Quinton Zondervan for City Council, 2021
Incumbent first elected in 2017 and seeking his third term in office
Background: Computer Science, environmental nonprofits | Focuses: Climate, transportation
From A Better Cambridge, Sept. 19: What’s the No. 1 strategy or policy you want the next City Council to pursue on housing?
Our No. 1 priority has to be getting people off the streets into safe, low-barrier, noncongregate shelter. This term my advocacy secured two new shelters, at Spaulding Hospital and on Green Street. And we have lots of opportunities to do more. For example, we should lean on MIT to expand and improve the shelter at Albany street by building up. My office is working directly with members of the unhoused community, and their stories are heartbreaking. The status quo is totally unacceptable. And the next City Council has to fix it.
From the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition: How would you increase the diversity of voices on city projects and as members of Cambridge boards and committees?
There will be a ballot question Nov 2 asking voters to let the City Council approve board and commission appointments by the city manager, which could go a long way to shifting the balance of power there into the hands of the voters and their elected representatives to ensure diversity and inclusion. We should pay for participation, as I’ve proposed for the new Racial Justice and Equity Commission that was approved unanimously by the council. One of the many privileges of the wealthy is the privilege of time, and the obvious solution is to pay people for their time to level that playing field.
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.
We need a city manager who will be more responsive to the council and the direction it sets by implementing its priorities and using the city’s vast wealth to enact justice-driven policy. We need to look at different types of professionals instead of just limiting our search to executives. We need someone who will face the music and move away from decades of oppressive fiscal conservatism. We need someone who will be more transparent and has a capacity for self-criticism and self-improvement. And we need someone who reflects the diversity of our community and ideally someone who has experienced discrimination and structural disadvantages and is passionate about dismantling the systems of oppression that continue to hold people down.