Patty Nolan for City Council, 2021
Incumbent first elected in 2019 and seeking for her second term in office
Background: Business, then nonprofits | Focuses: Good governance, climate crisis, affordable Hhousing
From A Better Cambridge, Sept. 19: What’s the No. 1 strategy or policy you want the next City Council to pursue on housing?
I want the City Council to set the tone and consciously and collectively stop ever vilifying those who hold opposing views. Stop with the YIMBY, stop with the NIMBY, stop with saying people are in the pocket of developers. Stop dismissing those of us with questions on developments like 2072 Massachusetts Ave. as not being supportive of affordable housing. That doesn’t help us. We need to set a tone of respect, focus on moving forward and bring the community, together not divide it. If we do that, I believe we would be able to role model behavior we desperately need to address our multiple crises.
From the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition: How would you increase the diversity of voices on city projects and as members of Cambridge boards and committees?
This November the ballot will include for the first time in 80 years proposed changes to our city’s charter. One is to give City Council the power to approve or reject appointments to all boards and commissions I led this successful effort to bring the charter changes to the council and to the voters. That change will be profound and ensure more democracy, transparency and representation on all boards and commissions. Also: One good outcome from the pandemic has been the use of digital access to public meetings. Over the past year we have seen a wider range of residents participating in public meetings, so we need to continue to offer digital access and improve digital literacy to continue and expand this level of participation – another reason municipal broadband, which I consistently push, is essential.
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.
Forward thinking – a visionary – with experience outside of Cambridge and Massachusetts so we can build on best practices and not fall into thinking we already are the best we can be, which will not meet the challenges we face adequately. Also, a leader that holds departments accountable and admits shortcomings, is responsive to the council and has a passion for racial and environmental justice and a desire for Cambridge to be a nationwide leader in these areas.