From “A Concerned Citizen Voter of Cambridge” to city planners, Dec. 24, 2015: Please rethink your undemocratic procedure for renaming the citywide development master plan process and extend the voting deadline. The four tepid options you have offered do not reflect the unbounded creativity of the citizenry and do disservice to the award-winning talents and renowned accomplishments of our city’s hardworking professional planning department.
As we have recently seen, Cambridge’s unique proportional representation voting system allows the electorate to pick the excellent leaders we deserve in a much fairer manner than conventional winner-take-all methods.
Since you received 200 suggested names for the upcoming citywide planning process, why not provide a final ballot that lists all of these candidates, allows voters to rank-order their preferences, and lets them write-in other possibilities that you may have overlooked?
This approach would help to dispel rumors the election has been rigged to ensure that “Envision Cambridge,” a stale sobriquet that evokes the “Envision Porter Square” planning debacle of decades ago, is the predetermined selection of self-interested city planning officials who will enjoy a free junket visit to the upcoming “Envision America” event in Charlotte, N.C.
I have given this matter much thought, and I realize that the local PC police have properly demanded that the earlier “master plan” designation be changed because of its sexist, racist and fascist overtones. The term “master” evokes thoughts of our paternalistic society’s ongoing subjugation of women. Surely a name such as “The Cambridge Mistress Plan” or “Ms. and Mister Rossi’s Neighborhood” is more appropriate for an inclusive community such as Cambridge.
Instead of uttering “master” and evoking the inequities of the medieval guild system, painful memories of slavery and brutality in American history and degrading sadomasochistic sexual practices and forms of self-abuse that survive around the world to this day, how about substituting less inflammatory names, as, say, “The Cambridge Livin’-Wage-Is-Easy PLAN-tation,” or “Cambridge Miracle Whip,” or “Happy Ending Cambridge”?
And we certainly should not offend others by triggering thoughts of Hitler’s “master race” policies when more appropriate names for our citywide comprehensive plan are readily available. How about “Triumph of the Willpower,” “CamBridj Uber Call Lyft,” or, my favorite, “Cambridge: The Final Solution”?
It’s hard to accept that not one of the hundreds of suggested names I previously submitted made your final cut. I hope you will reconsider your decision, alter the online ballot to allow for multiple-preference selection, and open the naming process to individual write-in candidates such as those below.
The Concerned Citizens Write-in Slate
Make Cambridge Great Again
Cambridge, More or Less
Toward a Sustainable Future, Part 2
Growth Management for Dummies
Plan E from Outer Space
The Big Fix
There Goes the Neighborhood
Son of C2/K2
Cambridge Blah-Blah: The Vibrant, Resilient, Sustainable, Affordable, Accessible, Livable, Walkable, Bikeable, Innovative, Anti-Sprawl, Transit-Oriented, Multimodal, Green, Diverse, Multicultural, Politically Correct, Transparent, Inclusive, Participatory, Comprehensive, Citywide, Sanctuary, LEED-Designed, Smart-Growth, World-Class, Fully Envisioned Buzzword Scheme for the Twenty-First Century, Infinity and Beyond
Creating North Boston
Cambridge 2020 Vision
Picture This Cambridge
What’s the Big Idea, Cambridge?
The Gospel According to CDD
America’s Sexiest City Plan
Start Us Up, Cambridge
Dithering Heights: Boomtown Cambridge Goes All In
Adventures in Blunderland: Cambridge at the Gridlocked Crossroads
The Cambridge Benign Growth Plan
Boston Strong, Cambridge Stronger
Traffic Calming Gone Wild
NIMBYfest Cambridge: 2016 and Beyond
War of the Words: A Cambridge Public Plan
It’s Futile, Utile
The Charles River Left Bank Blueprint Blues
Cambridge Goes to Rehab
Make My Cambridge
The Cantab Lunge
Cambridge Fiddles (While Sanders Burns Hillary)
Cambridge 3000 or Bust!
Heads Up, Cambridge!
The Great Leap Forward
Cambridge Go Brag (Somerville Sucks)
Our Fair City: Cambridge Looks Ahead
Task Farce Cambridge: Grand Delusions and Foregone Conclusions
Next Stop Nirvana
Mission: Impossible – Cambridge
The Cambridge STEAMroller: Paving the Way to the Future
Cambridge LEEDs the Way
Presto Chango Cambridge
The Concord-Alewife Study, Revised and Expanded Edition
Be Prepared Cambridge
Fantastic Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: A Cambridge Plan for Stopping Ocean Creep
Tickle Me, Cambridge
Who’s On First, Cambridge?
More Cambridge Conversations?
Cambridge Groupthink Rocks!
Cambridge Upside Down: Planning Our Civic Urinals
Cambridge Community Auditions
Mission Control Cambridge
Ground Zero Cambridge
Plan Ahead Cambridge: Blank Lives Don’t Matter
Cambridge from Here to Eternity
Granfalloon 2016: Bowling Alone Together in Cambridge
Going Gotham: The Road to Little Manhattan
Search for Tomorrow Cambridge: Paradise Lost or Prelude to Posterity?
The Royal Nonesuch: A CDD Touring Production
Cambridge Focus: Peeing into the Prevailing Winds of Change
Survivor Cambridge: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast CDD
Call Me Cambridge
Gentrify Cambridge Now: Staying the Course While Stumbling Forward
The Cambridge Planning Workshop: Stand Up, Speak Up, Sit Down, Shut Up
Tweaking the E Pluribus Unity Slate’s Platform
Defining Cambridge: Urban Plannerspeak, Consultantese and Zoning Gobbledegook for Laypersons
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Cambridge
The Cambridge Stink Tank
Iram’s Magical Mystery Tour
Micromanaging MIT: Microtechnology, Microsoft and Micro-Unit Apartments
The Funky Cambridge Visioning Party: City Hall’s Def Jam Hip-Hop Breakout Group Break-Dance Street Celebration
The Cambridge Charrette: Think Locally, Act Vocally
The Cambridge One-Way Freeway to Anywhere
Je Suis Cambridge: An Action Plan for Overreacting, Canceling Classes and Evacuating the City through Rush-Hour Bottlenecks in an Age of Homegrown Bomb Hoaxes
Cambridge 2040: The Brave New World-Class City
Floating on Airheads Cambridge
The Town-Gown Frolics: Why Public Planning in Harvard’s & MIT’s Backyard Is Completely Academic
Up with Cambridge: A PR Scheme to Make the City Slicker
Cambridge Follies of 2017: Remembering Ziegfeld, Fulton, Seward, and La Trémouille
Spiffing Up, Cambridge: The Porcine Lipstick Project
Urban Renewal Today: Tip’s Legacy Lives
Your Voice, Their City: A Periodic Citizens Meet-and-Greet with CDD’s Planners and Consultants
PlanCamGenY: Preventing Gen Z Frenzy
Beating the Bubble’s Burst: A Better Cambridge Citywide Upzoning Plan
SimCambridge 3000: Advise and Dissent
Cambridge Urban Planning 101: Using PowerPoint to Promote Propensity for Density
Cambridge Stew: Ingredients for Course Correction in Midstream
Our Way or the Highway: Planning CDD’s Next Big Mistake
Let’s Get Engaged, Cambridge!
Helter Skelter: A Citywide Strategy for Co-opting the Cambridge Residents Alliance
The Mother of All Cambridge Plans
Cambridge on the Brink
Where’s the Beef, Cambridge?
Making Sausage in the Public Square
The Cambridge Manifesto: Go Forth and Multiply
The Cambridge Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Growing for Broke Cambridge
Cambridge Status Quo Vadis?
Heaven Can’t Wait for Cambridge
The “It Takes a Village Idiot” Plan for Cambridge
Bob Winters’ Wonderland
An Oaktree on Every Porch
Twist & Shout, Cambridge
A Cambridge Planning Lottery: The City That Never Sweepstakes
Here We Go Again, Cambridge
Cambridge Green Machine
Preparation H Cambridge
Reaching Critical Mass Ave Cambridge
Flight of the Stumblebums
CDD’s Next Top Model
Gimme Affordable Shelter (Side A)
Sympathy for the Developer (Side B)
(from the bootleg album “You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Twining/Normandy”)
OMG LGBTQ LSMFT OICURAQT, Cambridge
Sharing Cambridge Fantasies
Dare to Dream Cambridge
The Cambridge Quietus Project
Treading H2O: Cambridge – Will It Float?
CDD Mails It In
Reinventing the Wheel with Harvard, MIT and Lesley
The Cambridge Confederacy of Dunces
Only in Cambridge
Nobody’s Home: Inclusionary Grousing in Cambridge
Ready or Not, Here We Come, Cambridge!
The Rossi Factor Spin Zone
Marching to Oblivion: The Good Intentions and Best-Laid Plans of CDD
Nolen’s Cambridge Nightmare: Burying Olmsted’s Vision Forever
Healyville, Healyville – Here at Last!
Multimillion-Dollar Baby Steps: Timmy Toomey Told You So
Revolutionary Ways to Stop Revolting Developments in the People’s Republic of Cambridge
Group-groping Toward Utopia
The Abominable Snowjob
Navigating the Cambridge Floods with Your Smartphone App
The Ivory Towering Inferno: Preparations for Global Warming on Cambridge Campuses
Comprehensive Planning as Occupational Therapy in Cambridge
Cambridge 2525: Parking Lot or Camelot?
Hah Hah Hah Hahvahd
Cambridge: City of Blights and Delights
Cloud 9 Cambridge
The Cambridge Wonk Parade: Treating a Cancer on the Residency
Cambridge Reimagined: What’s the Frequency, Kenneth Reeves?
Taming the Beast: The Cambridge Emergency Brake Job
Averting but Flirting with Disaster: The Cambridge Balanced Approach to Growth
The Jolly Green Giant Ecoplan
Growing Up in Cambridge: Extrapolating Mass+Main Methodology
The Cambridge Idea Exchange & Swap Meet
Ecstasy = MassAve x Central Square
(E = mc2)
Code Blue Cambridge
A CamBridge Too Far
The Cambridge Mistress Plan
Ms. and Mister Rossi’s Neighborhood
The Cambridge Livin’-Wage-Is-Easy PLANtation
Cambridge Miracle Whip
Happy Ending Cambridge
Triumph of the Willpower
CamBridj Uber Call Lyft
Cambridge: The Final Solution