Monday, June 24, 2024

Cathie Zusy. (Photo: Samara Vise)

Cathie Zusy, a force behind several neighborhood projects and a former museum curator, announced on Thursday a run for Cambridge City Council, adding to the numbers taking out nomination papers to get on the Nov. 7 ballot.

There are nine City Council seats and six School Committee seats, all at-large and on two-year terms, that will be decided at the polls. As of Friday, there will be at least two new faces on each of the council and committee as incumbents say they won’t run for reelection.

Earning the moniker “Magazine Beach Lady,” Zusy led the effort to revitalize Magazine Beach Park in Cambridgeport, securing an $8 million investment to turn the park’s historic powder house into an urban nature center. She began working in the park in 2010 and has served as president of Magazine Beach Partners since 2017.

Zusy also started the project to restore St. Augustine’s African Orthodox Church, which was built in 1886. The church now houses Black History in Action, a nonprofit focusing on community and the arts.

Among her other experiences, Zusy led the Peter Valentine Art House Advisory Board, organized walks throughout the city’s neighborhoods and worked with local students and others on a native-plant initiative. 

She helped found the Cambridge News Matters Advisory Board, which raised money this year to help keep Cambridge Day functioning and enable its print publication, The Week.

As a councillor, Zusy would work to plan and develop the city’s infrastructure thoughtfully, she said in a press release. She supports developing a better transportation system, which would include bike lanes and regional, multimodal transportation. Such a system would include planning for utilities in the Alewife Quad and safe-crossing points over the commuter line tracks around the Alewife T stop.

Zusy supports projects that bolster the city against the effects of climate change and wants to preserve Cambridge’s historic structures and green, open spaces, she said, including planning for schools, markets, playgrounds, libraries and child care centers.

Along with hoping to support business “so that anyone who’s willing to work hard can get ahead,” Zusy used the press release to express interest in keeping Cambridge arts and creativity thriving. “Out-of-the-box thinkers are often great problem solvers and inspire and enrich us by making us see things in different ways.”

Zusy has worked at the Smithsonian Institution, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the New Hampshire Historical Society, where she was chief curator and opened a new museum. She moved to Cambridge in 1995 with her husband, Sam Kendall. Twenty-one years later, her son, Ben, graduated from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.