Mushtaque Mirza for City Council, 2013
Born in India of Persian ancestry, Mushtaque Mirza has lived in Cambridge since graduating from the University of Connecticut and getting his engineering license in 1973. He began work with the state Department of Environmental Protection in 1977 and retired in 2003.
He has served as a member of the Cambridge Peace Commission for seven years and volunteered regularly at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter for more than a decade. As a diplomate environmental engineer and member of civil and environmental engineering societies, he has worked on public works projects and built housing and medical diagnostic centers for low and middle-income residents.
He has also been active politically, serving as a member of the executive committee of the Democratic State Committee since 1999; chairman of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee for Ward 4 since 1994; and, in 2004, casting a vote for John Kerry in the presidential campaign against George W. Bush as vice president of the Massachusetts Electoral College.
With these accomplishments and others, he has a unique position among council candidates: the corner of Lee Street and Massachusetts Avenue is dedicated in his honor.
Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources
Mirza’s top three priorities:
Energy and the environment.
Land use and zoning.
During my career as a diplomate environmental engineer I have gained 26 years of experience working to enhance the environment and public health of my community. I began my career working on projects to build low- and middle-income housing. My specialties as an engineer are in housing and water and wastewater projects. Furthermore, I am well versed on Cambridge zoning and planning laws.
On local business:
New development projects should include more mixed-use space, and in particular should reserve space for small businesses. The city should increase the goals for and encourage creation of minority- and women-owned businesses. We must also increase the availability of affordable housing so small-business owners and employees can live near their workplace and develop deeper ties to the community.
I would offer more educational programs to prospective and new local business owners to help them succeed.
Mirza on the issues
The Foundry Building: