Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 11, 2017

Fall Semester at the Sullivan School – Sept 11, 2017 City Council Agenda Highlights

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council,elections — Tags: , , , , , — Robert Winters @ 2:41 am

Fall Semester at the Sullivan School – Sept 11, 2017 City Council Agenda Highlights

City HallThe City Council returns from Summer Vacation this week. In addition to appropriation requests for a wide range of essential programs, here’s a look at what seems interesting – at least to me.

Manager’s Agenda #15. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-45, regarding a report on formulating a plan that will provide relief and fair compensation to liquor license holders that have been impacted by dramatic devaluing of their liquor licenses, and Awaiting Report Item Number 17-72, regarding an update on the progress and plan to address the concerns relative to the sale of liquor licenses. [Reports from City Solicitor and License Commission Chair]

This City Solicitor’s response is pretty much what was logically expected. The final paragraph states: "Therefore, in my opinion, the License Commission has no legal obligation to provide compensation to alcohol license holders who may be experiencing a devaluation of their alcohol license on the private market. There may be ways that the License Commission could mitigate the devaluation of certain alcohol licenses, such as by exercising its discretion not to issue new alcohol licenses, but there is nothing of which we are aware that would require the License Commission to do so."

The true value of a liquor license is in the income it can generate in the normal course of business. It was never meant to be a retirement investment. Like taxi medallions and confederate currency, not all things were meant to have lasting value.

Manager’s Agenda #16. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Harvard Square Conservation District Study Committee, effective Sept 1, 2017: Christopher Mackin, Jerry Murphy, Christopher Angelakis, Jessica Sculley, William Barry, Joseph Ferrara and Kyle Sheffield.

Manager’s Agenda #18. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a member of the Central Square Advisory Committee for a term of three years, effective Sept 11, 2017: Tahir Kapoor

Never underestimate the value of our volunteer citizen boards and commissions. Congratulations and thank you to all the appointees.

Charter Right #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a Non-Binding Public Opinion Advisory Question Petition filed with the Election Commission on July 14, 2017. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Cheung on Aug 7, 2017]

It’s likely that we’ll have more posturing on this issue at this meeting. It’s worth noting, by the way, that the mailing address for the petitioners is the business address for Councillor Mazen.

There is a worthwhile conversation to be had regarding various ways to level the playing field for candidates, but this is not the way to do it. For starters, the statement of the petitioners reads more like an accusation than a proposal. More importantly, the proposal asks voters to "buy a pig in a poke". There are no specifics provided – only that public financing of political campaigns is to be supported like motherhood and apple pie. I will simply suggest that if a voter understood this to mean that new candidates would receive a small stipend to get their campaign started there might be a fair amount of support. On the other hand, if the goal is to grant $50,000 to every candidate to waste in any way they see fit, it’s almost certain that voters would not support this. The details matter. It also matters that we use PR elections in Cambridge, and slates would certainly be formed just to aggregate money to support the slate candidates.

It’s worth noting that Communication #12 comes from Adam Strich, the person who delivered the signatures to the Election Commission for this proposed ballot question. His words should make clear where these petitioners are coming from: "It’s hardly a secret that more than a few councillors are in the pocket of special interests, big developer in particular. I would imagine, however, that you didn’t enter into public service aspiring to become corporate stooges and shills. But whatever idealism you may have had was gradually eroded by the realities of local politics – in particular, by the need to maintain a war chest large enough to fund the practically endless campaigning required of you. All of that is completely understandable; I’m not here to judge. I would hope, though, that you retain some sense of unease regarding this state of affairs, and that such feelings would lead you to embrace the opportunity to provide public funding for municipal election campaigns, so that you can finally serve the hardworking residents of this great city, rather than your current robber baron overlords. Thank you."

Councillor Toomey has a somewhat different view. See Order #23. Perhaps throwing even more money into the furnace of municipal election campaigns isn’t really the answer.

Applications & Petitions #1. A zoning petition has been received from Christopher D. Smith, et al., to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by adding sections and provisions to Article 13.000 regarding Graduate Student Housing Production Requirements.

Some candidates and advocates have been referring to this as the MIT graduate student petition. However, it didn’t come from the MIT Graduate Student Union and, in fact, 4 of the 16 signers are new City Council candidates hoping to exploit the controversy. Most people will agree that MIT should be providing more housing for graduate students and possibly for post-docs. In fact, MIT agrees. How much graduate housing is appropriate is open to question and should not be prescribed in zoning. Most MIT graduates have preferred to live off-campus and generally choose to do so as long as they can find a place where they can afford the rent. Hopefully MIT can provide greater clarity regarding its plans to build more graduate (and undergraduate) student housing – both how much and where – between now and the vote on the Volpe Petition. Perhaps a Memorandum of Understanding can be signed with some commitments. That would be the better approach.

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments to streamline recording and transcription requirements in line with those currently in place for the Planning Board for the Board of Zoning Appeal and the Historical Commission.   Councillor Devereux

There does come a point of diminishing returns. Is it really that important to have a play-by-play of every discussion regarding dormers, paint colors, and types of shingles?

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to update the City Council on a Police Substation in Central Square.   Mayor Simmons

I’ll once again say that a multi-service space for police, MBTA workers, and public information – with a public bathroom – would have been the right approach. Separate little huts for each of these purposes isn’t the best plan. We could, however, use a little more police presence in Central Square regardless.

Order #10. That the City Manager update the City Council on progress for the goal of 1,000 New Affordable Units by the end of the decade.   Mayor Simmons

If you factor in all the Inclusionary units in the pipeline we might actually be doing pretty well. However, the greater problem is not the number of regulated "affordable units" so much as the general loss of affordability in market housing, and that can only be solved regionally. I hate to break it to you Cambridge, but you cannot house the world unilaterally.

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to provide an update on the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space Planning Study.   Councillor Toomey

This is useful information in the ongoing discussion of the Volpe Petition. What will the Big Picture be for residents and workers navigating their way through the greater Kendall Square area when everything is built out?

Order #15. That the City Manager is requested to confer with City staff to identify and share with the City Council possible solutions to regulatory or legislative gaps on the local or state level that would help clarify how emerging types of conveyances can most safely and effectively be incorporated into Cambridge’s Urban Mobility planning and infrastructure investments.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Cheung

Order #17. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Police Commissioner and the Fire Chief with the view in mind of creating and developing city wide alternate routes for fire apparatus and emergency police vehicles in an emergency situation that would avoid travel routes where there is backed up traffic.   Councillor Toomey

Order #18. That the City Manager is requested to determine the feasibility of procuring additional fire apparatus, especially rescue vehicles and ambulances, in the East Cambridge and the Port area.   Councillor Toomey

Every day I see how some of the City’s well-intentioned roadway reallocations effectively choke some roads, make it more difficult for buses and delivery vehicles to navigate, and make it virtually impossible to pause to pick up or drop off people or goods. Curb access is disappearing even as the need for improved curb access is increasing in a world of online shopping, Uber and Lyft vehicles, and a variety of new modes of transportation. The only thing the Traffic Department (a.k.a. the Department of Wishful Thinking) seems to prioritize is novice cyclists. I shudder to think what we’ll have to contend with when there’s either snow or a motor vehicle breakdown. The City is rapidly removing all flexibility in the roads. Pretty soon the only way a driver will be able to yield to an emergency service vehicle will be by running down some "flexi-posts".

Order #21. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the City Solicitor, the City Assessor and the Community Development Department to prepare a Municipal Transfer Fee Ordinance and, if required, an appropriate Home Rule Petition, to implement a municipal transfer fee on sale of all residential, commercial and institutional properties where the buyer pays 1% of purchase price on any amount in excess of $2.5 million and an additional 4% of the purchase price on any amount more than $5 million.   Councillor Toomey

Order #22. City Council support of H.3512 in the Massachusetts Legislature, allowing Massachusetts to obtain a fee on large real estate transactions that will be put towards affordable housing endeavors.   Councillor Mazen, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

There may be some merit in these proposals, but as long as the focus remains exclusively on raising more revenue to regulate even more housing while not solving the affordability question more generally, this is all just pissing in the wind.

Order #23. Establishment of a "Cambridge Municipal Election People’s Pledge" program.   Councillor Toomey

This "modest proposal" does manage to make a few interesting points – most significantly regarding the amount of money being spent this year and in recent years on some municipal election campaigns. While some candidates speak ill of money from "developers", some of these same candidates have a political base encompassing the loftier socio-economic classes and are graced with $500 and $1000 checks like the falling of autumn leaves. It’s also interesting how many candidates pay big money or campaign managers and even pay people to canvass for them. That’s not how things used to be done. Candidates had actual supporters for many of those tasks. Maybe the dirty little secret now is that some campaigns only have as much support as they can purchase.

I can’t say that I support all of Councillor Toomey’s proposals in this "People’s Pledge", but some of them do have some merit. In the meantime, we can settle on disclosure – making abundantly clear where campaign funds come from and how efficiently those funds are spent. Let the voters judge.

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 Aug 2, 2017 to discuss a zoning petition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create a new Planning Unit Development Overlay District (PUD-7) over the area known as the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center site in Kendall Square.

I’ll simply say that if the current City Council cannot settle this with a good outcome by the Oct 31 expiration date, then perhaps they should be judged accordingly a week later. There are some great opportunities here if these nine councillors can earn their pay and create those good outcomes. – Robert Winters

September 4, 2017

Topics for Candidates for Cambridge School Committee – 2017

To: Candidates for Cambridge School Committee – 2017

As in the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 municipal elections, I am again maintaining the Cambridge Candidate Pages this year. During the last several elections, these pages received thousands of unique hits per day in the days leading up to the election. I expect at least as much activity this year. Entering a Cambridge candidate’s name in a search engine will usually direct people quickly to these pages – often more prominently than the candidate’s own website.Vote!

Based on a lot of great suggestions from CCJ readers, my revised (and expanded) list of topics for this year’s School Committee candidates is appended below. It’s a longer list than in previous years. You don’t have to write on all of these issues but I hope you will comment on most of them. Candidates may consolidate topics or expand to other topics. Please note that there are no “Yes or No” questions and there will be no ranking, endorsements, or anything like that on the Candidate Pages – just an opportunity for all candidates to reach voters in whatever way they see fit. There is no strict limit on the length of your responses, but I hope you will be concise and to the point.

Your responses will be posted on your own candidate page at http://vote.cambridgecivic.com. Your page will contain a photo (please provide one or an update of the existing one if you wish), a prominent link to your own web site (if you have one), and relevant contact information. You may also provide an updated photo for the gallery of all candidates if you wish. Links to CCTV videos and profiles in the Cambridge Chronicle will also be included as they become available. Please visit this site to see the current pages derived from material from the 2015 election and from material already sent by candidates. I am gradually removing material from the pages of continuing candidates and replacing it with links to the pages for that previous election.

You will have the opportunity to amend or expand your responses at any time up to Election Day.

School Committee Topics for 2017 Candidate Pages – Express your thoughts on most of these topic areas

1) Background [biographical, etc.]

2) Top Priorities [List about three -­ then elaborate below]

3) Top Challenges Facing the Cambridge Public Schools today

4) Innovation Agenda, Hybrid Middle School model

5) School Department Administration and Superintendent

6) School Department Budget and Oversight, Capital Needs

7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students

8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners

9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies

10) Family engagement and communication

11) Standardized Testing

12) Role of the School Committee

13) Role of Teachers in shaping programs and influencing policies

14) Curriculum and Programs
a) Elementary School Grades
b) Middle School Grades
c) High School Grades
d) Language Immersion Programs
e) Extended day programs
f) Early childhood education
g) Social and emotional development

With rare exceptions, the only editing will be for spelling, punctuation, and minor grammatical errors.

In order to expeditiously post all the information, I urge you or someone from your campaign to submit your responses and related materials via e-mail to election2017@cambridgecivic.com, preferably in plain text and as soon as possible. I generally turn things around very quickly. If you must send materials via US Mail, send them to me at 366 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. Again, responses can be amended any time up to Election Day, Nov 7, 2017.

Robert Winters, Cambridge Civic Journal, 617-661-9230

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

Topics for Candidates for Cambridge City Council – 2017

To: Candidates for Cambridge City Council – 2017

As in the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 municipal elections, I am again maintaining the Cambridge Candidate Pages this year. During the last several elections, these pages received thousands of unique hits per day in the days leading up to the election. I expect at least as much activity this year. Entering a Cambridge candidate’s name in a search engine will usually direct people quickly to these pages – often more prominently than the candidate’s own website.Vote!

Based on a lot of great suggestions from CCJ readers, my revised (and expanded) list of topics for this year’s City Council candidates is appended below. It’s a long list – longer than in previous years, so my suggestion is to choose about 10 topic areas and write whatever you wish on those topics. You may also choose to write something on all or most of the topics if you wish. Please note that there are no “Yes or No” questions and there will be no ranking, endorsements, or anything like that on the Candidate Pages – just an opportunity for all candidates to reach voters in whatever way they see fit. There is no strict limit on the length of your responses, but I hope you will be concise and to the point.

Your responses will be posted on your own candidate page at http://vote.cambridgecivic.com. Your page will contain a photo (please provide one or an update of the existing one if you wish), a prominent link to your own web site (if you have one), and relevant contact information. You may also provide an updated photo for the gallery of all candidates if you wish. Links to CCTV videos and profiles in the Cambridge Chronicle will also be included as they become available. Please visit this site to see the current pages derived from material from the 2015 election and from material already sent by candidates. I am gradually removing material from the pages of continuing candidates and replacing it with links to the pages for that previous election.

You will have the opportunity to amend or expand your responses at any time up to Election Day.

The suggested topics for this year are as follows – Express your thoughts on at least 10 topic areas

1) Background [biographical, etc.]

2) Top Priorities [List about three and elaborate below]

3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density, Envision Cambridge [this may include specific ideas regarding particular neighborhoods and major city squares]

4) Housing (in general) and Affordable Housing (in particular) – priorities, plans, proposals

5) Economic Development and Commerce, Retail Viability and Affordability

6) Income Inequality, Economic Opportunity

7) Human Services Programs; Youth Programs; Senior Programs

8) Human Rights, Civic Unity, Diversity

9) Energy, Waste Reduction, Recycling, the Environment, and Public Health

10) Infrastructure: Water & Sewer; Climate-related issues and planning, Resiliency; Municipal Broadband

11) Traffic, Parking, Transportation, Cycling and Pedestrian Issues

12) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation

13) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)

14) Quality of Life, Noise, Public Safety, Accommodation of People with Disabilities

15) Civic Participation, Structure and Function of City Council and its committees

16) Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager

17) Relations and Collaboration between Cambridge, neighboring municipalities, the Commonwealth, regional and federal agencies (e.g. in regard to transportation projects, housing, etc.)

18) University Relations – Responsibilities, Collaboration

19) Arts and Public Celebrations

20) Cambridge Public Schools

With rare exceptions, the only editing will be for spelling, punctuation, and minor grammatical errors.

In order to expeditiously post all the information, I urge you or someone from your campaign to submit your responses and related materials via e-mail to election2017@cambridgecivic.com, preferably in plain text and as soon as possible. I generally turn things around very quickly. If you must send materials via US Mail, send them to me at 366 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. Again, responses can be amended any time up to Election Day, Nov 7, 2017.

Robert Winters, Cambridge Civic Journal, 617-661-9230

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

August 29, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 253-254: August 29, 2017

Episode 253 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 29, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 29, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics included Hurricane Harvey and resiliency of cities, the Volpe Petition and a related new petition. Hosts Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 254 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 29, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 29, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics included some history of the Plan E Charter and some of the realities of PR elections. Hosts Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

August 22, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 251-252: August 22, 2017

Episode 251 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 22, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 22, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics: Oldtime Baseball, Solar Eclipse, Politics. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 252 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 22, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 22, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: Cambridge Candidate Pages – some history and a request for topics, questionnaires from political organizations. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

Suggest Topics for Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2017

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:49 am

Vote!Suggest Topics for Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2017

Candidates for City Council and School Committee in each municipal election since 2003 have been asked to submit statements to be posted on their Cambridge Candidate Pages on a range of topics relevant to the respective offices. Candidates can also submit statements on other topics of importance to them and they can modify any statements all the way up to Election Day. There are no endorsements on the Candidate Pages – just an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to voters. The request will soon go out to this year’s candidates. Are there any particular topic areas that should be on this year’s list? Please let me know what you think (or post a comment on this page) so that we can have a good starting point for all candidates. For reference, the topics from the 2015 election are listed below. – Robert Winters

Aug 26I am hoping to finalize the Topics Lists this weekend (Aug 26-27) before sending them out to all the candidates. If you have any additional input, now’s the time to send it to me. I now have 4 pages of suggestions to merge and distill into something as simple and flexible as possible for the candidates.

If anyone has managed to find email addresses for either Dan Lenke or Hari Pillai (or if you ARE Dan Lenke or Hari Pillai), please send me those email addresses so that all candidates can receive the same information and requests. – Robert Winters

City Council candidates were asked in 2015 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three and elaborate below]
3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density
4) Economic Development and Commerce
5) Housing
6) Energy, the Environment, and Public Health
7) Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
8) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
9) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)
10) Quality of Life and Public Safety

Other topics that you might wish to address (2015): Civic Participation, Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager, University Relations, Youth Programs, Senior Programs, Arts and Public Celebrations, Cambridge Public Schools, Future of the Foundry Building

School Committee candidates were asked in 2015 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three then elaborate below]
3) Top Challenges Facing CPS today
4) Evaluation of the Innovation Agenda
5) School Department Administration and Superintendent
6) School Department Budget and Capital Needs
7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students
8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners
9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies
10) Curriculum and Programs
   a) Elementary School Grades
   b) Middle School Grades
   c) High School Grades

Any topics to add, delete, or modify?
(or comment below)

August 14, 2017

Women Candidates in Cambridge Municipal Elections: 1941-2017

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:14 pm

Here are the number of women candidates per year in the City Council and School Committee elections as well as how many women were elected. You can sort in ascending order by clicking the desired column header. Click again for descending order.

YearCC candidatesCC womenCC electedSC candidatesSC womenSC electedwomen candidateswomen elected
19418310285161
19433920194262
19453710142232
19473410182232
19494020162141
19512700151111
19533500181111
19554121191132
19573532262153
19593122212244
19612321162142
19632211171122
19652411131122
19672022182042
19692621151132
19713632222052
19733442262163
19752532183264
19772442102264
19792321133354
198125511373124
19831622165375
1985226393396
19871953133285
19892882822104
19911952123284
199329731143116
199519541153107
1997194484488
199924631364127
20011933104275
2003206381174
2005183382255
2007164393275
2009216393396
20111844114286
2013255184394
201523421164106
2017269-125-14-
Women Candidates in Cambridge Municipal Elections: 1941-2017 (updated Aug 15, 2017)
CC = City Council; SC = School Committee

Index of all Cambridge City Council and School Committee candidates: 1941 to 2017  (plain text) (PDF) – updated Aug 14, 2017

August 1, 2017

Statement from Councillor Cheung on his decision to not seek reelection

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:05 am

Friends,

When I first ran for City Council 8 years ago, I did not think that I would actually win. I felt compelled by a faith in community service that my parents instilled in me; a love for the city my father first called home when he immigrated to America; and a vague notion that somehow my unique ideas and perspective would, when added to those already there, make the Council even better. Winning was a surprise, but I was humbled by the opportunity, and honored by the trust voters had placed in me.Leland Cheung

I came to office determined to make the most of that opportunity; to affect as much good as I possibly could in the time I was given. Determined to earn the trust given to me by making things better tomorrow than I’d found them yesterday, I tried to make the most of every day because I never thought it would last forever.

After much reflection, I’ve decided that I will not seek re-election to the City Council. These past 8 years of public service have been exciting, productive, and professionally rewarding but also demanding. Doing the job, the way I aspire to do it, is an all-consuming affair. Elected office demands more than just 40 hours a week. More than 80. It keeps you constantly on call. It demands your nights and weekends. Nowadays however, my nights and weekends belong to my wife, my 3 year old daughter Lela Marie, and my 3 month old son Alexander Alpha. Quite frankly, I cannot be wholly present at a community meeting if all I’m thinking about is going home to play on the rug. Life is short and I want to spend these next few years devoting my free time to my kids.

While reflecting on this decision I took some time to look back over all the flyers and mailings I’d sent out ever since my first campaign. I’m proud that almost all those promises have been fulfilled. We have innovation legislation that formalizes open data, sets aside affordable office space for entrepreneurs, and a city bureaucracy that’s embracing technology. Cambridge is the most climate-conscious city in the world, with building regulations headed towards net-zero, power aggregation that’s shifting the entire city towards renewables, and investments in transportation infrastructure. We’ve emerged from the national housing crisis with a focus on affordability, and a blueprint for incentivizing developers to focus on residents, not profits. We introduced participatory budgeting, mini-bonds, and curbside composting. We have a great new City Manager, focused on customer service, who was selected through a transparent and inclusive process. We’re investing in education, family housing, and helping residents build a better future for themselves and their families.

I’m known for promoting a forward-looking vision for the city, from innovation to entrepreneurship, but my most impactful moments were when I broke from peoples’ expectations of me as the kid from MIT. Bringing millennials to understand the perspectives of life-long residents on everything from taxes to bicycles; championing home grown candidates – Rich Rossi and Louie Depasquale – for City Manager; focusing on the basics like fire and police. The underlying theme is that every move I’ve made has been towards a singular goal – making tomorrow better than yesterday; aan everything I’ve done has been in collaboration with others – residents, activists, colleagues, and city employees – and with an understanding that any policy is only as strong as the front-line employees delivering the service.

The temptation to remain in public office is that there is always more work to be done. I won’t stop moving issues forwards until my term is over. However, I rest assured that the future of Cambridge is bright. We have the policies, practices, and personnel to tackle whatever is next. We have the best employees of any city in the country. Between the incumbents running for re-election and the new candidates, we’ll have the institutional memory to safeguard what’s great about Cambridge and the new ideas necessary to challenge assumptions and make things even better.

So I humbly return to you the trust that you held in me. It’s time for me to focus on my growing family and opportunities in the private sector. I’m forever thankful that despite the national drama, I’ll leave the City Council with a deepened faith in American Democracy and as living proof that the dream is alive and well. And for that I am grateful.

Thank you,
Leland

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