Friday, July 19, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the first time

The candidate’s website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn


Background: Jordanian Harvard grad teaching interpersonal and leadership skills | Focuses: Affordable housing; educational equity and community; and transportation


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Al-Zubi, the youngest candidate in the field, graduated from Harvard in May and is an educator at the Phillips Brooks House Association, a nonprofit public service organization at Harvard. After emigrating from Jordan as a child, she moved around with her family before finding her home in Cambridge.

Housing: “It’s very complicated, but it’s also quite simple as well … One thing I want to focus on is tenant rights because right now two-thirds of Cambridge residents are tenants … If you’re going to push someone out because you’re raising their rent, you’re going to pay for the transition to their new home. Right now, our main form of homelessness is transitional homelessness.”

Climate policy: “We’re doing a great job in Cambridge. We’ve made a lot of progress in terms of the Green New Deal … We need to actually sit down and talk through what [the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance] looks like for residential buildings and also continue to push on those commercial developments that are below 100,000 square feet … We need to invest more in renewable energy resources.”

Road infrastructure: “Bike infrastructure saves lives. It’s that simple … River Street, for example, cars are flying by. Elderly folks can’t cross the street. When we consider what it actually means to uphold road safety, we need to consider everyone in the conversation, including pedestrians, while also understanding that we need to push on the ordinance as well.”

Pet project: Al-Zubi is passionate about sports advocacy – and a self-described “baller.”

Participatory budgeting: “As a believer in the power of sports for positive change, I’d love to see resurfacing of sports fields (hockey, basketball, etc.), as well as making sure all courts have proper lights.”

Favorite place: Andala Coffee House