Cambridge InsideOut - Apr 9, 2019
1) Candidate Updates - 2019 municipal election
Which potential 2019 City Council election campaign accounts have been active?
2) For What It's Worth - Select Items on the April 8, 2019 Cambridge City Council Agenda
3) April 1 City Council meeting highlights and lowlights
4) A few words on the "Overlay" proposal
5) News and Events
River Street Reconstruction Updates
Destination Watertown: The Armenians of Hood Rubber (Sun, Apr 7)
City of Cambridge Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Foundry Advisory Committee
City of Cambridge Seeking Members for Technical Advisory Group on Future of Mobility Implementation Blueprint
City of Cambridge Seeking Members for Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit Advisory Committees
6) Books on Cambridge history
7) The Paper of Record - Selections from the Cambridge Chronicle
8) Civic Calendar
9) On the horizon – rent control proposed at State House (H.1316) and HD.1100
Personally, this Overlay proposal obliterates over 35 years of what changes could be expected around where I live, and I don’t live in the upper crust part of town. The limiting factor has been the floor area ratio (FAR) – 1.0 for commercial and 0.75 for residential. I have always lived with the possibility that a higher building could appear next door, but that the footprint of the building would have to be smaller and additional setbacks would create a little breathing room between the buildings. That seemed like a reasonable expectation – one that I could easily live with.
During the time I have owned my triple-decker I negotiated with one neighbor so that a small extension would have a roof line that allowed light to continue to get to my first floor apartment. When the neighboring building changed hands and they wanted to add air conditioning units on the roof, I negotiated to ensure that they would be located far enough from my windows so that the added sound would be acceptable. These are the kinds of negotiations that happen when buildings are at or somewhat above the allowable density. Through it all I maintained very reasonable rents to all of my tenants since 1985.
If this Overlay proposal is approved, a new owner could build straight up to a height taller than my building with no setback whatsoever from the property line. Furthermore, the building could cover almost the entire lot yielding a density between 3 and 4 times what is allowed today. No sunlight whatsoever would get to my building. I would have no rights whatsoever to object.
Do I take this personally? Yes. If this were to happen I would likely look for another place to live after being here for over 40 years. So I’m looking now at the few potentially reasonable city councillors to step in and prevent this from happening. If adding to our already high percentage of subsidized housing units is your priority, you should really find a way to do this that doesn’t involve throwing me and others under the bus. – Robert Winters
The incumbents (assuming, for the moment that they all seek reelection) will be joined by a number of challengers. Here's the list so far:
|Name||Address (Nov 2018)||Birth Year||Notes|
|Adriane Musgrave||48 Haskell St., 02140||1985||ran in 2017|
|Charles Franklin||162 Hampshire St. #1R, 02139||1992||filed March 5|
|Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler||19 Trowbridge St #6, 02138||1992||filed March 11|
|Nicola Williams||8 Brewer St. #5, 02138||1963||filed March 12|
|Ben Simon||67 Bishop Allen Dr. #2, 02139||1984||filed April 2|
Several other candidates who ran in 2017 are expected to run again in 2019. They'll be added as confirmed.
2019 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports
You can sort the table by any field or open the full spreadsheet which will be frequently updated.
For What It's Worth - Select Items on the April 8, 2019 Cambridge City Council Agenda
These agenda items seem marginally interesting:
Manager's Agenda #4. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $1,280,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Library Extraordinary Expenditure account to support the creation of a new STEAM creativity zone, The Hive, at the Cambridge Public Library.
I have been a mathematics teacher for decades and currently have many future engineers in my MIT classroom, so of course I think this is a great step forward. On the other hand, I am also mindful that when computers became standard in households and we were supposedly entering a "paperless society", inkjet printers proliferated and more paper was wasted than ever before. On the other hand, digital media killed off much of print media - less paper I suppose, but overall maybe not the best thing. Right now, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) is all the rage (as it should be), but will STEAM initiatives actually accomplish the desired goals or will we just have another facility or program that's not well-utilized? It's all in the details and implementation. Is mathematics proficiency in the Cambridge Public Schools really where it should be? Will this initiative help? I sure hope so.
Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Department of Human Services to develop a plan for implementation of a City-Wide Workforce Development Consortium. Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Simmons
The goal behind this order may well be the single most important goal expressed during the otherwise uninspired "Envision Cambridge" exercise. Matching people growing up in Cambridge to the economic opportunities all around us matters more than all the virtue-signaling, intrusive other initiatives that have been thrust to the forefront. Earning a good income will open more doors and provide economic security than anything else. This obviously requires people to be qualified for those jobs. See above. Wishful thinking is not empowerment.
Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City personnel to compile a full accounting of streets, schools, and public buildings that may be named in honor of those who have ties to the American slave trade, and to work towards renaming all of these streets, schools, and buildings as soon as possible. Councillor Simmons
I just want to know what the new names will be for Jefferson Park and Jefferson Street.
Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works to provide an update on the small business recycling program pilot indicating any recalibration or reconsideration of the proposed program that may be necessary and any plans for expansion. Councillor Toomey
Order #11. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works to provide an update on the feasibility study of expanding curbside composting program to small businesses and non-profits by the end of 2019. Councillor Toomey, Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon
I will once again remind everyone that Councillor Toomey has the longest record for supporting recycling initiatives in the history of Cambridge, and he practices what he preaches.
Order #9. That the City Manager is requested to instruct the City Solicitor to review whether the MBTA is out of compliance with the amended MBTA/BCIL settlement agreement through the delay in completion of the elevator replacement and concurrent hazardous condition of the stairwells related to Central Square. Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon
Each major T Station should have a dedicated stationmaster who advocates for the needs of their respective stations. Instead, we get red-jacketed "ambassadors" who spend more time chatting with each other than assisting passengers. The problem with the MBTA is their own bureaucracy. Bureaucrats should try paying more attention to bricks and stairs and elevators and all the other things that passengers deal with every day. This is not rocket science.
Order #18. That the City Council go on record in support of the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW's demands for a fair contract now, with fair wages, benefits and a fair and neutral procedure for adjudicating workplace harassment and discrimination. Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey
I think some people have the mistaken perspective that being a graduate student is a career. Fairness yes, but in perspective. Get your degree and move on.
Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Mar 5, 2019 to continue discussions on the Affordable Housing Overlay District.
The juggernaut continues even as my respect for city councillors plummets. A bad proposal is still a bad proposal even if you believe "we have to do something." - Robert Winters
These days I don't know whether to watch or simply look away as this City Council behaves in ways that sow the seeds of doubt in even the most ardent supporters of the Plan E Charter like me. As much as I believe in proportional representation (PR) and Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) I find myself asking the simple question: Proportional to what? I am seriously doubting if I have any representation at all, and there isn't all that much promise among the emerging new candidates, some of whom are just waiting to feed at the trough of the latest iteration of political action committees (PACs). I sincerely hope that some new candidates emerge who actually understand the ins and outs of Cambridge and who are not just ready to ride the latest round of hot button single issues. So far most of the new candidates look like they were printed on a 3D-printer at the Bernie Sanders clone factory.
Meanwhile, these agenda items stand out:
Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from City Engineer Katherine Watkins, to eliminate and rename certain streets in the Northpoint/Cambridge Crossing area.
I have a mild fascination with the naming (and renaming) of streets. I like these recommendations, especially the theme represented by streets named for Harriet A. Jacobs and Gertrude Wright Morgan. For those who don't already know, there's a very strong theme in Cambridgeport based on the War of 1812. You can look it up.
Manager's Agenda #3. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $300,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Public Works Extraordinary Expenditures account which will support the expansion of the curbside organics program to 13+ unit households in FY20 and be used for the purchase of collection bins and outreach efforts.
It will surprise no one to learn that I'm happy to see this, but beyond organics collection there are some troubling realities in recycling these days. American investment in materials recovery (new technology, better processing facilities, and better end markets) has to increase now that we can no longer count on dumping our low quality recycled materials in places like China. Cambridge residents may also soon have to learn to be a bit more thoughtful in how they handle their recyclable waste. Ease of disposal is nice but quality markets for recyclable materials is nicer.
Manager's Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-61 regarding a report on commissioning a public art piece, statue or memorial that would commemorate the dedication of women in Cambridge to passing the Nineteenth Amendment.
I am very glad to see this moving along. Please give consideration to Central Square as a potentially ideal location for such public art.
Manager's Agenda #16. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-12, regarding a report on legality and constitutionality of the proposed "Cambridge Publicly Financed Municipal Election Program" and the "Cambridge Municipal Election People's Pledge", and Awaiting Report Item Number 18-136 regarding a report on submitting a proposal that candidates would agree to not accept donations from persons outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. [Legal Opinion]
Our City Solicitor really does her homework when researching these questions. Even if there is some merit in public financing of local campaigns (and I am not yet convinced), I have never known the proponents to consider all the consequences and potential problems associated with their proposals.
Manager's Agenda #17. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-01, regarding a report on the recently adopted regulations of the short-term rental revenue and the necessary steps to impose and access the revenue from the excise and community impact fees. [Legal Opinion] [Chart of Taxes]
I'll leave these to the wisdom of councillors or the lack thereof.
Unfinished Business #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Feb 27, 2019 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Title Twelve entitled “Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places” by adding a new Chapter 12.22 entitled “Cycling Safety Ordinance” ON OR AFTER APR 8, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON PASSAGE TO BE ORDAINED
I have no doubt that this will be ordained even though I seriously disagree with the concept of mandating road design by ordinance.
Resolution #3. Resolution on the death of retired Cambridge Police Officer Edward "Eddie" Burke. Councillor Toomey
One of the great things about living in Cambridge for a long time (even if you weren't born here) is that you get to know a lot of people in the Cambridge Police Department, the Cambridge Fire Department, and the Department of Public Works. This also means that you share in the heartbreak when people you've come to know pass away. My condolences go to Eddie's entire extended family.
Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to work with the appropriate departments to provide more information and analysis as it relates to the 100% Affordable Housing Overlay District. Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone
I am glad at least some city councillors are asking questions about this. I served on the Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group that supposedly recommended this proposal, and I asked many questions and raised many concerns about this from the first moment the proposal was presented. I attended every meeting and spoke at every one of them. I was resolutely ignored, and not because my concerns were off the mark. The outcome had been determined when the appointments were made and before the committee ever met.
Some things can be amended to make them better. Other things need to be discarded so that something better can be found. This entire concept should be discarded. Has anyone considered the possibility that Inclusionary Zoning was a pretty good idea and that maybe you should just be happy with that?
Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City personnel to ensure that the Housing Committee hearing scheduled for Apr 25, 2019 be televised and livestreamed, to ensure that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to view this hearing. Councillor Simmons
Order #9. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City personnel to ensure that the Housing Committee hearing scheduled for Apr 16, 2019 be televised and livestreamed. Councillor Simmons
These meetings have been little more than Bad Theater - more of a competition between mailing lists of those wishing to pack the meetings than anything substantive.
Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City, Department of Conservation and Recreation, and MassDOT staff, as well as with representatives of the communities through which the Minuteman Bikeway passes, to review infrastructure designs and investigate ways, to include speed limits, enforcement, striping, construction projects, signage and education efforts, to maximize safety for all users of these regional bike-related amenities. Councillor Kelley, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey
This Order follows the recent head-on bicycle collision that fatally injured an Arlington man. Sure, put up signs and lay down paint and maybe bolt some plastic poles to the ground, but this still comes down to people learning to travel responsibly. This goes beyond hardware and regulations.
Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments to televise and record the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee hearing scheduled for Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 4:00pm. Vice Mayor Devereux
The purpose of this public hearing is to discuss the logistics and feasibility of implementing early voting in City Elections and to discuss the possibility of pursuing a Home Rule petition to lower the voting age to City elections to 16 years old. As to the former, it may have a marginal benefit but it will likely come at a considerable cost. Furthermore, there's a chance it will somewhat bias the municipal election toward areas where early voting sites are located. As for lowering the voting age for municipal elections to 16 years old, my belief is that the minimum voting age should be the same across the entire Commonwealth and not vary from town to town. If you want to make the case for this, try to convince the state legislature to do it statewide or pursue other matters.
Order #12. That the City Council go on record in enthusiastic support of H.2865, “An Act to Establish a Net Zero Energy Stretch Code. Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone
Even if every single suggestion in such a revised code is a good idea, there is little doubt that the costs to anyone doing a renovation will be substantial. Perhaps a lot of people will choose to adhere to stricter standards because of the long-term savings, but I have never been a big fan of absolute mandates except for the purpose of safety. - Robert Winters
Date: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 2:00pm Location:
Assembly Room – Belmont Memorial Library (336 Concord Ave., Belmont)
A documentary of the immigrant workers of the Hood Rubber Company, a once bustling shoe and boot factory from 1896 until its closing in 1969. Learn about life in the factory and the factory's impact on the local community. [Flyer for event] [Video on YouTube]
Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking volunteers to serve on the Foundry Advisory Committee. The Committee is made up of community members who serve in an advisory capacity to the City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA), to help ensure that the Foundry building’s (101 Rogers Street) redevelopment and ongoing operation remains consistent with the Vision and Objectives established in the Demonstration Plan.
This group provides regular updates to the City Manager and to the CRA Executive Director on proposed uses within the Foundry building, which is in the process of being redeveloped and operated consistent with the vision and objectives that grew out of an extensive community planning process. Once the building is redeveloped, the Committee will also review any proposals for significant capital changes to the building as they affect the Foundry’s objectives.
Meetings are held quarterly and are open to the public. The Committee provides annual updates to the CRA Board at regular Board meetings, which provides an additional forum for public input. Members of the Committee will be appointed by the City Manager to a term of 3 years.
The City Manager seeks individuals with demonstrated ability to work effectively on a team with diverse opinions to craft consensus recommendations. The Committee is intended to include experience and expertise in related topic areas, as well as representation from various neighborhoods within the city, and local non-profit and community organizations.
Additional information regarding the Foundry building is available on the project webpage: www.cambridgeredevelopment.org/foundry.
The deadline for submitting applications is Fri, Apr 26, 2019. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume, or applicable experience, can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
For more information, contact the City Manager's Office at 617-349-4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Technical Advisory Group that will provide guidance during the development of the Future of Mobility Implementation Blueprint. The Blueprint’s goal is to help the City of Cambridge prepare for and shape new mobility options in a way that meets established community goals, meets the mobility needs of all people who live in, work in, and visit Cambridge, and is well integrated with our sustainable transportation system.
The Blueprint will help provide clarity and specific, practical direction for strategies that support diverse transportation options and technological innovations, such as micromobility devices, electric vehicles, and autonomous vehicles, while ensuring that they do not adversely impact, but rather complement, progress towards other city goals related to safety, equity, traffic congestion, transit and goods movement reliability, transportation network connectedness, GHG emissions and climate resilience. The development of the Blueprint will result in transportation trend analysis, strategies and actions that allow the City of Cambridge to shape how new mobility is introduced in the city, a residential/neighborhood EV charging pilot design, a proposed regulatory strategy, and recommended approaches to public engagement.
Applicants with subject matter experience in a field that would help to inform a robust and equitable Future of Mobility Implementation Blueprint are encouraged to apply. This includes applicants with technical expertise in existing and emerging mobility, included but not limited to, connected and automated vehicles, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, micromobility (i.e. electric scooters, electric skateboards, electric bicycles), mobility aggregator apps, shared mobility services, mobility data management systems, public transit, bicycling and walking. It also includes applicants who represent community interests related to transportation, including other city departments, underserved communities such as low income and persons with disabilities, neighboring communities, such as Boston and Somerville, health and safety, and local and regional transportation advocacy groups.
The Technical Advisory Group will consist of 15-20 members and will meet up to six 6 times over the course of the project to provide feedback and input on the Blueprint. The group is expected to begin meeting in May and will likely meet three to four times prior to July. The remaining two to three meetings will be scheduled between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The Advisory Group may also be asked to prepare for a robust, productive discussion at each meeting by reading materials in advance, or to provide feedback between meetings as needed through emails or electronic polls.
For additional questions about the Future of Mobility Technical Advisory Blueprint, contact Stephanie Groll, Parking and Transportation Demand Management Officer at 617-349-4673 or email@example.com, or Bronwyn Cooke, Sustainability Planner at 617-349-4604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Apr 12, 2019.
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the city’s Bicycle, Pedestrian or Transit Advisory Committees. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as review materials and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Below is more information on each of these committees.
The Bicycle Committee works to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City of Cambridge and promote bicycling as a means of transportation. Activities include: organizing and participating in public events such as biannual community bike rides; reviewing plans for street construction; commenting on proposed development projects; creating promotional materials to encourage bicycling in the city; and working with city departments on network planning. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. For more information about the Cambridge Bicycle Program, visit: CambridgeMA.Gov/bikes. For questions about the committee, contact Cara Seiderman, email@example.com, 617-349-4629.
The Pedestrian Committee works to promote walking and to help create a more comfortable, safe, and pleasant environment for walking in Cambridge. It advises on the design of roadway projects and policies related to traffic calming, traffic signals, and sidewalk design. It also identifies intersections and other locations where it is difficult to walk, makes suggestions about proposed development projects as they affect people on foot, and undertakes other activities to promote walking. Committee members must be prepared to work on projects outside of standing meeting times. This committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6-8pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. (Note: November and December meetings are on the third Thursday.) For more information about walking resources in Cambridge, visit: CambridgeMA.Gov/citysmart. For questions about the committee, contact Cara Seiderman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4629.
Transit Advisory Committee
The Transit Advisory Committee advances an agenda for a robust public transit system for all who live, work, and visit Cambridge, including the transit services provided by the MBTA and EZRide, among others. The committee membership represents a cross-section of stakeholders, including: businesses and large institutions; commuters; persons with disabilities; neighborhood residents with low income; elderly, youth, and students; and transit advocates. The committee advises on city positions and policies on transit service planning, scheduling, infrastructure modernization, expansion and long-term sustainable funding for transit by the Commonwealth. This committee generally meets on the first Wednesday evening of each month from 5:30-7:30pm. For more information, contact Tegin Teich, email@example.com or 617-349-4615. Visit the committee’s webpage at: CambridgeMa.Gov/transitadvisorycommittee.
Applications are sought for a diverse group of dedicated individuals who are representatives of people who live and/or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings, review materials, and engage in projects outside of regular meetings. Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service. Applications to serve on any of these committees can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting the respective committee(s) of interest. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications for above referenced boards is April 26, 2019.
Feb 10, 2019 - I'm cleaning up some old email today and found something I wrote a couple of years ago in response to a question about books on Cambridge history. Perhaps you'll find it useful. - RW
It's hard to say where to begin. There was a tradition of Cambridge history-writing in the 19th century that was largely lost during most of the 20th Century. The tradition seems to be having something of a 21st Century revival. Some of my favorites (and I've picked up many of these on eBay) are:
Lucius Paige's History of Cambridge (1877) - you can also read this on the web, e.g. https://archive.org/details/historyofcambrid00paigiala
I mention this one first because it is so often referenced in later histories.
The Cambridge of Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Six (a 50th Anniversary compilation published in 1896 commemorating the transition of Cambridge from Town to City in 1846)
This has a lot of good history in it. I have loaner copies available.
Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge, Volumes 1-5, by the Cambridge Historical Commission
These you can still pick up on eBay and they're at the Cambridge Public Library. I have multiple copies of each volume as loaners.
Volume 1 was originally published in 1967, but a 1989 update is practically a whole other book.
A City's Life and Times, Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, various authors, published by the Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.
Building Old Cambridge, by Susan Maycock and Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission, recently published and available (no sales tax!) at the Cambridge Historical Commission office as well as local bookstores (with sales tax).
This volume started out, I believe, as a successor volume to Volume 4 of the Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge (Old Cambridge), but it grew into something far more comprehensive.
There are at least, I believe, 5 oral history volumes put together by Sarah Boyer and the Cambridge Historical Commission. I believe they may all still be available for purchase at the CHC office, but some are also available at bookstores (and at the Library).
Cambridge on the Charles, by Alan Seaburg, Thomas Dahill, and Carol Rose, published by Anne Minerva Press. Alan and Thomas are friends and fellow Board members with the Middlesex Canal Association (I'm also the webmaster).
There are lots of other miscellaneous books that I really love, including Ten No License Years in Cambridge, published in 1898, that provides great insight into the temperance movement in Cambridge and the roots of the "good government" movement in the 20th Century. It's available in the Cambridge Room of the Main Library.
The books by Tip O'Neill all have some interesting bits and pieces about Cambridge in the 20th Century.
Cambridge earns AAA rating for 20th straight year (Mar 6, 2019)
East Cambridge Planning Team to hold annual elections (Mar 4, 2019)
Cambridge community invited to vote for design finalists (Mar 1, 2019)
Cambridge councillors pass tree removal moratorium (Feb 27, 2019)
GUEST COLUMN: Boston’s Urban Four must lead the state’s micro-mobility revolution (Craig Kelley, Feb 27, 2019)
Ranked-choice voting could change Massachusetts elections (Feb 25, 2019)
Housing crisis fuels homelessness in Cambridge, statewide (Feb 20, 2019)
A breakdown of 40B affordable housing (Feb 13, 2019)
Cambridge Community Center launches anniversary fund (Feb 11, 2019)
MBTA proposes 6.3 percent fare hike (Jan 28, 2019)
Cambridge eliminates fees for street performers (Jan 15, 2019)
Cambridge City Council passes CCOPS law (Dec 26, 2018)
CPA fund lacks cash in Massachusetts (Dec 18, 2018)
FCC rule could gut funding for Cambridge community TV (Nov 30, 2018)
Baker open to fee hike to boost state CPA match (Nov 16, 2018)
Tues, Apr 9
5:30pm City Council Roundtable/Working meeting to discuss the Affordable Housing Overlay, including the Affordable Housing Overlay Zoning language presented at the March 28, 2019 Housing Committee hearing. This meeting will be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, Apr 10
8:00-9:30am Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
4:00pm The City Council's Government Operation and Rules Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the logistics and feasibility of implementing early voting in City Elections and to discuss the possibility of pursuing a Home Rule petition to lower the voting age to City elections to 16 years old. This meeting will be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)
5:30pm Cambridge Election Commission meeting (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)
5:00pm School Committee School Climate Sub-Committee meeting (School Committee Conference Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
The purpose of this meeting will be a discussion of the work of the district’s Professional Development by the Educator Leaders for Equity. It is anticipated that this meeting will end by or before 7:00pm.
5:30pm Mayor's Arts Task Force meeting (Dance Complex, 536 Mass. Ave.)
6:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code to add a new chapter 5.50 entitled “Cannabis Business Permitting”. (Sullivan Chamber)
8:00-10:00am Foundry Advisory Committee Meeting (Opportunity Space*, 255 Main Street, 8th Floor Kendall Square)
The FAC meeting will include a brief tour of the Opportunity Space. This is a public meeting. Everyone is welcome. Please RSVP as you are able by April 10th to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No one will be turned away who has not RSVP'd
*The Opportunity Space (permanent name to be announced soon!) is a co-working, job training and event space catalyzing workforce development and employment opportunities in Cambridge and beyond. The space provides opportunities for residents and employers to network and learn, while connecting employers to a pipeline of talent that is typically underrepresented in the tech economy.
6:00pm The City Council's Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussion on the Affordable Housing Overlay District, and this hearing shall be devoted entirely to Public Comment. This meeting will be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
6:30pm Planning Board meeting (location TBD)
This Planning Board Meeting will be a walking tour of Cambridgeport.
Mon, Apr 22
5:30pm City Council meeting - Budget submission (Sullivan Chamber)
3:00pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Zero Waste Master Plan and ways to reduce single use plastics in Cambridge. (Ackermann Room)
5:30pm Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement meeting (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
6:00pm School Committee Governance Sub-Committee meeting (School Committee Conference Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
The purpose of this meeting will be to review and make recommendations to the CPSD School Committee Budget process and to discuss better governance practices for the CPSD School Committee. It is anticipated that this meeting will end by or before 7:30pm.
6:00pm The City Council's Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussions on the Affordable Housing Overlay District and other related matters. This meeting will be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 29
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
12:00pm The City Council's Economic Development & University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a Cambridge vacant property registration ordinance. (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, May 1
9:00am City Council's Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 City Budget (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a petition to amend the Municipal Code in Chapter 8.16 entitled “Noise Control” by deleting sections 16.081 through 16.081.7 to prohibit the use of leaf blowers in the City of Cambridge. This meeting will be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
7:00-8:30pm Evenings with Experts - A Grassland Restoration Tale of Weeds, Wildlife, and Renewal (Cambridge Main Public Library)
Presenter: Jenna Webster, Senior Designer, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates. Restoring weed-dominated habitats comes with many complex challenges and often involves difficult tradeoffs. This process is even more complicated in public landscapes with diverse constituencies. Join landscape designer Jenna Webster to learn how Larry Weaner Landscape Associates negotiated these challenges in their restoration planning for a 100-acre grassland at Croton Point Park in New York. Located atop a capped landfill, this site provides vital habitat for imperiled bird species. The Park’s popularity and complex history led Jenna and her team to seek stakeholder input, synthesize crowd-sourced ecological data, and utilize scientific research— creating a thoughtful restoration plan that is now under construction. This case study gives us valuable lessons for land restoration on sites both large and small, and particularly for protecting specialized habitat used by native wildlife.
Jenna Webster is co-curator of the New Directions in the American Landscape conference, and teaches in the Ecological Gardening Certificate program at the Mt. Cuba Center.
Mon, May 6
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, May 7
9:00am City Council's Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 School Department Budget (Sullivan Chamber)
6:00pm School Committee meeting (Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
Note: There will be a Hearing on State School Choice at the beginning of this Regular Meeting.
Wed, May 8
8:00-9:30am Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
6:00pm City Council's Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 City Budget (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, May 9
9:00am City Council's Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 City Budget - if necessary (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm Mayor's Arts Task Force meeting (Location TBD)
Mon, May 20
5:30pm City Council meeting - Budget Adoption (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement meeting (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
Sat, June 1
11:00am-6:00pm 40th Annual Cambridge Arts River Festival (Central Square Cultural District - Mass. Ave. from Prospect St. to Sidney St. and beyond)
For the 40th anniversary of the Cambridge Arts River Festival, we'll be bringing the river to the Central Square Cultural District. The move from the East Cambridge waterfront into the heart of the city celebrates the state's recent recertification of Cultural District, the work in progress for the area to be identified as a Business Improvement District, and the seven new murals in the neighborhood thanks to the Central Square Mural Project. This year’s community celebration of the arts promises to be a big SPLASH, with music, food, immersive art experiences, and more. Learn more: cambridgeartscouncil.org/riverfestival