Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

June 20, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 235-236: June 20, 2017

Episode 235 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 20, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on June 20, 2017 at 5:30pm. Our guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Sean Tierney. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Learn more about Sean Tierney at:

Episode 236 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 20, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on June 20, 2017 at 6:00pm. Our guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Adriane Musgrave. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Learn more about Adriane Musgrave at:

Adriane’s Campaign Kickoff event is June 24 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Christopher’s in Porter Square.

[Materials used in these episodes]

June 13, 2017

Catching Up on the Cambridge News – June 13, 2017

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:49 am

Political Updates

June 10 – We have a new City Council candidate: Gwen Volmar

June 9 – We have a new School Committee candidate: Laurance Kimbrough

June 7 – We have a new City Council candidate: Jeffrey Santos

The following City Council candidates have either had or scheduled a campaign kickoff event or fomally announced their candidacy (15):
Ron Benjamin, Dennis Carlone, Olivia D’Ambrosio, Jan Devereux, Sam Gebru, Craig A. Kelley, Alanna Mallon, Marc McGovern, Nadya Okamoto, Jeffrey Santos, Sumbul Siddiqui, Vatsady Sivongxay, Sean Tierney, Paul Toner, and Quinton Zondervan.

The following individuals have not yet formally announced their candidacy but are expected to be City Council candidates (3):
Adriane B. Musgrave, E. Denise Simmons, Gwen Volmar

The following individuals have not yet announced their City Council candidacy and it’s not yet clear if they will (3):
Dennis Benzan, Leland Cheung, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

The following School Committee candidates have either had or scheduled a campaign kickoff event or fomally announced their candidacy (6):
Manikka Bowman, Fran Cronin, Emily Dexter, Kathleen Kelly, Laurance Kimbrough, Will MacArthur

The following individuals have not yet formally announced their candidacy but are expected to be School Committee candidates (3):
Alfred B. Fantini, Richard Harding, Jr., Patricia M. Nolan

2017 Cambridge
Candidate Pages

2017 Campaign Event Listings and Candidate Forums
[Note: Only events open to the general public (with or without RSVP) will be listed.]

Campaign Finance Reports –
2017 City Council

Cambridge Retail Strategic Plan

City SealThe City is currently preparing a Retail Strategic Plan to determine best practice policies and programs that will support and enhance the retail environment in Cambridge. The consultant team Larisa Ortiz Associates (LOA) and the Community Development Department’s Economic Development Division are leading the planning efforts and will identify short and long-term goals to propose for the City’s retail retention and recruitment strategy.

On Wednesday, June 14, 2017 please join us and the City Council’s Economic Development and University Relations Committee at City Hall for a public hearing to discuss the final recommendations from Larisa Ortiz Associates in regards to the Retail Strategic Plan. Policy and programmatic opportunities related to the retail environment in Cambridge will also be discussed.

Meeting details:
Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm
Date: June 14, 2017
Location: Sullivan Chambers, Cambridge City Hall

For additional updates on the Retail Strategy, please visit:

City Dance Party Friday, June 30, 7-11pm
Mass Ave. will be Closed to Traffic but Open for Dancing!

Join thousands of Cambridge residents and visitors who will gather on Massachusetts Avenue in front of Cambridge City Hall (795 Massachusetts Ave.) for the City’s 20th Annual Dance Party. The portion of Mass. Ave., between Prospect and Bigelow streets, will be closed to traffic from 7pm – Midnight but open for dancing. This event is free and open to the public. MBTA: Red Line to Central Square.

The annual dance extravaganza with DJ spun music is a special opportunity for the entire Cambridge community to celebrate summer. After dark, colorful lights will be launched, adding to the magic of the evening.

PLEASE NOTE: MBTA #1 Bus Line will terminate in Central Square at 6pm and is expected to resume full service by Midnight. (Take the Red Line subway to travel between Central & Harvard Squares). The closest subway stop to the Dance Party is Central Square, then two blocks to City Hall.

For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at 617-349-4301 or

Dance Party 2017

Cambridge Council on Aging Public Forum on Scams, Healthy Relationships, and Personal Wellbeing – June 22

City SealCambridge’s Council on Aging is hosting the public forum “Empowering Older Adults – Scams, Healthy Relationships and Personal Well-Being” Thursday, June 22, from 12:30-3:00pm, at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue. Prior to the performance, a mini-Resource Fair will take place at 12:30 p.m. Various agencies providing specific assistance in regard to resources and support addressing specific needs of older adults will be present. Light refreshments will be served.

As part of World Elder Abuse Awareness campaign, please join us for a performance with True Story Theater to increase awareness about elder abuse. Stories of actual challenges faced by older adults will be dramatized by the troupe. This program is presented by the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition and the performance was generously funded through a Tufts Health Plan Foundation grant.

This event is free. Registration is requested but not required. To register for this public forum, contact Susan Pacheco at or call 617-349-6220.

Household Hazardous Waste Day Scheduled for Saturday, June 17th at the Volpe Transportation Center
Fire extinguishers now accepted

The City of Cambridge is sponsoring a Household Hazardous Waste collection day on Saturday, June 17th, from 9am to 1pm at Volpe Transportation Center – Parking Lot 4. Residents should access the lot via Munroe off Third St. Please see the map below.

Hazardous Waste Collection

This event is free and open to Cambridge residents (proof of Cambridge residency required), and for the first time, fire extinguishers will now be accepted at the event.

Proper disposal of household chemicals helps protect public health and the environment. Learn more about accepted materials, other guidelines, and future dates by clicking here, visiting, or calling Public Works at 617-349-4800.

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 Program Aims to Bolster Local Renewable Energy Use
Cambridge uses the bulk buying power of the entire community to negotiate a better prices

Electric TowerStarting with August utility bills, Cambridge residents and businesses currently enrolled in Eversource Basic Service will begin to receive cleaner electricity through the launch of the Cambridge Community Electricity program. In addition to increasing the amount of renewable energy in the city’s electricity supply, the Cambridge Community Electricity program will provide cost savings to Cambridge customers at the time of its launch. This new program uses the bulk buying power of the entire community to negotiate a better price for the Supplier Services portion of electricity bills, a process called electricity aggregation. Participants will be able to opt-out of the program at any time without penalty or fee.

“Through the Cambridge Community Electricity program, the City is furthering our commitment to combatting climate change by increasing the amount of renewable energy in our community’s electricity supply,” said Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager. The Cambridge Community Electricity program rates is fixed from July 2017 through January 2019 at a price lower than Eversource Basic Service at program launch. Though future cost savings are not guaranteed, the goal of the program’s fixed rate is to provide savings when compared with the average cost of the changing Eversource Basic Service prices.

Cambridge residents and businesses who currently receive Eversource Basic Service will be automatically enrolled in the Cambridge Community Electricity program’s Standard Green option, available for 10.486 cents/kWh (the current Eversource Basic Service rate is 10.759 cents/kWh). This option includes 25% more solar energy than required by the state, derived from renewable energy projects in or near Cambridge.

Residents and businesses also have the option of enrolling in 100% Green, which provides 100% renewable electricity generated by projects throughout New England. This option is available by request for 12.180 cents/kWh. “The Cambridge Community Electricity program reflects the City’s commitment to the Net Zero Action Plan. Increasing renewable energy options for residents and businesses brings us closer to achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development.

Electricity delivery, outage issues, and billing will continue to be handled by Eversource, and those who are eligible for discounts through Eversource will continue to receive the same benefits. Residents with solar panels on their property will continue to receive net metering credits, which will continue to be calculated based on the Eversource Basic Service rate.

Eligible customers will receive detailed letters about the program in June and the public is invited to attend any of the following information sessions:

Tuesday, June 13
Citywide Senior Center
806 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Monday, June 26
City Hall Annex
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

To opt-out prior to the program’s July launch, requests must be submitted by July 5, 2017 to Agera Energy at 1-888-589-7790 or online at, or by signing and returning the reply card received in the mail.

For additional information, visit the program website at Questions or comments can be directed to Cambridge Community Electricity program consultants at 1-844-379-9934 or

May 16, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 227-228: May 16, 2017

Episode 227 – Cambridge InsideOut: May 16, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on May 16, 2017 at 5:30pm. Our guest co-host again was Patrick Barrett. In this program we had a free-wheeling discussion about Cambridge politics and especially the municipal election. We delved into the individual candidates during the 2nd half hour. Robert Winters was the other host. [On YouTube]

Episode 228 – Cambridge InsideOut: May 16, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on May 16, 2017 at 6:00pm. Our guest co-host again was Patrick Barrett. In this program we took a look at all the current City Council candidates, their political bases, and their viability. Robert Winters was the other host. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

May 2, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 223-224: May 2, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 223 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on May 2, 2017 at 5:30pm. The main topic was the 2017 municipal election and some recent developments in the field of candidates. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 224 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on May 2, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: FY2018 Budget Hearings, Ranked Choice Voting in Cambridge and elsewhere. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

March 29, 2017

Nadya Okamoto Announces Candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 2:36 pm

Nadya Okamoto Announces Candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Nadya OkamotoMar 29, 2017 – Nadya Okamoto, a 19-year-old nonprofit director and global advocate for youth empowerment and gender equality, officially launched her campaign for Cambridge City Council early this morning. Okamoto announced her candidacy in a video discussing her background, commitment to Cambridge, and key issues addressed in her progressive campaign platform.

“Right now, Cambridge as a city needs to highlight and implement specific solutions for affordable housing, economic opportunity, and education equity,” says Okamoto. She announced that her run for City Council is for:

  • Young people in Cambridge to have direct representation and trust in their government
  • Families struggling to find adequate and stable housing
  • Maximizing the potential of how local universities can contribute to Cambridge
  • Equitable opportunities in education and employment for all Cambridge residents
  • Progress towards an even more environmentally-friendly city

Nadya is the Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD, a global organization providing and celebrating menstrual hygiene through advocacy, education, and service. She founded the organization when she was just 16-years-old after her family experienced living without a home of their own. Since its founding in 2014, the organization has addressed almost 80,000 periods, reaching student advocates at over 65 campuses, and engaging over 5 million people in the message of normalizing periods.

With her background in grassroots organizing, activism, and community capacity building — and her personal connection to the key issues many underserved Cantabrigians face every day, Okamoto will bring a much needed, complementary perspective to City Council. “Whether it be fighting for affordable housing, educational equity, worker’s rights, or our environment, I’ll be right there with you as one of your city councillors, acting as a megaphone for all Cambridge residents,” says Okamoto.

Nadya OkamotoNadya Okamoto, a first-year student at Harvard College, is working with a full-time campaign team of young people eager to engage Cambridge voters — and not just student voters. Okamoto says that this campaign is bigger than her and her team — and hopes the initiative will also spur other young people across the United States to have confidence in the value of their voices and necessity of their civic leadership. While Nadya is excited by the unexpected national and international media attention she has already received and opportunity to model civic leadership for youth, she emphasizes that her campaign intends to win and above all to bring attention to long-standing issues that demand greater participation and innovative solutions.

“I do what I do because my purpose is to love and build community while uplifting others, and reconcile the privilege, voice, and passion that I have to serve and make a difference wherever I am and with whatever I have.”

To learn more about Nadya and her platform, visit

2017 Cambridge Candidate Pages

March 28, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 215-216: March 28, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 215 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on March 28, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics chosen from the Mar 27 Cambridge City Council meeting. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 216 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on March 28, 2017 at 6:00pm. The main topic was a survey of the potential City Council and School Committee candidates in the 2017 Cambridge municipal election, and the Cambridge Candidate Pages. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in this episode]

March 27, 2017

Quinton Zondervan announces candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 10:27 am

Business leader and environmental advocate Quinton Zondervan announces candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Mar 27, 2017 – Respected Cambridge business leader and environmental advocate Quinton Zondervan has declared his candidacy for Cambridge City Council in this November’s election.Quinton Zondervan

"I’ve been a community activist in Cambridge for over a decade and thoroughly enjoy the hard work of on the ground democracy, organizing people and building a future together," said Zondervan. "I very much look forward to doing even more as city councillor."

Out of the gate, Quinton has the support of three of the most progressive incumbents on the council, Nadeem Mazen, Jan Devereux and Dennis Carlone. "Quinton’s track record as an effective and forward-thinking advocate on environmental initiatives is impressive, and I think his expertise and positive outlook would be an asset to us on the Council," Devereux said.

Quinton is known for co-authoring the Net Zero Connolly petition in 2013, which led to the city’s innovative Net Zero Action Plan to reduce climate causing greenhouse emissions from building energy use to 0 in the city over the next 25 years. Petition namesake and now State Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge), said: "Quinton’s leadership and expertise were critical to our success with the net zero petition, and he would be a great addition to the council, where his voice is much needed on sustainability, social justice and affordability in Cambridge."

To protect the integrity of his candidacy, Quinton will not accept money from real estate developers or other special interests seeking to influence the council election. "Cambridge voters deserve to know that their interests are being represented on the city council. The money we raise to run our campaign is not to be used as a vehicle for gaining undue influence over decisions I will make as city councillor," he said.

An official campaign launch event is planned for later in the spring. The campaign website is

March 10, 2017

Paul Toner Declares Candidacy for Cambridge City Council

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,City Council,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 2:10 pm

Paul Toner Declares Candidacy for Cambridge City Council
Lifelong Cambridge resident, parent, education leader and activist announces run for Cambridge City Council with support of community leaders

Paul TonerMarch 10, 2017 – The Toner for City Council campaign released the following statement today:

Paul Toner is a lifelong resident of Cambridge who has chosen to live and work, as well as raise and educate his children in the city. An attorney and former Cambridge Public Schools teacher and lawyer, Paul went on to become one of the most influential public education leaders in the state as President of the 110,000 member Massachusetts Teachers Association. He is currently the Executive Director of Teach Plus Massachusetts and has served on the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and numerous education committees.

Paul Lonergan, Campaign Chairman for the Committee to Elect Paul Toner stated “I have known Paul Toner for many years. He is a good friend and great dad. He has been a proven leader in his career and the community and will bring common sense leadership to the City Council. I am proud to support him in this campaign.”

"I’ve had the privilege of working with Paul for many years on education and economic issues at the state and local level. I know he’ll work tirelessly with everyone to keep our city diverse and affordable." Said David Sullivan, North Cambridge resident and former City Councillor.

“Paul will be an incredibly effective advocate for all of Cambridge,” current City Councilor David Maher said. “Paul has spent his career bringing people together to make progress towards a vision of shared prosperity and a government that works for everyone. I know he will do the same as a City Councilor.”

Toner said “Eighteen years ago, I was David Maher’s campaign manager for his first City Council race. I know how long ago it was because my daughter was 6 months old as I toted her around the city campaigning for David. She is now 18, a senior at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School and is preparing for college in the fall.”

“Throughout my life and career as a teacher, lawyer, union leader, and public school parent, I have sought to serve my community. I see running for the City Council at this time as an extension of this work and as an opportunity to use my skills, experience, and wealth of knowledge to make a meaningful impact on the council.”

“I have seen enormous changes in our community and there are new challenges ahead. I believe I can help to bring old and new Cambridge together. Through open and respectful public discourse that is so sorely needed in our political conversations right now, we can make real progress on the challenges that we face. As a leader, I have sought to build consensus to make policy decisions based on collaboration, open dialogue, and data. I am confident that I can bring the same spirit of respect and collaboration to the council. I will work with the council members, staff, and constituents to provide the solutions-oriented leadership necessary to develop and implement a vision for our city that preserves the best of our past and prepares us for the future.”

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