Michael Sullivan

Michael A. Sullivan
2005 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
42 Huron Ave.
Cambridge MA 02138

Contact information:
Tel: 617-547-0777 (home) or call City Hall

Send contributions to:

I am currently in my second term as Mayor of Cambridge having been first elected in January 2002, having served on the City Council since 1994. Prior to being elected to the City Council, I served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as an Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County. I am currently of Counsel in an East Cambridge law firm, Bellotti & Barretto, P.C.. I am a graduate of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School on Putnam Avenue, Boston College High School, Boston College (BA Economics and Political Science) and Boston College Law School (J.D.). My wife Denise and I have two sons, Michael, Jr. who 6 years old and Paul who is 5 years old.

I am proud of the fact that I return all my phone calls personally and that I take the time to listen and respond to people's concerns and problems. People in our community need their city government to be prompt, respectful and responsive. I don't simply preach it I practice it, I am always just a phone call away to answer your questions or concerns, or to lend a hand. You can reach me at home (617) 547-0777 or at City Hall. I ask for your #1 vote on Tuesday, November 8th.

Thank you,

Top Priorities:

Quality of Life and Public Safety:
As a former prosecutor, I know that when it comes to public safety, you prevent a lot of big problems if you take care of the little things right away, whether it's fixing a broken sidewalk, replacing missing street signs or clearing the snow effectively during the worst winters in years to having programs that make a difference in people's lives. I have lobbied Congress for Cambridge for homeland security monies and for open space initiatives. When citizens call in with problems, I take the time to listen - and take action to get things done.

In these uncertain times, making sure we can all feel safe and secure also means making intelligent, focused investments where it counts - like providing three new state of the art paramedic units for the Cambridge Fire Department, which earned a coveted Class One rating.

Traffic, Parking, and Transportation:
I supported the PTDM ordinance and the vehicle trip reduction ordinance. I likewise have been a major proponent of traffic calming measures in our community and was the driving force in having the school zone signals put up. When need to continue to work towards making our community walkable and friendly. We have taken a number of measures towards this goal, first in Central Square, now in Porter Square and soon in Harvard Square.

I have supported the creation and expansion of paratransit options in our community and pushed the MBTA for better service and maintenance of facilities and handicap accessibility.

I have supported large project reviews that include traffic impact studies, as well as I was one of the lead sponsors of the nighttime truck traffic ban and the creation of truck traffic routes and I continue to work with the state for full implementation.

Municipal Finance, City Budget, Assessments, and Property Taxes:
At a time when many cities and towns are struggling, Cambridge is in a position of strength. We have earned triple A bond ratings from three rating agencies --- a mark of fiscal responsibility shared by just a handful of cities across the country. Eric Kriss, Secretary of Administration and Finance said that Cambridge is one of the only communities in the Commonwealth that lives within its means.

The result, for the people of Cambridge, a city government strong enough to make visionary investments in our future. One hundred years ago our forebears had the foresight and invested in a water works, a library, and a park system. We today have re-invested in that future through a new water works that delivers a higher quality and safer water product to our residents at a cheaper price than the MWRA, we have invested in what will be a new state of the art central library, a critically needed new police station that will give us the capability to respond to the needs in our community and a wide range of award winning parks that are the envy of our surrounding communities.

As chair of the Council's Finance Committee for eight years, I know better than anyone that our financial strength didn't come easily. Preserving that strength for the future - while making city taxes more equitable and fair - demands the kind of prudent, forward looking leadership that I have give for the past twelve years and will do so in the future.

Land Use, Planning, Economic Development:
I am interested in using zoning and other land use planning tools to assist people of moderate, middle and low income to find affordable housing in Cambridge as well as using these same tools to aid us in reaching our other goals, including but not limited to making Cambridge a walk able community, paratransit possibilities, open space and green development. I am committed to coordinate and facilitate the review of public policy issues facing the City such as housing, transportation, economic development and employment and coordinate the analysis and development of important public policy initiatives.

I have worked hard to attract and retain solid businesses in this community without relinquishing quality of life issues. Many of these companies cite that we have regulations that govern construction and operation already in place so that requirements are predictable. During my tenure I have worked to retain businesses that were thinking of leaving as well as recruit businesses to our city that are also good corporate citizens, I am proud that I was able to assist in attracting Novartis, Oragnon and others.

Human Services Programs:

Open Space, Parks, and Recreation:
I am proud of the fact that our parks system is the envy of our surrounding communities. Our rehab of existing space has maximized both active and passive uses of our open space. I supported the Master Plan for the Fresh Pond Reservation, as I believe that the reservation is one of our crown jewels that we need to be good stewards of so that it will be preserved for generations to come. As the father of a 5 and a 6 year old I believe that we need to work now on preserving the Alewife as the special and unique place that it is in an urban environment.

As budget chair and as Mayor I have sought and secured funding for both the preservation of existing space and the acquisition of new open space.

Energy, the Environment, and Public Health:
I am active in preserving the environment's treasures that this city has to offer, including the Alewife Reservation. I have been a supporter of the Friends of the Alewife for a long time, participating in various events throughout the year. I have participated in clean ups, have supported city improvement projects and encouraged efforts to work with the towns of Belmont and Arlington and various environmental groups to share Cambridge's Alewife Reservation area.

I was the driving force on the City Council's adoption of the Fresh Pond Master Plan and have worked to maintain the integrity of the plan, with the underlying premise being the protection of the reservation and the water supply.

I have joined in the request that the city hire an energy manager, both in terms of saving and to have a better impact on the environment.

I am very proud that I was invited by Robert Redford to Sundance Summit this past summer to present to the Mayor's Climate Protection Campaign, along with Al Gore and Mayor Dailey from Chicago. I referenced some of initiatives we are doing in Cambridge and the lead we have taken to ensure an eco friendly environment. These initiatives include making our city more walkable, better use of alternative fuels, zoning requirements to the city construction of a gold standard green building.

I secured for the city 25 GEM electric vehicles at no cost ($250,000 value) for use around the city. Additionally, we have fitted our trucks to use bio-diesel fuel and in this budget cycle we are continuing our efforts for fuel efficiency environmental standards.

On health care I am proud of what we have done with the Cambridge Health Alliance towards providing better health care opportunities to all our residents and that it is based upon a continuum of care model. Just last week we opened a new and expanded maternity ward, which delivered nearly 1500 babies last year, hard to believe that this unit was considered for closing approximately 10 years ago. We have established a good network of neighborhood health clinics.

I have made affordable housing a top priority, in one of the most expensive housing markets in this country. In the past ten years, Cambridge has invested approximately $250 million, with leverage capacity, in affordable housing - more that any other city in Massachusetts. The result more than 2,000 affordable units created or preserved with hundreds more in the pipeline. The high cost of housing remains an urgent issue - for the elderly, young families, for low and moderate-income individuals. I continue to push for housing proposals that will likewise meet the needs of moderate and middle-income households.

Arts and Public Celebrations:
We have increased our focus in this area with the opening of the new ART center in Harvard Square. We need to look at ways to develop more art spaces in our community; it will further enhance our community. I am proud that over the last two years I have been able to secure private funding that enable the City to have such events as the Central Square World's Fair and Salsa at Sunset.

University Relations:
Under my leadership the city council has created a standing committee on university relations. This committee strives to continue the dialogue to foster excellent relationships between the neighbors and the universities, sharing of long-range plans and creative ideas. Additionally, I have sought and attained further points of contacts as it relates to our schools, particularly in enhancing our science and math programs. I am proud that the City has negotiated new in lieu of taxes agreements with Harvard and MIT and that for the first time MIT's has a written agreement that will help preserve our stability for decades to come.

Civic participation:
What makes Cambridge a great and world-class city is its people, its history, its institutions and its various businesses. Cambridge has so much to offer to local residents, employers and visitors. But we cannot take this for granted. I encourage citizens to look at programs such as Cambridge School Volunteers, opportunities to serve on various boards, neighborhood associations and for businesses to continue to support our schools, our community and our human service programs. Cambridge had been very fortunate in the past with good corporate citizenship. I have been visiting CEO of our corporations and institutions to encourage their and their employees' involvement in our community.

Cambridge Public Schools:
Thanks to my steady, commonsense leadership, the Cambridge Public Schools are stronger than ever, with a visionary new superintendent whose fresh approach is making our schools more accountable and effective for all children. By asking tough questions about declining enrollment, achievement gaps and rising costs, my school committee colleagues and I spearheaded urgent reforms and led the charge in shifting funding away from administration and paperwork towards real classroom results. Today the school system is moving forward briskly with new optimism and confidence.

I have focused much of my time and efforts promoting literacy initiatives, including the "Let's Talk" Campaign, "Share A Book Anytime Anywhere" Initiative and Back Pack Express mailing encouraging home based literacy. To support these initiatives I have read at numerous pre-school programs, invited students to City Hall, given out books and spoke to home daycare providers, as well as sought funding from governmental entities and foundations.

Page last updated July 01, 2007 Cambridge Candidates