Thursday, May 23, 2024

From “A Concerned Citizen Voter of Cambridge” to city planners, Dec. 24, 2015: Please rethink your undemocratic procedure for renaming the citywide development master plan process and extend the voting deadline. The four tepid options you have offered do not reflect the unbounded creativity of the citizenry and do disservice to the award-winning talents and renowned accomplishments of our city’s hardworking professional planning department.

LetterAs we have recently seen, Cambridge’s unique proportional representation voting system allows the electorate to pick the excellent leaders we deserve in a much fairer manner than conventional winner-take-all methods.

Since you received 200 suggested names for the upcoming citywide planning process, why not provide a final ballot that lists all of these candidates, allows voters to rank-order their preferences, and lets them write-in other possibilities that you may have overlooked?

This approach would help to dispel rumors the election has been rigged to ensure that “Envision Cambridge,” a stale sobriquet that evokes the “Envision Porter Square” planning debacle of decades ago, is the predetermined selection of self-interested city planning officials who will enjoy a free junket visit to the upcoming “Envision America” event in Charlotte, N.C.

I have given this matter much thought, and I realize that the local PC police have properly demanded that the earlier “master plan” designation be changed because of its sexist, racist and fascist overtones. The term “master” evokes thoughts of our paternalistic society’s ongoing subjugation of women. Surely a name such as “The Cambridge Mistress Plan” or “Ms. and Mister Rossi’s Neighborhood” is more appropriate for an inclusive community such as Cambridge.

Instead of uttering “master” and evoking the inequities of the medieval guild system, painful memories of slavery and brutality in American history and degrading sadomasochistic sexual practices and forms of self-abuse that survive around the world to this day, how about substituting less inflammatory names, as, say, “The Cambridge Livin’-Wage-Is-Easy PLAN-tation,” or “Cambridge Miracle Whip,” or “Happy Ending Cambridge”?

And we certainly should not offend others by triggering thoughts of Hitler’s “master race” policies when more appropriate names for our citywide comprehensive plan are readily available. How about “Triumph of the Willpower,” “CamBridj Uber Call Lyft,” or, my favorite, “Cambridge: The Final Solution”?

It’s hard to accept that not one of the hundreds of suggested names I previously submitted made your final cut. I hope you will reconsider your decision, alter the online ballot to allow for multiple-preference selection, and open the naming process to individual write-in candidates such as those below.

The Concerned Citizens Write-in Slate

PlanIt Cambridge

Make Cambridge Great Again

Cambridge, More or Less

Toward a Sustainable Future, Part 2

Rx Cambridge

Cambridge Rising

Participatory Boondoggling

Growth Management for Dummies

Plan E from Outer Space

The Big Fix

There Goes the Neighborhood

Son of C2/K2

Cambridge Blah-Blah: The Vibrant, Resilient, Sustainable, Affordable, Accessible, Livable, Walkable, Bikeable, Innovative, Anti-Sprawl, Transit-Oriented, Multimodal, Green, Diverse, Multicultural, Politically Correct, Transparent, Inclusive, Participatory, Comprehensive, Citywide, Sanctuary, LEED-Designed, Smart-Growth, World-Class, Fully Envisioned Buzzword Scheme for the Twenty-First Century, Infinity and Beyond

Creating North Boston

Cambridge 2020 Vision

Picture This Cambridge

What’s the Big Idea, Cambridge?

Metromind Cambridge

The Gospel According to CDD

America’s Sexiest City Plan

Start Us Up, Cambridge

Dithering Heights: Boomtown Cambridge Goes All In

Adventures in Blunderland: Cambridge at the Gridlocked Crossroads

The Cambridge Benign Growth Plan

Boston Strong, Cambridge Stronger

Traffic Calming Gone Wild

NIMBYfest Cambridge: 2016 and Beyond

War of the Words: A Cambridge Public Plan

It’s Futile, Utile

The Charles River Left Bank Blueprint Blues

Cambridge Goes to Rehab

Make My Cambridge

The Cantab Lunge

SOS Cambridge

Cambridge Fiddles (While Sanders Burns Hillary)

Cambridge 3000 or Bust!

Heads Up, Cambridge!

The Great Leap Forward

Cambridge Go Brag (Somerville Sucks)

Our Fair City: Cambridge Looks Ahead

Task Farce Cambridge: Grand Delusions and Foregone Conclusions

Next Stop Nirvana

Future Schlock!

Mission: Impossible – Cambridge

The Cambridge STEAMroller: Paving the Way to the Future

Remediate Cambridge

Cambridge LEEDs the Way

Hurricane Cambridge

Presto Chango Cambridge

The Concord-Alewife Study, Revised and Expanded Edition

Be Prepared Cambridge

Fantastic Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: A Cambridge Plan for Stopping Ocean Creep

Tickle Me, Cambridge

Who’s On First, Cambridge?

More Cambridge Conversations?

Cambridge Groupthink Rocks!

Cambridge Upside Down: Planning Our Civic Urinals

Cambridge Community Auditions

Mission Control Cambridge

Ground Zero Cambridge

Plan Ahead Cambridge: Blank Lives Don’t Matter

CAD/CAM Cambridge

Cambridge from Here to Eternity

Granfalloon 2016: Bowling Alone Together in Cambridge

Going Gotham: The Road to Little Manhattan

Search for Tomorrow Cambridge: Paradise Lost or Prelude to Posterity?

The Royal Nonesuch: A CDD Touring Production

Cambridge Focus: Peeing into the Prevailing Winds of Change

Survivor Cambridge: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast CDD

Call Me Cambridge

Gentrify Cambridge Now: Staying the Course While Stumbling Forward

The Cambridge Planning Workshop: Stand Up, Speak Up, Sit Down, Shut Up

Tweaking the E Pluribus Unity Slate’s Platform

Defining Cambridge: Urban Plannerspeak, Consultantese and Zoning Gobbledegook for Laypersons

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Cambridge

The Cambridge Stink Tank

Iram’s Magical Mystery Tour

Micromanaging MIT: Microtechnology, Microsoft and Micro-Unit Apartments

The Funky Cambridge Visioning Party: City Hall’s Def Jam Hip-Hop Breakout Group Break-Dance Street Celebration

The Cambridge Charrette: Think Locally, Act Vocally

The Cambridge One-Way Freeway to Anywhere

Je Suis Cambridge: An Action Plan for Overreacting, Canceling Classes and Evacuating the City through Rush-Hour Bottlenecks in an Age of Homegrown Bomb Hoaxes

Cambridge 2040: The Brave New World-Class City

Floating on Airheads Cambridge

The Town-Gown Frolics: Why Public Planning in Harvard’s & MIT’s Backyard Is Completely Academic

Up with Cambridge: A PR Scheme to Make the City Slicker

Cambridge Follies of 2017: Remembering Ziegfeld, Fulton, Seward, and La Trémouille

Spiffing Up, Cambridge: The Porcine Lipstick Project

Urban Renewal Today: Tip’s Legacy Lives

Your Voice, Their City: A Periodic Citizens Meet-and-Greet with CDD’s Planners and Consultants

PlanCamGenY: Preventing Gen Z Frenzy

Beating the Bubble’s Burst: A Better Cambridge Citywide Upzoning Plan

SimCambridge 3000: Advise and Dissent

Cambridge Urban Planning 101: Using PowerPoint to Promote Propensity for Density

Cambridge Stew: Ingredients for Course Correction in Midstream

Our Way or the Highway: Planning CDD’s Next Big Mistake

Let’s Get Engaged, Cambridge!

Helter Skelter: A Citywide Strategy for Co-opting the Cambridge Residents Alliance

The Mother of All Cambridge Plans

Cambridge on the Brink

Where’s the Beef, Cambridge?

Making Sausage in the Public Square

The Cambridge Manifesto: Go Forth and Multiply

The Cambridge Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Growing for Broke Cambridge

Cambridge Status Quo Vadis?

Heaven Can’t Wait for Cambridge

The “It Takes a Village Idiot” Plan for Cambridge

Tinkertoy Cambridge

Bob Winters’ Wonderland

An Oaktree on Every Porch

Twist & Shout, Cambridge

A Cambridge Planning Lottery: The City That Never Sweepstakes

Here We Go Again, Cambridge

Cambridge Green Machine

Cambridge SpeakOut!

Preparation H Cambridge

Reaching Critical Mass Ave Cambridge

Flight of the Stumblebums

CDD’s Next Top Model

Gimme Affordable Shelter (Side A)
Sympathy for the Developer (Side B)
(from the bootleg album “You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Twining/Normandy”)


Sharing Cambridge Fantasies

Trickle-Down Development

Dare to Dream Cambridge

The Cambridge Quietus Project

Cambridge Reborn

Treading H2O: Cambridge – Will It Float?

CDD Mails It In

Reinventing the Wheel with Harvard, MIT and Lesley

The Cambridge Confederacy of  Dunces

Recycling Cambridge

Only in Cambridge

Rediscovering Newtown

Nobody’s Home: Inclusionary Grousing in Cambridge

Ready or Not, Here We Come, Cambridge!

Reforming Cambridge

The Rossi Factor Spin Zone

WTF, Cambridge?

Marching to Oblivion: The Good Intentions and Best-Laid Plans of CDD

Nolen’s Cambridge Nightmare: Burying Olmsted’s Vision Forever

Healyville, Healyville – Here at Last!

Multimillion-Dollar Baby Steps: Timmy Toomey Told You So

Revolutionary Ways to Stop Revolting Developments in the People’s Republic of Cambridge

Group-groping Toward Utopia

The Abominable Snowjob

Navigating the Cambridge Floods with Your Smartphone App

The Ivory Towering Inferno: Preparations for Global Warming on Cambridge Campuses

Comprehensive Planning as Occupational Therapy in Cambridge

Cambridge 2525: Parking Lot or Camelot?

Hah Hah Hah Hahvahd

Cambridge: City of Blights and Delights

Cloud 9 Cambridge

The Cambridge Wonk Parade: Treating a Cancer on the Residency

Cambridge Reimagined: What’s the Frequency, Kenneth Reeves?

Taming the Beast: The Cambridge Emergency Brake Job

Averting but Flirting with Disaster: The Cambridge Balanced Approach to Growth

The Jolly Green Giant Ecoplan

Growing Up in Cambridge: Extrapolating Mass+Main Methodology

The Cambridge Idea Exchange & Swap Meet

Ecstasy = MassAve x Central Square

(E = mc2)

Code Blue Cambridge

A CamBridge Too Far

The Cambridge Mistress Plan

Ms. and Mister Rossi’s Neighborhood

The Cambridge Livin’-Wage-Is-Easy PLANtation

Cambridge Miracle Whip

Happy Ending Cambridge

Triumph of the Willpower

CamBridj Uber Call Lyft

Cambridge: The Final Solution