Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 23, 2017

2017 City Council Campaign Receipts and Expenditures

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,campaign finance,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:30 pm

The following table shows the total campaign receipts and expenditures for 2017 Cambridge City Council candidates. You can sort by any of the fields shown by clicking on the field name – one click ascending and second click descending.

CandidateIDReceiptsCambridge% CambridgeExpenditures (to Sept 23)
Levy, Ilan16173$2,000.00$2,000.00100.0%$741.91
Sutton, Bryan16713$584.95$584.95100.0%$407.46
D'Ambrosio, Olivia16520$5,400.00$5,100.0094.4%$4,557.89
Devereux, Jan16062$44,604.50$39,953.5089.6%$24,406.31
Kelley, Craig14104$13,479.00$10,805.0080.2%$9,467.79
Musgrave, Adriane16657$30,963.18$24,205.0078.2%$8,686.74
Carlone, Dennis15680$18,729.74$14,350.0076.6%$9,853.75
McGovern, Marc15589$40,126.09$28,286.1970.5%$34,233.37
Burgin, Josh16709$13,124.13$8,534.5265.0%$10,179.27
Mallon, Alanna16530$40,468.00$24,688.0061.0%$27,399.83
Zondervan, Quinton16516$31,294.01$18,132.8657.9%$31,968.57
Tierney, Sean16559$23,445.29$11,600.0049.5%$13,504.47
Siddiqui, Sumbul16556$34,084.60$16,185.0047.5%$16,268.38
Benjamin, Ronald16493$1,010.55$470.0046.5%$1,104.96
Toner, Paul16576$61,330.11$27,225.0044.4%$45,287.35
Simmons, Denise13783$35,736.86$15,025.0042.0%$18,476.11
Volmar, Gwen16691$10,109.34$3,535.9435.0%$5,986.77
Toomey, Tim12222$41,023.86$13,558.4933.1%$10,501.34
Santos, Jeffrey16686$5,001.61$1,466.6129.3%$6,355.19
Gebru, Samuel16531$47,867.00$11,448.0023.9%$36,111.34
Sivongxay, Vatsady16528$29,609.85$6,620.0022.4%$18,009.72
Okamoto, Nadya16596$8,538.99$510.006.0%$3,208.90
Harding, Richard16737$0.00$0.00-$4,289.13
Lenke, Dan16771$0.00$0.00-$400.00
Moree, Gregg14683$0.00$0.00-$0.00
Pillai, Hari16770$0.00$0.00-$0.00
2017 City Council Campaign Receipts and Expenditures (last updated Sept 23, 2017 at 9:30pm)

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September 20, 2017

2017 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports

Filed under: 2017 election,Cambridge,campaign finance,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:45 am

The following table shows the summary bank reports for 2017 Cambridge City Council candidates. You can sort by any of the fields shown by clicking on the field name – one click ascending and second click descending.

CandidateFromToStartReceiptsExpendBalanceAs Of
Benjamin, Ronald01/01/1709/15/17$9.00$1,096.56$1,104.96$0.6009/18/17
Burgin, Josh06/16/1709/15/17$0.00$11,669.61$9,724.75$1,944.8609/18/17
Carlone, Dennis01/01/1709/15/17$17,827.87$17,866.94$9,853.75$25,841.0609/20/17
D'Ambrosio, Olivia01/01/1709/15/17$122.75$6,275.31$4,557.89$1,840.1709/19/17
Devereux, Jan01/01/1709/15/17$8,715.10$41,825.11$24,240.06$26,300.1509/18/17
Gebru, Sam01/01/1709/15/17$0.00$46,418.50$35,849.40$10,569.1009/18/17
Harding, Richard07/01/1709/15/17$1,961.06$6,782.47$4,289.13$4,454.4009/18/17
Kelley, Craig01/01/1709/15/17$2,231.84$8,692.36$7,387.73$3,536.4709/18/17
Lenke, Dan08/16/1709/15/17$0.00$510.00$400.00$110.0009/18/17
Levy, Ilan07/16/1709/15/17$0.00$2,405.64$741.91$1,663.7309/18/17
Mallon, Alanna01/01/1709/15/17$100.00$40,368.00$25,760.71$14,707.2909/19/17
McGovern, Marc01/01/1709/15/17$14,966.66$37,634.70$34,233.37$18,367.9909/19/17
Moree, Gregg07/06/1707/06/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.0007/06/17
Musgrave, Adriane05/16/1709/15/17$0.00$30,963.18$8,686.74$22,276.4409/19/17
Okamoto, Nadya03/16/1709/15/17$0.00$8,538.99$3,208.90$5,330.0909/19/17
Pillai, Hari07/24/1707/24/17$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.0007/24/17
Santos, Jeffrey06/07/1709/15/17$0.00$6,840.20$6,248.58$591.6209/20/17
Siddiqui, Sumbul02/16/1709/15/17$0.00$34,084.60$16,268.38$17,816.2209/18/17
Simmons, Denise01/01/1709/15/17$10,179.79$35,736.86$18,476.11$27,440.5409/18/17
Sivongxay, Vatsady01/01/1709/15/17$0.00$29,609.85$18,009.72$11,600.1309/18/17
Sutton, Bryan06/16/1709/15/17$0.00$500.00$322.51$177.4909/18/17
Tierney, Sean02/01/1709/15/17$0.00$23,395.29$11,754.47$11,640.8209/19/17
Toner, Paul02/16/1709/15/17$0.00$59,789.25$30,903.01$28,886.2409/20/17
Toomey, Tim01/01/1709/15/17$4,069.67$41,023.86$10,214.05$34,879.4809/18/17
Volmar, Gwen06/09/1709/15/17$0.00$9,700.34$5,577.77$4,122.5709/18/17
Zondervan, Quinton01/01/1709/15/17$3,510.00$32,288.73$31,968.57$3,830.1609/18/17
2017 City Council Bank Reports (updated Sept 20, 2017 at 5:15pm)

Campaign Finance Reports – 2017 City Council (updated Sept 20, 5:15pm)

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September 19, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 257-258: Sept 19, 2017

Episode 257 – Cambridge InsideOut: September 19, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 19, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics: elections, endorsements, Harvard Square, Sept 18 Council meeting. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 258 – Cambridge InsideOut: September 19, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 19, 2017 at 6:00pm. Guest: Cambridge School Committee candidate Piotr Mitros. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]
[Piotr Mitros Candidate Page]

September 18, 2017

Interesting Agenda Items on the Sept 18, 2017 City Council Agenda

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:10 am

Interesting Agenda Items on the Sept 18, 2017 City Council Agenda

City HallThe City Council meeting last week was dominated by a rhetorical clash over municipal political campaign finance (or perhaps, more correctly, over how to use this as a wedge issue in this year’s municipal election campaign). This week appears to be more routine, though anything is possible in the midst of the political season.

Here are some things I find interesting on this week’s agenda:

Charter Right #2. 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.

Charter Right #3. 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.

As I said last week, 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.

Applications & Petitions #1. A Zoning Petition has been received from Joseph Maguire, SVP – Real Estate Development & Asset Services, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., to amend certain provisions of Article 13.000 of the Zoning Ordinance to allow for the creation of Innovation Office Space in the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Zoning Districts.

I would like to learn more about the motivation for this change. It seems minor, but interesting.

Resolution #9. Resolution on the death of Cleo Stoughton.   Councillor Devereux

Cleo was a transportation planner at the Community Development Department. She recently passed away at the age of 28 after battling cancer.

Resolution #11. Congratulations to Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian for being honored for his exemplary work in reducing crime and incarceration rates by the Adolescent Consultation Services.   Mayor Simmons

I just want to give a shout-out to Sheriff Koutoujian. His efforts to match prison inmates with work projects provided us with the labor to clear previously inaccessible parts of the towpath along the Middlesex Canal in Billerica. I was able to lead a better hike along the canal, and all of the prisoners enjoyed the work – a really great community service.

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to provide an update to the City Council on the status of the Light Cambridge Committee and anticipated next steps.   Councillor Maher

The idea here is to promote appropriate architectural lighting of culturally or historically significant sites in Cambridge. It does not appear to be controversial, but it does seem that lighting draws political attention like moths.

Order #4. That the Co-Chairs of the Housing Committee are requested to schedule hearings to take up the attached proposed Comprehensive Housing Plan for review and consideration in the near future.   Mayor Simmons

I’ll have to read this very long proposal a bit more carefully. Either that or you can explain it all to me. It just seems like we’ve been arguing the same points about housing for decades and we just keep spinning our wheels.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Director to the Election Commission and the Election Commissioners with the view in mind of adding a link to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance on the Election Commission website.   Councillor Toomey

There’s already a link there, but you can get some easier to digest summaries here and here.

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council with a schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates clearer wording and/or more clearly explains each section in less technical jargon and is more coherent in its entirety, with the goal of seeing such an Ordinance adopted by the end of this City Council term.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

I was getting kinda curious about whatever became of this. Here it returns – just in time to shine a light on it during election season.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Office of Workforce Development and other appropriate City personnel to establish a comprehensive and robust skilled labor trades program, with a view toward increasing the number of Cambridge residents working in the skilled labor trades.   Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor McGovern

The truth is that the City could do more to address income inequality by taking on initiatives like this than all the combined political rhetoric on the issue. There are a lot of people now in Cambridge who need people to work on their houses and can afford to pay for that work. There’s plenty of work to do.

Order #13. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the appropriate City personnel to establish an aggressive outreach program to all property owners, with a view towards purchasing any properties possible and converting these properties into affordable housing.   Mayor Simmons

I’m always a bit suspicious about initiatives like this. I don’t know that I would be comfortable with the City scooping up any properties just to regulate them. It almost sounds as though the goal is to regulate as much housing as possible – like a back door recreation of rent control. I don’t like the rampant speculation that’s been happening with Cambridge residential properties, but I’m equally uncomfortable with putting so much residential property under government control.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons and Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Co-Chairs of the Housing Committee, for a public hearing held on May 16 to discuss tenant protections, anti-displacement policies, and Inclusionary Housing tenant selection policies; the Committee will also discuss any updates received from the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA), including a report on the issuance of CHA Choice Vouchers to public housing applicants.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Nadeem Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee, for a public hearing held on July 26 to discuss the next steps for the Foundry Building including: financing, community benefit, non-profit ecosystem, and community engagement.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk transmitting a report from Councillor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Health and Environment Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 6 to discuss the recently published “City of Cambridge Getting to Net Zero Action Plan: Fiscal Year 2016 Progress Report” and to receive a general update on the Net Zero Action Plan. Councillor Devereux stated that there is information in the report explaining how the City originally adopted the Net Zero Policy. It began with a citizen petition, and was later adopted by the City Council. The Community Development Department will be producing yearly progress reports to track movements on the way towards the ultimate Net Zero goal. This hearing is to discuss the first progress report.

No comments to offer on these committee reports – just links for you to read them if you wish. – Robert Winters

September 12, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 255-256: Sept 12, 2017

Episode 255 – Cambridge InsideOut: September 12, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 12, 2017 at 5:30pm. Topics: Sept 11 City Council meeting, tax-financed municipal campaigns, Volpe Petition. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]


Episode 256 – Cambridge InsideOut: September 12, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 12, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: Volpe Petition, MIT graduate housing, candidate forums, endorsements. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

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

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