Saturday, July 20, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the first time

The candidate’s website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Background: Former deputy commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health and former chief information officer for the State University of New York | Focuses: Clean energy; inclusion and belonging; and public health


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Wang is the former deputy commissioner of the New York Office of Mental Health, the largest mental health system in the United States. He also served as chief information officer for the State University of New York system. He holds a doctorate from MIT and a master’s in public administration from Harvard. He grew up in China and writes poetry.

Housing: “My candidacy is not about ‘either/or.’ My candidacy is about ‘do both’ … We need to build taller buildings, but we don’t want to build to destroy our character and heritage, because if we lose it, someday we will regret it … I advocate we build much taller, more than 15 floors.”

Climate policy: “I support wholeheartedly the Beudo disclosure clauses – I don’t support the rigid timeline. We need to support our local churches and nonprofits. We need to support them and incentivize them and help them to reduce their energy consumption. We cannot force them to convert on a rigid timeline.”

Road infrastructure: “I’ve been a biker from birth. When I grew up in China, I never had a motor vehicle … I wholeheartedly support biker safety … I also support taking care of our senior citizens and local businesses. If they need parking spaces to sustain and survive this economic situation, we’re taking their livelihood away just to bike.”

Pet project: As a mental health expert, Wang would like to improve Cambridge’s services for mental health and substance-use disorder. 

Participatory budgeting: 

“Give a monthly allowance of $1,000 to 83 teachers, firefighters and police who need support for housing or kids’ education. Return the remaining $4,000 to the city budget.”

Favorite place: Fresh Pond, including the reservation, golf course and senior center.