Several days ago the City of Cambridge sent out these postcards to city residents. These cards seem to have gone out in several batches, but this one was received on July 23. On this side of the card we read the core arguments the city is using to support the up-zoning proposal that is being rushed through towards a September vote.
Cambridge citizens have yet to be provided with any information on the Affordable Housing Overlay's core design guidelines. This will presumably come at the August 1 City Council Ordinance meeting. Unfortunately Cambridge citizens likely will not have had enough time between their formal submission and the Ordinance Committee meeting to critically evaluate these guidelines before our allotted 3 (or more likely 2) minutes of time to voice any lingering concerns we have at this meeting. Hardly a well thought through community and democratic process
The city's decision to send this postcard also seems to many of us as yet one more example of their continuing propaganda campaign, at the tax payer's expense, to promote this deeply flawed proposal.
Missing on this postcard advertisement is any mention of how tall these units would be - 4-5 stories - allowable as of right in every neighborhood citywide, or 7 stories if the building is already 4 stories. No where on the card does it say that potentially a significant number of mature trees and green spaces will be removed so that these housing projects can be as large (dense) as possible by maxing out square footage within the property.
Missing on this postcard is any mention of what many of us are learning, through other sources, that the City is seriously LOW-BALLING the number of these units that will be built in the new stream-lined (greatly relaxed) process, or that the unelected City Manager (in part in his role as Chair of the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust) will control this whole endeavor, funneling taxpayer resources to the four or so favored developers, presumably excluding most everyone else.
Why the stark lavender design of empty tall buildings at the lower right? For some, this recalls the shells of buildings constructed by global real estate investors and developers in places like Vietnam that sit there, empty of local inhabitants, while the pockets of the builders and investors fill to capacity.
Above is the front of the card, with various resident groups and areas being coded differently. We learn some of the key upcoming dates, August 1 especially.
Missing here is September 9 when the City Council likely will first vote on this up-zoning plan.
Missing here is September 23, the likely date of the Council's second and final vote on this up-zoning plan.
Missing here is September 28 when this mess of a politically charged and deeply flawed petition will either have been enacted by the Council OR will have died.
Missing here is November 5, the date of the next City Council Election, when the memories of how Councillors voted on this terrible proposal will be still fresh in voters' minds.
Missing here is the period between September 23 and November 2, when CCC will be active in getting out the word on who voted how.
Fortunately we have a number of great City Council Candidates who are on our side on this and are opposed to this petition's passage in its current state, and are already making their views clear. There also are a number of Candidates running to replace current sitting Councillors so we will have a number of new candidates for Council to chose from as well.
9.18.19 CCC ANNOUNCES OUR NEW BOARD AND ADVISORY RESEARCH TEAM MEMBERS. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/ccc-announces-our-new-board-and-advisory-research-team-members
9/15.19 WHO GETS TO SPEAK; WHOSE VOICE COUNTS: Lessons from the Sullivan Court House Fighthttps://www.cccoalition.org/blog/who-gets-to-speak-whose-voice-counts-lessons-from-the-sullivan-court-house-fight
9/14.19 GETTING THINGS DONE! Lessons from the AHO by Fritz Donovanhttps://www.cccoalition.org/blog/getting-things-done-lessons-from-the-aho-by-fritz-donovan9.13.19 Building the CCC Board: Insights and Perspectives. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/building-the-ccc-board-insights-and-perspectives.
9.10.19 The AHO was tabled by Council last night until the next term. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/we-won-against-great-odds-the-aho-was-tabled-by-council-last-night-until-the-next-term
9.8.19 The Small Property Owners Association (SPOA) mails out a newsletter opposing the AHO . https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/the-small-property-owners-association-spoa-mails-out-a-newsletter-opposing-the-aho
9.7.19 Phone Polling on the AffORDABLE HOUSING OVERLAY .WWW.CCCOALITION.ORG/BLOG/WHAT-WHO-AND-WHY-ANONYMOUS-PHONE-POLLING-ON-THE-AFFordable Housing Overlay https://
9. 7.19 DON'T SET A BAD PRECEDENT! Stop Developers from Increasing CambridgeSide Building Heights by 82% by Marlene Lundberg and Rafi Mohammed https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/dont-set-a-bad-precedent-stop-developers-from-increasing-cambridgeside-building-heights-by-82-by-marlene-lundberg-and-rafi-mohammed
9.6.19 On Nimbyism, Yimbyism, and Planning: It is a Matter of History by Stephen Kaiser https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/on-nimbyism-yimbyism-and-planning-it-is-a-matter-of-history-by-stephen-kaiser.
9.2.19 Letter in a Bottle: responding to an AHO Proponent https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/letter-in-a-bottle-responding-to-an-aho-proponent
8.31.19. CCC's 1st City Council Open Forum: Candidates and Questionnaire (How Would You Fare?) https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/cccs-1st-city-council-open-forum-candidates-and-questionnaire-how-would-you-fare
8.28.19 Tit4Tat (or something like that) on AHO handouts https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/tit4tat-or-something-like-that-on-aho-handouts
8.28.19 WANTED/REWARD: Illegal Political Postering on the AHO. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/wantedreward-political-postering-on-the-aho
DUELING AHO OPINION PIECES featured in the August 22, 2019 DIG BOSTON https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/dueling-aho-opinion-pieces-featured-in-the-august-22-2019-dig-boston
8.17.19 COMMON SENSE: Councillor Dennis Carlone on "Urban Design and Implementation Recommendations for the (Not Ready) Proposed Affordable Housing Overlay"
CONCERNING BUSINESS: Susan Labandibar, Board Chair of Cambridge Local First, Foresees Negative AHO Impacts .https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/concerning-business-susan-labandibar-board-chair-of-cambridge-local-first-foresees-negative-aho-impacts
8.13.19. POLITICS BY DESIGN and Why it Matters. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/politics-by-design-form-vs-farand-why-it-matters
8.12.19. WHY TREES MATTER TO EVERYONE: One More Reason why the AHO is Deeply Flawed https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/why-trees-matter-to-everyone-one-more-reason-why-the-aho-is-deeply-flawed
8.8.19. GRAPPLING WITH GRAPHICS: Misrepresenting the Complexities of Visualizing the AHO https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/grappling-with-graphics-misrepresenting-the-complexities-of-visualizing-the-aho
8.8.19 REALITY CHECK: Peter Kroon responds to Disinformation promoted on the AHO Reality website https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/reality-check-peter-kroon-responds-to-disinformation-promoted-on-the-new-affordable-housing-overlay-reality-website
8.7.19. REBOOT: Kelly Dolan's letter: Withdraw Affordable Housing Overlay Petition https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/withdraw-affordable-housing-overlay-petition-for-a-rewrite-to-be-simply-voted-by-city-council-by-kelly-dolan
8.6.19. NOT READY: Patty Nolan on the Affordable Housing Overlay Proposal Not Ready for Prime Time in Cambridge https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/affordable-housing-overlay-proposal-not-ready-for-prime-time-in-cambridge
8.3.19. CAMBRIDGE HOUSING CONCERNS: A Short History. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/the-housing-crisis-a-short-history
7.31.19 YES to Affordable; No to this Plan. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/yes-to-affordable-housing-and-no-to-the-overlay
7.29.19 HOT OFF THE PRESS: New Design Guidelines. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/hot-off-the-press-new-design-guidelines
7.29.19 WHO QUALIFIES for AHO Housing. https://www.cccoalition.org/blog/july-29th-2019
7.28.19 HOW DID WE END UP HERE? What are the Core Concerns?