Sunday, June 16, 2024

I have been honored to serve Cambridge and all its residents for the past 10 years, using a commonsense business point of view integrated with knowledge gained as a publicly focused architect and urban design consultant. Much of this honor derives from helping neighborhood and small-business groups with more than 15 planning, zoning and urban design development concerns when no one else came forward. Public entities must serve the greater good, especially those most in need, and at the same time mitigate any resulting negative impacts on others. I strongly believe there is always a reasonable solution that accomplishes both goals.

Another aspect of my joy serving on the council has come from redirecting the budget into previously under-funded areas – affordable housing, prekindergarten, pedestrian safety, public places and open space, among others. No one councillor can succeed by themselves. To gain a majority of council votes means doing quality research, getting input and presenting a position that’s clear, is embedded in social justice and balances issues in a win-win manner. It is very satisfying when this happens.

Cambridge development is booming, but it is spreading in a very unplanned manner into neighborhood business districts. The council has dramatically upzoned many business districts (and therefore increased the value of land) to such an extent that the cost of housing and living has skyrocketed in 30 years. We must confront the reality of what is happening with an intelligent, balanced approach.

Over the past decade your support has humbled me and, at the same time, encouraged me to fight for what is right on the council in the short and long terms. It is with that in mind, that I have very mixed feelings when I say that I will not be running for a sixth term. At the age of 76, the next phase of my life will focus more on family, writing and perhaps consulting. Of course, I will remain active in the community and will make myself available to strategize as we push for a shared, progressive vision for our Cambridge.

Dennis Carlone has served as city councillor since 2014.