Wednesday, April 24, 2024

101413i-Leland-CheungThe world around us is changing rapidly, and that change seems to be only getting faster. Two of the institutions at the forefront of these developments reside here, and I have chosen to make Cambridge my home to be closer to the innovative and creative caliber this city possesses. But not because I’m a technophile – I want to use that energy to find ways to help us retain the basic humanity of our lives.

I recently started my own small business in Cambridge, called Bloombrick Urban Agriculture. I wanted to start a business that utilizes renewable energy, sustainable living, environmentally conscious products and, most importantly, provides local business with local food. We’re pioneering urban farming, and you may have tasted my microgreens at your favorite locally owned eatery.

Demand has been skyrocketing but, unfortunately, growth has been capped. While Boston and Somerville were well on their way to developing urban agriculture rules we could follow to grow, in Cambridge it was bureaucratically stuck. When we tried to figure out how to jumpstart an initiative, Leland Cheung was the only one who responded to us.

Leland has quickly become Bloombrick’s most valued advocate in City Hall, an experience I’ve since learned has been shared by many. He organized committee meetings, brought regulators to the table, set timetables and objectives and followed up consistently. He’s actually the kind of politician people want but doesn’t seem to exist.

I had a hard time understanding how he can be so different. He was elected while pursuing graduate degrees at Harvard and MIT. He formerly worked in venture capital in Cambridge. He has an incredible track record for bringing new programs to the city, such as Hubway, mobile apps, single-stream recycling and historic zoning initiatives.

I realized it’s not that he already understood how self-empowering it is for residents to grow their own food. Leland loves to bring ideas to life, just like when he was in venture capital. He understands he could be voted out at any time, but unlike most politicians, instead of pandering for votes he’s focused on making the most of the time he has.

Which is why we should vote him No. 1. If he’s safe like his competition claims, we’ll both send a signal and have our No. 2 votes roll to them. If he’s not, we’ll have lost the councillor we can count on.

Ross Cordio, Rindge Avenue