Carole Bellew

Carole Bellew
2003 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
257 Charles Street
Cambridge MA 02141

Contact information:

Send contributions to:

  • 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 seniors.

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.

University Relations:
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.

Civic participation:
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 elections.

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 being spent.

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.

Cambridge Candidates