Saturday, May 18, 2024

The following letter was in response to a Friday morning message from City Manager Robert W. Healy to “all municipal candidates,” saying “The City of Cambridge will hold the 16th Annual Danehy Park Family Day this Saturday September 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. I am requesting that candidates, their staff and volunteers refrain from setting up tables to distribute literature and holding or posting signs at Danehy Park during this family event. For the many years that this event has been held, candidates have traditionally cooperated with this request. Thank you.”

To whoever made this policy decision,

Whenever I have attended Danehy Park Day in the past, I have observed candidates campaigning and behaving like normal decent human beings, including setting up tables and holding signs. I have even heard incumbents giving speeches on Danehy Park Day at concurrent ceremonies.

I don’t think the intent of this policy is to prohibit campaigning at city events, but it comes across that way. And I certainly don’t think the city should be deciding how we campaign. If campaigning got out of hand in the past, there is a better approach. Embrace it and enable it.

If candidates’ tables were a problem, why not designate a specific area or table(s) for everyone?

Posting signs on public property is wrong, but holding them? If sign holding has become a crowd control issue, designate an area for sign holding. If we can’t share a table or stand together without fighting, we don’t deserve to be elected.

I wasn’t planning to set up a table or have supporters hold signs. I was just going to walk around wearing my button, meeting people and handing out cards. I promise to behave. Here’s hoping for a sunny day for the crowd and candidates alike.

Tom Stohlman, candidate for City Council