Marc McGovern for City Council, 2021
Incumbent first elected in 2013 and seeking fifth term in office
Background: Social work | Focuses: Development, economic justice, homelessness
From A Better Cambridge, Sept. 19: What’s the No. 1 strategy or policy you want the next City Council to pursue on housing?
Housing is a complex issue that we have to fight for on many fronts, from zoning reform to tenant protections to building more middle-income housing, expanding homeownership programs, and budget allocations. Most importantly, we have to truly start backing up our words in support of affordable housing with actually allowing it to be built. We need to amend the Affordable Housing Overlay to allow greater height on main corridors and around transit, end exclusionary zoning and eliminate parking minimums, and build on city-owned land and be more aggressive in purchasing property to build more housing.
From the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition: How would you increase the diversity of voices on city projects and as members of Cambridge boards and committees?
When I was mayor, I started the Mayor’s Outreach Team and sent staff into the least-represented neighborhoods to reach out directly to their residents. We were able to address personal concerns and issues, as well as gather information on larger city conversations. I also worked closely with the city to increase funding for the Community Engagement Team, a program that should be expanded. We also need to offer stipends for participation in boards and commissions. As it stands, these are volunteer positions that leave out those who do not have the financial stability or time to participate. And we need to organize; I have organized residents to attend and speak at meetings regarding affordable housing and other issues that directly affect their lives.