Sunday, June 16, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the third time

The candidate’s website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium


Background: Software engineer | Focuses: Housing, transportation, climate change


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Azeem, who in 2021 became the youngest city councillor in Cambridge’s history, is an MIT graduate, engineer and emergency medical technician. He emigrated from Pakistan when he was 4 and grew up on food stamps and Medicaid.

Housing: “There’s a lot of problems around housing affordability in our city, and I think it’s especially bad for young people. It’s even worse for Ph.D. students … I was the primary sponsor on our bill to remove parking minimums, and I was the primary sponsor on our bill to expand the Affordable Housing Overlay.”

Climate policy: “I supported in a 5-4 vote getting to [the year] 2035 for Beudo. I did also vote to remove rental units from Beudo … I do strongly believe that we need to get all housing to net-zero as quickly as possible, but I had a problem once condos were taken out and homeowners were exempted from Beudo and we were only going to charge rentals, which was something that really bothers me.”

Road infrastructure: “Having safe, protected bike lanes is really important … I think bus lanes are really important because they make the buses faster … Also, by adding bus lanes, the MBTA rewards us by adding more service.”

Pet project: Azeem founded Abundant Housing, a nonprofit working on state-level housing policy.

Participatory budgeting: 

“I love using participatory budgeting to fund all the little things the city doesn’t always see: water foundations, flowers and plants, murals.”

Favorite place: “I’m a big fan of the Sinclair on Friday nights.”