Joe McGuirk for City Council, 2021
Challenger running for City Council for the first time
Background: Bartender and restaurant worker whose family has been Cantabrigians for generations | Focuses: Affordable housing, local business and climate justice
From A Better Cambridge, Sept. 19: What’s the No. 1 strategy or policy you want the next City Council to pursue on housing?
If I had to identify one goal, it would be ending exclusionary zoning. But the housing problem is going to have to be attacked on multiple fronts, and we have to always consider that those most in need, those most vulnerable, those most likely to displaced should be our priorities.
From the Porter Square Neighbors Association, Oct. 21: How will you deal with resident concerns about feeling unheard on proposals affecting the city?
The main reason I’m running is to amplify the voices of those who are not often heard, something I’ve practiced all my life as an employee of restaurants. Another advantage I have is a relationship with a lot of small-business and restaurant owners, as well as being a bartender – a very public-facing job where I know a lot of the folks that are involved in these issues on both sides. I’d like to be a consensus builder and a collaborator on solutions. One thing I have not done is sign a pledge that takes away my ability to be flexible and try to make sure that all stakeholders are heard.
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.
I will look to hire a city manager that has the requisite skills to run a city such as Cambridge. Fiscal responsibility is obviously needed. While we have a large amount of free cash, we must continue to be wise about how we allocate our resources – we cannot be certain of what the future holds, especially as we face the impact of climate change. But I also hope to hire someone who recognizes the long-held values of the city and will act in accordance with the wishes of the city as communicated through the City Council and public involvement. I especially hope we can find someone who will not simply do the bidding of those who hold more influence through the power associated with money and the leisure time to make their voices heard, but will take into account those residents who have less sway and power, who nonetheless should have equal consideration by our manager and council.