Saturday, May 25, 2024

Incumbent first elected in 2013 and seeking his fourth term in office

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Background: Architecture, urban design  | Focuses: Planning, environmentalism


What’s a strategy or policy in which you lead the City Council on housing?

When I first joined the council, the city’s No. 1 stated goal of creating affordable housing was greatly underfunded. After researching the financial basis of our city budget and  comparing it with those of Boston, Somerville and Brookline, I convinced the city administration to appropriate $10 million more for affordable housing. Cambridge remains in a unique position to more generously help our residents in need, and I continue to advocate for any new affordable housing development to have an attached townhouselike structure offering services and housing for the unhoused. Another critical, missing component in the city’s present system is a day center for the unhoused.

From the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition: How would you increase the diversity of voices on city projects and as members of Cambridge boards and committees?

In my experience in urban design and designing affordable housing and community plans, it takes dedicated community advocates to literally go door to door. They share information, gain initial feedback, build trust over an extended period and discuss options to solve local needs and problems. This has to be a long term-process.

From the Cambridge Citizens Coalition, Sept 26: Cambridge is about to hire a city manager. Describe your ideal city manager for this time and their qualities.

When I first came to Cambridge, the city was in terrible financial state. Over the years, we built a dramatically expanded commercial base and tax base. Now we have to serve those who are here and live up to our reputation as a caring city of people from all backgrounds and incomes. The new manager needs to have a social justice and physical planning background. She or he must understand the commitment of the city to serve all. The manager has to be a team player, which to me means realizing that the council and residents need to be listened to. The new manager will be coming to a difficult job, but that person will have a council and a budget that will enable the city to move in the socially just direction. 

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Dennis Carlone for City Council, 2019