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The Committee to Elect Minka vanBeuzekom
20 Essex Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
From Minka's campaign
Wellesley College, BS-Molecular Biology
Boston University, Masters in Public Health Environmental Health and
Researcher at MIT Cancer Center
Researcher at Harvard/McLean Hospital
Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, Mass. Department of Public Health
Vice President, biotech start-up company
Managing Director, non-profit medical research foundation
Mystic River Watershed Association, Board Member
Area Four Neighborhood Coalition, Co-Leader
Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET)
Green Decade Cambridge
Former Cambridge Environmental Citizens Organization (ECO), Treasurer
Cambridge Democratic City Committee
Ward 3 Democratic Committee
Local and national campaign volunteer
Cambridge Rodent Task Force
Cambridge Community Garden Coordinator
Master Urban Gardener (MUG)
Cambridge Public Planting Committee
Many people have inspired me to run for public office including our
current president, city councilors and neighbors and colleagues in
Cambridge. Ensuring clean, safe neighborhoods, strong schools, responsive
public employees and sustainable fiscal management are important to all of
us, but not everyone is paying attention.
I have been paying attention.
As a neighborhood advocate looking at city government from the outside,
I understand how difficult it can be to make a difference in such a
complex city, but I believe we can do better. We CAN have clean and safe
streets, energy efficient buildings, good schools, flourishing gardens and
open spaces. This is a city built on its people; we CAN keep our best and
brightest in the community with better job opportunities and affordable
options for housing. Cambridge is a progressive city, leading the way in
technology, medicine, education, and energy and climate change
initiatives. Doesn't it make sense to have all these reflected in our city
As a city councilor, I will keep all these things in perspective as I
recommend improvements. I will be open minded and remain connected to the
people, neighborhoods and communities of Cambridge.
I have lived in Cambridge for 28 years, raised my daughters here, am a
home-owner, a landlord and I love the City. I am committed to making this
city the best it can be for renters, homeowners, students and businesses.
We have achieved many remarkable things here and I plan to continue the
tradition. Join me in making the city what we know it can be.
Give Minka your #1 vote in November.
Minka has been a leader in the Area Four Neighborhood Coalition for the
past three years, encouraging neighbor participation and increasing
awareness around quality of life issues for urban residents and
businesses. Minka believes if the city partners with the neighborhood
organizations and provides support, residents will become more active and
involved. Communities and city government working together, get results
that benefit neighborhoods. Minka has seen it work in her neighborhood and
others in Cambridge. Improving transparency of local board and commission
appointments will also encourage residents to become more engaged.
Minka was instrumental in orchestrating the current city councils
recognition of a state of Climate Emergency in May 2009. She believes
awareness of a Climate Emergency should trigger new energy traditions such
as strong conservation, efficiency and on-site renewal energy policies.
She strongly believes in the weatherization projects that HEET and the
Cambridge Energy Alliance are promoting. She serves on the board of the
Mystic River Watershed Association and works with other organizations to
stop sewage dumping in the Mystic River and its tributary, Alewife Brook.
As one way of proving her commitment to the environment, Minka rides her
bike instead of driving within the city several days a week. This also
gives her true appreciation of life on the urban streets of Cambridge.
Children, Families and Education:
Minka would like to build a bridge between the city council and the school
committee to help create healthier, stronger schools reflective of the
diversity of the city. The collaboration should include common topics like
green building standards and budgetary decisions that affect everyone.
Minka supports fair educational practices, equal opportunities for all
students and a trans-fat free menu in schools. She supports an
inclusionary model of education and high standards for all children
throughout grade levels. Believing in the value of the public school
system, she helped establish the Cambridgeport School in the early 1990s.
Minka raised her two daughters in Cambridge and they attended public
schools. She has three grandsons and creating a sustainable future for
them is at the core of her desire to serve the city.
In these tough economic times, paying close attention to the city's
revenue and expenses is critical to maintain the citys fiscal health.
There are enormous financial and advisory resources in Cambridge, a hub of
high-tech and biotech companies and world renown Universities. Minka
believes encouraging those businesses tostay and provide good jobs is
critical for the city to thrive. Encouraging residents to shop at local
businesses keeps the citys economy stable and helps current businesses.
Cambridge must continue to continue to be an open and welcoming place for
new students and businesses.
Minka knows that to balance the needs of businesses, residents and
universities can be tricky. It is a delicate and complex process which
will require careful oversight and willingness to make tough decisions as
the economy declines further.
Cleaning up Cambridge:
As a member of the Cambridge Rodent Task Force, Minka spearheaded the
initiative to get rid of rats in Central Square and acquire covered solar
garbage cans for the city. Her work has helped reduce rats, reduce odor
and improve cleanliness and health standards for everyone. Minka was one
of the initiators of curbside recycling as part of Cambridge Environmental
Citizens Organization (ECO) in the early 1990s. She was involved in the
recent citywide clean-up event and focused on Central Square's "nips
and butts". She will work for more aggressive graffiti removal
programs and enforce the ban on public consumption of alcohol in the
Community Gardens, Open Space and Culture:
Minka is an active community gardener and community garden advocate. She
also gardens professionally. She is a member of the Public Planting
Committee and has been growing veggies, herbs and flowers in Cambridge
Community Gardens for years. She volunteers with a group of residents who
tend plantings in public pocket gardens and tree wells. She wants to
preserve current community spaces and create more public open space for
community recreation. Minka believes in urban city models that support
mixed-use in the community. She sees public musicians, public art and city
sponsored entertainment as a necessity to keep city life lively and
As an Epidemiologist, Minka understands the current health issues
including infectious disease, obesity and environmental asthma. She seeks
improvements in biosafety standards, air quality standards, emergency
preparedness, food quality and walkability that will contribute to
healthier communities for current and future generations. Her education in
Public Health and molecular biology and her experience as an
epidemiologist gives her a valid voice and gets her issues addressed.