Cambridge Citizens Coalition
Cambridge residents are being polled by an anonymous group for views on current city councillors, issues facing the city, and their positions on the Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) coming up for a vote. Who is paying for this poll? And, equally importantly, what questions is it asking? And why?
Poll is coming from a telephone number in Marshfield , Ma.
Here are the questions
*as best transcribed and recalled live at the time.
I. What are your views on current city councillors?
Answer possibilities: favorable unfavorable, unsure, don’t know.
*Note this poll includes Jan Devereux who is not running for reelection - which is strange.
II What issue concerns you the most currently in the city?
* Note that the term "affordable housing" means many different things. We all support more affordable housing,
but to some this means rent control, to others it means renter protections, to still others it means building more
market rate housing, to still others it means adding more inclusionary housing. None of this is spelled out here.
**note too, that there is nothing in this poll on climate change or the environment, infrastructure or planning. Why?
III What do you think about the work that has been done to improve the city squares?
*Note: there is nothing here on Harvard Square, Porter Square, Kendall, or even recent city-approved
development projects in East Cambridge, Alewife and elsewhere.
IV What is your view of City Council
*Note: there is nothing in here asking our views of the "City" (the City Manager - who is coming up for
reappointment next term.
**Note too: there is nothing in this poll about approval of the city's Community Development Department that is
behind the deeply flawed Affordable Housing Overlay proposal,
V Are you aware or the Affordable Housing Overlay
*Note: good question, but will the poll-takers actually share the results with the public?
VI The Affordable Housing Overlay will enable the city to build 100% affordable housing throughout the city by changing some of the restrictions currently in place (rough transcription).
Do you support it?
Do you oppose?
*Note: the AHO is very complex, why do they not ask separately if we oppose or support individual elements of the
proposal, like four stories everywhere, seven stories on the corridors, "as of right" (taking away current citizen legal appeal, or the change in design standards and review oversight.
IX Education level
In the end key questions remain about who commissioned this poll (an expensive endeavor): is it one of the current city councillors who supports the AHO? Is it a political PAC supporting the AHO (A Better Cambridge most notably)? Was it the City of Cambridge? Who ever it was, they did NOT provide any information of who has paid for this political message/poll? Why did they leave out critical other issues and concerns in the city?