As a 2007 graduate of CRLS, I distinctly remember crowdsourcing our high school’s three-word motto in homeroom. It represents the cornerstone ideals of the Cantabrigian community and culture: opportunity, diversity and respect. Sadly, Cambridge has reached a point where our community needs to ask itself: “Does Cambridge work to make these values a reality?”

Does it genuinely appear that our city is becoming a more affordable place, where our youth can find housing and pursue opportunity? Is our city becoming a more diverse place, where artists, auto mechanics and teachers can afford to live alongside bioengineers and software developers? Does our city respect the limited budgets of recent CRLS graduates and work to develop places where they can afford to rent an apartment?

The sincere and painful answer to these questions is “No.” Cambridge is becoming a place where our high school graduates cannot afford to rent apartments and pursue opportunity. Our very own alumni are being pushed out of decreasingly diverse neighborhoods. Our municipal government struggles to respect the very values we mandate it instill in our youth.

I’m voting for Nadeem Mazen because I know he can help reverse that trend. His track record and indefatigable work ethic are proof. He’s worked tirelessly to build two businesses in Central Square that provide professional development and diverse artistic opportunities to community members. He’s committed himself to social justice and environmental causes, and he teaches artists at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts to respect their dreams and pursue them professionally.

I don’t agree with all of Nadeem’s platform points and I believe it would be naïve to expect such of any candidate. I do, however, respect the manner in which he approaches problems, and I trust him to do what he thinks is best for our community when he is confronted with inevitably unpredictable issues. I trust his ethics, morals and thought process to work through Cambridge’s problems quickly and creatively. I’m voting for Nadeem because I trust him to help make Cambridge a place where alumni of our very own high school can afford to pursue opportunity, diversity and respect.

Joseph A. Poirier, Highland Avenue