Working for a Livable, Affordable and Diverse Cambridge;  


Will You be Forced Out of Cambridge? Who Decides?

A resident''s forum to express concerns over Democracy and Governance in Cambridge

January 31st, 2:00  - 5:00 PM, Cambridge Senior Center


2:10 PM.. Welcome: Shelley Rieman & Renae Gray

            - Introductions at your table.

(5 minute panel presentations):

2:20 PM.. Opening Panel: Current Reality:

Chairs: Barbara Taggart & Kathy Watkins:

1.“Current Residents Continue to Be Forced out of the City” – Witnesses;

2. “Global Real Estate Corporations Driving Over-Development” - Richard Krushnic;

3. “How Are Our Federal, State And City Tax Dollars Being Spent?” - John Ratliff.

                        Clarifying Questions and Comments.

2:50 PM.   City Government Roles in Responding to Resident’s Needs:

Chairs:  Jan Devereux, Peggy Lenart:

4.“City Manager’” - Pebble Gifford, Gary Dmytrk;

5. “City Council”  - Heather Hoffman and Doug Brown;

6. “Planning Board”  - Nancy Ryan.

                        Clarifying Questions and Comments.

3:30 PM. Small Group Circle Discussions: What Needs To Be Changed to Sustain a Livable and Diverse  Cambridge for its Residents?

Organizers/Facilitators – Cathy Hoffman, Sylvia Barnes, Phyllis Bretholz;, Richard Goldberg, Maria Saccoccio, Betty Saccoccio, Kathy Watkins.

4:00 PM . Closing Panel: How Can We Make City Government more Democratic and Accountable?:

Chairs: Gary Dmytrk, Peter Crawley.

7.“Establish Citizen’s Shadow Governance” - Lee Farris;

8. “Elect a progressive council majority; limit developer contributions” - Paul Stone;

9. ”Ending the Plan E Government  Mode”  Ilan Levy;

10. “Legal initiatives” - Michael Hawley..

4:30 PM. : Next Steps.

- Closing Discussions at tables;

4:45 PM. Reports from tables.    

5:00 PM. Adjourn.

Organizing  Committee: Jonathan King (Chair), Sylvia Barnes, Jan Devereux, Lee Farris, Cathy Hoffman, Heather Hoffman, Richard Krushnic, Peggy Lenart, John Ratliff, Shelley Rieman, Paul Stone, Barbara Taggart, Kathy Watkins.

 To Attend please RSVP here.

Sad Story of Silver Maple Forest:

Despite protests, civil disobedience, and more than a thousand petition signatures, and an initial injunction, many of the tall trees of the Silver Maple Forest have been cut down. The 15 acre silver Maple Forest, sitting at the juncture of Cambridge, Belmont and Arlington is scheduled for clearance to make way for a development by the O’Neill Properties group of Pennsylvania. Multiple demonstrations were held over the past week, and over 13 people arrested.

On Monday morning, Oct. 20thscores of protesters lined up along Acorn Park Drive to oppose the clear cutting and removal of hundreds of silver maple trees. As Mike Connolly reported, the sounds of chainsaws and cracking, falling trees could be heard throughout the morning — along with determined chants from local advocates.

An initial injunction was granted raising the hopes of SMF supporters. However, Middlesex Superior Court Justice Rosslind Miller denied the request on Tuesday 21st, permitting the clearance to continue <>.

The effort to save the Silver Maple Forest represented multiple concerns – including maintaining green space and natural areas, protection of the Fresh Pond area from flooding, and preventing the worsening of the intense traffic congestion in the route 2 interchange area.

Our thanks to the many members of Cambridge Residence Alliance and Fresh Pond Residents Alliance who joined the Friends of the Alewife Reservation, along with Belmont and Arlington supporters, in the protests.

Proponents plan to continue their appeals through the courts – trees can grow back it the site is protected.  Hear an update on the continuing efforts at the upcoming Thursday October 30th meeting of Cambridge Residents Alliance.



     Cambridge Residents Alliance represents individuals and neighborhood organizations committed to preserving and promoting a livable, affordable, and diverse Cambridge community.

     We believe the innovative and creative character of the Cambridge economy derives in part from the multicultural, cooperative and inclusive social fabric of our city, which needs to be protected, not dissolved.

     We support preserving, enhancing and expanding our public and affordable housing.

     We believe that choking of travel on streets, buses and trains through over-development is not in the interest of the community.          

     We value sunlight, sky views, and our very limited open community spaces and parks, and seek to limit shadowed canyon-like streets from over-size buildings. 

     We believe traffic has to be limited to levels such that children can go to and from school and after-school activities safely.

     We oppose the construction of high-rise buildings designed primarily to make large profits for developers.

     We need continuing comprehensive urban planning efforts to improve the quality of life and work for Cambridge residents.

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