Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

November 14, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 269-270: Nov 14, 2017

Episode 269 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 14, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topic: Post-Election Notes – Part 1. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 270 – Cambridge InsideOut: Nov 14, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Nov 14, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topic: Post-Election Notes – Part 2. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

November 13, 2017

Featured Items on the Nov 13, 2017 City Council Agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,campaign finance,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:13 am

Featured Items on the Nov 13, 2017 City Council Agenda

City HallFor the moment at least, all six incumbents who ran to retain their seats seem to have been reelected. We’ll know for sure on Friday (Nov 17) unless the closeness of the results warrants a recount. In the meantime, here are a few items of interest on this week’s agenda.

Manager’s Agenda #2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $2,274,829 from Free Cash to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund. Funds appropriated to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund will be used to fund specific projects which will require individual appropriations by the City Council for the related projects in the future.

Manager’s Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from the Planning Board to adopt the Alexandria Zoning Petition regarding Innovation Space in the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Districts.

Manager’s Agenda #14. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report 16-86, regarding a report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge; and Awaiting Report 17-84, regarding potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge.

This is a topic that deserves a lot more discussion than was ever permitted in either the NLTP Committee (no idea why it would even be discussed as part of "neighborhood and long-term planning" or "public facilities" or "arts and celebrations") or the Government Operations Committee. It’s not something Cambridge could even do without approval from the State Legislature and it’s not at all clear that such approval would be forthcoming. In addition, there has been no indication of what scale of funding would be asked – and that’s important in light of the fact that the total campaign expendtitures for the recent City Council election now totals about $600,000 and climbing. The correlation between campaign spending and electoral results is also not at all clear. The cost per #1 vote as of today among successful City Council campaigns runs from a low of $9.75 to a high of $33.50 (these numbers will rise).

It’s also worth noting that MANY Cambridge voters are now consulting the Cambridge Candidate Pages and other resources to learn about candidates, and that costs NOTHING. Indeed the number of visitors to the Cambridge Candidate Pages last week went like this: Nov 4: 1,082; Nov 5: 1699; Nov 6: 6,632; Nov 7 (Election Day): 11,058; Nov 8: 3,584; Nov 9: 941. That’s a lot of visits for an election that had about 22,600 voters, and the Cambridge Candidate Pages aren’t even linked from any City website.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to appoint a Transportation Task Force to develop a large and comprehensive street safety and education plan that speaks to the needs of bicyclist, motorists, and pedestrians, and that can be easily disseminated and understood by all citizens. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Simmons on Oct 30, 2017]

At this point I’m leaning toward the belief that we should transition toward a single Transportation Board that has subcommittees for transit, motor vehicles, bicycling, and pedestrians. Single issue advocacy has become King and ideas like balance and collaboration among stakeholders has become all but lost. It’s become militant with single-issue advocates using social media to pack any and all meetings. I gave up going to these meetings. It’s become just Bad Political Theater at this point and, contrary to claims of relative safety, it’s really all about turf – establish a beachhead and then defend it even against reasonable criticism.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City departments and report back to the City Council with an update on the City’s plans to expand the curbside composting program citywide.   Councillor Cheung

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Oct 12, 2017 to discuss a Zoning Petition filed by Christopher D. Smith, et al., to create a new Section 13.913 Graduate Student Housing Production Requirement. This petition would require new graduate housing to be built in conjunction with the development of commercial uses in the proposed Planned Unit Development 7 District as well as a phasing plan to implement graduate housing development.

Everyone agrees with the idea that MIT and other universities should provide adequate housing options for their students. As we saw with the recent Volpe Petition, this has been acknowledged by MIT and they are planning accordingly. This Smith Petition, on the other hand, is not only moot but misdirected. – Robert Winters

2017 Cambridge Election Results – Bar Graphs

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:08 am

City Council Unofficial Election Results (Wed, Nov 8, PDF, 2 pgs.)
Elected (in order of election): Simmons, Siddiqui, McGovern, Devereux, Zondervan, Mallon, Toomey, Carlone, Kelley

School Committee Unofficial Election Results (Wed, Nov 8, PDF, 1 pg.)
Elected: Nolan, Bowman, Dexter, Fantini, Kelley, Kimbrough

In addition to the spreadsheets, you may also be interested in seeing this displayed graphically, e.g. with bar graphs. If you click on either of these you’ll find a bar at the bottom that will enable you to click through the rounds one-by-one to watch how the transfers proceed.

2017CouncilCounts
2017SchoolCounts

November 5, 2017

Cambridge School Committee 2017 Campaign Finance Summaries and $/Vote

Cambridge School Committee 2017 Campaign Finance Summaries

CandidateFromToStartReceiptsExpendBalanceLiabilities#1 Votes$/Vote
Bowman, Mannika1/1/1610/28/17$2,005.37 $16,749.72 $12,768.39$5,986.70$0.002768$4.61
Cronin, Fran1/1/1610/30/17$3,095.36$24,406.00$15,890.34$11,611.02$0.001572$10.11
Crutchfield, Jacob1/1/1610/20/17$41.07$5,206.00$4,362.56$884.51$0.001039$4.20
Dexter, Emily1/1/1610/20/17$2,575.32$2,520.00$2,874.89$2,220.43$4,655.382378$1.21
Fantini, Fred1/1/1610/24/17$5,475.07$6,250.00$5,204.80$6,520.27$14,395.992728$1.91
Kadete, Elechi1/1/1610/26/17$48.48$5,644.00$2,856.99$2,835.49$0.00846$3.38
Kelly, Kathleen1/1/1610/20/17$5,687.05$12,245.00$3,612.03$14,320.02$3,000.001882$1.92
Kimbrough, Laurance1/1/1710/28/17$0.00$8,349.13$7,177.87$1,171.26$0.001856$3.87
MacArthur, Will11/4/1610/20/17$0.00$5,242.43$2,195.65$3,046.78$0.00795$2.76
Mitros, Piotr1/1/1710/30/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00511$0.00
Nolan, Patty1/1/1610/20/17$80.24$6,885.00$6,299.45$665.79$8,850.003458$1.82
Weinstein, David1/1/1610/20/17$1,604.03$3145.00$2,941.94$1,807.09$0.00797$3.69
School Committee Campaign Finance 2017 - updated Nov 27, 2017

The receipts and expenses shown cover the period from Jan 1, 2016 through the 2017 pre-election reports. The totals will be updated after the election and at the end of the year.

Vote!

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (Nov 5, 2017)

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:50 am

Members Sought for Cambridge Council on Aging Board

City SealOct 23, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking individuals to serve on the Cambridge Council on Aging Board and help advocate for important senior issues. Applicants must be age 60 or older and a Cambridge resident.

The purpose of the Council on Aging Board is to: promote and encourage existing and new services and activities intended to enhance and improve the quality of life of older persons in the city; advise the City Manager on all matters pertaining to the welfare of elderly Cambridge citizens; and advocate for Cambridge elderly residents. Board members also support the Council on Aging and Senior Center staff with community outreach related to senior services, benefits, activities and programs.

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 20, 2017. Applications to serve on these committees 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.


Member Sought for Cambridge Planning Board Vacancy

City SealOct 4, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Planning Board. Planning Board members must be residents of the city; and women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Cambridge Planning Board plays a significant role in planning for the future of the city and oversees its development and growth as prescribed by zoning. The Planning Board serves a quasi-judicial role as the special permit granting authority for certain types of development proposals, especially large projects. In evaluating special permits on behalf of the city, the board conducts public hearings and votes on the project based on the proposal’s conformance with the provisions of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. The board also makes policy recommendations to the City Council about proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, and engages in general planning efforts related to land use and development within the city. The work involves reviewing and commenting on building and site plans, planning and engineering studies, and zoning documents.

The Planning Board meets approximately three times each month. Meetings take place on Tuesday evenings, each lasting approximately 3-4 hours. Meetings are open to the public and are video and audio recorded. As part of their time commitment, board members are expected to review application and petition materials prior to each meeting. Materials typically include development plans, impact studies, narrative descriptions, provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, information from city departments, written comments from the public, and other documents. The board typically reviews 1-3 major cases at each meeting. Occasionally, representatives of the Planning Board may be appointed to other city committees and working groups.

Ideal candidates would possess the ability to participate in a collaborative process, work with other Board members to consider diverse ideas, and reach a decision. Members should also have strong attentiveness and listening skills. While there is no requirement for a technical background, interest and understanding of development, architecture, urban design, and zoning is desirable.

Interested persons should submit a resume and a brief letter to City Manager DePasquale describing their interest. Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply and finding “Planning Board” in the list of Current Vacancies. 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 Monday, November 13, 2017.

November 4, 2017

Age and Turnout: comparing the 2015 and 2017 Cambridge elections

Filed under: 2015 Election,2017 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 10:48 pm

As we get ready for this year’s 2017 Cambridge municipal election, here are a few "Fun Facts":

The total number of registered voters for the Nov 2017 election is 66,354. Their median age is 37.9. Here’s how their ages (as of Election Day – Nov 7, 2017) are distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Voter age - 2017
Registered Voters – 2017

For the Nov 2015 election, there were 63,338 registered voters with identified birthdates. Their median age was 38.7. Here’s how their ages (as of Election Day – Nov 3, 2015) were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters - 2015
Registered Voters – 2015

Of these registered voters, 17,959 voted in the 2015 municipal election. Their median age was 56.0. Here’s how their ages were distributed (in 3-year intervals):

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2015 Municipal Election

If you compare 2015 and 2017, you can see that most of the gains in registered voters are in the younger age ranges – especially the 24-29 range.

compare 2015 and 2017

It will be interesting to see if these shifts will be reflected in the age distribution of those who vote in the Nov 2017 election.


The total voter turnout has dropped over the years but has remained relatively stable for the last several municipal elections.

Voter Turnout - Cambridge Municipal Elections

% Turnout - Cambridge Municipal Elections

Turnout data - Cambridge municipal elections

Cambridge Candidate Pages – 2017

Cambridge Candidate Pages – 2017
http://vote.cambridgecivic.com

Vote!The biennial Cambridge municipal election is only a few days away – Tuesday, November 7. There are 26 candidates on the ballot for 9 seats on the Cambridge City Council, and 12 candidates on the ballot for 6 seats on the Cambridge School Committee.

In Cambridge’s proportional representation (PR) elections, you may vote for as many candidates as you please, but you must rank your choices. Give a #1 rank to your top choice, a #2 rank to your next choice, etc. Ranking additional candidates will not hurt your top choice(s). If you assign the same rank to more than one candidate, none of those candidates will receive your vote. To prevent this, incorrectly cast ballots will be rejected and returned to you for correction. This way every vote will count as intended.

Many Cambridge voters have not yet decided who should get their #1 vote in each of these races, and many more voters have not yet thought much about who will get their #2, #3, etc. votes.

Most of the candidates in this year’s election have provided detailed responses on a number of topics relevant to the offices they seek. Their individual Candidate Pages also provide contact information and links to their own websites. New information is added daily and will continue to be added right up until Election Day.

All of the individual Candidate Pages are accessed by clicking on each candidate’s picture in the photo gallery at http://vote.cambridgecivic.com. Additional election-related information is also provided at this site.

Please read as much as you can about all of the candidates and make informed choices.

Thanks,
Robert Winters
Cambridge Civic Journal


Cambridge Candidates Pages – http://vote.cambridgecivic.com
Cambridge Civic Journal – http://rwinters.com
CCJ Forum – http://cambridgecivic.com

October 31, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 267-268: Oct 31, 2017

Episode 267 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 31, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 31, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics: The upcoming Nov 7, 2017 municipal election. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 268 – Cambridge InsideOut: Oct 31, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Oct 31, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: The upcoming Nov 7, 2017 municipal election. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

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