nini's Corner site. Normally I don't pay much attention to the openings and closings of restaurants (unless they're in Central Square!), but this whole process was so indicative of just how insane and brutal Cambridge can sometimes be that I couldn't look away. The bottom line is that this is just a pizza place - maybe a bit fancy for my taste and probably more expensive than I'll be willing to pay. I'm more of an Angelo's Pizzeria, two slices kinda guy.

Nonetheless, the self-appointed arbiters of all that shall be allowed in Harvard Square (the former Harvard Square Defense Fund, its new incarnation as the Harvard Square Neighborhood Association, and individuals like James Williamson - who, by the way, now signs as J. Maynard Williamson) decided that the arrival of this "fast food" operation was tantamount to an invasion by foreign troops that had to be met with barbed wire and artillery fire. The rhetoric was absolutely precious. When I spoke at a meeting of the Harvard Square Advisory Committee (my first time ever) to say that a place like this would be welcomed in Central Square, one snob-in-training responded by saying "this is not Central Square". Ah, yes, I forgot how the other half lives.

The rhetoric only steamrolled from there. Eventually there were photos trotted out of &pizza employees with the "&" sign tattooed on their bodies. We can probably agree that anyone who would do that straddles the borderline between moron and idiot, but the 02138 defenders made more than a subtle suggestion that this was some kind of requirement from the employer with associations to tribalism and even slavery. They apparently also dropped a dime with some producer at WGBH's "Greater Boston" to have their perspective promoted by host Jim Braude. It's nice to have those media connections - and the privilege that comes with it.

In the end, it's just pizza. The Harvard Square Neighborhood Association is now licking its wounds from this ill-chosen battle. There really are some things about Harvard Square that are worth defending, but this was never one of them. - Robert Winters


The Sanders Backlash

Oct 23 - Vermont Senator/Cult Figure Bernie Sanders is scheduled to appear this morning in Somerville for the purpose of endorsing candidates in local elections in Cambridge (and Somerville) based solely on the advice of the newborn group "Our Revolution Cambridge". This not-yet-registered political action group has endorsed a slate of 5 candidates (who just happen to coincide with the slate endorsed by the Cambridge Residents Alliance) based on a process that seemed to have the outcome determined well before the questionnaire was even sent to candidates. Sanders is apparently adding a sixth name - Jeff Santos - whose primary qualification is that he's had Sanders on his radio show on several occasions. Many view the "Our Revolution Cambridge" group primarily as the local political machine of newly-minted State Rep. Mike Connolly - a Sanders disciple.

It was Sanders who last year railed against what he saw as a political machine who rigged the Democratic Party presidential nomination process against him. It is ironic, to say the least, that he is now using his cult-like status to influence the election of local candidates about whom he knows essentially nothing. It was refreshing to see this morning a letter co-signed by a substantial list of Cambridge activists and prominent political figures questioning Sanders' judgment.

Read the letter


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

Cambridge Rindge educator nominated for National Teacher of the Year (Sept 27, 2017)

Bike lane backlash heats up in Cambridge (Sept 26, 2017)

Cambridge councillors call for more collaborative talks over bike lanes (Sept 26, 2017)

City takes point to push Foundry forward (Sept 26, 2017)

Retailers plan to press forward with 5 percent sales tax ballot question (Sept 21, 2017)

Councillors look to address aggressive turkeys in Cambridge (Sept 20, 2017)

Growing Older column: Surprising reunions trigger old memories (Sept 2, 2017)

Cambridge receives grant to reduce energy use (Sept 2, 2017)

Facebook plans big expansion in Cambridge (Aug 30, 2017)

Superintendent Column: What it means to welcome all students (Aug 30, 2017)

After massive spike, opioid death rate down slightly (Aug 25, 2017)

MIT students petition Cambridge City Council (Aug 24, 2017)

Pedro Martinez draws large crowd at Cambridge's Oldtime Baseball Game (posted Aug 22, 2017 - game was on Aug 17)

Huron Avenue work nears completion after five tough years (Aug 18, 2017)

Sale of non-rescues soon to be banned in Cambridge pet shops (Aug 8, 2017)


Political Updates

Sept 15 - I'm actually starting to enjoy reading and posting candidate submissions for the Cambridge Candidate Pages. Today's real treat comes from School Committee candidate Piotr Mitros. I urge you to read what this very interesting candidate has to say: http://vote.cambridgecivic.com/mitros.htm - RW

Sept 14 - The really thoughtful responses for the Cambridge Candidate Pages continue with today's submission by City Council candidate (and Vice Mayor) Marc McGovern. I strongly recommend reading it. - RW

Sept 13 - Cambridge School Committee candidate Fred Fantini today sent a really comprehensive response for his Cambridge Candidate Page. Check it out at: http://vote.cambridgecivic.com/fantini.htm

Sept 10 - New responses to the Cambridge Candidate Pages were submitted today by City Council candidates Denise Simmons and Hari Pillai. I encourage you to read their thoughtful responses. - RW

Sept 10 - I just remade my Big Voter Database that merges the current (Sept 1) registered voter list with the voter histories going back to 1997. As of Sept 1 there are 65,142 registered Cambridge voters. Of these, there are 131 supervoters who haven't missed a Cambridge election since 1997, including all municipal elections, state elections, state primaries, citywide special elections, federal elections, and presidential primaries. - RW

Sept 9 - The latest quality submission to the Cambridge Candidate Pages comes from School Committee candidate Will MacArthur. I highly recommend that you read his responses. - Robert Winters

Sept 6 - The requests went out a couple of days ago to all City Council and School Committee candidates to provide statements on a variety of topics for their Candidate Pages. Every once in a while a candidate provides statements that rise above all others. Today I received a statement from City Council candidate Sean Tierney on the issue of housing and housing affordability that really took me to school. You should definitely read what he wrote for his Candidate Page on this topic. You'll be impressed. - Robert Winters


Sept 4 - Topics for 2017 Cambridge School Committee candidates

Based on a lot of great suggestions from CCJ readers, here's my revised list of topics for this year's School Committee candidates for their Candidate Pages. My intention is to ask each candidate to write whatever they wish on most of these topic areas, but they are free to omit some topics. Candidates may consolidate topics or expand to other topics. Please note that there are no "Yes or No" questions and there will be no ranking, endorsements, or anything like that on the Candidate Pages - just an opportunity for all candidates to reach voters in whatever way they see fit. - Robert Winters

School Committee Topics for 2017 Candidate Pages - Express your thoughts on most of these topic areas
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three ­ then elaborate below]
3) Top Challenges Facing the Cambridge Public Schools today
4) Innovation Agenda, Hybrid Middle School model
5) School Department Administration and Superintendent
6) School Department Budget and Oversight, Capital Needs
7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students
8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners
9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies
10) Family engagement and communication
11) Standardized Testing
12) Role of the School Committee
13) Role of Teachers in shaping programs and influencing policies
14) Curriculum and Programs
   a) Elementary School Grades
   b) Middle School Grades
   c) High School Grades
   d) Language Immersion Programs
   e) Extended day programs
   f) Early childhood education
   g) Social and emotional development


Sept 3 - Topics for 2017 Cambridge City Council candidates

Based on a lot of great suggestions from CCJ readers, here's my revised list of topics for this year's City Council candidates for their Candidate Pages. I may still tweak it a bit before sending out the request. This was not a simple exercise due to the range of topics and the interrelations between so many of them. My intention is to ask each candidate to choose at least 10 of these topic areas on which to write whatever they wish, but candidates are free to write on all of these topics if they please. Candidates may consolidate topics or expand to other topics - it's a long list. Please note that there are no "Yes or No" questions and there will be no ranking, endorsements, or anything like that on the Candidate Pages - just an opportunity for all candidates to reach voters in whatever way they see fit. - Robert Winters

City Council Topics for 2017 Candidate Pages - Express your thoughts on at least 10 topic areas
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three and elaborate below]
3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density, Envision Cambridge [this may include specific ideas regarding particular neighborhoods and major city squares]
4) Housing (in general) and Affordable Housing (in particular) – priorities, plans, proposals
5) Economic Development and Commerce, Retail Viability and Affordability
6) Income Inequality, Economic Opportunity
7) Human Services Programs; Youth Programs; Senior Programs
8) Human Rights, Civic Unity, Diversity
9) Energy, Waste Reduction, Recycling, the Environment, and Public Health
10) Infrastructure: Water & Sewer; Climate-related issues and planning, Resiliency; Municipal Broadband
11) Traffic, Parking, Transportation, Cycling and Pedestrian Issues
12) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
13) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)
14) Quality of Life, Noise, Public Safety, Accommodation of People with Disabilities
15) Civic Participation, Structure and Function of City Council and its committees
16) Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager
17) Relations and Collaboration between Cambridge, neighboring municipalities, the Commonwealth, regional and federal agencies
   (e.g. in regard to transportation projects, housing)
18) University Relations – Responsibilities, Collaboration
19) Arts and Public Celebrations
20) Cambridge Public Schools


Vote!Aug 14 - I updated my all-time municipal candidate lists today to include the 2017 candidates:

Index of all Cambridge City Council and School Committee candidates: 1941 to 2017  – updated Aug 14, 2017  [plain text version]    [PDF version] – updated Aug 14, 2017

I also compiled a list of how many candidates and how many women candidates have been in the City Council and in the School Committee elections going back to 1941. It's a sortable table. Have fun: cambridgecivic.com/?p=5469

Aug 2 - The Election Commission voted to certify all nomination signatures submitted between July 27 and the July 31 deadline. All signatures for the 26 City Council candidates and 12 School Committee candidates are now certified and official.

City Council Candidates (26) School Committee Candidates (12)
Ronald Benjamin, 172 Cushing Street, 02138
Josh M. Burgin, 812 Memorial Drive #1411, 02139
Dennis J. Carlone, 9 Washington Avenue #6, 02140
Olivia D'Ambrosio, 270 3rd Street #305, 02142
Jan Devereux, 255 Lakeview Avenue, 02138
Samuel Gebru, 812 Memorial Drive #614A, 02139
Richard Harding, Jr., 189 Windsor Street #1, 02139
Craig A. Kelley, 6 Saint Gerard Terrace #2, 02140
Dan Lenke, 148 Richdale Avenue, 02140
Ilan Levy, 148 Spring Street, 02141
Alanna M. Mallon, 3 Maple Avenue, 02139
Marc C. McGovern, 15 Pleasant Street, 02139
Gregg J. Moree, 25 Fairfield Street #4, 02140
Adriane B. Musgrave, 5 Newport Road #1, 02140
Nadya T. Okamoto, 220 Banks Street #5, 02138
Hari I. Pillai, 165 Cambridgepark Drive #234, 02140
Jeff Santos, 350 3rd Street #809, 02142
Sumbul Siddiqui, 530 Windsor Street, 02141
E. Denise Simmons, 188 Harvard Street #4B, 02139
Vatsady Sivongxay, 59 Kirkland Street #2, 02138
Bryan Sutton, 764 Cambridge Street #6, 02141
Sean Tierney, 12 Prince Street, 02139
Paul F. Toner, 24 Newman Street, 02140
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., 88 6th Street, 02141
Gwen Thomas Volmar, 13 Ware Street #4, 02138
Quinton Y. Zondervan, 235 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, 02141
Manikka L. Bowman, 134 Reed Street, 02140
Fran A. Cronin, 1 Kimball Lane, 02140
Jake W. Crutchfield, 281 River Street #1, 01239
Emily R. Dexter, 9 Fenno Street, 02138
Alfred B. Fantini, 4 Canal Park #203, 02141
Elechi M. Kadete, 10 Laurel Street #4, 02139
Kathleen M. Kelly, 17 Marie Avenue #1, 02139
Laurance V. Kimbrough, 24 Aberdeen Avenue, 02138
William MacArthur, 18 Shea Road, 02140
Piotr Flawiusz Mitros, 9 Michael Way, 02141
Patricia M. Nolan, 184 Huron Avenue, 02138
David J. Weinstein, 45 S. Normandy Avenue, 02138

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages

2017 Campaign Event Listings and Candidate Forums
[Note: Only events open to the general public (with or without RSVP) will be listed.]

2017 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports (with sortable tables)

Campaign Finance Reports - 2017 City Council (PDF with links to detailed reports)

Campaign Contributions (2017) - Total Receipts and Cambridge Receipts, Total Expenses


Members Sought for Cambridge Peace Commission

City SealSept 22, 2017 – City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking individuals interested in serving on the Cambridge Peace Commission. Composed of up to 20 members who serve three-year terms and represent the socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the city, the Peace Commission meets on the third Wednesday of most months at 6 p.m., at 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room, Cambridge. Prospective members must reside in Cambridge.

Commission members are volunteers appointed by the City Manager and work with the staff in fulfilling the mission of the Peace Commission and in accomplishing its goals. Members are expected to attend regular meetings, participate in organizing the Commission’s events and activities, and do some work outside of Commission meetings. Members are encouraged to learn about the day-to-day work and projects of the staff, and offer advice and viewpoints that reflect the Commission’s mission and role within city government.

As a department of the City of Cambridge, the Peace Commission works with other municipal agencies, communities of faith, nonprofit organizations, and the wider community to build connections and strengthen relationships, and to promote positive dialogue and foster understanding. The Commission fosters a community where differences and diversity are understood and celebrated, so that all residents can contribute to making Cambridge an equitable and peaceful community. It pays special attention to traumatic events and violence affecting Cambridge and its residents, and coordinates and supports compassionate community responses to support recovery and healing.

The Commission supports Cambridge’s Sister City relationships, including those with: Les Cayes, Haiti; San José Las Flores, El Salvador; and Yerevan, Armenia. It also celebrates Cambridge residents and local efforts with recognition programs and events, and raises awareness about local and global peace and social justice issues through educational forums, discussions, and presentations. For more information about the Peace Commission, visit: www.cambridgema.gov/peace.

Individuals interested in being considered can submit a cover letter, résumé or summary of applicable experience using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.


Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities Vacancies

City SealSept 8, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) advisory board.

Made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms in a volunteer capacity, the CCPD board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. CCPD seeks to build a membership that reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the city, is cross-disability in nature and representative of the different geographical areas of the community. Members must be current residents of Cambridge.

CCPD works dynamically to maximize access to all aspects of Cambridge community life for individuals with disabilities, and strives to raise awareness of disability matters, to eliminate discrimination, and to promote equal opportunity for people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental and sensory. CCPD members are expected to work with other members and CCPD staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the CCPD Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.96). CCPD members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees, and work on various short and/or long-term projects, as needed.

For more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at ccpd@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY).

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the City's online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resumé or summary of relevant experience and the kinds of disability-related issues or projects that interest them can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager's Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, Oct 23, 2017.


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

$14.5M donation secures affordable housing at Cambridge’s Close Building (July 26, 2017)Cambridge Chronicle

Planning Board gets first look at Volpe rezoning proposal (July 26, 2017 by Rob Carter)

Cambridge Police promote two new superintendents (Steven J. DeMarco and Christine A. Elow) (July 26, 2017)

Housing advocates optimistic as Vail Court debated (July 25, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Eversource rate case presenting fiscal woes for solar projects (July 20, 2017 by Matt Murphy / State House News Service)

LETTER: Cambridge needs more long-term housing (July 19, 2017 by Jesse Kanson-Benanav, founder and chairman of A Better Cambridge)

Cambridge activists push for more housing on Volpe site (July 19, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Comm. Ave. Bridge project: What it means to Cambridge (July 18, 2017)

What to do when you encounter wildlife in Cambridge (July 17, 2017 by Abigail Simon)

Police: Cambridge man knocked out, hospitalized after stealing phone (July 14, 2017 by Amy Saltzman) - then watch this video

Planning Board lets Harvard Square pizzeria application move forward (July 12, 2017 by Rob Carter)

Harvard Square group gives boost to &Pizza plans (July 11, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Diaries reveal 18th century life in Cambridge (July 7, 2017 by Betsy Levinson)

Proposed Cambridge Airbnb regulations headed for City Council vote (July 6, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

A gem polished in Cambridge (July 5, 2017 by Lisa Cerquiera)

Arlington, Cambridge officials see ways to improve transportation on Mass. Ave. (July 3, 2017 by Bram Berkowitz)

PHOTOS: MIT’s vision for a redeveloped Volpe site (June 30, 2017)

Community gives feedback to MIT on Volpe Center plans (June 30, 2017 by Rob J. Carter)

Cambridge investigating affordable housing on divinity school land (June 27, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

Cambridge City Council seeking faster roll-out of protected bike lanes (June 27, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

To help struggling small businesses, Cambridge looks into reforms (June 15, 2017 by Jill Jaracz)

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust to step down (June 14 by Abigail Simon)

‘Millionaire tax’ makes it to the 2018 ballot (with interactive map) (Jun 14, 2017 by Michael P. Norton, State House News Service)

Cambridge councillors call for action on ‘worthless’ liquor licenses (June 13, 2017 by Adam Sennott)

City, developer commit $6M to improve transit in Kendall Square (June 12, 2017 by Betsy Levinson)

PHOTOS: Cambridge Rindge and Latin Class of 2017 graduates (June 9, 2017)

‘Cambridge in your DNA:’ Rindge graduates encouraged to teach, give back (June 9, 2017 by Linda Kush)

‘We know there were witnesses:’ DA calls on public to help solve teen’s murder (June 5, 2017 by Amy Saltzman)

PHOTOS: River Fest takes over East Cambridge waterfront (June 5, 2017)

PHOTOS: Wicked awesome mortarboards from high school graduations (June 5, 2017)

Cambridge joins area towns to forge own path against climate change (June 5, 2017 by Gerry Tuoti)

Family-run flower shop in Kendall Square celebrates 75 years (June 2, 2017 by Lisa Cerqueira)

Cambridge awards record $210K in scholarships (June 2, 2017)

Cambridge launches new plan for Foundry Building (June 1, 2017)

Developer’s plan would bring movies back to Harvard Square theater (May 31, 2017)


Members Sought for Historic and Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions
Application deadline extended to September 25, 2017

Aug 23, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission, and Mid Cambridge NCD Commission. The original application deadline for these commissions has been extended to Monday, September 25, 2017.

City SealNeighborhood Conservation Districts were established by City ordinance beginning in 1983. NCD designation recognizes the particular design qualities of distinctive neighborhoods and encourages their protection and maintenance for the benefit of the entire city. The three NCD commissions in Cambridge each include five members and three alternates. Most members must be residents of the respective neighborhood commission. More information and maps of the Avon Hill, Half Crown-Marsh, and Mid Cambridge NCDs are available at cambridgema.gov/historic/districtsHistoricProperties/districtsmap.

The volunteer commissions meets monthly and are supported by the professional staff of the Cambridge Historical Commission. Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or neighborhood preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting the relevant commission. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, September 25, 2017.


Members Sought for Cambridge Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity
Application Deadline August 28, 2017 September 21, 2017

City SealJuly 19, 2017 and Aug 30, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking residents and members of the Cambridge community (including private sector, municipal employees, business owners, students and others) interested in serving on the Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity.

The mission of the City of Cambridge Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity is to foster fairness, equity, unity, appreciation, and mutual understanding across all people and entities in Cambridge. The Committee works to provide opportunities for constructive discussions and community events regarding race, class, religion, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, through recognizing and raising awareness of historic, existing, and potential civic issues; providing opportunities for honest dialogue and engagement; and by building bridges across communities to better understand and connect with one another.

The Committee generally meets monthly. Committee meetings are open to the public and may include presentations by guest speakers, city staff, and various experts. For information on the committee’s work, current goals, meeting schedule, and events, please visit: www.cambridgema.gov/civicunity.

Individuals interested in being considered can submit a cover letter, résumé or summary of applicable experience using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, September 21, 2017.


Danehy Park Family Day Saturday, September 16
Featuring Children’s Stage, Amusement Rides, Roving Performers, Arts & Crafts

Danehy Park Family DayThe City of Cambridge will host the 22nd Annual Danehy Park Family Day on Saturday, September 16, from 11am-4pm. Enjoy a fun-filled day of children's amusement rides, arts and crafts, face painting, live music and roving performers, plus free hot dogs, chips, sodas and T-shirts while supplies last! Check out performances throughout the day at the children's stage. Rain Date is Sunday, Sept. 17.

Danehy Park is a 55-acre facility located at 99 Sherman Street and New Street in North Cambridge. This free event, sponsored by the City of Cambridge, attracts over 4,000 people annually and offers something for everyone.

Free shuttle buses will be running throughout Cambridge neighborhoods and from Alewife MBTA Station.  Danehy Park can also be reached by #74 bus or #78 bus from Harvard Square; #83 bus from Central Square. Picnics and lawn chairs are encouraged.

For more information, including times and locations for the neighborhood shuttle and event schedule, visit www.cambridgema.gov/DanehyPark.


Cambridge Discovery Day - Saturday, September 16, 2017
Free tours & events - rain or shine! [full brochure - PDF]

Time Event Meeting Place
9:30-11:00am Architecture and Development of Avon Hill Cooper-Frost-Austin House, 21 Linnaean St.
9:30-11:00am Stones of the Old Burying Ground Old Burying Ground gate next to Christ Church, Zero Garden St.
10:00-11:00am Discover Lusitania Wet Meadow at Fresh Pond Meet at the meeting rocks, at the meadow’s southwest corner
10:00am-12:00pm   James Russell Lowell’s Brattle Street front stairs of the Longfellow house, 105 Brattle St.
10:00am-4:00pm (hourly) Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site 105 Brattle St.
11:00am-1:00pm Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church 838 Mass. Ave. corner Sellers St., Central Square
11:30am Longfellow House Landscape 105 Brattle St., outside the Visitor Center
1:30pm Longfellow Family Garden garden at 105 Brattle St.
1:00-1:45pm Common Exchange: Public Art on Cambridge Common Common at the entrance to the Kemp Playground
1:00-2:30pm “Unholy Traffic”: Saloons vs. No-license and Prohibition Laws outside Atwood’s Tavern, 877 Cambridge St.
2:00-3:30pm More Cambridgeport Stories: Cross Streets corner of Magazine St. and William St.
3:00-4:00pm Five Senses over Five Centuries Cambridge Historical Society, Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, 159 Brattle St.
3:00-4:30pm The Road to Revolution: A Special Tour for Families Longfellow house, 105 Brattle St., outside the Visitor Center
3:00-4:30pm Children of the Revolution: Boys & Girls in Cambridge During the Siege of Boston Tory Row historic marker, corner of Brattle St. and Mason St.
3:30pm Longfellow House Landscape Visitor Center, 105 Brattle St.

Central Square shootingG. Branville Bard addressing the press with members of the command staff

Sept 5 - There was a double shooting today near Central Square at the corner of River St. and Auburn St. at approximately 10:45am Tuesday morning. Two young people sustained gunshot wounds - one to the hand and one to the knee. It is believed that the shooter knew the victims. The investigation is ongoing. A brief press conference was held nearby with Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard.

Central Square shooting


Suggest Topics for Municipal Election Candidates - 2017

Candidates for City Council and School Committee in each municipal election since 2003 have been asked to submit statements to be posted on their Cambridge Candidate Pages on a range of topics relevant to the respective offices. Candidates can also submit statements on other topics of importance to them and they can modify any statements all the way up to Election Day. There are no endorsements on the Candidate Pages - just an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to voters. The request will soon go out to this year's candidates. Are there any particular topic areas that should be on this year's list? Please let me know what you think so that we can have a good starting point for all candidates. For reference, the topics from the 2015 election are listed below. - Robert Winters

Sept 2 - I am hoping to finalize the Topics Lists over the Labor Day weekend (Sept 2-4) before sending them out to all the candidates. If you have any additional input, now's the time to send it to me. I now have 4 pages of suggestions to merge and distill into something as simple and flexible as possible for the candidates. [PS - If anyone has managed to find email addresses for Dan Lenke (or if you ARE Dan Lenke), please send me that email address so that all candidates can receive the same information and requests.] - Robert Winters

City Council candidates were asked in 2015 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three and elaborate below]
3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density
4) Economic Development and Commerce
5) Housing
6) Energy, the Environment, and Public Health
7) Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
8) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
9) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)
10) Quality of Life and Public Safety

Other topics that you might wish to address: Civic Participation, Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager, University Relations, Youth Programs, Senior Programs, Arts and Public Celebrations, Cambridge Public Schools, Future of the Foundry Building

School Committee candidates were asked in 2015 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three ­ then elaborate below]
3) Top Challenges Facing CPS today
4) Evaluation of the Innovation Agenda
5) School Department Administration and Superintendent
6) School Department Budget and Capital Needs
7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students
8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners
9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies
10) Curriculum and Programs
   a) Elementary School Grades
   b) Middle School Grades
   c) High School Grades

Any topics to add, delete, or modify?


Tom RaphaelAug 27 - I am today grieving the loss of my friend Tom Raphael who died yesterday at the age of 95. He was the person who first invited me to be involved with the Middlesex Canal Association and was the Chair of the Middlesex Canal Commission. He was a Renaissance man, an inventor, an inspiration to all who knew him, and one of the most wise and interesting people I have ever known. - Robert Winters


Aug 16 - The deadline for withdrawing a candidate's name from the municipal election ballot has now passed. There were no withdrawals, so we're all set with 26 City Council candidates and 12 School Committee candidates. [2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages]


Thurs, Aug 17

7:00pm   24th Annual Oldtime Baseball Game  (St. Peter's Field, Sherman St.)

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to Pitch in 24th Annual Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game on Thursday, August 17, 2017. Cambridge’s Summertime Celebration of Baseball to Benefit John Martin Fund and ALS Therapy Development Institute. Free admission, no tickets necessary. [Facebook Page][Oldtime Baseball website]

Sherman Street will be closed on Thursday 8/17 from 5:00pm - midnight between Rindge Ave. and Walden St. for the Oldtime Baseball Game - http://camb.ma/2i7M6Ou

Road Closure - Aug 17, 2017

Pedro Martinez


Aug 1 - Planning Board Associate Member Ahmed Nur announced today that he will be resigning from the Planning Board due to time conflicts. Thank you for your 10 years of service.


Notice (July 23, updated Aug 9) - There actually is a mailing list for the Cambridge Civic Journal, but many moons have passed since the last time anything was sent out to the list. Today a test message was sent out to the whole list just to see how many addresses were no longer working and in order to otherwise clean up the list - somewhat motivated by the municipal election on the horizon. If you received the test message and would prefer to not remain on the disribution list or if would like to change your email address, just reply to the message and I'll make the necessary updates. If you're not on the list (or thought you were but did not receive the test message) and would like to be added, you can Subscribe to the CCJ by clicking the highlighted link. The list is completely confidential and will be shared with no one, but you must provide your real name. - Robert Winters


Statement from Councillor Cheung on his decision to not seek reelection

Friends,

When I first ran for City Council 8 years ago, I did not think that I would actually win. I felt compelled by a faith in community service that my parents instilled in me; a love for the city my father first called home when he immigrated to America; and a vague notion that somehow my unique ideas and perspective would, when added to those already there, make the Council even better. Winning was a surprise, but I was humbled by the opportunity, and honored by the trust voters had placed in me.Leland Cheung

I came to office determined to make the most of that opportunity; to affect as much good as I possibly could in the time I was given. Determined to earn the trust given to me by making things better tomorrow than I'd found them yesterday, I tried to make the most of every day because I never thought it would last forever.

After much reflection, I've decided that I will not seek re-election to the City Council. These past 8 years of public service have been exciting, productive, and professionally rewarding but also demanding. Doing the job, the way I aspire to do it, is an all-consuming affair. Elected office demands more than just 40 hours a week. More than 80. It keeps you constantly on call. It demands your nights and weekends. Nowadays however, my nights and weekends belong to my wife, my 3 year old daughter Lela Marie, and my 3 month old son Alexander Alpha. Quite frankly, I cannot be wholly present at a community meeting if all I'm thinking about is going home to play on the rug. Life is short and I want to spend these next few years devoting my free time to my kids.

While reflecting on this decision I took some time to look back over all the flyers and mailings I'd sent out ever since my first campaign. I'm proud that almost all those promises have been fulfilled. We have innovation legislation that formalizes open data, sets aside affordable office space for entrepreneurs, and a city bureaucracy that's embracing technology. Cambridge is the most climate-conscious city in the world, with building regulations headed towards net-zero, power aggregation that's shifting the entire city towards renewables, and investments in transportation infrastructure. We've emerged from the national housing crisis with a focus on affordability, and a blueprint for incentivizing developers to focus on residents, not profits. We introduced participatory budgeting, mini-bonds, and curbside composting. We have a great new City Manager, focused on customer service, who was selected through a transparent and inclusive process. We're investing in education, family housing, and helping residents build a better future for themselves and their families.

I'm known for promoting a forward-looking vision for the city, from innovation to entrepreneurship, but my most impactful moments were when I broke from peoples' expectations of me as the kid from MIT. Bringing millennials to understand the perspectives of life-long residents on everything from taxes to bicycles; championing home grown candidates – Rich Rossi and Louie Depasquale – for City Manager; focusing on the basics like fire and police. The underlying theme is that every move I've made has been towards a singular goal – making tomorrow better than yesterday; and everything I've done has been in collaboration with others – residents, activists, colleagues, and city employees – and with an understanding that any policy is only as strong as the front-line employees delivering the service.

The temptation to remain in public office is that there is always more work to be done. I won't stop moving issues forwards until my term is over. However, I rest assured that the future of Cambridge is bright. We have the policies, practices, and personnel to tackle whatever is next. We have the best employees of any city in the country. Between the incumbents running for re-election and the new candidates, we'll have the institutional memory to safeguard what's great about Cambridge and the new ideas necessary to challenge assumptions and make things even better.

So I humbly return to you the trust that you held in me. It's time for me to focus on my growing family and opportunities in the private sector. I'm forever thankful that despite the national drama, I'll leave the City Council with a deepened faith in American Democracy and as living proof that the dream is alive and well. And for that I am grateful.

Thank you,
Leland


Cambridge Police Department Promotes Steven DeMarco & Christine Elow to the Rank of Superintendent

July 24, 2017 – The Cambridge Police Department held a ceremony this afternoon inside the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility for Steven J. DeMarco and Christine A. Elow, as they were both promoted to the rank of Police Superintendent.

Superintendent DeMarco joined the Cambridge Police Department in 1993 and has served in a variety of units during his distinguished career with the Cambridge Police, including Patrol Operations, Special Investigations, Traffic Enforcement and, most recently, Deputy Superintendent for Criminal Investigations. Overall, Superintendent DeMarco has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, including serving in a supervisory and leadership capacity over the past 16 years.

Superintendent Elow, who was raised in Cambridge, has been with the Cambridge Police Department for more than 22 years. She becomes the highest ranking female officer in the history of the Cambridge Police Department. Most recently, she served as Deputy Superintendent for Day Patrol and Community Services. While a majority of her career has been in patrol operations, Superintendent Elow has also overseen Professional Standards.

Mayor E. Denise Simmons, City Manager Louis A. DePasquale, Deputy City Manager Lisa C. Peterson, Councilor Craig Kelley and Cambridge Police Commissioner Brent B. Larrabee joined other city officials, officers, family members and friends at the ceremony to honor Superintendents DeMarco and Elow on their promotions.

Commissioner Larrabee stated, "Since taking over as Acting Commissioner earlier this year, I have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism, talent-level, and sound decision-making of these two standout officers. Just as important, I have admired the respect the Cambridge community has for both of them. I have the utmost confidence that Superintendents DeMarco and Elow will fulfill incoming Commissioner Bard's vision, continue to elevate the department and ensure that CPD delivers the highest quality of service and protection for the city."

For photos from this afternoon's ceremony, please visit www.facebook.com/CambridgePolice.

Superintendents Steven DeMarco & Christine Elow
Cambridge Police Superintendents Steven DeMarco & Christine Elow


Cambridge Community Learning Center Graduates 16 from CNA Training Program

July 12, 2017 – Bernadette Charles-Sanon’s dream came true when the Cambridge Community Learning Center (CLC) offered a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training for English Language Learners this year in partnership with the Academy for Healthcare Training. While studying English at the CLC, she had been entreating staff to provide this program so she could progress from her work as a home health aide. When funding became available through grants from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Commonwealth Corporation, she was excited to enroll along with others. “There are a lot of elderly in Cambridge,” Charles-Sanon said, “and I want to help them.”

City SealIn the four-month cycle that ended in June, 16 students completed the course despite the intensive schedule: two nights a week in Cambridge learning English and math and two nights at the Academy in Malden learning clinical skills. The teachers remarked on the diversity of students, who included two men and 14 women from six countries and with varied educational backgrounds.

Program Coordinator Pat Murphy noted that they “come from cultures of caring, especially for the elderly. It’s a task that they do with joy and compassion.”

Math teacher Sally Waldron praised the students for their work ethic and dependability as well as their support and respect for each other. “They really became a group.”

The program gives participants the chance to enter the field of healthcare, an area with many opportunities and an improvement over their current jobs. In addition to the academic and skills training, the program teaches its students job search skills. In collaboration with the Cambridge Employment Program, the program also offers assistance with job placement. After experience as a CNA, some graduates plan to study for other health careers, such as nursing or occupational therapy.

Haimanot Temesgen was walking by the Community Learning Center on Western Avenue with her 2 year old son when she saw a sign advertising free English classes. She wasn’t sure she could manage a program with her young child, but she decided to stop in. “It was a life-changing decision,” she said. “Another door opened in my life—to give me a skill and a future. Caring for people—that’s what I want to give my life to.”

The Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training for English Language Learners program will be offered again in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018. For more information, call Pat Murphy at 617-349-6365 or visit the Community Learning Center at 5 Western Avenue, Cambridge. The Community Learning Center is the Adult Basic Education program of the City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs.

CLA-CNA Program Graduates - 2017


Cambridge City Manager Announces New Police Commissioner
Branville G. Bard Jr. of Philadelphia, PA Selected

Branville G. BardJuly 13, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale today announced that Branville G. Bard, Jr. has been selected as Cambridge's Police Commissioner.

"I am pleased to appoint Mr. Bard as our next Police Commissioner. He has a proven track record and will be a strong leader for our 21st-century Police Department," City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said. "I am confident that under Mr. Bard's leadership, the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) will continue growing its commitment to community policing, crime prevention, cultural awareness and sensitivity, department-wide equity and inclusiveness, procedural justice, and visionary, effective, and strong police leadership."

Bard currently serves as the Chief of Police and the Director of Public Safety for the Philadelphia Housing Authority's Police Department. Prior to this, he served in numerous positions for the Philadelphia Police Department, including Police Inspector, and Police Captain for the 22nd District. Bard holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. Bard's contract is for 3 years with a starting salary of $210,125 ($205,000 base salary with a 2.5% cost of living increase that went into effect July 1). His first official day as Commissioner is August 21.

"It is a tremendous honor to be appointed as the next Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department," Bard said. "This is a nationally regarded and accomplished department and I am committed to building on the success of CPD's talented and established personnel, programs and collaborations."

"I am pleased that we were able to involve so many people in the Commissioner search process and that the public was able to hear directly from Mr. Bard during the process," City Manager DePasquale said "I hope the entire community will join me in welcoming incoming Commissioner Bard and I look forward to introducing him to the community in the coming months."

A full timeline of the process is available at http://camb.ma/BardTimeline. [Branville Bard's resume]


July 12 - Apparently SeeClickFix (a.k.a. Commonwealth Connect) that the City uses to manage complaints and suggestions is subject to censorship if you express a valid point of view that differs from one of its moderators (and I have no idea who gets to be the moderators). Welcome to the New Cambridge where differing points of view are not tolerated. - RW


July 10 - I attended a meeting of the Harvard Square Advisory Committee tonight who were discussing a proposal for an over-the-counter restaurant that would take over the space that was once Nini's Corner and the adjacent storefront at 8 Brattle Street. Except for one relic on the Advisory Committee, their discussion was reasonable. However, in attendance and making comment were a number of people who made it quite clear that snobbery is alive and well in Harvard Square.

July 11 update - The Cambridge Planning Board unanimously voted to allow the &pizza (and Milk Bar) Special Permit application for 8 Brattle St. to go back to the Board of Zoning Appeals for review and a possible re-vote on the application.


Members Sought for Historic and Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions

July 5, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Cambridge Historical Commission, Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission and Mid Cambridge NCD Commission.

City SealThe Cambridge Historical Commission, a body of seven members and three alternates, establishes historic preservation policy for the city and administers two historic districts, the Harvard Square Conservation District, the citywide landmark and demolition ordinances, and the preservation grant program for rehabilitation assistance.

Neighborhood Conservation Districts were established by City ordinance beginning in 1983. NCD designation recognizes the particular design qualities of distinctive neighborhoods and encourages their protection and maintenance for the benefit of the entire city. The three NCD commissions in Cambridge each include five members and three alternates. Most members must be residents of the neighborhoods. More information and maps of the Avon Hill, Half Crown-Marsh, and Mid Cambridge NCDs are available at cambridgema.gov/historic/districtsHistoricProperties/districtsmap.

Each of the four volunteer commissions meets monthly. All are supported by the professional staff of the Historical Commission. Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or neighborhood preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments to the Commission are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting the relevant commission(s). A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, August 14, 2017.


City Manager Seeks Members for Vacancies on the Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC)

July 5, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC).

City SealThe Commission consists of 11 volunteer members, who are appointed by the City Manager, following an application and interview process. The term of the appointment is three years. Commissioners are expected to be knowledgeable about immigrant rights and citizenship and must be residents of Cambridge. It is desirable for this Commission to be fully representative of the diverse Cambridge community.

Cambridge welcomes immigrants and wants to encourage their success and access to opportunity and advancement in this country. It will be a goal of this Commission to get the message of welcome out, through collaboration with organizations that already provide services and outreach to our immigrant community.

The Commission will act as a centralizing organization in Cambridge, to address immigrant rights and citizenship issues through providing information, referral, guidance, coordination and technical assistance to other public agencies and private persons, organizations and institutions engaged in activities and programs intended to support immigrant rights and citizenship.

Commissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.123).

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, August 14, 2017.


Candidates who have pulled nomination papers (as of July 31, 5:00pm) - FINAL
Candidates Office Address Birthdate Occupation Signatures Certified Notes
E. Denise Simmons CC 188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139 10/2/1951 Mayor 50(July 6),46(July 18) 50+40=90 July 3
Dan Lenke CC 148 Richdale Ave., 02140 3/31/1947 - 100(July 31) 67 July 3
Samuel Gebru CC 812 Memorial Dr., 02139 11/20/1991 Self-Employed 50(July 3),33(July 3) 45+28=73 July 3
Gwen Volmar CC 13 Ware St. #4, 02138 9/25/1985 University Admin. 70(July 6) 59 July 3
Ronald Benjamin CC 172 Cushing St., 02138 1/5/1971 - 80(July 7) 66 July 3
Jeff Santos CC 350 3rd St. #809, 02142 5/28/1963 Radio Host 83(July5) 79 July 3
Paul Toner CC 24 Newman St., 02140 4/28/1966 Teacher, Lawyer 50(July 6),37(July 7) 49+35=84 July 3
Vatsady Sivongxay CC 59 Kirkland St. #2, 02138 2/20/1982 - 50(July 10),7(July 10),43(July 26) 49+7+37=93 July 3
Marc McGovern CC 15 Pleasant St., 02139 12/21/1968 Social Worker 99(July 10) 83 July 3
Craig Kelley CC 6 Saint Gerard Terr. #2, 02140 9/18/1962 Politician 86(July 10),9(July 31) 73+9=82 July 3
Sumbul Siddiqui CC 530 Windsor Street, 02141 2/10/1988 Attorney 96(July 10) 78 July 3
Sean Tierney CC 12 Prince St., 02139 3/10/1985 Lawyer 49(July 6),28(July 10),5(July 28) 45+25+5=75 July 3
Nadya Okamoto CC 220 Banks St. #5, 02138 2/11/1998 Student 100(July 10) 86 July 3
Quinton Zondervan CC 235 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., 02141 9/15/1970 Entrepreneur 58(July 13) 54 July 3
Michelle Lessly CC 410 Memorial Dr., 02139 -- - will not be a candidate - July 3
Jan Devereux CC 255 Lakeview Ave., 02138 5/13/1959 City Councillor 50(July 7),19(July 10) 46+18=64 July 3
Richard Harding CC 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 10/16/1972 Administration 93(July 17) 78 July 3
Alanna Mallon CC 3 Maple Ave., 02139 12/6/1970 Nonprofit Admin. 99(July 10) 93 July 5
Josh Burgin CC 812 Memorial Drive, 02139 2/7/1976 - 33(July 13),32(July 18),21(July 31) 29+29+19=77 July 5
Dennis Carlone CC 9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140 5/7/1947 Architect 70(July 18) 68 July 5
Adriane Musgrave CC 5 Newport Rd. #1, 02140 10/14/1985 - 50(July 17),14(July 20) 44+13=57 July 5
Timothy J. Toomey CC 88 6th St., 02141 6/7/1953 City Councillor 100(July 24) 98 July 5
Bryan Sutton CC 764 Cambridge St. #6, 02141 5/19/1982 Management 38(July 25),20(July 27),11(July 31) 30+18+8=56 July 5
Gregg Moree CC 25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140 6/16/1957 perennial candidate 90(July 31) 80 July 6
Leland Cheung CC 157 Garden St., 02138 2/11/1978 City Councillor will not be a candidate - July 10
Olivia D'Ambrosio CC 270 3rd Street #305, 02142 9/13/1983 Theatre Artist 64(July 20) 56 July 10
David J. Stern CC 50 Follen St. #516, 02138 5/10/1952 - will not be a candidate - July 11
Ilan Levy CC 148 Spring St. 02141 11/1/1967 Software Engineer 99(July 31) 85 July 11
Paul F. Mahoney CC 23 Lawn St., 02138 5/8/1950 - will not be a candidate - July 17
Curt Rogers CC 8 Austin Pk., 02139 -- Administrator will not be a candidate - July 20
Christopher Kosinski CC 77A Spring St. #1, 02141 5/18/1971 Administrator will not be a candidate - July 24
Hari I. Pillai CC 165 Cambridgepark Dr. #234, 02140 3/17/1975 Business 68(July 31) 59 July 24
Jake Crutchfield SC 281 River St. #1, 01239 3/31/1987 Teacher 50(July 3),38(July 6) 35+34=69 July 3
Will MacArthur SC 18 Shea Rd., 02140 5/24/1998 Student 50(July 5),35(July 11) 40+30=70 July 3
Fred Fantini SC 4 Canal Park #203, 02141 6/8/1949 Retired 47(July 6),42(July 10),11(July 11) 47+41+11=99 July 3
Richard Harding SC 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 10/16/1972 Administration running for City Council - July 3
Manikka Bowman SC 134 Reed St., 02140 11/27/1979 - 100(July 10) 92 July 5
Fran Albin Cronin SC 1 Kimball Ln., 02140 2/14/1952 Aide 77(July 31) 72 July 5
Patty Nolan SC 184 Huron Ave., 02138 8/28/1957 School Committee 44(July 14),24(July 20) 42+22=64 July 5
Laurance Kimbrough SC 24 Aberdeen Ave., 02138 7/3/1979 Educator 55(July 27) 54 July 6
Kathleen Kelly SC 17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139 3/8/1960 Social Worker 69(July 20) 65 July 10
David J. Weinstein SC 45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138 12/10/1972 Writer/Comm. 49(July 21),23(July 31) 45+20=65 July 13
Emily Dexter SC 9 Fenno St., 02138 3/16/1957 Research 50(July 27),22(July 28) 48+20=68 July 13
Elechi Kadete SC 10 Laurel St. #4, 02139 9/30/1989 Accountant 50(July 20),19(July 24) 40+17=57 July 17
Piotr Flawiusz Mitros SC 9 Michael Way, 02141 3/6/1979 Engineer 50(July 27),41(July 31) 45+33=78 July 18
Rebecca Bowie SC 30 Cambridgepark Dr. #1115, 02140 8/2/1987 Dean will not be a candidate - July 24

July 20 - A group of at least 10 registered voters filed a petition to have a non-binding public opinion question placed on this year's municipal ballot asking if voters will approve of public financing for municipal elections. My personal opinion is that this lies somewhere between frivolous and an attempt to influence this year's City Council and School Committee elections. New candidates don't appear to be having any difficulty at all raising sufficient funds to run a credible campaign and they all have unlimited free access to social media. The Election Commission certified that the required minimum of 10 signatures were filed in support of this petition, and it now will be referred to the City Council and will (presumably) appear on the agenda for the August 7 Midsummer City Council meeting. The City Council can approve of it being placed on the November municipal election ballot, but that has to happen a minimum of 90 days prior to the Nov 7 election. The Council could also disapprove (or someone could presumably delay it via the Charter Right) which would then require the petitioners to instead gather the valid signatures of 10% of registered voters (about 6500 signatures) - a substantial task. They would also have to file the necessary paperwork with the state if they intend to raise or spend any money. The number of days between Aug 7 and Nov 7 is 92 days. The lead petitioner appears to be someone named Adam Strich who was photographed recently carrying a sign that says, in Arabic, "The people want to bring down the regime." Well, as long as we're clear about where the petitioners are coming from.

Here's the text of the petition:
We, the undersigned registered voters of Cambridge, Massachusetts, hereby petition the Cambridge City Council to include the following nonbinding public policy advisory question on the November 2017 ballot:

“Many Cantabrigians have expressed concern over what they perceive to be the undue influence of a few wealthy donors and special interest groups on municipal elections. Such concerns have the potential to erode the people's confidence in their elected officials and reduce civic engagement, thereby undermining the objectives of responsible government. In response to similar concerns, cities as diverse as Los Angeles, New York City, Portland (OR), Seattle, and New Haven have provided for the complete or partial funding of electoral campaigns. Although they typically require only a tiny fraction of a city's budget, these public-financing programs have nevertheless been shown to result in a more vibrant and democratic process. Would you be in favor of the City of Cambridge adopting such a program for elections to the City Council?”


Just in case you're interested in how this rather large number of candidates compares to past Cambridge PR elections, here's the whole history going back to 1941 (CC for number of City Council candidates and SC for number of School Committee candidates). Any significant write-in candidates are included in the totals.

Number of candidates in Cambridge municipal elections: 1941-present
Year CC SC     Year CC SC     Year CC SC     Year CC SC
1941 83 28   1961 23 16   1981 25 13   2001 19 10
1943 39 19   1963 22 17   1983 16 16   2003 20 8
1945 37 14   1965 24 13   1985 22 9   2005 18 8
1947 34 18   1967 20 18   1987 19 13   2007 16 9
1949 40 16   1969 26 14   1989 28 8   2009 21 9
1951 27 15   1971 36 22   1991 19 12   2011 18 11
1953 35 18   1973 34 26   1993 29 11   2013 25 9
1955 41 19   1975 25 16   1995 19 11   2015 23 11
1957 35 26   1977 24 10   1997 20 8   2017 26 12
1959 31 21   1979 23 12   1999 24 13        

The following City Council candidates have either had or scheduled a campaign kickoff event, announced their candidacy, or submitted sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot (26): Ron Benjamin, Josh Burgin, Dennis Carlone, Olivia D'Ambrosio, Jan Devereux, Sam Gebru, Richard Harding, Jr., Craig A. Kelley, Dan Lenke, Ilan Levy, Alanna Mallon, Marc McGovern, Gregg Moree, Adriane Musgrave, Nadya Okamoto, Hari Pillai, Jeff Santos, Sumbul Siddiqui, Denise Simmons, Vatsady Sivongxay, Bryan Sutton, Sean Tierney, Paul Toner, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Gwen Volmar, and Quinton Zondervan.

The following School Committee candidates have either had or scheduled a campaign kickoff event, formally announced their candidacy, or submitted sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot (12): Manikka Bowman, Fran Cronin, Jake Crutchfield, Emily Dexter, Alfred B. Fantini, Elechi Kadete, Kathleen Kelly, Laurance Kimbrough, Will MacArthur, Piotr Mitros, and Patricia M. Nolan, and David J. Weinstein.


City of Cambridge Parking Meter Rate Set to Increase
New rates being implemented as part of the FY18 City Budget

City SealJuly 21, 2017 – Beginning the week of July 24, 2017, the baselinee rate for most parking meters in the City of Cambridge will begin to increase to $1.25 per hour. At the same time, meter rates in Harvard Square will be set at $1.50 per hour based on the high level of demand, while rates in certain outlying areas with lower demand will remain at the current rate of $1.00 per hour. The new rates, the first increase in baseline parking meter rates since 2008, will be phased in over the next month, starting with the changes in Harvard Square.

The City of Cambridge installs parking meters to provide short term parking for visitors and patrons of Cambridge businesses. Most on-street meters have a two hour time limit; others have 30 or 60 minute limits. The meter rate and time limit in effect are clearly posted on all parking meters, and cars should not remain parked for longer than the time limit.

"This modest rate increase will allow the City to better manage the demand for parking," said Joseph Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation. "Parking revenues generated from meters also help support various transportation and Vision Zero initiatives in the city. Investments in new bicycle infrastructure, traffic calming, and safety improvements in key intersection in Cambridge are funded through Parking Fund revenue."

For more information on the rate increase or parking management in the city, please contact the Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Department at 617-349-4700 or TrafficFeedback@cambridgema.gov.


Campaign Finance Summaries - City Council 2017 (semi-monthly, last updated Aug 4, 5:40pm)
Candidate From To Start Receipts Expend Balance As Of
Benjamin, Ronald 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 9.00 985.72 850.95 143.77 2-Aug-17
Burgin, Josh 16-Jun-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 3165.98 1480.94 1685.04 1-Aug-17
Carlone, Dennis 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 17827.87 16130.47 4408.56 29549.78 3-Aug-17
D'Ambrosio, Olivia 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 122.75 5250.31 3756.13 1616.93 2-Aug-17
Devereux, Jan 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 8715.10 32178.05 13620.67 27272.48 1-Aug-17
Gebru, Sam 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 29848.50 29048.11 800.39 1-Aug-17
Harding, Richard 1-Jul-17 31-Jul-17 1961.06 0.00 115.50 1845.56 2-Aug-17
Kelley, Craig 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 2231.84 461.04 873.00 1819.88 2-Aug-17
Lenke, Dan 3-Jul-17 3-Jul-17 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3-Jul-17
Levy, Ilan 16-Jul-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 1000.00 0.00 1000.00 1-Aug-17
Mallon, Alanna 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 100.00 36328.00 16076.68 20351.32 1-Aug-17
McGovern, Marc 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 14966.66 28995.38 20706.30 23255.74 2-Aug-17
Moree, Gregg 6-Jul-17 6-Jul-17 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 6-Jul-17
Musgrave, Adriane 16-May-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 8172.95 3578.45 4594.50 1-Aug-17
Okamoto, Nadya 16-Mar-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 6896.63 1569.48 5327.15 2-Aug-17
Pillai, Hari 24-Jul-17 24-Jul-17 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 24-Jul-17
Santos, Jeff 7-Jun-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 2645.00 1612.00 1033.00 1-Aug-17
Siddiqui, Sumbul 16-Feb-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 29204.60 10047.39 19157.21 1-Aug-17
Simmons, Denise 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 10179.79 20737.05 11295.85 19620.99 2-Aug-17
Sivongxay, Vatsady 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 24506.94 13984.05 10522.89 1-Aug-17
Sutton, Bryan 16-Jun-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 100.00 70.15 29.85 1-Aug-17
Tierney, Sean 1-Feb-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 16975.29 7007.62 9967.67 2-Aug-17
Toner, Paul 16-Feb-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 34189.25 18357.00 15832.25 4-Aug-17
Toomey, Tim 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 4069.67 41022.33 8983.63 36108.37 1-Aug-17
Volmar, Gwen 9-Jun-17 31-Jul-17 0.00 6598.67 3059.70 3538.97 1-Aug-17
Zondervan, Quinton 1-Jan-17 31-Jul-17 3510.00 24053.79 24183.70 3380.09 1-Aug-17
Campaign Contributions (2017) - Total Receipts and Cambridge Receipts
(updated Aug 7, 9:54am)
Candidate ID Total Receipts Cambridge Receipts Percent Cambridge
Kelley, Craig 14104 $480.00 $480.00 100%
Sutton, Bryan 16713 $100.00 $100.00 100%
D'Ambrosio, Olivia 16520 $5,250.00 $5,000.00 95%
Devereux, Jan 16062 $31,593.50 $28,093.50 89%
Burgin, Josh 16709 $3,808.10 $3,054.52 80%
Carlone, Dennis 15680 $14,776.22 $11,500.00 78%
McGovern, Marc 15589 $28,995.37 $22,373.04 77%
Mallon, Alanna 16530 $36,428.00 $21,963.00 60%
Benjamin, Ronald 16493 $905.55 $470.00 52%
Musgrave, Adriane 16657 $8,172.95 $4,050.00 50%
Toner, Paul 16576 $36,405.11 $17,650.00 48%
Siddiqui, Sumbul 16556 $29,454.60 $14,095.00 48%
Tierney, Sean 16559 $17,925.29 $8,525.00 48%
Zondervan, Quinton 16516 $23,059.07 $10,228.86 44%
Simmons, Denise 13783 $20,767.05 $9,175.00 44%
Santos, Jeff 16686 $3,001.61 $1,116.61 37%
Toomey, Tim 12222 $41,022.33 $13,556.96 33%
Volmar, Gwen 16691 $7,013.23 $2,275.94 32%
Sivongxay, Vatsady 16528 $25,245.65 $5,405.00 21%
Gebru, Sam 16531 $30,106.00 $6,098.00 20%
Okamoto, Nadya 16596 $6,991.43 $510.00 7%
Harding, Richard 16737 $0.00 $0.00 -
Levy, Ilan 16173 $0.00 $0.00 -
Lenke, Dan 16771 $0.00 $0.00 -
Moree, Gregg 14683 $0.00 $0.00 -
Pillai, Hari 16770 $0.00 $0.00 -

Questions, questions, questions..... (updated July 4, 2017 - revised from original posted in July 2013)

Question #1: What, if any, relationship is there between the number of City Council vacancies and the number of new candidates elected? As of July 4, there will be two City Council vacancies (two incumbents who are not seeking reelection) in the election this November, and people are asking what this might foretell. The basic answer is that there are too many other factors in play. There have been elections with no vacancies and 4 challengers elected, and there have been elections where the existence of vacancies has had no effect on the incumbents. It is, however, more common than not that the number of newly elected candidates exceeds the number of vacancies. See the table below.

Question #2: How does the candidate who gets the most #1 votes fare in the next election? Generally, if you're the "top dog" in one election, you will almost certainly do well in the next election, though there are two notable exceptions for City Council and several for School Committee. A "top dog" has never been defeated in the next election. See the table below for how well the previous "top dog" fared in the next election.

Cambridge City Council Elections
Year Vacancies Newly elected Most #1 votes in prev. election Rank in #1 votes in election
1943 1 3 Francis Sennott 4th
1945 3 5 John H. Corcoran died in office
1947 0 2 John D. Lynch 1st
1949 2 3 John D. Lynch 4th
1951 0 1 Edward A. Crane 1st
1953 0 2 Edward A. Crane 3rd
1955 1 2 Edward Sullivan 1st
1957 1 1 Edward Sullivan 1st
1959 1 2 Edward Sullivan did not run
1961 0 3 Walter Sullivan 1st
1963 2 2 Walter Sullivan 1st
1965 0 1 Walter Sullivan 1st
1967 0 2 Walter Sullivan 1st
1969 2 3 Walter Sullivan 1st
1971 2 3 Walter Sullivan 1st
1973 1 2 Walter Sullivan 1st
1975 0 1 Walter Sullivan 1st
1977 0 4 Walter Sullivan 1st
1979 0 2 Walter Sullivan 1st
1981 1 1 Walter Sullivan 1st
1983 0 1 Walter Sullivan 1st
1985 0 2 Walter Sullivan 1st
1987 0 0 Walter Sullivan 2nd
1989 3 4 David Sullivan did not run
1991 0 0 Alice Wolf 1st
1993 2 3 Alice Wolf did not run
1995 1 1 Kenneth Reeves 1st
1997 0 0 Kenneth Reeves 8th
1999 2 3 Anthony Galluccio 1st
2001 2 2 Anthony Galluccio 1st
2003 0 0 Anthony Galluccio 1st
2005 0 1 Anthony Galluccio 1st
2007 1 1 Anthony Galluccio did not run
2009 0 1 Henrietta Davis 1st
2011 0 1 Henrietta Davis 4th
2013 2 4 Leland Cheung 1st
2015 0 1 Leland Cheung 8th
2017 3 ?? Nadeem Mazen did not run

In 27 of 37 City Council elections, the number of challengers elected exceeded the number of vacancies.
In 8 elections in which there were 2 vacancies, an incumbent was defeated in 6 of these elections.

Cambridge School Committee Elections
Year Vacancies Newly elected Most #1 votes in previous election Rank in #1 votes in election
1943 2 3 James Cassidy did not run
1945 2 2 Cora B. Conant 1st
1947 2 3 Cora B. Conant did not run
1949 2 3 Bradley Dewey did not run
1951 2 2 James Cassidy did not run
1953 3 3 Pearl K. Wise 1st
1955 4 5 Pearl K. Wise did not run
1957 1 2 Judson Shaplin 1st
1959 2 2 Judson Shaplin did not run
1961 3 3 William Barnes did not run
1963 1 2 James Fitzgerald 1st
1965 0 0 James Fitzgerald 1st
1967 2 2 James Fitzgerald 4th
1969 2 3 Francis Duehay 3rd
1971 1 2 James Fitzgerald 3rd
1973 2 2 David Wylie did not run
1975 0 2 James Fitzgerald 5th
1977 0 1 Alice Wolf 1st
1979 0 1 Alice Wolf 1st
1981 2 2 Alice Wolf did not run
1983 1 2 Sara Mae Berman did not run
1985 2 2 Francis Cooper 1st
1987 2 2 Francis Cooper 2nd
1989 1 1 Tim Toomey did not run
1991 2 2 Frances Cooper did not run
1993 2 2 Henrietta Davis 1st
1995 1 2 Henrietta Davis did not run
1997 0 1 Alice Turkel 1st
1999 2 2 Alice Turkel 1st
2001 1 2 Alice Turkel 2nd
2003 1 2 Alfred Fantini 2nd
2005 0 2 Nancy Walser 3rd
2007 1 2 Patty Nolan 4th
2009 1 2 Marc McGovern 4th
2011 0 1 Alfred Fantini 1st
2013 2 2 Alfred Fantini 2nd
2015 1 2 Patty Nolan 1st
2017 1 ?? Patty Nolan ??

In 21 of 37 School Committee elections, the number of challengers elected exceeded the number of vacancies.
In 11 elections in which there was 1 vacancy, an incumbent was defeated in 10 of these elections.
In 16 elections in which there were 2 vacancies, an incumbent was defeated in only 4 of these elections.


The 4th Annual Free Cambridge Jazz Festival Returns July 30, 2017

Join us Sunday, JULY 30 from 12 Noon - 6PM in Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA for our 4th Annual FREE Cambridge Jazz Festival. Enjoy our headliners Pieces Of A Dream along with other amazing live Jazz performances.


July 31, 5:00pm - That's it - all done: 26 candidates for City Council and 12 for School Committee. Leland Cheung will not be a candidate
Lots of papers turned in today - the last day. Dan Lenke, Ilan Levy, Hari Pillai, Gregg Moree, and Bryan Sutton have now qualified to be on the City Council ballot. Fran Cronin, David Weinstein and Piotr Mitros have now qualified to be on the School Committee ballot.

July 28 - Still no word from Leland Cheung. Is he or is he not running? We'll know on Monday. Meanwhile, several more candidates turned in signatures and Emily Dexter passed the threshold to qualify for the School Committee ballot. Everything gets settled on Monday and it's starting to look like we may have several fewer than 30 City Council candidates - possibly as few as 23.

July 27 - Laurance Kimbrough turned in sufficient signatures today to get his name on the School Committee ballot. That makes 21 candidates (out of 30) for City Council and 8 candidates (out of 13) for School Committee who have now submitted the minimum number of required signatures (shown in bold in the table) to have their names appear on the ballot. Bryan Sutton, Emily Dexter, and Piotr Mitros also submitted signatures that will bring them close to the threshold for getting their names on the ballot. Just the short Friday (closes at noon) and then again on Monday (until 5pm) to get those signatures in. The clock is ticking.....

July 26 - Michelle Lessly and Curt Rogers have decided not to be City Council candidates this year. This reduces the number of City Council candidates to 30, and the number of women candidates to 9. These numbers may yet rise or fall as the week proceeds. The Election Commission met and certified all candidate signatures received between July 21 and July 26. That makes 21 candidates (out of 30) for City Council and 7 candidates (out of 13) for School Committee who have been certified to have their names appear on the ballot.

July 25 - Bryan Sutton turned in some signatures for City Council today, but that's it.

July 24 - We just got two more candidates for City Council - Christopher Kosinski and Hari Pillai - bringing the grand total to 32. We also got one more School Committee candidate - Rebecca Bowie - bringing us to 13 candidates in that race. Tim Toomey turned in sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot, and Elechi Kadete surpassed the 50-signature threshold to have his name on the School Committee ballot.July 21 - More signatures today from David Weinstein and Patty Nolan. Patty has now gathered sufficient signatures to be on the ballot.

July 20 - And then there were 30..... We have a new City Council candidate today - Curt Rogers. Kathleen Kelly, Adriane Musgrave, and Olivia D'Ambrosio now have sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot. The Election Commission certified all signatures submitted between July 13 and July 20 at their 5:30pm meeting.

July 20 - School Committee candidate Jake Crutchfield is having his official launch event on August 5 from 3-5pm at Andala Cafe. [Link to sign up]

July 19 - No new updates today.
Fun Facts: The most women City Council candidates prior to this year was 7 (in 1993). There are 10 women running for City Council this year.
The first PR election was in 1941 with 83 City Council candidates. Only one of them (Edna Spencer) was a woman.

July 18 - Piotr Flawiusz Mitros pulled papers to run for School Committee. We're now at 29 for Council and 12 for School Committee - at least for the moment. Richard Harding, Josh Burgin, and Dennis Carlone now have sufficient signatures to qualify to be on the City Council ballot.

July 17 - Paul F. Mahoney (who ran in 2015) pulled papers for City Council. Elechi Kadete (who ran in 2015) pulled papers for School Committee.
Late Update: Richard Harding submiited 93 signatures for City Council at 7:59pm.

July 15 - Having now heard it from a number of reliable sources, it's pretty safe to now say that Richard Harding will soon be submitting signatures for City Council and not for School Committee. The Cambridge Candidate Pages have been updated to reflect this.

July 14 - No new candidates today, but Quinton Zondervan reached the threshold and is now on the City Council ballot.

July 13 - Emily Dexter pulled papers for School Committee which now accounts for all known candidates (which doesn't mean there won't be more). David J. Weinstein also pulled papers today for Cambridge School Committee. He was a candidate in 2015.

July 12 - The Election Commission met and officially certified all candidates who had submitted at least the minimum 50 valid signatures through July 12.

July 12 - No new candidates so far today, but Will MacArthur reached the threshold and is now on the School Committee ballot.

July 12 - Gwen Volmar issued a press release with some relevant information about her candidacy.

July 11 - Ilan Levy pulled papers today for City Council.

July 11 - We have a new City Council candidate: David J. Stern.

July 10 - Emily Dexter is having a Campaign Kick-Off party on Wednesday, July 26, 6-8pm at Asgard's Pub, 350 Mass Ave.

July 10 - Leland Cheung and Olivia D'Ambrosio pulled papers for City Council and Kathleen Kelly pulled papers for School Committee. Many candidates turned in signatures today.

July 7 - Fran Cronin's campaign issued a press release regarding "More Early Childhood Education in Cambridge".

July 6 - Perennial candidate Gregg Moree has pulled papers for City Council.

July 5 - Five more candidates pulled nomination papers for City Council (including Tim Toomey) for a total of 23 (including Richard Harding who pulled papers for both races). Three more candidates pulled papers for School Committee for a total of 7 so far.

July 3 - School Committee candidate Will MacArthur hosted a "Picnic & Politics" event at Danehy Park. In attendance were School Committee candidates Will MacArthur, Laurance Kimbrough and Emily Dexter as well as City Council candidates Craig A. Kelley, Alanna Mallon, Marc McGovern, Jeff Santos, Sumbul Siddiqui, Sean Tierney, and Quinton Zondervan. That's 10 candidates in all - pretty impressive!

July 3 - Municipal Election Nomination Papers available at Election Commission office from 8:30am to 8:00pm. Nomination papers will be available through the July 31 submission deadline during regular Election Commission hours. A minimum of 50 valid signatures must be filed and a candidate may submit up to 100 signatures. Once a voter's signature has been recorded for a particular candidate, it cannot be used for another candidate in the same race. That is, a voter should sign for exactly one candidate for City Council and one candidate for School Committee.

July 3 - Richard Harding has pulled papers for both City Council and School Committee. This is not the first time he's done that. He also pulled papers for both races in 2009 but only gathered signatures for School Committee.

July 3 - We have two new City Council candidates - Dan Lenke and Michelle Lessly.

July 3 - We have a new candidate for School Committee: Jake Crutchfield (who also ran in 2015)
A press release is included on Jake's Candidate Page.

July 1 - Paul Toner has picked up several union endorsements.

June 30 - And then there were 23. Bryan Sutton has filed papers with the Commonwealth to be a City Council candidate.

June 29 - Josh Burgin has filed papers with the Commonwealth to be a City Council candidate.

June 26 - Ilan Levy will apparently again be a City Council candidate.

June 22 - Fran Cronin will be hosting an issue forum on Tues, June 27 starting at 6:00pm at Atwood's Tavern (877 Cambridge St.).

June 21 - Marc McGovern has posted a re-election announcement.

June 21 - Denise Simmons has formally announced her reelection campaign and the date of her Campaign Kickoff (July 13).

June 21 - Paul Toner has hired Hannagh Jacobsen as Campaign Manager and has received the endorsement of Mass Retirees.

June 20 - Adriane Musgrave will have her campaign kickoff on Sat, June 24 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Christopher's in Porter Square.

June 18 - No new candidates to report, but at what point does calling oneself a "progressive" in an election where all candidates are "progressive" render the term completely meaningless?

June 10 - We have a new City Council candidate: Gwen Volmar

June 9 - We have a new School Committee candidate: Laurance Kimbrough

June 7 - We have a new City Council candidate: Jeff Santos


Looking Ahead (revised July 20)

Probable City Council and School Committee candidates for 2017 (with age at time of election)

City Council Candidate Birthdate Age address Notes
Timothy J. Toomey 6/7/1953 64 88 6th St., 02141 incumbent, first elected in 1989, pulled papers July 5
E. Denise Simmons 10/2/1951 66 188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139 incumbent, first elected in 2001
Craig Kelley 9/18/1962 55 6 Saint Gerard Terr. #2, 02140 incumbent, first elected in 2005
Leland Cheung 2/11/1978 39 157 Garden St., 02138 incumbent, first elected in 2009, pulled papers July 10
Dennis Carlone 5/7/1947 70 9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140 incumbent, first elected in 2013
Marc McGovern 12/21/1968 48 15 Pleasant St., 02139 incumbent, first elected in 2013
Jan Devereux 5/13/1959 58 255 Lakeview Ave., 02138 incumbent, first elected in 2015
Dan Lenke 3/31/1947 70 148 Richdale Ave., 02140 pulled papers July 3
Paul F. Mahoney (new) 5/8/1950 67 23 Lawn St., 02138 pulled papers July 17
David J. Stern (new) 5/10/1952 65 50 Follen St. #516, 02138 pulled papers July 11
Gregg Moree 6/16/1957 60 25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140 perennial candidate, pulled papers July 6
Curt Rogers (new) 5/21/1962 55 8 Austin Pk., 02139 pulled papers July 20
Jeffrey Santos 5/28/1963 54 350 3rd St. #809, 02142 announced, registered with OCPF
Paul Toner 4/28/1966 51 24 Newman St., 02140 announced, registered with OCPF
Ilan Levy 11/1/1967 50 148 Spring St. 02141 apparently running based on email
Quinton Zondervan 9/15/1970 47 235 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., 02141 announced, registered with OCPF
Alanna Mallon 12/6/1970 46 3 Maple Ave., 02139 announced, registered with OCPF
Ronald Benjamin 1/5/1971 46 172 Cushing St., 02138 announced, registered with OCPF
Richard Harding 10/16/1972 45 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 pulled papers for both CC and SC, filed for CC
Josh Burgin 2/7/1976 41 812 Memorial Dr. #1411, 02139 definitely running, registered with OCPF
Vatsady Sivongxay 2/20/1982 35 59 Kirkland St. #2, 02138 announced, registered with OCPF
Bryan Sutton 5/19/1982 35 764 Cambridge St. #6, 02141 registered with OCPF
Michelle Lessly 5/12/1983 34 410 Memorial Dr. #123, 02139 pulled papers July 3
Olivia D'Ambrosio 9/13/1983 34 270 3rd Street #305, 02142 announced, registered with OCPF
Sean Tierney 3/10/1985 32 12 Prince St. #6, 02139 announced, registered with OCPF
Gwen Volmar 9/25/1985 32 13 Ware St. #4, 02138 definitely running, registered with OCPF
Adriane Musgrave 10/14/1985 32 5 Newport Rd. #1, 02140 definitely running, registered with OCPF
Sumbul Siddiqui 2/10/1988 29 530 Windsor Street, 02141 announced, registered with OCPF
Sam Gebru 11/20/1991 25 812 Memorial Dr. #614A, 02139 announced, registered with OCPF
Nadya Okamoto 2/11/1998 19 220 Banks St. #5, 02138 announced, registered with OCPF
Dennis Benzan 1/25/1972 45 1 Pine St., 02139 served 2014-15, likely will not seek reelection
Nadeem Mazen 9/20/1983 34 720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139 has informed colleagues he'll not seek reelection
James Williamson 1/13/1951 66 1000 Jackson Pl., 02140 perennial candidate
Gary Mello 5/24/1953 64 324 Franklin St. #2, 02139 ran several times
Nathan Taylor Thompson 10/12/1985 32 31 Tremont Street $#3, 02139 probably not running, registered with OCPF
Andrew King 4/17/1986 31 40 Essex St., 02139 conflicting reports on whether or not a candidate
Romaine Waite 6/7/1991 26 60 Lawn St. #5, 02138 not announced, but may try again
School Committee Candidate Birthdate Age address Notes
Fred Fantini 6/8/1949 68 4 Canal Park #203, 02141 incumbent, first elected in 1981
Patty Nolan 8/28/1957 60 184 Huron Ave., 02138 incumbent, first elected in 2005
Kathleen Kelly 3/8/1960 57 17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139 incumbent, first elected in 2013
Emily Dexter 3/16/1957 60 9 Fenno St., 02138 incumbent, first elected in 2015
Mannika Bowman 11/27/1979 37 134 Reed St., 02140 incumbent, first elected in 2015
Fran Albin Cronin 2/14/1952 65 1 Kimball Ln., 02140 pulled papers July 5
David J. Weinstein 12/10/1972 44 45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138 pulled papers July 11
Piotr Flawiusz Mitros (new) 3/6/1979 38 9 Michael Way, 02141 pulled papers July 18
Laurance Kimbrough 7/3/1979 38 24 Aberdeen Ave., 02138 pulled papers July 6
Jake Crutchfield 3/31/1987 30 281 River St. #1, 01239 pulled papers July 3
Elechi Kadete (new) 9/30/1989 28 10 Laurel St. #4, 02139 pulled papers July 17
Will MacArthur 5/24/1998 19 18 Shea Rd., 02140 pulled papers July 3
Richard Harding 10/16/1972 45 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 running for City Council