Alanna Mallon for City Council, 2019
Incumbent first elected in 2017 and seeking second term in office
Background: Nonprofits | Focuses: Food insecurity, arts, housing
Edited and condensed from recent public forums.
Given that more than 63 percent of Cambridge residents are renters, what policies would you propose to support housing stability and prevent tenant displacement, especially for low-income tenants?
I spend so much of my time as a city councillor working on issues of displacement with residents and families. There’s always a situation where families are being displaced and people need a place to go, and we have absolutely no place to put them. There are things we’re doing at the state level, and I look forward to putting into practice recommendations from the Tenant Protection Task Force led by councillor Sumbul Siddiqui. One of the things the previous City Council did was appoint a housing liaison – a fighter, who has been doing this work for a long time and I think has made incredible strides, and I look forward to her actually putting her arms around housing instability here to see what we can do.
Do you support Gov. Baker’s Housing Choice Bill, which would let cities and towns adopt zoning rules related to housing by a simple majority of the governing body instead of a supermajority?
Yes, because it’s not just about Cambridge and our 6-3 majority; it’s about neighboring communities that are not adding enough housing, which creates a tremendous amount of pressure on Cambridge and Greater Boston.
Cambridge celebrates its diversity but still has work to do in cultivating an environment that reflects the values of equity and inclusion. How would you move us toward greater equity for our residents?
We need equity in transportation, in housing, in climate measures and in education. But that starts with our city departments and our City Council. The diversity and equity and inclusion work we do is not a one-day session or a conference. It is a continual process that needs to happen in every single city department. The Department of Human Services had been doing an incredible job making monthly and weekly efforts to do this with small group meetings talking about race and equity, but it is a constant process that all of our city departments need to be undertaking.