Alanna Mallon for City Council, 2021
Incumbent first elected in 2017 and seeking third term in office
Background: Nonprofits | Focuses: Food insecurity, arts, housing
From A Better Cambridge, Sept. 19: What’s the No. 1 strategy or policy you want the next City Council to pursue on housing?
We need to look at reforming our affordable homeownership programs such as HomeBridge. The Cambridge Community Foundation just put out an Equity and Innovation Report saying that only 20 percent of our black residents own homes, as opposed to 36 percent of our overall total residents. We currently have a program that needs to be reformed, much in line with what Paul Fallon and Just-A-Start did, where you are able to achieve a higher level of equity annually and be able to pass it on generationally to close that racial wealth gap through homeownership.
From the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition: How would you increase the diversity of voices on city projects and as members of Cambridge boards and committees?
We should ensure that remote participation by members of boards and commissions, as well as residents who wish to fully participate in the public process, continues past the pandemic. Residents who wish to engage with local issues that are affecting them should be able to do so from the comfort of their own home, at work, on the subway or wherever they may be. As a city, we should also invest in our boards and commission members and pay a stipend for their time. It’s no wonder that boards such as the Board of Zoning Appeal or Planning Board are not representative of the city: Most residents cannot give up 10-plus hours a week, unpaid, to serve their community. Also, 8 percent of our residents report that English is not their first language, so we must ensure that language justice is at the forefront of all city policy and decisions.