"A Better Cambridge" (ABC) Grades the City Council Candidates
Oct 26 – "A Better Cambridge" (ABC), the Cambridge resident group that describes itself as "working to build a more diverse and livable city on the path towards sustainable growth," has released the results of its 2013 City Council Candidate ratings. Since its inception, ABC has been a consistent supporter of the planning principles of "smart growth" and transit-oriented development, especially housing for a broad spectrum of incomes. Of the 18 City Council candidates who responded to the group’s questionnaire, top scores went to Leland Cheung and Marc McGovern, and lowest scores went to Dennis Carlone and Ron Peden.
"A Better Cambridge looks forward to working with all 9 members of the next City Council to help build a more diverse and livable city," said ABC chairman Jesse Kanson-Benanav. He added: "We believe a better Cambridge is a Cambridge that grows smart and sustainably, taking advantage of Cambridge’s proximity to public and alternate transportation to expand housing choices for all Cambridge families." The full ABC mission and vision may be viewed at http://www.abettercambridge.org/our_mission.
ABC’s analysis, including charts listing the candidate ratings on the individual question plus summary analyses of each candidate’s positions, may be found at the ABC website: http://www.abettercambridge.org.
The group’s press release noted that its candidate questionnaire and analysis is intended to give information about how the various candidates stand on the issues that ABC has focused on and is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of their stance on every issue currently facing Cambridge.
The ABC questions/topics posed to the candidates were:
- DIVERSITY: If elected, what policies will you support or propose to help strengthen the diversity of our community through increased affordable housing and greater economic opportunity for all Cambridge residents?
- SUSTAINABILITY: If elected, what policies or initiatives will you support to ensure that there is adequate housing near public transportation that supports sufficient retail to meet neighborhood needs, meets the needs of current and future residents, reduces auto usage and encourages energy efficiency?
- GROWTH: Do you agree that in order to support diversity and meet the housing needs of sustainable growth in Cambridge increased density may be necessary? If elected, what specific policies or initiatives will you support to achieve sustainable urban growth and to increase low and moderate income housing for all populations, including families?
- LIVABILITY: What traits of Cambridge neighborhoods do you find most distinctive? If elected, what policies or initiatives will you support to help reinforce these characteristics through new development, public and open spaces and other means?
- DIALOGUE: In your opinion, do public planning processes in Cambridge support open and constructive engagement between stakeholders? If elected, how will you help ensure transparent and mutually respectful planning for the future of Cambridge?
- K2C2: Which three K2C2 recommendations do you believe should be top priorities for the City of Cambridge over the next few years? What specific policies or initiatives recommended will you support to ensure these priorities are achieved during the next City Council term? Are there policies and recommendations that you oppose?
- CONNOLLY "NET ZERO" PETITION: Does this candidate oppose the Connolly Petition?
- BUILDING HEIGHTS: Does this candidate support the possibility of increased height allowances for certain transit-oriented developments?
- MORATORIUM ON NEW DEVELOPMENT: Does this candidate oppose a moratorium on development?
- CITYWIDE MASTER PLAN: Does this candidate oppose a master planning process that freezes smart growth projects?