Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Two years ago, in my first Cambridge election, I voted for City Council candidates endorsed by A Better Cambridge. This year, I’m proud to do it again. Fundamentally, the nine candidates endorsed by ABC share my belief that anyone who wants to live or stay in Cambridge should be able to do so.

Every time a senior who raised a family in Cambridge can’t afford to retire here; every time a young person who grew up in town can’t move back; every time a potential new neighbor from across Massachusetts, the United States or the world isn’t able to pursue a job, an education or other opportunity because we don’t make space for them is a betrayal of our values and a blow to the dynamism of our city.

Our housing debates in Cambridge often center around policy, and that’s not a bad thing. A Better Cambridge’s vision lays out the agenda I hope the next council advances: Expand the Affordable Housing Overlay and dedicate additional funding for affordable housing; enact greater protections for tenants; end exclusionary zoning rules that cause segregation and sprawl; and reduce carbon emissions by allowing more people to live sustainably in Cambridge’s walkable, bikeable, transit-rich neighborhoods.

Yet while policy is important, elections are a time to reflect on our values. Are you okay with the continued displacement of longtime residents? Are you comfortable saying that only a lucky few should be able to seek a better life here in Cambridge? And do you think dumping our housing crisis into the hands of other cities, such as Chelsea or Boston or Randolph, is truly an equitable solution? I don’t, and neither do the nine candidates I’ve been canvassing for.

If you agree, I encourage you to vote your values on Tuesday. The ABC-endorsed candidates are: Burhan Azeem, Tonia Hicks, Alanna Mallon, Marc McGovern, Joe McGuirk, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler and Paul Toner. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; rank these candidates in the order of your choice.

Neil Miller, Pearl Street