Sam Seidel for City Council, 2013
Sam Seidel, 46, is a native New Yorker with degrees in the classics from the University of California at Berkeley and public policy from Georgetown. He has been in Cambridge for 15 years and an urban planner for 10, having received his most recent master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 2001. He served two terms on the City Council, from 2007-11, including one as vice-mayor.
He served two years as president of the board at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House community center.
Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources
Seidel’s top three priorities:
Developing a comprehensive, coordinated system of out-of-school-time structure for children. As a board member of the Margaret Fuller House, I know the lack of coordination between nonprofits, the city and corporations means that nonprofits vie for dollars in unhelpful ways. This situation can be corrected through council leadership, and this will support our children in the best way.
Leading a thorough, comprehensive and inclusive process that creates a real vision for the new development in Central Square – one that incorporates the long-term trends in this city, clarifies the role of MIT in future plans and renews our focus on housing needs.
Focusing on the environment, including the net zero zoning petition and calling together a bike summit that brings all interested parties together to address our changing patterns of transportation.
On local business:
City government needs to be responsive to the needs of local businesses and should work closely with the many business associations throughout the city to support their missions and help them thrive. Cambridge needs to continue to spend money on infrastructure investments throughout the city, especially to make travel and transit as seamless as possible. This includes investment in bicycle transit and bike parking, which is fast becoming a very important part of moving around Cambridge. The city needs to help sponsor events in the various square throughout the city that highlight and showcase the different qualities of these different spaces. The city needs to continue to promote public art and performance as ways to create lively street environments. The city also needs to continue its good planning work to envision what makes streets work for pedestrians and retail. And the city needs to find ways to spend its money locally, to enhance local buying in every place it can.
I would like to develop a “young entrepreneurs” program that takes the energy of the startup world in Cambridge and translates it into energy in the local business world. The Cambridge Innovation Center doesn’t need to be the only hub of activity of business startups in Cambridge. Young people who have an interest in starting a local business should be able to find the space, the support, the funding and the network to make their ideas possible, whether it be in food, in light manufacturing, in arts or music or in a whole host of other arenas. This can be done in conjunction with the various business associations around the city. Another initiatives is to continue the work along the Massachusetts Avenue corridor that will support those businesses.
Seidel on the issues
Finding a new city manager:
Spending on school construction: