Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

May 26, 2013

Voter Turnout by Age – November 2011 vs. November 2012 Cambridge Elections

Filed under: 2011 Election,2012 election,elections — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 11:51 pm

The overall percent voter turnout (including active and inactive registered voters) in the November 2011 municipal election was 26.4%. The overall percent voter turnout in the November 2012 federal election was 71.9%. Turnout always varies considerably by age. The chart below shows the percent turnout by age in four-year increments. The municipal election is in blue and the federal election in maroon.

Voter Turnout 2011 and 2012

November 7, 2012

Cambridge Election Results: Nov 6, 2012

Filed under: 2012 election,Cambridge — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 10:43 am

State & Presidential Election Unofficial Results November 6, 2012
(Cambridge Totals Only – from City website)
Unofficial Results do not include Write-In, Auxiliary, Overseas Absentee or Provisional Ballots.

Johnson and Gray Libertarian 550 1%
Obama and Biden Democratic 41,991 86%
Romney and Ryan Republican 5,340 11%
Stein and Honkala Green-Rainbow 906 2%
Scott P. Brown Republican 7,463 15%
Elizabeth A. Warren Democratic 41,127 85%
Fifth District
Edward J. Markey Democratic 21,048 90%
Tom Tierney Republican 2,297 10%
Seventh District
Michael E. Capuano Democratic 19,641 88%
Karla Romero Independent 2,690 12%
COUNCILLOR, Sixth District
Terrence W. Kennedy Democratic 38,657 100%
Middlesex and Suffolk District
Sal N. DiDomenico Democratic 18,915 100%
First Suffolk and Middlesex District
Anthony W. Petruccelli Democratic 6,775 89%
Thomas J. Dooley, III Republican 801 11%
Second Middlesex District
Patricia D. Jehlen Democratic 12,640 100%
24th Middlesex District (Cambridge Only)
Tommasina Anne Olson Republican 177 7%
David M. Rogers Democratic 2,169 85%
James F. Gammill Open Innovative Government 207 8%
24th Middlesex District (Arlington, Belmont & Cambridge)
Tommasina Anne Olson Republican 4,420 20.5%
David M. Rogers Democratic 12,338 57.1%
James F. Gammill Open Innovative Government 4,857 22.4%
25th Middlesex District
Marjorie C. Decker Democratic 14,997 100%
26th Middlesex District (Cambridge Only)
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Democratic 7,752 69.2%
Thomas Michael Vasconcelos Republican 596 5.3%
Mike Connolly Progressive Independent 2,855 25.5%
26th Middlesex District (Cambridge & Somerville)
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Democratic 10,772 68.3%
Thomas Michael Vasconcelos Republican 1,010 6.4%
Mike Connolly Progressive Independent 3,968 25.2%
Write-in   16 0.1%
29th Middlesex District
Jonathan Hecht Democratic 7,361 100%
8th Suffolk
Martha Marty Walz Democratic 5,053 100%
CLERK OF COURTS, Middlesex County
Michael A. Sullivan Democratic 38,629 100%
REGISTER OF DEEDS, Middlesex Southern District
Maria C. Curtatone Democratic 37,423 100%
SHERIFF, Middlesex County (to fill vacancy)
Peter J. Koutoujian Democratic 34,430 88%
Ernesto M. Petrone Unenrolled 4,596 12%
STATEWIDE BALLOT QUESTIONS (For full text of the statewide ballot questions (questions 1-3), please see
Question 1: Availability of Motor Vehicle Repair Information
Yes 35,841 88%
No 4,715 12%
Question 2: Prescribing Medication to End Life
Yes 30,909 68%
No 14,639 32%
Question 3: Medical Use of Marijuana
Yes 36,063 79%
No 9,564 21%
Question #4:
Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress and the President to: (1) prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance; (2) create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services; (3) provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and (4) redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now?
Yes 32,812 82%
No 7,134 18%
Question #5 (Wd 1, Wd 2 Pct 1, Wd 3, Wd 4 Pct 2, Wd 6, Wd 7, Wd 8, Wd 9, Wd 10, Wd 11)
Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol?
Yes 25,944 78%
No 7,294 22%
Question #5 (Wd 2 Pcts 2&3, Wd 4 Pcts 1&3, Wd 5)
Question #6 (Wd 1, Wd 2 Pct 1, Wd 3, Wd 4 Pct 2, Wd 6, Wd 7, Wd 8, Wd 9, Wd 10, Wd 11)
Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. constitution affirming that (1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending?
Yes 39,206 87%
No 5,872 13%
Question #7 (Wd 9, Wd 10 Pct 3, Wd 11)
Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress and the President to: (1) prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance; (2) create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services; (3) provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and (4) redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now?
Yes 7,805 82%
No 1,720 18%

In Somerville, Question 4 (Community Preservation Act) passed on a 76%-24% vote.

November 4, 2012

Meanwhile, outside of Ohio – Nov 5, 2012 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

Filed under: 2012 election,Cambridge,Central Square,City Council — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:24 pm

Meanwhile, outside of Ohio – Nov 5, 2012 Cambridge City Council Agenda highlights

On Election Eve when the focus of one or more members of the City Council is on the next day, the tradition is to have a very short meeting. Colleagues generally respect this, and it’s considered offensive to violate this tradition. Here are a few items that drew my attention for this (hopefully) short meeting:

Manager’s Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the results of the bi-annual Citizens Opinion Survey for 2012. [Survey Results]

Short version – everybody’s happy except for a few raised eyebrows about the quality of the public schools. The once ultimate priority among residents on affordable housing is now barely a blip on the radar. People are now more concerned about public safety and quality City services. Nobody is outraged by the tax rates, especially condo owners.

Manager’s Agenda #9. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-115, regarding additional information requested on accessibility and other potential barriers at polling locations.

This is a follow-up report requested by Councillor Decker who spent the last meeting berating good City employees for no good reason. Just because a politician has some skin in the game does not give her license to bully people who are doing their best under circumstances over which they may not have total control. One has to wonder whether elevation to the state legislature will bring a little grace and perspective to this politician. If not, she should expect a lot of pushback from her future colleagues and maybe an actual challenger in the 2014 election.

Charter Right #2. That the Mayor and the Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee are requested to provide updates every other week on the status of the City Manager search process to the City Council and to work with the City’s Information Technology staff to have those updates posted on the City Council website under a separate tab on the City Council’s page on the City’s website. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Davis on Order Number One of Oct 22, 2012.]

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a public meeting held on Oct 24, 2012 to discuss the visioning process for the City of Cambridge and the City Manager search.

The City Manager selection process carries on – sort of. At the recent committee meeting, the strong suggestion was that the councillors should expect glacial progress with an actual candidate not arriving until possibly 2014 after the current City Council term has passed. Naturally, that suggestion didn’t sit well with some councillors – ironically the same councillors who were most in favor of an elaborate process of self-realization, soul-searching, goal-setting, and kumbaya-singing prior to hiring a successor to Bob Healy. I expect there to now be some movement toward a more abbreviated process, and I would not be at all surprised if the whole process falls apart by next summer and 5 councillors just make a motion from the floor to hire someone they like.

Unfinished Business #10. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Oct 3, 2012 to discuss a zoning petition filed by Susan Yanow, et al to rezone……

Nothing will likely happen with this silly petition to downzone Central Square. The Council voted to "leave to withdraw" at the previous meeting in response to a request of one of the petitioners to withdraw the petition. Expect it to gather dust on Unfinished Business until it expires on New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, the actual planning process with Goody/Clancy and the short-term "Central Square Advisory Committee 20011-12" continues. Their next meeting is Wed, Nov 7 to attempt to formulate final recommendations. Where it all goes from there is an open question.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Department of Public Works on the feasibility of installing recycling bins adjacent to trash bins and report back to the City Council.   Councillor Cheung and Councillor vanBeuzekom

It should be noted that there has already been a dramatic increase in the number of "Big Belly" recycling bins in Central Square and elsewhere. There is a cost associated with each new installation, but there are also considerations about maintenance of these bins. They can very easily become just another trash bin to careless people, and that does not promote recycling.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Law Department, the Chief Information Officer of the Information Technology Department and any other relevant departments to evaluate the feasibility of ensuring all city-sponsored committee hearing minutes are available online and report back to the City Council.   Councillor Cheung and Councillor vanBeuzekom

No argument with this Order, but I wonder sometimes what the actual demand really is for this enhanced availability and whether the cost is always worth it. Let’s hope that the response to this Order is just a revision to the protocol for generating and making these documents available – rather than a lot of additional labor with greatly diminishing returns.

One more thing: Life will go on relatively unchanged for most people regardless of Tuesday’s election outcome. You might not believe that based on all the rhetoric generated by the Senate and Presidential election campaigns. – RW

September 20, 2012

26th Middlesex State Representative debate

Filed under: 2012 election,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 6:21 pm

Sept 20 – Recently, one or both challengers in the 26th Middlesex State Representative race proposed the idea of a series of five debates between now and the November election. To this, State Representative Tim Toomey offers the following very interesting proposal:

Dear Mr. Vasconcelos and Mr. Connolly,

Thank you for reaching out and proposing a series of debates. With the election just 48 days away, I think it is important that as many of our neighbors as possible can watch our debate.

To maximize the number of residents who can see the debate, and rather than trying to squeeze five debates into fewer than seven weeks, I propose a single, open-ended, unmoderated, televised debate with no time limits. In the past, I have partaken in many debates and, invariably, when the debates have ended there are always important issues left by the wayside. What I’m suggesting is, as far as I know, unprecedented in politics. Let’s go in front of the cameras and discuss all the issues until there is nothing left to talk about.

I am confident that Somerville Community Access Television and or Cambridge Community Television would be willing to air and rerun our debate, and I’m also willing to stream the debate live on my campaign website. With no moderator, we will have the opportunity to speak directly with one another and to ask tough questions about issues facing our district. With a televised audience and replays online, we’ll help as many of our neighbors as possible to get informed and decide for themselves.

I welcome any suggestions you might have about the format of our debate, and I look forward to your response.

Best wishes,
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.
State Representative, 26th Middlesex District

September 7, 2012

Sept 6 Primary Results – via the Boston Globe

Filed under: 2012 election — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:36 am

Sept 7 – The Boston Globe (and did a great job posting all the Primary Election results – even for the minor offices. Here are the Globe links:

In particular, congratulations to Marjorie Decker for demolishing the competition in the 25th Middlesex House Democratic primary. (She took 84% of the vote.) In the 24th Middlesex House race, Dave Rogers won handily with 43% of the (low turnout) vote, edging out Margaret Hegarty (39%) and Robert Reardon (17%).

The other noteworthy result is that Maria Curtatone won the Register of Deeds Democratic primary (Middlesex Southern District). In this six-way race, Curtatone edged out Maryann Heuston by a 24% to 22% margin. Curtatone will be unopposed in the November general election. It must be noted that any election system that elects a candidate with less than a quarter of the vote in a winner-take-all, low-turnout, Thursday primary in September who will then be unopposed in November is a ridiculous way to conduct an election. It should also be noted that it may well have been the Curtatone robo-call recorded by her 10-year-old daughter Isabella Maria that provided the margin of victory. – RW

August 30, 2012

A word or two on the September 6 Primary Election

Filed under: 2012 election,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:29 pm

A word or two on the September 6 Primary Election:
First, if you are registered to vote, then you should vote – even if there is nothing meaningful on the ballot.

Second, there is almost nothing meaningful on the ballot.

[Where do I vote? Who’s on MY ballot? – Enter your address and Zip Code.
When you get the result, choose your Primary ballot (the colored bands near the top.]

I received a phone call earlier today telling me how important this coming week’s election was. I almost burst out laughing before hanging up. Meaningless elections have unfortunately become the norm in Massachusetts. It’s probably the fact that this is effectively a one-party state that makes most of our elections so meaningless. Contested primaries are virtually forbidden within the Democratic party with candidates sometimes being convinced to withdraw from contested primaries "for the good of the party." Ten years ago Marjorie Decker challenged incumbent Paul Demakis in the Democratic Primary and was roundly criticized by the party establishment. Marjorie won 66.5% of the Cambridge vote, but Demakis easily won the primary based on the majority of votes cast in Boston. Demakis was elected in November and later vacated his seat without finishing the term.

This year’s primary has a few interesting local contests – depending on which precinct you live in. Three credible Democrats (Robert Reardon, Jr., David Rogers, and Margaret Hegarty) are spending real money in the 24th Middlesex State Representative race. That district only includes two Cambridge precincts (11-1 and 11-3).

The 25th Middlesex State Representative Democratic Primary [includes Wards 4, 7, and 8; and Precincts 6-2, 6-3, 10-1, and 10-2] features Marjorie Decker, Gayle Johnson, and Lesley Rebecca Phillips. This is barely a contest with Marjorie Decker almost certain to win, but at least it’s contested. The general election is effectively uncontested. Who would have dreamed ten years ago that Alice Wolf’s coveted all-Cambridge House seat would be simply passed on in a no-contest election? Apparently, being an elected State Representative is about as attractive a job these days as flipping burgers at McDonalds.

The 26th Middlesex State Representative seat has no contested primary, but the novel "No Money" campaign of Mike Connolly (independent) against incumbent Timothy J. Toomey (Democrat) has drawn attention to the November election. Republican Thomas Vasconcelos will also be on the November ballot for that seat.

The Governor’s Council Sixth District Democratic primary has two candidates – incumbent Terrence W. Kennedy and Francis X. Flaherty. Frankly, I don’t know why the Governor’s Council still exists.

Roll of the dieThere are only two other contested primaries. The first is for Register of Deeds, Southern Middlesex District. I have no idea about the chances of any of the six Democrats seeking this seat (Thomas Concannon, Frank J. Ciano, Robert Antonelli, Maryann Heuston, Maria Curtatone, and Tiziano Doto). This will be an absurd winner-take-all contest without a runoff between six candidates in what will likely be a low turnout primary – followed by an uncontested general election in November. If the Massachusetts political establishment was one-tenth as progressive as they seem to think they are, they would abolish party primaries and replace them with an open primary followed by a November general election between the top two finishers in the primary (regardless of party). This, of course, will never happen. [Note: Campaign finance figures indicate that this is really more like a four-way race between Ciano, Heuston, Curtatone, and Doto. See figures at]

The other contested primary is among Republicans for the U.S. Congress 5th District (Ed Markey’s seat). Though Markey will likely trounce the Republican opposition in November, there is actually a contested Republican primary between candidates Frank Addinivola, Jeffrey Semon, and Tom Tierney.

There’s a complete roster of all candidates in the primary and general election at that includes some of the campaign finance totals for those candidates for which this information could be readily found. – Robert Winters

Polling Places for Thurs, Sept 6 Primary Election (updated for 2012)

June 21, 2012

Hasson J. Rashid Announces Write-In Candidacy for 25th Middlesex State House District

Filed under: 2012 election — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 11:59 am

Press Release – June 20, 2012

Campaign Announcement – Hasson J. Rashid

Write-In Candidate for 25th Middlesex State House District


Dear beloved public citizens and residence, this is an official notice directed, towards informing the public of Cambridge, MA of my intentions of becoming a Write-In Candidate. I, Mr. Hasson J. Rashid of 820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA have entered as a “Write-In Candidate for the Public Office,” that represent the “Twenty-Fifth Middlesex (25th) Commonwealth of Massachusetts Legislative District” of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. My registered voters party affiliation is that of Republican. As an older returning adult student, in May of 2003, I graduated from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA with an undergraduate BS degree in Human Service/ With a Specialization in Counseling. On May 12 of 2007, I graduated from Springfield College’s, MA School of Human Service, Springfield, MA, with a MS degree in Human Service Organizational Management Leadership, with instructions anchored in Springfield College’s guiding philosophy as Humanics, which emphasize the dedication of spirit, mind, and body. My academic experience has nurtured me to go out into the community, and practice caring, and this is the attitude I had to offer in 2009, when I enrolled in the School of Public Service, PhD degree program at Capella University, MN to major in Human Service/ with a Specialization in Management of Nonprofit Agencies.

I’m also the holder of a Paralegal Certificate and Diploma for studies undertaken at Bristol County Community College, MA and Northeastern University, MA. I have served in internships, been employed, and the holder of numerous volunteered position, relating directly and indirectly, to the occupation of civil rights /human service worker. I produce and host, two TV programs, entitled “Human Service News and Information,” and “The History Community Life and Diversities of Muslim Americans in New England.” I also hold the position of board member, in two community entities. The first of these is “Cambridge Community TV (CCTV)” of Cambridge, MA, a public access station, and the “Alliance of Cambridge Tenants (ACT),” a citywide low income tenant advocacy organization. I have also received graduate instructions in Museum Studies at the Harvard Extension School.

As a professional and volunteered TV broadcast journalist, human service professional and worker, and low income tenant/civil rights advocate, I have also work to prevent and eliminate, discrimination against individuals in the delivery of programs and services administered, and to make all programs and activities, accessible to people with disabilities. I’m engaged with diverse populations, who need accommodations, or who have questions or complaints related to discrimination, or the delivery of human services. With my education and training, in paralegal studies, I’m also able to help out in supporting the basic legal rights of our district’s human service consumers. My two TV programs serves as a supportive community voices, for the diverse segments of the population, that represent my weekly base of community television viewers. As a TV announcer of a human service news and information program, at CCTV Cambridge, MA, I broadcast important news and information weekly, from and about the human service sector and industry, as it exist, here in Eastern Massachusetts, New England, and beyond, to a diverse public of human service consumers. Both non-paid volunteered positions, involve service to a diverse population of citizens, and immigrant residents. The desired impact has been helping human service organizations, agencies, and government entities to render better services, towards helping individuals and families, in becoming better human beings.

I worship as a practicing Muslim American with a quasi-mixtures of devotees from every corner of the earth here in Cambridge, MA. The idea of giving back to the community is foremost in my mind, and at the roots of my community commitments, as an American convert to the Islamic faith, and as Human Service professional Scholar-Practitioner, TV broadcaster, host, and producer of weekly TV Program, entitled “Human Service News and Information,” and board member, of a “Non-Commercial/ Nonprofit Community Public Access TV Station, and board member of a “city wide, low Income housing tenant advocacy organization,” in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

All write-ins votes on my behalf should include my correct name and address as mentioned above. Courts have ruled that a vote should be counted whenever the intent of the voter can reasonably be determined, even if a voter omits the candidate’s address or makes a mistake in the name or address. In O’Brien v. Board of Election Commissioners, 257 Mass. 332, 338-339, 153 N.E. 553, 556 (1926) the court said “that if the intent of the voter can be determined with reasonable certainty from an inspection of the ballot, in the light of the generally known conditions attendant upon the election, effect must be given to that intent… The omission of the residence … on some ballots on which the name had been written by the voters rightly was found not to invalidate such votes.” Maiewski v. Board of Registrars of Voters, 347 Mass. 681, 199 N.E. 2d 680 (1964). This includes where a voter fails to complete the vote indicator next to the write-in space – the write-in or sticker vote will still be counted.

My sole intent in this communiqué is to inform you the public at large, residents and citizens of the 25th Middlesex of Cambridge, MA, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that I enter as a Write-In Candidate for public office being abandon by Rep. Alice Wolf. I thank you all in advance for your Write Ins.

Yours In Peace,
Mr. Hasson J. Rashid

Note: This House district is currently represented by Rep. Alice Wolf who is not seeking reelection this year.

June 19, 2012

Mike “No Money” Connolly Announces Candidacy for 26th Middlesex House District

Filed under: 2012 election — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 7:12 pm

Press Release – June 19, 2012
Campaign Announcement – Mike "No Money" Connolly
26th Middlesex State House District

It’s 7:23am on a Tuesday.

Like most weekdays at this time, I am getting ready to walk down to Lechmere to catch the Green Line into work. My fiancée Kacy is feeding our two cats, and in just a few minutes, she’ll hop on her bike and pedal over to her office in Porter Square.

It’s another perfectly average day for us, with one exception…

This morning, I am announcing my clean, “No Money” campaign to serve the people of Cambridge and Somerville as Representative in General Court for the 26th Middlesex State House District.

I am not a politician, but I am running to be your new State Representative because I understand that the people of Cambridge and Somerville are working harder than ever – just to make ends meet – and yet, when we look to our state legislature, we see a system that is clearly broken.

Beacon Hill is a place where corporate lobbyists and party leaders team up to put the interests of the rich and powerful ahead of our common needs. Meanwhile, rank-and-file legislators are granted a few favors in exchange for quietly going along with the status quo. In the end, the progressive issues that really matter to us—such as public transportation, single-payer healthcare, clean elections, and global warming—are neglected, rejected, nullified, and ignored.

Of course, talking about change is easy — politicians do that all the time. To transcend the status quo, we have to actually be the change we wish to see…

A few months ago, I started knocking on doors and meeting with local progressives. I told everyone the same thing: I want to be your new State Representative, but I do not want to raise any money to run for this public office. Instead, I want you to donate your attention, your energy, your knowledge, your ideas, and your artwork — and together, we will set a powerful, new example for our democracy.

Together, we quickly organized a successful signature drive to earn an independent spot on the November ballot, and then we were featured in the Huffington Post, on the Occupy Boston website, and in local blogs.

Meanwhile, over 40 volunteers have signed up to get involved, and we’re now assembling a structured operation, complete with a campaign manager, an issues committee, and a homemade-sign-making team. In addition, we’ve also received more than 200 individual contributions, each in the amount of $0.00.

In the coming weeks and months, we intend to ask some tough questions: Why did our legislature shackle the MBTA with billions of dollars of debt from the Big Dig?  When will the legislature finally settle on a plan to pay for the Green Line Extension? Why can’t the state help us turn the McGrath Highway into a liveable city street? And is there a conflict of interest when one individual holds two public offices at the same time?

I hope you will join us as we work to answer these questions, but right now, I need to get going, or else I will be late for work! But don’t worry — come this weekend, I will be going door-to-door, working as hard as I possibly can to earn your support as the “Progressive Independent” candidate in the November election. I hope to see you around soon!

Sincerely yours,
Mike Connolly

Note: This House district is currently represented by Rep. Timothy J. Toomey.

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