Cambridge InsideOut - August 15, 2017



5:30pm   School Committee candidate Fran Cronin

A sampler of some things people may want to hear about might include:

a) Background - personal and professional

b) Why on Earth are you running for School Committee?

c) What distinguishes you from other candidates?

d) Besides everybody, are there any particular constituencies that you feel should consider voting for you? [issues, neighborhoods, age, etc.]

e) Your pitch - basically a sample of what you might have said at your kickoff event

f) Who is supporting you? Event announcements? Anything else?

g) Any comments on current issues before the School Committee or issues that may be anticipated.

My Priorities to Build Bridges to Excellence in our Schools

* Accelerate implementation of Universal Pre-K

Research makes clear: the best advantage we can give our students to close the persistent achievement and opportunity gaps, is access to high quality pre-school education. But despite the urgency, especially for our low-income students, implementation of a systemic early childhood education program has been slow. I will ensure the needs of our earliest learners are given the attention they deserve. Access will not only better prepare our early learners for school, but it will also create opportunity for families to build the habit of engagement with teachers and their schools.

* Create a Partnership in STEAM Education

The greatest opportunity for our graduates is in the rapidly growing tech sector both locally and globally. A recent Massachusetts report identified 300,000 state jobs unable to be filled because applicants lacked the high-tech skills and training necessary to be competitive. Working with key stakeholders in our business community and at our local institutions, a STEAM Partnership would be key to capturing the internship and apprenticeship experience necessary for our students to pursue new career pathways and jobs.

* Make social and emotional learning (SEL) best practices common in every school

Research shows that students learn best when they feel safe, unstressed, and valued for who they are. But for some students, due to the home stresses they bring to school or a learning disability, school is an anxious, high stress environment.  For these students, learning occurs best when they feel safe, trusted and valued. To do this well takes professional skill building, use of best practices to mitigate anxiety, and school-based compassion. Some schools have embraced more nurturing cultures, but this is not true district wide. As a member of the SEL Advisory Board, I will advocate for all principles to adopt this pedagogy of relational best practices and implement it building wide.

* Develop Resident Teacher Training Program

Research substantiates what our own student say: they feel most affirmed and receptive to learning when the teachers in front of them look like them and share their cultural experiences. But despite being a majority minority school district, only 15% of our teachers are a minority or a teacher of color. Our School Committee has set a goal of 30% without a plan for achieving this. When last on the School Committee, I began this work and will continue to conduct the outreach necessary to recruit and build the pipeline of talent our students deserve.

6:00pm   Wil Durbin and the newly ordained Cambridge regulations for short-term rentals

[Text of Ordinance #1397]    [Will Burn's article in Chronicle]    [May 23, 2017 Planning Board presentation]

1) Drafting process

2) Details of the Ordinance

3) What's happening at the State House, and why it's important.

Cambridge’s Airbnb law is good for all of Massachusetts
By William D. Burns
Posted Aug 14, 2017 at 3:40pm in Cambridge Chronicle

Earlier this week, the Cambridge City Council voted to formally allow Cambridge residents to use their home - typically their greatest expense - to generate supplemental income to help pay for monthly expenses like rent, medical bills, and tuition for their children. Over 1,200 Cambridge residents have used Airbnb over the last year to make a little extra money while also expanding their own knowledge to new travelers and diverse cultures.

Just as you would not put a hammer to a screw, or a screwdriver to a nail, each city and country is economically, geographically and demographically unique. I commend Mayor Denise Simmons and the council for taking a thoughtful, collaborative approach to policy making, and for designing legislation that is uniquely suited for the city of Cambridge. Critical to that process was public input. Over the last year, hundreds of Airbnb hosts reached out to share their unique story and offer recommendations around a fair regulatory approach. They expressed their desire for an ordinance that was easy to understand and would encourage participation while still giving regulators the ability to go after bad actors.

Home sharing itself is centuries old, but home sharing on an online platform at a peak of one million guest arrivals per night and across the globe is new. Such new developments take time to figure out, and we appreciate the commitment of the city of Cambridge to getting this right rather than rush to regulate. Smart public policy will allow home sharing to achieve its potential as an economic, social and environmental solution - not just for the everyday people who take part in it - but for the cities and other governments that stand to benefit from it.

William D. Burns is director of public policy at Airbnb in Massachusetts.

Robert and Judy1) Civic Updates - Vail Court, Volpe Rezoning, Short-Term Rental regulation, Central Flea, Cambridge Jazz Festival, the continuing Foundry saga, ... [Volpe Site/Petition Overview]

2) Election Commission may have to limit number of rankings on City Council ballot due to number of candidates

3) 2017 Candidates     Cambridge Candidate Pages

Shapes of the campaign season to come

List of Candidates for City Council & School Committee - with sortable tables

4) 2017 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports

5) 2017 City Council Campaign Receipts and Expenses

6) Index of all Cambridge City Council and School Committee candidates: 1941 to 2017
plain text version    PDF version

7) Women candidates in the City Council and in the School Committee elections going back to 1941.
It's a sortable table.

8) Civic Calendar

Continuing Question: How will the turmoil in national politics trickle down to the local level and, in particular, how might it influence the Cambridge municipal election?

Speculation: After over a century of non-partisan Cambridge elections (a major tenet of "The Cambridge Idea" dating back to the late 1800s), there are indications that "Our Revolution", the Bernie Sanders-driven national entity and effectively an emergent political party separate from the Democratic Party, may back candidates in the 2017 Cambridge municipal election.

Political Updates

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 School Committee Candidates
Ronald Benjamin, 172 Cushing St., 02138
Josh Burgin, 812 Memorial Drive #1411, 02139
Dennis Carlone, 9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140
Olivia D'Ambrosio, 270 3rd Street #305, 02142
Jan Devereux, 255 Lakeview Ave., 02138
Samuel Gebru, 812 Memorial Dr., 02139
Richard Harding, 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139
Craig Kelley, 6 Saint Gerard Terr. #2, 02140
Dan Lenke, 148 Richdale Ave., 02140
Ilan Levy, 148 Spring St. 02141
Alanna Marie Mallon, 3 Maple Ave., 02139
Marc McGovern, 15 Pleasant St., 02139
Gregg Moree, 25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140
Adriane Musgrave, 5 Newport Rd. #1, 02140
Nadya Okamoto, 220 Banks St. #5, 02138
Hari I. Pillai, 165 Cambridgepark Dr. #234, 02140
Jeff Santos, 350 3rd St. #809, 02142
Sumbul Siddiqui, 530 Windsor Street, 02141
E. Denise Simmons, 188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139
Vatsady Sivongxay, 59 Kirkland St. #2, 02138
Bryan Sutton, 764 Cambridge St. #6, 02141
Sean Tierney, 12 Prince St., 02139
Paul Toner, 24 Newman St., 02140
Timothy J. Toomey, 88 6th St., 02141
Gwen Volmar, 13 Ware St. #4, 02138
Quinton Zondervan, 235 Cardinal Madeiros Ave., 02141
Mannika Bowman, 134 Reed St., 02140
Fran Albin Cronin, 1 Kimball Ln., 02140
Jake Crutchfield, 281 River St. #1, 01239
Emily Dexter, 9 Fenno St., 02138
Fred Fantini, 4 Canal Park #203, 02141
Elechi Kadete, 10 Laurel St. #4, 02139
Kathleen Kelly, 17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139
Laurance Kimbrough, 24 Aberdeen Ave., 02138
Will MacArthur, 18 Shea Rd., 02140
Piotr Mitros, 9 Michael Way, 02141
Patty Nolan, 184 Huron Ave., 02138
David J. Weinstein, 45 S. Normandy Ave., 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

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        

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 Madeiros 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
Mannika 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

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.


Mon, Aug 14

5:30pm   Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

5:30pm   Cambridge Stands with Charlottesville  (City Hall front steps)

In the wake of the horrific events on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Cambridge will come together for a unity rally. The fear, divisiveness, and intolerance that we have seen are not Cambridge values. Please join Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons and City Manager Louis DePasquale in front of Cambridge City Hall on Monday, August 14 at 5:30pm for "Cambridge Stands with Charlottesville." This unity rally will be a time to come together and stand for social justice, tolerance, and equality. [Facebook Event Page]

Wed, Aug 16

5:00pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting  (Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)Pedro Martinez



1. Executive Director’s Report

2. Assistant Director's Report

3. Commissioners' Reports



Old Business

1. Municipal Election, November 7th

- - Deadline for Municipal Candidates to Withdraw Nomination

New Business


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]

Mon, Aug 21

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave., 2nd floor conference room)

Wed, Aug 23

6:00-8:00pm   Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee meeting  (4th Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Discussion topic: corridor visioning and analysis

Thurs, Aug 24

6:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (City Hall Annex, 4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Tues, Aug 29

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, Sept 6

3:30pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the recently published “City of Cambridge Getting to Net Zero Action Plan: Fiscal Year 2016 Progress Report,” and to receive a general update on the Net Zero Action Plan.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 11

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Sept 13

8:00am-9:30am   Recycling Advisory Committee  (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)

6:00-8:00pm   Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee meeting  (Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

Discussion topic: present focus area working group recommendations, review and comment

Mon, Sept 18

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 25

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Sept 26

3:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing as a follow up to Policy Order #2 of June 20, 2016 to discuss the City’s Tree Ordinance and possible ways to improve this ordinance to protect the tree canopy while protecting individual property rights.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 2

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 11

8:00am-9:30am   Recycling Advisory Committee  (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)

Mon, Oct 16

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 23

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 30

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Nov 6

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Nov 7

Municipal Election. Polls are open 7:00am until 8:00pm. The Preliminary Election Count will follow at the Cambridge Senior Center in Central Square.

The Preliminary PR Count will take place at the Senior Center after the polls close.

9:00pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting.  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

Wed, Nov 8

The PR Election Count continues at the Cambridge Senior Center as auxiliary ballots are tabulated and Unofficial Results are determined.

9:00am   Cambridge Election Commission meeting.  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

Wed, Nov 8

8:00am-9:30am   Recycling Advisory Committee  (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)

Mon, Nov 13

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Fri, Nov 17

4:30pm   The Cambridge Election Commission will meet to finalize the 2017 Cambridge Municipal Election results, including any provisional ballots and overseas absentee ballots (if any).  (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)



The Official 2017 Election Results will be tabulated, certified, and announced after these ballots are included.