Cambridge Citizens Coalition
As the City Manager campaign moves towards conclusion and a final vote, a campaign video has surfaced that is being emailed to some groups around the city. This is accompanied by a social media effort to rally Councillors (and residents) around one candidate. The video itself is a "soft touch" approach and includes a number of residents, including a pastor, a weekly breakfast political discussion host, the leader of a local youth support group, and a proponent of more development who also opposes neighborhood conservation efforts. The creators of the video are not known because no information is included on who put this video together, who contacted the speakers, or who funded this effort. You can watch the short video here:
It is surprising for such an important decision that no facts or data are included in this video. This information is what any such decision must be based on.
And, there is an interesting back story: While the video gives no clue about who funded and filmed this effort, the accompanying social media campaign is far clearer. Based on recent social media posts, this campaign is being mounted by the city's pro-development activists and their supporters.
Surprising and troubling in this effort is that one of the spokespersons on this video is well known locally for his social media attacks against Cambridge residents, City Councillors he opposes, Cambridge Historical Commission members, neighborhood group leaders and others. It is this same person who is leading the social media campaign which also is framed around attacking groups and Councillors who do not favor this candidate.
It is sad to see a Cambridge city manager candidate identified on campaign materials with an individual who attacks others so readily as a matter of course. While some who appear on this video may not know about this individual's attacks, the creators of the video and those who invited and filmed the key speakers, were clearly aware of this person's problematic history and attempts to bully and silence residents who simply want a well run city.
We need a city manager who will be a smart leader, who will address issues of planning, data and government transparency, and who will not be swayed by those who seek to bully others who try to make the city a better place for both present and future generations.
Below are two of the posts that are part of the recent "support-campaign" for this candidate. The name calling "NIMBY" and "bigoted" framing is par for the course for the individual who posted this and his supporters, as is his opposition to those groups (like CCC and the Cambridge Residents Alliance) who want thoughtful planning rather than the current pro-development, pro-market rate (luxury) housing agenda that is fallaciously identified by this individual as "meaningful housing production."
This kind of attack must stop. Candidates who promote individuals engaged in this kind of behavior in their campaign materials are continuing the problem. Cambridge can and must do better.