Cambridge InsideOut - June 6, 2017

Robert and Judy

Potential Topics:

1) Civic Updates and Opportunities

2) June 5 City Council Roundtable on Envision Cambridge
June 17 Presentation (PDF - reduced)
Image of proposed bridge from 1979 "Fishbook"

3) Update on the Mass. Democratic Party Platform Convention

4) The AirBnB Question

5) May 22 City Council meeting

6) May 15 City Council meeting

7) 2017 Candidates     Cambridge Candidate Pages

Shapes of the campaign season to come

8) Candidate slates, political organizations, role of local media in the election.

9) Civic Infrastructure

10) 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.

Harvard Square Theater would be replaced with new building, cinema (May 31, 2017 by Dan Adams, Boston Globe)

proposed project - Harvard Square Cinema site
Proposed replacement for Harvard Square Cinema building

Harvard Square Cinema building - June 2017
Harvard Square Cinema building today - June 2017

Cambridge Launching Fourth Participatory Budgeting Cycle June 1
Residents Invited to Submit Ideas for Projects to Improve Cambridge

May 26, 2017 – The City of Cambridge is launching its fourth annual Participatory Budgeting cycle in which community members will decide how to spend $800,000 – an additional $100,000 over FY17 – on one-time capital projects to improve Cambridge.

Participatory BudgetingParticipatory Budgeting (PB) is a different way to manage public money and to engage people in local government. In Cambridge’s PB process, community members submit project ideas during the summer; volunteer Budget Delegates research and develop ideas into final project proposals in the fall, and then residents age 12 and older vote in December to choose the projects that will be funded.

Winning projects from past cycles include bike repair stations, 100 new street trees, solar panels for the Main Library roof, a food rescue freezer van, the Central Square public toilet, bilingual books for kids, and many others.

The City will be collecting ideas from June 1 - July 31, on projects to improve the community. Residents can submit their ideas online at or by contacting the Budget Office at, 617-349-4270, or in person to the Budget Office in Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

Interested in becoming more involved with PB? The City is actively recruiting volunteer Budget Delegates to research submitted ideas this fall and help develop them into final proposals for the December 2017 PB ballot. Volunteering as a Budget Delegate is a great opportunity to become a community leader, develop teambuilding skills, get to know your neighbors, build your resume, and help make your city a better place. Serving as a Budget Delegate requires a significant time commitment from mid-August through October, with one final meeting in mid-November.

For more information about the PB process or the Budget Delegate role, visit or contact Michelle Monsegur and Justin Casanova-Davis in the City’s Budget Office at or 617-349-4270.

Summer school students submit project ideas for the City of Cambridge’s Participatory Budgeting Process
Summer school students submit project ideas for the City of Cambridge’s Participatory Budgeting Process

Community Preservation Act Committee Public Meeting June 7

City SealThe Community Preservation Act (CPA) Committee will hold a working committee meeting Wednesday, June 7, at 5:30pm, at Cambridge City Hall, Ackermann Room, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The meeting agenda will include the following: Regular Meeting of the CPA Committee to discuss CPA financials, anticipated 2018 CPA funding resources, and refinement of the proposed schedule for the remainder of the 2018 CPA process. For more information, contact Karen Preval at (617) 349-4221 or

HomeBridge Information Session June 12

City SealThe Community Development Department’s Housing Division is excited to announce HomeBridge, a program that provides financial assistance to first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a home in Cambridge. For qualified applicants, HomeBridge offers financial assistance up to:

Qualified applicants must currently live in Cambridge or have one adult family member who works full time in Cambridge. They must earn no more than 120% of Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for household size, and they must be able to obtain a conventional, fixed-rate mortgage.

For more information about HomeBridge, visit An information session will be held on June 12th at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room at 6:00pm.

Riverfest 2017
2017 Cambridge Arts River Festival
Saturday, June 3, 11am to 6pm

Cambridge Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony – 2017

Each May the Cambridge Department of Public Works holds a BarBQ for everyone who works at DPW and guests. It's a fabulous affair with great food and the pleasure of sitting down for lunch with people from all walks of life whose common bond is their dedicated work for the people of Cambridge. Performance Recognition Awards are given at the event, including the prestigious Community Partner Award and the Commissioners' Awards - named for all who have served as Commissioner of Public Works.

City of Cambridge Department of Public Works
Performance Recognition Awards Program
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

DPWWelcome – Owen O’Riordan, DPW Commissioner

National Anthem – Paul Lyle, Superintendent of Public Buildings

Greetings from the City
Mayor E. Denise Simmons
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager

Dedicated Service Award – Introduction by Richard C. Rossi
Edward Chaisson - 30 years of service
Donald R. Copeland - 30 years of service
Edward R. Corey - 30 years of service
Michelle Maher - 30 years of service
Maryann Wojakowski - 30 years of service

Community Partner Award – Introduced by Rebecca Fuentes, Assistant Commissioner, Administration
Rob Gogan - Recycling Advisory Committee Member

2017 Commissioner’s Award For Outstanding Performance – Introduced by Owen O’Riordan, DPW Commissioner
Meryl H. Brott Diarra J. Jones Richard M. McGregor Alberto Pedro, Jr.
Certificates of Recognition to those nominated for Commissioners' Award
  – Introduced by Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager and John Nardone, Deputy Commissioner
Michael Abcunas Marques Almeida Steven Arruda Edward Baldasaro Debbie Cheng
Cheryl Cooper Michael Cooper Nelson Costa Jane Demoulas Edward Dodge
Kara Falise John Fitzgerald Ehren Flaherty Catherine Fosher Lawrence Frisoli
William Hannafin Charles Harkins Eric Josephson Andreas Kostakis David Lefcourt
Thomas Manley Roy McGlashing Sherry McGregor Brian McLane Jahi Murrell
Jeya Niranjan Oscar Pena Desi Powell Wayne Reid Daniel Riviello
Michael Robbins Michael Rodgers Leonard Russell Marc Selby Herbert Stern
Wayne Stevens Robert Stone Ronnie Sun Lissbeth Torres Paul Tully
Richard Vendetti Craig Venezia David Webster Tracy White Henry Williams



INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT – Is Recycling Broken? (by Elizabeth Daigneau, Governing)
Lowell, MA – To survive and prosper, local recycling efforts are forging ways to update, upgrade and educate.

Maine Voted for a Better Way to Vote. The Courts Just Shot It Down (May 23, 2017 by Henry Grabar, Slate)
Ranked Choice Voting was approved by Maine voters last year, but the Maine Supreme Court has decided that it violated a very specific requirement in the Maine state constitution. The Massachusetts state constitution does not have that language. - RW

Budget Passage - Notable May 22, 2017 Cambridge City Council Agenda Items

Allston projectIt is expected that the City's FY2018 Budget will be approved at this meeting. In addition, there are a few other items of interest.

The Pike
Manager's Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a letter written by Community Representative and former Mayor Henrietta Davis to Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack regarding the Allston I-90 project.

Order #1. City Council endorsement of the letter of Community Representative and former Mayor Henrietta Davis to Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack regarding the Allston I-90 project, prepared in consultation with the community and City of Cambridge officials.   Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern

You should really understand the whole proposed project and not get too caught up in the details of whether or not the River Street exit ramp from Storrow Drive should be preserved as is. [Jan 19 Cambridge presentation] It's a VERY interesting project and there's no question that the current state of the affected area is ripe for significant change in every way.

The FY2018 Budget
Unfinished Business #7-10 relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow (7) $20,000,000 to provide funds for various water pollution abatement projects, including construction of sewer separation, storm water management and combined sewer overflow reduction elimination improvements within the City’s Alewife Watershed, Cambridgeport neighborhood, and the Port neighborhood; (8) $4,000,000 to provide funds for the reconstruction of various City streets and sidewalks; (9) $2,000,000 to provide funds for various School building infrastructure projects including roof repairs at the Fletcher Maynard Academy, and a new boiler at an elementary school; and (10) $5,000,000 to provide funds for the Municipal Facilities Improvement Plan.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Chair of the Finance Committee, for public hearings held on May 2, 2017, May 10, 2017 and May 9, 2017 relative to the General Fund Budget for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2018 and recommending adoption of the General Fund Budget in the amount of $568,246,680.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Chair of the Finance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 10, 2017 relative to the Water Fund Budget for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2018 and recommending adoption of the Water fund Budget in the amount of $13,973,850.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Chair of the Finance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 10, 2017 relative to the Public Investment Fund for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2018 and recommending adoption of the Public Investment Budget in the amount of $19,912,815.

Councillors - Please limit your "thank you" remarks to under one minute per councillor. Your unanimous vote on the Budget will send that message clearly enough.

Peace, Love and Understanding
Resolution #8. Declare June 12 to be Loving Day in Cambridge.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons

It's not what you think. Then again, maybe it is.

Order #2. City Council in support of Somerville officials in their efforts to achieve 20% affordable housing in all development projects.   Councillor Carlone

This is pretty clearly about whether or not a waiver should be granted in the Assembly Row project. The situation there was that the developer (Federal Realty) was eligible for the waiver because it had entered into a master planned agreement with the City of Somerville prior to the raising of the affordable housing requirement for a building of that size from 12.5 percent to 20 percent. On Thursday, May 18 the waiver was granted, so this Order is essentially moot (unless there are additional projects permitted prior to the increase in the inclusionary requirement).

There is, however, one very questionable aspect to this City Council Order. It is not addressed to the Somerville Board of Alderman but rather calls on the Cambridge City Council "to stand in support of Somerville officials, like Alderman Matthew McLaughlin, in their efforts to achieve 20% affordable housing in all development projects." This reads an awful lot like a candidate endorsement. The Order also calls specifically for sending "a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Somerville Alderman Matthew McLaughlin on behalf of the entire City Council." This Order should really be amended to address the issue rather than the incumbent Somerville Alderman seeking reelection this November. - Robert Winters


Interesting Items on the May 15, 2017 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Here are a few choice items on this week's menu:Yeah, it's Robert's birthday

Charter Right #1. A communication was received from Councillor Craig A. Kelley, apologizing to his Colleagues, City Manager and City Staff for not attending tonight's meeting in order to attend a conference on climate change adaptation and expressing his thoughts and apology for the events at the Budget Hearing. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Simmons on May 8, 2017.]

Let's get this one all clear up front. The issue here is that one city councillor (Mazen) acted abusively toward City employees during a recent Budget Hearing and used a malcontent resident's letter as cover to justify his inquisition. Last week's (May 8) City Council meeting ended with a heated interchange resulting from Mayor Simmons' defense of City employees which upset the super-sized ego of the offending councillor. The story should probably end there since nobody wants the drama to continue. There is an Order on this week's agenda (#7 - see below) that may represent some sort of resolution of this matter.

My hope is that one positive outcome of this kerfuffle is that councillors might get a better grip on what constitutes decent behavior toward City employees and of what is appropriate under the City Charter (which spells out quite clearly that if a city councillor wants to take issue with a department or any individual employee he or she should deal with the matter through the City Manager). If a councillor wants to propose any policy changes, that's what City Council orders are for, and they require a majority vote - though, quite frankly, city councillors often vote for policy orders without challenge or discussion out of a misplaced sense of courtesy toward their colleagues. If a matter is referred to a City Council committee for further discussion, it is incumbent on the sponsor(s) of the Order to convince his or her colleagues about the merit of the proposal. In the case of proposals involving elections (such as paying people to vote or using public money to subsidize City Council election campaigns), a convincing case was never made for those proposals.

Applications & Petitions #3. A petition was received from Cambridge Arts Council requesting eleven temporary banners to be hung on light poles along the north bound traffic lane side of First Street between Binney and Cambridge Streets, announcing the Cambridge Arts River Festival on Sat, June 3, 2017 from 11:00am to 6:00pm along the East Cambridge Waterfront in Lechmere Canal Park and in the DCR parklands adjacent to Cambridge Parkway.

Applications & Petitions #4. An application was received from Cambridge Arts Council requesting permission for two temporary banners across Massachusetts Avenue at City Hall and across JFK Street at Mount Auburn Street announcing the Hong Kong Boston Dragon Boat Festival on Sun, June 11th.

I highlight these only to remind everyone of the many attractions that occur during the months of May and June. The Riverfest worked out pretty well in the Lechmere Canal area last year, though many of us still would like to see it eventually return upstream to the area near the Weeks Footbridge.

Resolution #7. Resolution on the death of Harold J. Aseph III.   Councillor Maher, Councillor Toomey

Just read this. It's one of the most thoughtfully and beautifully written death resolutions I've ever seen from the City Council. [It was written by Fran Cronin.]

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to determine the feasibility of installing one or more park benches around the Fresh Pond Reservation for the benefit of Cambridge residents, particularly senior citizens who would benefit from such conveniences.   Mayor Simmons

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate staff about providing some appropriate seating on the grassy hill at Kingsley Park.   Councillor Devereux, Vice Mayor McGovern

These would be welcome additions - and not just for senior citizens.

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the School Department, Human Resources, and any other relevant City departments to determine what it would look like financially and logistically for the new Tobin School to house half of Cambridge’s 3 and 4 year olds with the goal of providing universal pre-k split between the Tobin School and another school to be redesigned in the near future.   Councillor Cheung, Councillor Devereux

I'm interested to see what the cost implications of this might be. It will likely be quite expensive. Having looked at what parents with good incomes shell out for the two pre-K schools and a day-care facility on my (very short) block in Cambridge, I'm sure some of those people would love to have a "public option". It could be the only affordable option for people of lower income.

Update: Councillor Carlone (wisely) suggested that it would be preferable if any pre-K options were diversified in the sense that they should be smaller groupings spread throughout the city rather than be concentrated into one or two school buildings.

Order #4. That a Standing Committee made up of three School Committee members, three City Councillors the Superintendent, the City Manager, as well as other members to be determined, be established to meet monthly to discuss issues pertinent to the School Department and the City and to improve communication between the School Committee and City Council.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons

The City Council should think long and hard about the wisdom of this. It could go either way in terms of resolving conflicts or creating conflicts between these two elected bodies. I could easily see this becoming a place where some city councillors try to steer things that are really meant to be decided by the School Committee and the School Department. On the other hand, there are some matters such as community schools and after-school programming, that falls under the Department of Human Services Programs even though they take place in public school buildings and which the City Council clearly has some policy-making role. They may want to reconsider the plan of meeting monthly. That seems too frequent. Quarterly (and as needed) would be more than enough. Even then it would be meeting more frequently than half of the other City Council committees.

Update: Councillor Kelley floated the idea that perhaps there should be a charter change that "combines the School Committee and the City Council". This, of course, can only be interpreted as a suggestion that the School Committee be eliminated and its functions turned over to a subcommittee of the City Council. I am eager to hear how School Committee members feel about the idea.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department and any other relevant City departments with a view in mind for a city-wide expansion of the piloted North Massachusetts Avenue and Kendall Square store frontage limitations, entrepreneurial co-working space, and local retail zoning regulations.   Councillor Cheung

A current topic of discussion in the Envision Cambridge process is "Corridors", i.e. main thoroughfares in the city, including most retail locations. I doubt whether a single city-wide standard is appropriate, but some of these "corridors" could use a little reinvention.

Update: Councillor Mazen expressed his desire that an co-working space be subsidized - either from taxes or through some kind of nebulous "inclusionary" requirement. This, I suppose, would then require some City department to decide who will be eligible for this subsidized space - and the slow shift toward government control continues. Councillor Devereux suggested that this needs more study in concert with the ongoing Retail Strategic Plan. Councillor Carlone suggested that this proposal should be put on hold for now and that it is becoming clear that retail can no longer be supported everywhere.

Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Mayor’s Office, the City Clerk’s Office, and the Finance Chair to establish a framework for periodic Roundtables throughout each term that will provide City Councillors opportunities to invite different Department Heads in for open, unrestricted discussions on topics of interest to the City Councillors.   Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mazen

This was exactly the intention of the City Council when Roundtable meetings were first established - way back around 1999. The City Council unearths its own history. As for "unrestricted discussions", I do hope that this does not include inquisitions and/or browbeating of department heads or other City employees. - Robert Winters

Update: Though most councillors seemed generally supportive of the idea, Councillor Devereux suggested that rather than do this as City Council Roundtable meetings they should be done within meetings of the Finance Committee which would allow public comment. Mayor Simmons explained that the idea was to have a more general discussion - not just about finance-related matters. Councillor Devereux wanted some clarification of what the expectations would be noting that Roundtable meetings with City departments often center around some kind of formal presentation followed by questions and discussion.

Councillor Carlone won the wisdom prize by proposing that such freewheeling discussions with City departments take place within existing City Council committees whose focus aligns with the particular department - and not just the Finance Committee. In fact, many years ago most of the City Council committees aligned almost exactly with City departments. It might be a good idea to move back closer to that system so that City Council discussion could be better aligned with what City government actually does.

At the very least, we can probably do with much shorter PowerPoint presentations at City Council Roundtables and more freewheeling informal discussion. That was the original idea when Roundtable meetings were established nearly two decades ago. - RW


Looking Ahead (revised June 2)

Possible 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, unclear if seeking reelection
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
Dennis Carlone 5/7/1947 70 9 Washington St. #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
Dennis Benzan 1/25/1972 45 1 Pine St., 02139 served 2014-15, may seek reelection
Paul Toner 4/28/1966 51 24 Newman St., 02140 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
Quinton Zondervan 9/15/1970 47 235 Cardinal Madeiros Ave., 02141 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
Alanna Marie Mallon 12/6/1970 46 3 Maple Ave., 02139 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
Ronald Benjamin 1/5/1971 46 172 Cushing St., 02138 announced, registered with OCPF
Vatsady Sivongxay 2/20/1982 35 59 Kirkland St. #2, 02138 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
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, actively fundraising
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, actively fundraising
Sam Gebru 11/20/1991 25 812 Memorial Dr., 02139 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
Nadya Teresa Okamoto 2/11/1998 19 Canaday Hall B44, 22 Harvard Yard, 02138 announced, registered with OCPF, actively fundraising
Nadeem Mazen 9/20/1983 34 720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139 has informed colleagues that he will 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
Ilan Levy 11/1/1967 50 148 Spring St. 02141 ran in 2015, seems to be planning to do it again
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
Richard Harding 10/16/1972 45 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 incumbent, first elected in 2001
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
Will MacArthur 5/24/1998 19 18 Shea Rd., 02140 definitely running for School Committee
Fran Albin Cronin 2/14/1952 65 1 Kimball Ln., 02140 planning to seek reelection
Jake Crutchfield 3/31/1987 30 281 River St. #1, 01239 speculation that he may run again
Elechi Kadete 9/30/1989 28 10 Laurel St., 02139 will likely not run again this year
David J. Weinstein 12/10/1972 44 45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138 ran in 2015, possibility for 2017

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages

There are others who are likely to be candidates but who have not yet chosen to be identified as such. Please let me know of other candidates. Not all of the individuals listed above may wish to be identified as candidates, and I will be more than happy to remove those names (unless I am absolutely certain they will be running!). Anyone who has filed papers with OCPF (Office of Campaign & Political Finance) is assumed to be running for City Council. - RW

Campaign Finance Summaries - City Council 2017 (updated June 5)
Candidate From To Start Receipts Expend Balance As Of
Benjamin, Ronald 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 9.00 491.12 331.39 168.73 2-Jun-17
Benzan, Dennis 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 2097.45 62.40 1546.55 613.30 1-Jun-17
Carlone, Dennis 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 17827.87 2572.34 737.56 19662.65 1-Jun-17
Cheung, Leland 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 90880.32 0.00 8380.50 82499.82 5-Jun-17
D'Ambrosio, Olivia 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 122.75 5250.31 2193.80 3179.26 1-Jun-17
Devereux, Jan 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 8715.10 14297.25 2044.27 20968.08 2-Jun-17
Gebru, Sam 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 0.00 23358.00 21475.92 1882.08 1-Jun-17
Kelley, Craig 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 2231.84 230.52 445.00 2017.36 2-Jun-17
Mallon, Alanna 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 100.00 26265.00 5979.49 20385.51 1-Jun-17
McGovern, Marc 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 14966.66 16608.44 10359.46 21215.64 1-Jun-17
Musgrave, Adriane 16-May-17 31-May-17 0.00 5000.00 1750.00 3250.00 1-Jun-17
Okamoto, Nadya 16-Mar-17 31-May-17 0.00 2578.42 203.55 2374.87 2-Jun-17
Siddiqui, Sumbul 16-Feb-17 31-May-17 0.00 18014.60 2821.62 15192.98 2-Jun-17
Simmons, Denise 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 10179.79 7398.35 5025.91 12552.23 2-Jun-17
Sivongxay, Vatsady 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 0.00 17395.55 8108.48 9287.07 2-Jun-17
Tierney, Sean 1-Feb-17 31-May-17 0.00 7515.35 3514.48 4000.87 2-Jun-17
Toner, Paul 16-Feb-17 31-May-17 0.00 28339.25 7242.22 21097.03 2-Jun-17
Toomey, Tim 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 4069.67 26679.94 6741.86 24007.75 2-Jun-17
Zondervan, Quinton 1-Jan-17 31-May-17 3510.00 12981.35 12798.08 3693.27 2-Jun-17

Campaign Finance Reports - 2017 City Council (updated June 5)

Campaign Contributions (2017) - Total Receipts and Cambridge Receipts
(updated June 2)
Candidate ID Total Receipts Cambridge Receipts Percent Cambridge
Musgrave, Adriane 16657 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 100%
Kelley, Craig 14104 $240.00 $240.00 100%
D'Ambrosio, Olivia 16520 $5,250.00 $5,000.00 95%
Devereux, Jan 16062 $13,313.50 $12,393.50 93%
Carlone, Dennis 15680 $2,572.34 $2,350.00 91%
McGovern, Marc 15589 $16,608.44 $12,446.94 75%
Mallon, Alanna 16530 $25,095.00 $14,235.00 57%
Zondervan, Quinton 16516 $9,150.83 $5,021.00 55%
Toner, Paul 16576 $28,539.86 $15,100.00 53%
Toomey, Tim 12222 $26,678.93 $13,303.68 50%
Tierney, Sean 16559 $7,515.35 $3,500.00 47%
Siddiqui, Sumbul 16556 $18,019.60 $7,710.00 43%
Simmons, Denise 13783 $7,398.35 $3,100.00 42%
Sivongxay, Vatsady 16528 $17,395.55 $3,680.00 21%
Gebru, Sam 16531 $22,898.00 $4,235.00 18%
Benjamin, Ronald 16493 $141.15 $20.00 14%
Okamoto, Nadya 16596 $2,578.42 $100.00 4%
Benzan, Dennis 15568 $0.00 $0.00 -
Cheung, Leland 14923 $0.00 $0.00 -

Civic Infrastructure (from Dec 1, 2015)

Civic landscape today dominated by single-issue advocacy and neighborhood groups that often do not represent their neighborhoods. Common pattern is that some dominant characters eventually drive out other participants rendering the group a narrow agenda-driven entity. Some groups (PSNA, Agassiz-Baldwin) generally have a better focus such as (a) children (Agassiz), or (b) cooperation with the local business community (PSNA).

Groups like the Cambridge Residents Alliance are dominated by zoning and, arguably, efforts to slow or stop new development - residential or commercial/office/lab. The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance is of this type (in addition to serving as a launching point for a City Council candidacy).

For the Cambridge Schools there are also advocacy groups (Special Ed and others), but not necessarily a general forum for broader discussion.

June 7, 2009 - Once upon a time there was a civic organization in Cambridge known as the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA). It was formed in 1945 out of several organizations that had been existed through the 1930s and that had lobbied the state legislature to create the Plan E Charter option (1938) which featured a city manager form of government and proportional representation elections for city council and school committee. These reforms were central to model charter reform movements active in the United States from the early 1900s. The central theme of the CCA in its early days was "good government" in the sense of being anti-patronage and for professionally managed local government. This changed with the introduction of rent control at the end of the 1960s after which the CCA shifted leftward and became permanently lashed to the mast of the rent control vessel. Though the CCA still exists on paper (I believe), it rapidly declined after the statewide abolition of rent control (late 1994) and essentially disappeared a decade later (early 2005).

I bring up the ghost of the CCA today only to point out that when it was created it had some very admirable goals. Here's the original Mission Statement of the CCA:

Purposes: This association is formed for the following purposes:

These are pretty good founding principles for a civic organization.

One founding principle of the CCA that fell into disuse over the years is listed above as #3: To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs. Indeed, I can personally testify to the fact that in its dying years the only reason the CCA made endorsements at all was because the CCA-endorsed incumbents wanted the benefit of having an advertised CCA slate of candidates that would help secure their reelection. There was precious little effort to recruit new candidates or to support them. Today, the benefits of incumbency are greater than ever. The cost of political campaigns have become absurdly high and most of the incumbents now have (City paid) staff who are inevitably political appointees who directly or indirectly assist in the reelection efforts of their bosses. The deck is increasingly stacked against challengers. Furthermore, the salary and benefits for elected councillors are now so sweet that it is unlikely that any of them would ever want to move on to another job.

CCA Origin

The Advent of PR in Cambridge - by David Goode


Mon, June 5

5:30pm   City Council Roundtable/Working Meeting to discuss Envision Cambridge citywide, including the Alewife planning. No public comment. No votes will be taken. Meeting will not be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 6

3:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Title 6 entitled ”Animals” to insert a new Chapter 6.20 entitled “Restrictions on the sale of Animals in Pet Shops.”  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

General Business

1. Update from the Community Development Department

2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts

3. Envision Cambridge Project Update

Public Hearing

7:30pm   PB#328, 10 North Point Boulevard, Special Permit application by EFEKTA Group, Inc. to construct a building with a Gross Floor Area of 300,000 square feet of institutional (dormitory and accessory uses), general office, education (other school), and retail (gym/fitness center and related retail) use as well as accessory above-grade structured parking on land currently owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pursuant to Section 19.20 Project Review, Article 12.000 Planned Unit Development, and Section 13.70 North Point Residence district. The applicant requests the Planning Board to permit that (1) one hundred percent of the total authorized Gross Floor Area within the Development Parcel for the project, exclusive of GFA devoted to parking facilities, may consist of non-residential uses pursuant to Section13.73.0 and (2) retail use of approximately 12,000 square feet may be located on the ground floor pursuant to Section 13.73.1(i). This will be the first of two required public hearings for the Planned Unit Development process as outlined in Article 12.000.

Wed, June 7

12:30pm   The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the reappointment of Kathleen L. Born to the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) for a term of five years.  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting  (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)



1. Executive Director’s Report

2. Assistant Director's Report

3. Commissioners' Reports



Old Business

1. 2017 Annual City Census

2. 2017 Street Listing Book

New Business

1. Municipal Election, November 7th

a. Presentation by Election Consultants – Election Results Display

Thurs, June 8

6:00-8:30pm   Envision Cambridge Alewife Working Group meeting  (Russell Youth Center, 680 Huron Avenue, 2nd floor Community Room)

Sat, June 10

9:30am   Cambridge Pedestrian Committee Summer Walk  (Meet at Alewife T Station, Wooden Benches by the Steel Place Entrance)

Join the Cambridge Pedestrian Committee for its fourth annual summer walk! This year we will be exploring some natural areas around Alewife, as well as learning about recent and upcoming developments. For more information, click here.

Mon, June 12

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Central Flea - June 25, 2017Tues, June 13

4:00pm   The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the various forms and mediums of communication between residents and the city, to include Commonwealth Connects, and how the Council may prioritize critical issues for data collection and reporting, also the Committee will discuss Order #11 of Oct 31, 2016 regarding the creation of a Commonwealth Connects category for residents negatively impacted by short-term rental activity; Order #8 of Apr 24, 2017 regarding creating a report system for mosquito harborage; and also bicycle-safety related incidents that would not generate a crash-report.  (Ackermann Room)

Wed, June 14

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

2:00pm   The City Council's Human Services and Veterans Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the current opioid crisis on a state and local level, and what programs and plans exist to combat this epidemic.  (Sullivan Chamber)

4:30pm   The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the final recommendations from Larisa Ortiz Associates in regards to the Retail Strategic Plan, as well as policy and programmatic opportunities related to the retail environment in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

For more information on the City's Retail Strategic Plan or to review the May 17 presentation, click here.

Thurs, June 15

9:00-11:30am   Envision Cambridge Economy Working Group meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

6:00-8:30pm   Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Fri, June 16

11:00am-11:00pm   Greek Festival in Central Square  (14 Magazine St.)

Sat, June 17

11:00am-11:00pm   Greek Festival in Central Square  (14 Magazine St.)

Sun, June 18

11:00am-9:00pm   Greek Festival in Central Square  (14 Magazine St.)

Mon, June 19

5:00pm   Special Presentation - A Celebration of Cambridge Volunteers  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00-8:30pm   Envision Cambridge Climate & Environment Working Group meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, June 21

1:00pm   The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the next steps for the Foundry Building including: financing, community benefit, non-profit ecosystem, and community engagement.  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00-8:30pm   Envision Cambridge Mobility Working Group meeting  (Central Square Senior Center)

Thurs, June 22

6:00pm   Community Preservation Act (CPA) Committee Public Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) Committee will hold a public meeting Thursday, June 22, at 6:00pm, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass. Ave. The meeting agenda will include providing the public an opportunity to suggest and recommend projects for CPA funding for Housing, Open Space and Historic Preservation for FY18. For more information, contact Karen Preval at (617) 349-4221 or

Fri, June 23

5:30pm   Dance Complex's "25 and Dancing On" Festival - Day 1  (Dance Complex, 536 Mass. Ave.)

Sat, June 24

All Day   Dance Complex's "25 and Dancing On" Festival - Day 2  (Dance Complex, 536 Mass. Ave.)

Sun, June 25

All Day   Dance Complex's "25 and Dancing On" Festival - Day 3  (Dance Complex, 536 Mass. Ave.)

Mon, June 26

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Fri, June 30

7:00pm-11:00pm   City Dance Party  (Mass. Ave. in front of City Hall)

Wed, July 12

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

Discussion topic: community interaction

Mon, Aug 7

5:30pm   Special (Midsummer) City Council meeting  (Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)

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