Saturday, June 22, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City Calendar and in the city’s Open Meetings Portal.


The Moses Youth Center in The Port neighborhood of Cambridge. (Photo: Marc Levy)

School Committee candidates

School Committee candidates forum, 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday An event hosted by Cambridge Families of Asian Descent, the Cambridge Families of Color Coalition, Cambridge Special Education Parent Advisory Council and the Chinese American Association of Cambridge, with attendance by Zoom videoconferencing only.

Housing, Freedmen and opioids

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. This is the meeting that will likely see changes to Affordable Housing Overlay zoning voted and possibly ordained, considering the petition expires Oct. 29 and the next council meeting is being set up as a roundtable about city-owned property in and around Central Square. The zoning is meant to make it easier to build affordable housing citywide and, when passed originally three years ago, had a clause for a check-in at the five-year mark. Backers of the moves to add height and change open space restrictions say the city can’t wait.

The council will take up an order to establish an American Freedmen Commission to handle issues relating to the descendants of enslaved people, including making recommendations for reparations. There’s a separate order on considering how to support cannabis businesses, which have been approved with social equity in mind: How to pay back harms from a war on drugs that hurt black and brown people disproportionately.

The structure of an Opioid Settlement Stabilization Fund is asked by the city manager to use the $1.9 million received so far in settlement payments from a 2021 agreement between the Massachusetts Attorney General and opioid-industry corporations. The money is for such things as treatment of addicts and support for people in recovery. An order about how liquor stores can sell the small bottles of alcohol known as nips returns after being set aside at the previous council meeting, along with work on renovating the schoolhouse at 105 Windsor St., The Port – but now joined by an order asking for a refreshing of the neighborhood’s Moses Youth Center at 243 Harvard St. One more restoration is asked for the Linear Park in North Cambridge, where councillors want the same but better, without losing nature to pavement or removing as many as 80 trees, as one proposal would have it.

A finding from city transportation officials should reassure people worried about changes to the city’s Cycling Safety Ordinance from 2019, before the Covid pandemic and discovery of the importance of outside dining: The current language “is sufficient to allow both separated bicycle lanes … and outdoor dining or pop-ups,” the officials say.

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Understanding health interplay

Government Operations, Rules & Claims and Health & Environment committees, 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday. These committees run by vice mayor Alanna Mallon and city councillor Patty Nolan will discuss the complicated relationship between the city and Cambridge Health Alliance, including a review of the operations and budget of the Public Health Department, the Alliance’s annual contract with the city, legal options for structuring the public health board and other ways to best serve the community’s public health needs. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Officials coming and going

School Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. The main business is a motion to move Karyn Grace from interim to permanent assistant superintendent of the Office of Student Services, waiving a search because she has shown herself to be “highly qualified and capably doing the job.” There’s also a resolution to honor Carolyn Turk, who is retiring as deputy superintendent after 46 years with Cambridge Public Schools. The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

City Council candidates forum

Porter Square City Council candidate forum, 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. All of the 24 council candidates are invited to take part over the course of three panels, with all promised equal time by sponsors the Porter Square Neighbors Association, Baldwin Neighborhood Council and Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods. The event will be recorded by CCTV for viewing the next week but held in person at Lesley University’s Hall Amphitheater, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge.

All-candidate event by video

Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association candidates forum, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Candidates for City Council and School Committee are expected at this Zoom-only event.

New public restroom location

Portland Loo pop-up event, 10 a.m to noon Friday. City staff offer a snack and information about a recommended location for Cambridge’s next Portland Loo – its free public restrooms – a 24-hour amenity “coming to a park near you” as the second of three to be added through the Participatory Budgeting process. The meeting is at Follen Street and Waterhouse Street in Neighborhood 9 near Cambridge Common.