Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

March 21, 2016

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Mar 21, 2016)

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:44 am

Cambridge Takes Steps to Protect Workers from Wage Theft
Cambridge City Manager Issues Executive Order on Wage Theft Prevention

On Monday, March 14, 2016, City Manager Richard C. Rossi signed an Executive Order establishing certification requirements for vendors bidding on City contracts. The measure seeks to prevent wage theft, which is the improper withholding of payment from employees and the failure to pay employees according to required schedules. Wage theft most often involves employers paying less than the minimum, contracted, or prevailing wage, not paying for all hours worked, and not paying overtime for hours exceeding 40 per week, but wage theft can take many forms—employers may never send the final paycheck, or may misclassify workers as independent contractors.

“This Executive Order is a clear indication of Cambridge’s continuing commitment to wage justice,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “The provisions put into effect today provide the City the protections that are needed to ensure that we are dealing with quality contractors. We have created a simple and fair process for both the City and for our contractors.”

Under the Executive Order vendors bidding on City contracts will be required to certify their compliance with federal and state wage law with the City, and if the vendors have previous violations, disclose them, and provide a wage bond for the duration of the contract. These measures strengthen the City’s ability to hire vendors that treat their employees fairly.

Labor advocates from the Greater Boston Labor Council and Community Labor United worked with City leaders to bring this issue forward. “Cambridge is taking great leadership for workers’ rights,” said Darlene Lombos, Executive Director of Community Labor United and Vice President of the Greater Boston Labor Council. “By taking this action, the City of Cambridge is sending a clear message to all employers: wage theft in Cambridge will not be tolerated. We applaud the leaders of this city for doing what is right for workers.”

The Executive Order also prohibits City departments from contracting with debarred vendors for the period of their debarment. This will help to ensure that City resources are not used to support those vendors debarred for wage law violations.

The Executive Order is effective for all contracts resulting from requests for proposals or invitation for bids that become publically available on or after March 14, 2016. Cambridge joins the City of Boston in requiring this type of certification and wage bond.

Wage Theft Executive Order
Photo: Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor for the City of Cambridge; Amy Witts, Purchasing Agent for the City of Cambridge;
Lindsay McCluskey, Organizer for Greater Boston Labor Council, and Darlene Lombos, Executive Director of Community
Labor United and Vice President of the Greater Boston Labor Council and, of course, Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi

Health & Human Services Job Fair March 30

Mar 14, 2016 – The Cambridge Office of Workforce Development is sponsoring a free Health & Human Services Job Fair Wed, Mar 30, from 11:00am-1:00pm, at Central Square Library, 45 Pearl Street, Cambridge. Take the MBTA Red Line or #1 Bus to Central Square.

Prospective job applicants are urged to research companies in advance and apply for positions online.

Participating organizations include:

little hand Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership little hand Riverside Community Care
little hand Fenway Health & AIDS Action Committee little hand Perkins School for the Blind
little hand Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health    little hand The Edinburg Center
little hand Spaulding Hospital / Cambridge little hand Cambridge Health Alliance
little hand Always Here Home Care little hand Nurtury
little hand Franciscan Hospital for Children little hand United South End Settlements

For more information, call 617-349-6259 or email Josh Foley at

Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots for the Special State Primary, April 12th

Vote!The Special State Primary will be held on Tues, Apr 12, 2016 ONLY in Wards/Precincts 2-2, 2-3, 4-1, 4-3, 5-1, 5-2 & 5-3 for the office of State Senator for Massachusetts First Suffolk & Middlesex Senate District to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Anthony Petruccelli. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote for the election is Wed, Mar 23, 2016 until 8:00pm. The polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00am until 8:00pm.

If you are a voter in Wards/Precincts 2-2, 2-3, 4-1, 4-3, 5-1, 5-2 & 5-3, please contact the Cambridge Election Commission office to find out when the Absentee Ballots will be available for the Special State Primary. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission. The deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot is Monday, April 11, 2016 at noon. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for Absentee Voting on Fri, Apr 8 until 5:00pm.

For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit our website at

BYOBCambridge Residents Encouraged to Bring Reusable Bags when Shopping
Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance goes into effect on March 31, 2016

Mar 14, 2016 – The City of Cambridge seeks to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags being used, discarded, littered, burned, and buried.  The Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance, effective March 31, 2016, encourages the use of reusable bags at all retail establishments in Cambridge.

The purpose of the Ordinance is to reduce the use of disposable checkout bags by retail establishments to protect the marine environment, advance solid waste reduction, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect waterways. The Ordinance seeks to promote the use of reusable checkout bags. Residents may donate reusable bags at City Hall, Public Works, or the North Cambridge Senior Center as part of DPW’s Reusable Bag Drive to help low income and elderly residents receive bags. Bags exempt from the Ordinance include produce bags, laundry, dry-cleaner and newspaper bags, and bags used to wrap meat or frozen foods.

“This ordinance is important not only from the perspective of reducing damaging materials being discharged into our rivers and oceans,” said Cambridge Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan, “but we also hope it will be successful in changing people’s behavior to help improve the cleanliness of our streets and sidewalks and reduce the amount of waste in landfills.”

Cambridge businesses will no longer be able to provide single-use plastic bags, but may offer paper, reusable, or compostable bags to customers at a minimum cost of $0.10 per bag. Businesses must show this as the “Checkout Bag Charge” on the receipt and collect sales tax on each bag.

To avoid this charge, customers are encouraged to bring their own bag when they go shopping, out for food, to the pharmacy, and more.

Cambridge Public Works is continuing with successful outreach to businesses to inform and prepare them for the ordinance. Many businesses are excited to implement this ordinance to help the City with its waste reduction goals.

Learn more about the BYOB Ordinance and find helpful information for businesses and residents at

Cambridge Dog License Applications and Renewals Now Available Online

Mar 14, 2016 – Cambridge residents can now apply for or renew their dog’s license online. State law requires that all dogs over 6 months have a current dog license. The dog license period in Cambridge runs from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The fee for a dog license for a spayed/neutered dog is $10, or $30 for a dog that is not spayed or neutered. Dog licenses are renewed annually. The fine for an unlicensed dog is $50. For more information visit,

In order to obtain a dog license, owners must have a current rabies vaccination. Dogs can be vaccinated at the veterinarian’s office, at clinics held at some pet stores, or low cost clinics held periodically. The next Rabies Vaccination Clinic in Cambridge will be held Sat, Apr 2, from 9-11am, at the Cambridge Department of Public Works. The fee is $15 per dog. Microchipping is also available for $20.

Dog licenses can be a ticket home if your dog is lost since the number on the tag can be traced back to the owner to hopefully help for a safe return. Microchipping can also provide added protection.

As with most municipalities, there is a leash law in the City of Cambridge that requires dogs to be on a leash at all times when off the owner’s property. Over the past several years the City of Cambridge has been continually working with residents to explore strategies for dogs to be off leash in city parks and open spaces. There are three approaches taken by the city to meet the demand for off leash space: dedicated off leash areas, shared use off leash areas, and shared use hours. For a list of areas, visit

In these off leash areas, dog owners must adhere to certain important regulations. The dog must be under voice control and within sight of the owner/keeper at all times when off leash and the dog must have a current Cambridge Dog License. There are other regulations and it is the responsibility of the person with the dog to be aware of these posted regulations. Additionally, either off leash or on leash, an owner/keeper must carry means for disposal to pick up and dispose of any feces left by the dog. The City of Cambridge does supply dog waste bags in some areas, but the responsibility to have a means of disposal is entirely on the owner/keeper.

Draft revisions to the Planning Board Rules and CDD Community Engagement Guidelines

The materials are available on the web and are scheduled to be discussed at the Planning Board meeting on March 22.

30th Annual Cambridge CityRun 5-Miler Road Race and 3-Mile Walk — Sunday, April 3, 2016
Reporting Time: 8:30-10:00am; Starting Time: 10:30am; Start/Finish: Russell Youth Center, 680 Huron Avenue

The scenic, flat, tree-lined course starts and finishes at the Russell Youth Center, 680 Huron Ave. Two miles into the race, the course runs along the perimeter of the Fresh Pond Reservoir – away from cars and distraction. The chip-timed race has been Race measured and certified by the officials at the U.S.A.T.F.

Entry Fee: $30 on or before Saturday, March 19, $35 after.

Register online at Free Short-Sleeve shirt to the first 1,000 pre-entrants. Participants can also register in person at Marathon Sports, 1654 Mass. Ave., Cambridge.

On Sunday, April 3, interested participants can register at the event at the Russell Youth Center, 680 Huron Avenue, Cambridge from 8:30am-10:00am. The race and walk will start promptly at 10:30am.

RACE ROUTE: Depart from 695 Huron Ave., turn right on Grove, right on Blanchard, right Concord Avenue, right on Fresh Pond Parkway to right into Cambridge Water Department, right onto Fresh Pond Reservoir Loop, right onto Fresh Pond Parkway, right on to Huron Ave.

Cambridge Building Permit Information Session
Monday, April 11, 6-8pm at the Inspectional Services Department, 831 Mass. Ave.

Mar 16, 2016 – The City of Cambridge Inspectional Services Department is offering a free, informational Question & Answer session on renovations and construction requirements for Cambridge residents Monday, April 11, from 6-8pm, at the Inspectional Services Department, 831 Mass. Ave. Topics to be reviewed include:

  • How do I Apply for a Permit for Renovation?
  • When do I Need a Permit for Construction?
  • Questions to Ask Prospective Contractors
  • Should I have a Contract? What Should Contract Include?

Pre-registration is required via email to Martha Flynn, or by calling 617-349-6107. For more information, visit

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