Monday, June 24, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the first time

Cathie Zusy. (Photo: Cathie Zusy)

The candidate’s website


Background: Civic revitalization, culture and art  | Focuses:Thoughtful commercial and residential development; regional coordination of balanced transportation systems; and preservation of green open spaces and historic structures


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Zusy is best known for leading the effort to revitalize Magazine Beach Park, earning the moniker “Magazine Beach Lady.” She has also worked to restore St. Augustine’s African Orthodox Church and started the community art event “If This House Could Talk … ” She’s worked in museums including the Smithsonian and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Housing: “I don’t think the Affordable Housing Overlay is the answer … I think we need to find more funding for housing, maybe from transfer taxes, from windfall taxes. I think we need to expand housing, develop more auxiliary units … I think there are other ways we can solve the problem.”

Climate policy: “We need to look into more community geothermal. I’m really excited that the Home Energy Efficiency Team, which is a Cambridge nonprofit, has been doing a pilot project in Framingham that they’re trying to bring here … I worry about Beudo because the timeline is too tight. I know we’re in a climate emergency, but if Eversource can’t even provide the electricity by 2035, should we demand that everything is electrified by 2035?”

Road infrastructure: “It’s absolutely essential that we have safe bicycle lanes. I have not signed the pledge for two reasons. First, I don’t think new candidates should be forced to commit to a position before we’re on the council. Secondly, I worry about the timeline. I recognize that without the Bicycle Safety Committee we wouldn’t have improvements to the bike lanes, so I applaud their advocacy.”

Pet project: Preserving open green spaces and historic structures, building on her previous work. 

Participatory budgeting: 

“One-third to expand Cambridge Arts funding, to distribute as grants; one-third to create an urban forest on city land in an area of the city lacking trees; and one-third to expand our community gardens program. These projects support the environment and will build community in Cambridge.”

What’s your favorite place in Cambridge? “The Charles River parklands. I walk them everyday. They refresh and revitalize me.”