In a few short weeks, nine city councillors will decide who will be the next mayor of Cambridge. I’ve heard from current and former council staff that folks are already angling for the job. 

The decision is made among councillors through wheeling and dealing, using their vote for mayor to benefit themselves immediately or in the future – and possibly not to benefit their constituents. We don’t know.

Few of the choices for mayor, if any, have management or real leadership experience, and this kind of leadership decision-making extends to staff. I know of one current staff position that was offered to a person at the luncheon after the city’s inauguration with no vetting, interview or presentation of even a résumé or CV.

It’s time we as the residents of Cambridge take back the responsibility of who will lead our city. In a city as important as Cambridge, mayors should earn the position.

At the very least, those running for council should commit to some process on the basis for their mayoral choice – ideally picking the most qualified, not the person with the most chips.

Emmanuel Lusardi, East Cambridge


Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi is a longtime immigrant activist and former liaison for immigrant affairs to the Cambridge Mayor’s Office.