Monday, July 22, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the first time

The candidate’s website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Background: Longtime legislative aide, queer renter and democratic socialist | Focuses: Homelessness; affordable housing; and universal after-school programs


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Totten worked for six years as aide to councillor Quinton Zondervan, whom Totten is running to replace. During his time in City Hall, he researched, drafted legislation and helped hundreds of residents navigate homelessness and housing instability. He is a democratic socialist.

Housing: “I helped draft the amendments to the Affordable Housing Overlay that the council is about to pass. I’m really proud of that … The way I want to move forward is to write a student housing overlay, which functions very similarly to the Affordable Housing Overlay but on university-owned land, allowing for taller and denser housing.”

Climate policy: “I was really proud to have worked on passing the Green New Deal for Cambridge, which is the most ambitious and the strongest climate change legislation in the country … It’s 15 years faster than Boston, but 2035 is the compromise and we have to be clear about that.”

Road infrastructure: “I signed the Bicycle Safety pledge because I don’t want my friends to die or get hurt. We’re not making this up. This is not a hidden problem. I don’t want to wake up one day and find that a friend is hurt or killed … It’s really simple.”

Pet project: Solving homelessness. He wants to develop better supportive housing and wraparound care services in the city.