Wednesday, May 22, 2024


A native of South Korea who came to the United States at age 16 in 1984, James Lee graduated from high school, college and graduate school all in Massachusetts. He has lived in Cambridge since 1995, getting his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2003 and staying for work. He has taught at Dartmouth, Bowdoin and Stonehill colleges and has been a longtime research affiliation with Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Since 2007, has has worked as well at a boutique financial services and business consulting firm. He has been a regular volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and St. James Summer Homeless Shelter in Porter Square since the 1990s.

Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources


Our take Lee


Lee’s top three priorities:

From the Cambridge Residents Alliance


Affordable housing and responsible, smart, sustainable development.


Environment and quality of life.


Education and employment.


On local business:

Condensed and edited from responses given to Cambridge Local First

It is incumbent on city government to work with the local business community to preserve and promote local small businesses and keep large multinational retailers, restaurant chains and the like from dominating the city’s commercial life and landscape. The city should also do what it can to support retail stores and restaurants that are affordable for local residents of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Cambridge should be up-to-date in offering real-time digital information interface through Web and smartphone applications and the like. Provided that adequate privacy safeguards can be ensured, Cambridge must be on the cutting edge of the current global trend toward “smart cities” – cities whose digital information platforms based on integrated data collection, synthesis and analysis offer useful actionable information and help make the cities more efficient, livable and sustainable.

These downloadable apps can show real-time crime reports, free parking spaces, playgrounds, traffic congestion, road accidents and construction, as well as facility closures due to extreme weather conditions and the like, all of which can help residents, commuters, motorists, bikers, schools and businesses.

I would support more resources for the city’s IT department to offer potential services such as expanded free Wi-Fi zones that would eventually cover the entire city.


Lee on the issues

From Cambridge Community Television

Public transportation:

The Foundry building: