Plinio DeGoes for City Council, 2015
Plinio DeGoes immigrated to the United States at age 7 from Brazil. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Emory Law School and Harvard University and a member of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts, for which he helped campaign for Ralph Nader for president. He is a husband and father.
Compiled from the candidate’s words in publicly available sources
DeGoes is running independently.
Top three priorities:
These items harm the most vulnerable members of our community.
Ward 6 Democrats endorsement?
The Ward 6 Democrats endorsed nine council candidates this year, choosing only from among registered Democrats and saying it “sought to recommend candidates who would bring the vision, skills and experience most needed to govern Cambridge at this time, regardless of slate affiliation.”
Score from ABC:
The residents group A Better Cambridge rated 19 out of 22 candidates for City Council (all who responded to a comprehensive questionnaire) measuring their level of agreement with the group’s “smart growth” platform of development- and transit-focused priorities and goals. In the words of the group, “higher-rated candidates demonstrate a strong understanding of the complex housing and development challenges facing Cambridge [and] are best prepared to make Cambridge a more affordable and livable city for all residents, especially low-income families.” There is a maximum score of 45 points.
The Cambridge Residents Alliance endorsed five council candidates this year. The residents group is focused on development and housing affordability issues and opposes projects it feels will gentrify neighborhoods or add to traffic and transit congestion. Its endorsed candidates were those it felt would “allow real planning”; refused campaign donations from “large developers”; and vowed to work for a citywide development master plan that prevented “overdevelopment and displacement.”
DeGoes has an Ivy League doctorate but roots in the working class, including jobs as a cashier and mover. These roots are what he cites as inspiration for running for City Council and for much of his policies to protect the affordability of the city. Until recently he watched Brazilian soccer with a group, he has said on the campaign trail, and “slowly the entire club moved to Somerville” as its members became priced out of Cambridge. “The City Council has presided over an exodus,” he says.
As a result, he is interested in ensuring class bias is kept out the studies that craft city policy, including our vital “nexus” studies, and in seeing a progressive tax that helps those who need it and asks a reasonable amount of those who can afford it. He opposes big money in campaigns that “creates the appearance of impropriety and undermines confidence in government.”
He also believes the city has too many corporate franchises such as McDonald’s and Starbucks and has lost “our local flavor … shops owned by local residents should be our priority,” he says, saying that Cambridge, like cities including Austin and Portland, should “keep it weird.”
For a class-conscious voter, DeGoes is a smart and pleasant, but obviously very sharp, choice.