Cambridge Citizens Coalition
CCCis pleased to announce...
-Our First Cambridge City Council Open Forum-
Date: October 6, 2019
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Place: Washburn Auditorium, Lesley University, 6 Phillips Place
Who RSVP'd to participate in our inaugural CCC event?
Current City Councillors and Challengers Include:
*indicates current Councillors
The 2019 Cambridge City Council
What issues does our Questionnaire address?
We prepared an even dozen questions to contemplate
How would you fare?
1. Cambridge’s tree canopy is shrinking, with a 22% decline in just the last decade. Given climate change and the direct impact trees have on keeping cities cooler, do you believe mature trees should be cut for new affordable housing or other developments? What would you do to protect and expand Cambridge’s tree canopy? As one of the 5 most densely populated cities in the U.S over 100,000 people, would you protect current zoning and environmental regulations that balance growth with livability?
2. The City is running out of electrical capacity, roads in many parts of the city are in poor condition, traffic keeps increasing with new developments, T capacity maxes out at peak periods and is unreliable, and in one neighborhood an 1860’s water main burst leaving residents with over a million dollars in losses. As City Councilor, what would you do to address these basic infrastructure issues? How would you address related problems that increased density and overdevelopment are causing?
3. Local businesses are at great risk in the city and business vacancies are increasing, what would you do as Councilor to enhance the economic viability of local businesses in the city?
4. Nearly 68% of our residents are renters. Too many are threatened with lease terminations when their buildings are purchased for condos. State law prohibits rent control but allows tenants two years of protection when their apartments are converted. Should the City create a taskforce to work with these tenants to find new housing or, optimally, to be able to buy their units? Are there other means that you would use to provide protections for all tenants who face escalating rents?
5. The City has a laudable goal of producing 100 affordable housing units annually (in addition to those units created by set-asides in market rate developments). With the City now producing 40-60 units each year, how do you suggest the City reach its goal?
6. With Cambridge’s cost of housing so high, would you encourage creative ways to increasing housing, including (but not limited to) allowing up to two new units within the shell of current residences or by allowing other accessary dwelling units?
7. While the Cambridge Historical Commission (CHC) has done fine work for decades, it has limited power in the face of the rampant development of recent years. How can the CHC be strengthened to protect Cambridge’s unique architectural history while still allowing reasonable growth?
8. While the City Council does not run the schools, it does vote on the overall School Department budget. What would you do to expand early childhood education (3- and 4-year olds) in the City so that all Cambridge children have an equitable start in life?
9. Most current Cambridge households have at least one car. Many residents can’t rely on public transportation to get to overnight jobs, work outside of Cambridge, or to travel for work between sites. What standard would you use to require developers to provide parking for new affordable and market-rate residential developments?
10. The City has helped make biking safer and more popular, which is a positive development for everyone. Many bicyclists follow the rules of the road, however many do not. How should the City encourage cyclists to follow its traffic laws?
11. Under the strong manager form of government that Cambridge adopted in 1940, it can be difficult for citizens to be heard at City Hall. What would you do to make government overall, not just the Council’s work, more transparent and accountable to residents?
12 What question do you wish we had asked you, but didn’t? How would you answer it?