Charting the Cambridge Political Landscape: 2021 City Council Election Alliances in Text and Image
CCC published a chart of City Council Election Alliances in September. We have redesigned that chart to make it easier to read. We also clarified a few elements in it and have added new information (see above image). Some asked for corrections (which we were happy to make in this version), and overall we have received positive responses for this work. None-the-less, some residents asked us to provide a written text to go with our chart. This blogpost does just that. Note: While both Paul Toner and Joe McGuirk initially advocated for more bicycle lanes with stakeholder input per their Vision Zero Coalition statements, more recently they have come down in opposition to safe bicycle lanes. Other corrections to the earlier version of the chart are outlined below.
CAMBRIDGE POLITICAL GROUP ENDORSEMENTS (and what they mean)
Cambridge voters are voicing confusion about the various Cambridge political groupings in play this year. Who are they? What do they stand for? How will this impact City Council decisions. This is our take.
BROADER POLITICAL GROUP FRAMING
Local Political Groups
CCC (Cambridge Citizens Coalition) Founded in 2019
CRESA (Cambridge Residents Alliance) Founded in 2012
Local Political Groups with Area Linkages
CBS (Cambridge Bicycle Safety) – Promoting safer bicycle routes
Local Political Groups with National Alliances
DSA (Democratic Socialists of America)
OR (Our Revolution) – Alliance with Bernie Sanders
SM (Sunrise Movement) – Climate; better jobs
Local Groups with National Linkages
ABC (A Better Cambridge) – YIMBY, builders, market solutions
CAMBRIDGE GROUP AFFILIATIONS (those names in italics are incumbents)
Burhan Azeem – ABC, CBS
Dana Bullister – CCC, CBS, SM
Dennis Carlone – CCC, CBS, CresA, OR
Robert Eckstut – CBS
Tonia Hicks – ABC, CBS, OR, CresA
Alanna Mallon – ABC, CBS
Marc McGovern – ABC, CBS
Joe McGuirk – ABC
Patty Nolan – CCC, CBS, CresA
Sumbul Siddiqui – ABC, CBS
Denise Simmons – ABC
Theodora Skeadas - CBS, CresA, OR, SM
Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler – ABC, CBS, CresA, DSA, OR, SM
Paul Toner – ABC
Nicola Williams – CCC, CBS, CresA, OR
Quinton Zondervan – CBS, CresA, DSA, OR, SM
LOCAL CAMBRIDGE GROUPS
CAMBRIDGE CITIZENS COALITION (CCC) https://www.cccoalition.org/
CAMBRIDGE RESIDENTS ALLIANCE (CRESA) https://www.cambridgeresidentsalliance.org/
National Alliances: none
Local Target Audience: progressives, activists
LOCAL AND AREA GROUPS
CAMBRIDGE BICYCLE SAFETY (CBS) https://www.cambridgebikesafety.org/
Patty Nolan (has faulted the way rollouts achieved)
Nicola Williams (states all business & other stakeholders must be involved in decisions)
NOTE: While both Paul Toner and Joe McGuirk initially advocated for more bicycle lanes with stakeholder input per
their Vision Zero Coalition statements, more recently they have come down in opposition to safe bicycle lanes.
Principal Outreach Format: Facebook, email, Twitter
National Alliances: none known
Local target audience: bicyclists
NATIONAL GROUPS WITH LOCAL CHAPTERS
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA (DSA) Cambridge Branch https://www.dsausa.org/ (no local website)
Funding: area and national
National Alliances: strong
Local Target Audience: progressives, activists, people pushing hard left
OUR REVOLUTION (OR) https://ourrevolution.com/ (Affiliated with Bernie Sanders). No local website
Local Engagements in Council and in the Community
Funding: local and area
Get commercial funding out of local politics
Local Target Audience: progressives, activists, people pushing left
SUNRISE MOVEMENT (SM) https://www.sunrisemovement.org/ Cambridge Branch (no local website)
Funding: national and regional
Green New Deal
Government funding over commercial interests
Supported Sanders in 2020 election
Local Target Audience
Young people, strong left progressives
LOCAL GROUP WITH NATIONAL LINKAGES
A BETTER CAMBRIDGE (ABC): https://www.abettercambridge.org/
Funding: Some candidates receive significant funding from real estate and non-Cambridge donors.
National alliances: YIMBY (“Yes in My Back Yard”) which supports up-zoning (altering or removing
current zoning) and opposes local preservation initiatives.
Local Target Audience: commercial interests, residents wanting more development, more building, and greater density in every neighborhood.
Corrections: 10.19.21. We have updated the chart to correct a couple of typos and to show DSA within the CBS (pledge signers) circle. Note while Toner and McGuirk did not sign the bicycle pledge, they did write that they support bicycle lanes in principle in another document.
10/19/2021 10:34:37 am
Not sure what being inside -- or outside -- of the black circle means.
Cambridge Citizens Coalition
10/19/2021 02:20:14 pm
John - thanks for your comment. Those inside the black circle are candidates who signed the Cambridge Bicycle Safety pledge. We made a note of that at the top of the blog as well.
10/20/2021 09:46:40 am
Short of a broadcast (or live attended) debate, this is a very helpful framework. Improvements I would suggest - some type of graphic representation of which candidates overlap in their group/position support; better demarcation between groups especially as concerning what they may *not* support, or even oppose.
Cambridge Citizens Coalition
10/20/2021 04:06:47 pm
Hi Daniel - Good point. Which issues are you especially interested in us covering? Sometimes the answers lie in part in the details but we could try.
Timothy C O'Donnell
10/20/2021 02:13:11 pm
Thanks Suzanne and CCC for this info. Extremely helpful given the many flyers, etc. coming my way while trying to figure out positions candidates' based on those flyers.
Cambridge Citizens Coalition
10/21/2021 10:36:52 am
Thanks so much! We are working hard to let people know what the larger issues are. And, thanks for your great idea. We will look into posting something along these lines - perhaps addressing core issues in separate blogposts.
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