Mayor's Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement - Meeting #3 Minutes

Third Meeting of the Tenant Displacement Task Force
Date: March 19, 2019, 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Sullivan Chamber, City Hall

The Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement convened for a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Task Force, called the meeting to order at 5:40pm with 11 members present at the meeting’s start.

Task Force Members in Attendance: Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair; Sonia Andujar; Patrick Barrett; Teresa Cardosi; Kuong Lee; Jessica Drew; Betsy Eichel; Iram Farooq; Larry Field; Beth Huang; Sean Hope; Alexandra Markiewicz; Maura Pensak; Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli (conferenced in via phone)

City of Cambridge Staff in Attendance: Sarah Stillman, Wilford Durbin

Members of the Public Present: Kathy Watkins; Michelle Malvesti; Sheli Wortis; Nancy Ryan; Jean Hannon; Marilee Meyer; Carole Perrault; Giulia Campos; Jacob Solkoff; Carolyn Shipley; Hadassah Fleishon Hardouf; Phyllis Bretholtz; Kevin Donaho; Romaine Waite; Jon Glancy; Karen Chen; Peggy Barnes Lenart; Lee Farris.

The meeting was called to order at 5:40pm by Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair.

An overview of the agenda for the meeting was given by Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair. She announced that she would need to leave at approximately 7:00pm in order to speak at a vigil to be held outside City Hall, honoring the victims of the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Presentation by Bob Reardon, Director of Assessment, City of Cambridge
Councillor Siddiqui introduced Mr. Bob Reardon, former director of Assessment with the City, who presented on the status of the City’s data on condo conversions. [A memo from City Assessor,Andrew Johnson, in response to Policy Order # 79, was distributed to members prior to the meeting and is attached to the minutes for reference.]

Questions from Task Force and discussion followed:

Presentation by David Kale, Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs, City of Cambridge
Councillor Siddiqui introduced Mr. David Kale, who presented on the City’s funding: where does City source its funding, how is funding allocated, what limitations exist on how different funding sources can be used?

Presentation by Tina Alu, Executive Director, Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC)
Chair Siddiqui introduced Ms. Tina Alu, Executive Director of the CEOC, and Ms. Natalie Ribeiro, Director of Community Engagement & Advocacy at CEOC. Ms. Alu presented on the CEOC’s partnership with the City of Cambridge, and provided context and background on the CEOC’s work in supporting tenants via direct service and organizing. She and Ms. Ribeiro addressed gaps and limitations, and noted the high demand for services and need for increased organizational capacity.

Chair Siddiqui thanked all of the presenters for coming.

Chair Siddiqui asked the Tenant Education working group to present out on its updates to the Task Force.

Report Out from Tenant Education Working Group
Tenant education working group met in between last Task force meeting and today. Ms. Alexandra Maskiewicz, Ms. Sonia Andujar and Ms. Maura Pensak gave updates on status of progress and questions remaining.

Action Area Working Group Break Out
Task Force members divided by the following working groups: Tenant Education; Legislative & Policy Agenda; Increasing Funding. Time spent on action items, research and documenting progress.

Ms. Stillman, Aide to Councillor Siddiqui, adjourned the meeting at 7:35pm, standing in for Chair Siddiqui, who had left the meeting at 7:00pm in order to speak at a vigil held outside City Hall.