I am a lifelong resident of Cambridge with a deep commitment to improving
the quality of life for Cambridge residents. I own a small business and am
closely attuned to the needs of small business owners. I am raising my
grandchildren who are currently in Cambridge Public Schools. My 10 years
on the Cambridge School Committee attest to my commitment to the quality
of our public schools. Prior to serving on the School Committee, I served
as Executive Director of the Civic Unity Committee of the City of
Cambridge, working on equity and fairness. I am also a Justice of the
I am currently serving my third term on the Cambridge City Council,
chairing the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning Committee. I'm a member
of the National Committee on Youth, Families and Education and Human
Development Committee (National League of Cities); the Massachusetts
Democratic State Committee; and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
- Elected Member, Cambridge City Council (2002-present)
- Elected Member, Cambridge School Committee 1992-2001 ,Serving as the
Vice Chair 96, 98, 01
- Member, Massachusetts Municipal Association (2002-present)
- Member, Massachusetts Democratic State Committee (2001-present)
- Member, National Committee on Youth, Families and Education and the
Human Development Committee of the National League of Cities
- Member of the Baystate Stonewall Democrats
- Cambridge Civic Unity Committee, City of Cambridge, Executive
- Licensed Insurance Broker and Owner, Cambridgeport Insurance Agency,
- Justice of the Peace and Notary Public
Public Safety, Housing, Economic Development, Education, and Civic
Quality of Life:
Each resident deserves to enjoy a high quality of life. We cannot have
residents living outside of the privileges afforded by a prosperous city.
Through town meetings, and meetings in neighborhood and schools, I will
bring the voices of the citizens to City Hall.
Neighborhood safety is a critical issue in our city. As the chair of the
Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee I have held meetings where
members of neighborhood associations and activists were invited to share
information about what was happening in their neighborhoods. The idea
behind this approach is that we are stronger as a city when we connect to
each other and share our problems and resources.
In July 2006 after numerous shootings in Area Four and Riverside I
called for an emergency meeting of the city council to take up the issue
of neighborhood violence in our city. As a result of that meeting I
proposed the establishment of a neighborhood safety committee. The order
passed on a 9-0 vote. The Neighborhood Safety Committee had its first
meeting in February 2007 and continues to meet.
Traffic, Parking, and Transportation:
Because Cambridge is becoming more and more densely populated and more
cars are coming into our city, I believe that we should revisit the
concept of car-free spaces. I have consistently supported the Green Street
Initiative-walk your child to school-and hope that all city workers will
adopt the same initiative.
Municipal Finance (Budget, Assessments, Property Taxes, etc.):
I am proud to have been a member of the City Council that voted a budget
with minimal increase to the taxpayer
Land Use, Planning:
As the chair of Neighborhood and Long Term planning, I have worked to
bring neighborhood groups together so that they learn from each other and
become better informed. One task I would like to the city council to
undertake is to inventory large parcels of land, so that we can plan
appropriately for the use of vacant lots and for land use.
Small businesses are the life-blood of our community and provide the
largest source of employment and revenue for our city. Women and minority
owned businesses are the fastest growing businesses in our city. Over the
last ten years I have worked to strengthen our economic development policy
to encourage micro enterprises.
I want to encourage more business growth for the purpose of job
creation. In July 2007 Van Jones from Oakland, California spoke about a
new initiative to encourage green collar jobs. This initiative will
promote environmentally progressive business opportunities and job
creation. These jobs will take advantage of the growing interest in
bringing new job opportunities to those seeking entry-level positions
while increasing awareness stimulating a new environmental consciousness.
Our Community Schools programs are some of the premier programs in the
City. Through these programs the City offers enrichment programs to all
its residents, particularly families. Some community schools programs also
offer civic participation opportunities through their neighborhood
councils. During the next term I want to see the community schools program
strengthened and active neighborhood councils in all eleven neighborhoods.
I continue to advocate for quality childcare for all children, and
greater inter-agency collaboration.
In 2006, I ran the second Senior Town meeting. Through the department
of human services we are addressing the concerns that seniors expressed
during this meeting around traffic signals on Massachusetts Avenue in
Central Square and in North Cambridge on Massachusetts Avenue near the
Arlington line. We have continued to press the MBTA on their adherence to
the proper pick up and drop off procedures when seniors board buses.
When I visit seniors in their residences and at senior centers, many of
them tell me that that they enjoy the range of services being offered but
that they would like to see a greater availability of trips to some of the
local shopping centers and even some out of state trips, I will continue
to hold these town meetings and bring the voices of our seniors to City
Energy, the Environment, and Public Health:
The general health of our community is extremely important. Problems that
compromise the quality of life of our residents, particularly those in
disenfranchised neighborhoods must be addressed. Over the past three terms
I have worked on rodent and insect infestations in the community and in
our multiunit buildings, the proliferation of cases of asthma among our
children, and childhood obesity.
With regard to the rodent issue, I was the member of the Council who
asked the city to purchase state of the art trash receptacles in bulk,
which would enable residents to purchase them at a lower price than the
prices charged by retail stores. I have called for a systemic approach to
rodent control by engaging experts from our universities.
I have also turned my attention to issues of environmental justice. In
July of 2007 I co-sponsored a Green Jobs Forum; where the city of
Cambridge, the state and others came together to learn about how we can
develop a green collar/environmental movement that includes all people.
Open Space, Parks, and Recreation:
I will continue to support the upgrading of parks particularly in
underserved neighborhoods. All residents, no matter where they live,
should have quality open areas where they can take their families, walk
their dogs, or meet with their neighbors. Keeping our parks safe is
important for the full utilization of our open spaces.
My commitment to affordable housing continues to be strong. Over the last
term I have pushed for a housing policy that would increase the number of
larger families units per housing development. I have and will continue to
press the City Council and City administration to look at eligibility
formulas. Our current eligibility formula has left too many people below
the income range for some of our affordable housing programs and projects.
Arts and Public Celebrations:
Diversity is one of the gems of our City. I will continue to support
programs and projects that celebrate our diversity and our history. I am
proud to be the sponsor of an order, voted unanimously by City Council to
place a monument to Prince Hall, on the Cambridge Common. Prince Hall, the
founder of African American Free Masonry, is considered by some to be a
founding father. Prince Hall is noted for starting the first school for
African Americans, in a building that still stands today.
Our universities are a great resource, and as a resource I look to the
university community to garner support for programs. During the next term
I will be looking to the universities for support of the Green Jobs
Participatory democracy has been a cornerstone of my work. Through town
meetings, direct contact with citizens, workshops and meetings I bring
City Hall to the citizens of Cambridge and then bring whatever concerns I
hear back to City Hall.
People often ask me why I serve. My response is that I serve because I
view public service as one of the greatest opportunities to make change in
our communities, our city, and our state. Public service as an elected
official provides me the ability to advocate for the families and the
citizens of Cambridge at the highest level.
I believe in public education, in working for excellence in education for
all children. As a parent of school age children and a former member of
the Cambridge School Committee, I know the importance of a good education.
In this term I organized meetings for parents entitled " Real Kids,
Real Schools, Real Success. The purpose to these workshops was to look at
schools that are succeeding at educating all children at the highest
levels. Addressing the achievement gap is very important. My approach is
proactive: Let's look at what is working and apply it to the Cambridge
school system. We have the resources but we need to have the will; our
children deserve the best we can offer them. We serve best when we work
together, my first term on the city council I asked for the establishment
of the City Council-School. Committee Roundtable so that the City Council
and the School Committee will be in better communication with each other.
We now meet together at least 3 times per year to talk about challenges
facing the schools along with possible solutions. This has fostered
understanding and collegiality.
No response yet on:
6) Government and Elections (Plan E Charter, City Manager, staff for
Candidate's 2005 responses