- Co-Chair, Green Ribbon Open Space Committee
- Member, East Cambridge Planning Study Committee
- Treasurer, East Cambridge Planning Team
- Member, Rooftop Mechanicals Task Force
- Overseer, Board of Directors, Lasell College
- Treasurer, ASCC, Crew Team, Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School
- Treasurer, Friends of Graham & Parks Alternative School
- Founder & Owner, Bookkeeping + More
Cambridge needs to continue to work for more affordable housing for both
lower and middle-income residents. We can build more affordable housing by
working with developers and our housing non-profits to create more rental
units at a reasonable price.
Cambridge should also be working to create more middle-income housing.
Many professionals working in Cambridge can't afford to live here due to
the lack of affordable middle-income housing. By rezoning the city and
working with developers and businesses here in Cambridge, the City Council
can encourage the building of middle-income housing so people working
within the city are able to live here.
Quality of Life:
Recently the Boston Globe confirmed that the Boston-area has a high level
of noise pollution. Noise pollution causes increased stress and a
decreased quality of life for all residents. The city of Cambridge already
has a noise ordinance, but it is not being enforced. Enforcing the rules
for commercial buildings and other major noise producers is a simple way
to improve the quality of life.
Municipal Finance & Government:
With Carole Bellew's experience as a treasurer, accountant, and owner of a
bookkeeping firm, she understands budgets, municipal finance, and
government. As a city councilor, Carole would support smart fiscal
policies and a balanced budget for Cambridge.
Environment and Public Health:
Cambridge needs to preserve its existing parks while creating new open
space and parks for city residents. Carole will work to create more public
open space and parks here in Cambridge, including playing fields, walking
and bike paths, tot lots, space for seniors, and a dog park. In addition,
Carole will make sure when a developer receives building permits by
offering "open space" that they create space that is truly open
for families, seniors, and children to picnic and play on rather than a
gated, private park.
Land Use, Planning, Development, and Transportation:
Cambridge should work on better traffic and mass transit planning. Lately,
we have been building without a strong 5-10 year transportation plan.
Carole Bellew supports improving the city's public transportation by
working with the MBTA to extend its minibus service to serve all Cambridge
Many parts of Cambridge are in need of rezoning. Developers are
building in areas without a plan for smart growth. Residents are
frustrated and are forced to react to new developments that don't fit with
their concept of their neighborhood. The best way to solve this problem
and let the community plan how its streets and neighborhoods will look is
to be proactive and not reactive.
We need to be creative and work with universities so they give something
back in return for the many city services they receive. They should be
helping the city improve its school system, neighborhoods, and parks with
faculty programs, student internships, shared facilities and PILOT
donations. We need to hold these institutions accountable to the needs of
the community. We can do this by sitting down annually and asking for
commitments from each institution, both to pay significant PILOTs and to
develop appropriate programs to fulfill community needs.
Universities must know that the PILOT donations have a direct effect on
the community's goodwill. In return the city works with the Universities
to provide supplemental services and variances.
In terms of institutional expansion, the community should have a place
at the table when entering into expansion discussions. The neighborhoods
should know about any plans for their area long before the requests are
submitted to the planning boards or the City Council.
This lack of communication has created a zero-sum, "us versus
them" atmosphere. This atmosphere will prevent future cooperation. I
feel that we should ask the institutions what their plans are for
Cambridge, both for the short term and long term. The next step is to make
these plans widely available to individual neighborhoods and receive their
input. Then, the City Council should bring the community and the
Universities together for discussion. The Council's role is to find
solutions that benefit the community both now and in the long term.
The lack of community participation has become a major problem for
Cambridge. We need to make sure that our residents are aware of what is
happening in their city, making their voice heard, and voting in local
One of the main ways city councilors can ensure people are involved is
to attend local events, meetings, and committees and to discuss issues
with residents. Bringing the city's issues back to the community for input
will empower citizens to voice their concerns and work for the changes
they want to see in the city.
Cambridge Public Schools:
Parents are concerned about the level of spending in Cambridge public
schools and where there money is going. Are public funds reaching the
classroom by being used on supplies, teacher's salaries, and property
maintenance or is money being spent on school administration. Carole
Bellew supports making the Cambridge education budget more transparent so
that parents with questions can see exactly where the city's money is
In addition, Carole will make sure that Cambridge's next mayor is
committed to working with the new school superintendent to create positive
change for Cambridge's schools.
Cambridge needs more housing, but at the same time, new developments can
cause problems for neighborhoods. One way to ensure that Cambridge builds
smartly is to make developers give back to the communities by building
what the neighborhood requests into the design of the development. Many of
Cambridge's issues can be solved by forward, innovative thinking, and
sticking to a strong, Communities-First plan.
Carole has worked on these issues with success for 30 years in Harvard
Square, Fresh Pond, and East Cambridge. Give her your #1 vote so she can
do it for all of Cambridge.