Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The flyers are tucked under welcome mats and wedged in front doors, and the yard signs pop up next to pots of fall flowers – it can only be election season. The candidates for School Committee (and City Council) are in the final days of their campaign, hoping to win a seat Nov. 7.

This year there are 11 candidates competing for six committee seats, with two incumbents choosing not to run.

Long-term member Fred Fantini, first elected in 1981, will retire from the committee when his term ends in January after serving for 40 years.

Member Ayesha Wilson, who served two terms beginning in 2019, is running for City Council.

The four incumbents vying for a seat are Rachel Weinstein, David Weinstein (no relation), Jose Luis Rojas and Caroline Hunter. The seven challengers are Alborz Bejnood, Richard Harding (who previously served on the committee for seven terms), Elizabeth Hudson, Andrew King, Frantz Pierre, Eugenia Schraa Huh and Robert Travers Jr.

The committee has a wide range of issues to address, including contract negotiations with the Cambridge Education Association for Units A and B (teachers and administrators), who have been working without a formal contract since Sept. 1; finding ways to address the learning loss that occurred during the pandemic; addressing racial and economic inequalities; and ensuring that all students are academically challenged and have the resources and knowledge they will need as adults.

The newly elected committee will start its term in January, with the city’s mayor – elected from within the City Council by its members – as chair. Members are paid roughly $48,000 annually over the two-year term.

Cambridge residents must register to vote by Saturday. More information on voter registration, the city’s proportional representation voting method and polling places is on the Cambridge Election Commission website.

Multiple community groups have held public forums for the candidates. The CEA held a candidate forum on Sept. 13. The Cambridge Families of Asian Descent, posted candidate profiles and video of its Oct. 15 candidate forum, and the Cambridge Advanced Learning Association hosted candidates on Oct. 24 and plans to post its video as well.


The challengers

In alphabetical order

Alborz Bejnood

Richard Harding

Elizabeth Hudson

Andrew King

Frantz Pierre (The candidate is also running for City Council; he did not submit information for this category, but we link here to his council profile)

Eugenia Schraa Huh

Robert Travers Jr.


The incumbents

In alphabetical order

Caroline Hunter

Jose Luis Rojas

David Weinstein

Rachel Weinstein

This post was updated Nov. 7, 2023, to include a link to Frantz Pierre’s City Council candidate profile; he is running for both offices but did not respond to questions in the School Committee category.