2017 Questionnaire

      Cambridge Residents Alliance has requested that candidates for the 2017 City Council election answer the following questions. Answers will be reported after they have been received and tabulated.

Questionnaire for 2017 City Council Candidates from the Cambridge Residents Alliance

Please read the Cambridge Residents Alliance 2017 Platform in detail before answering. There are a series of Yes, No, or Don’t Know questions, followed by one open-ended question. We plan to make your answers available to the public.

The Right to Remain in a Stable Community

1. Will you work for building 100% affordable housing with some open space and below ground parking on some city parking lots?     Y              N               DK

2. Will you work for establishing a Housing Stability office, in Cambridge, as in Boston?                 Y               N               DK

A Housing Stability Office provides tenant and landlord resources and programs, and an evening housing clinic. Provides data about the state of displacement. Requires notice to all tenants of their rights and available help when their building is sold.  Office does research, drafts and implements policies to prevent and reduce displacement, including a pilot program to support landlords who rent to homeless people.

3. Will you work for a just cause eviction policy to prevent no-fault evictions of residents who are paying their rents?                  Y               N               DK

Just cause eviction home rule petition: landlords who own 4 or more units can only evict a tenant or former homeowner living in a foreclosed unit for just-cause, such as lease violation, non-payment of rent, or criminal activity.  Landlords are required to promptly notify city when sending an eviction notice.

4. Will you work for adding a requirement for 5% middle income housing to the newly won requirement for 20% low- and moderate-income inclusionary housing?               Y               N               DK

5. Will you work for raising the commercial linkage fee (which supports affordable housing) from $15 to $24/square feet, as legally allowed by the 2015 Nexus report?                                    Y               N               DK

6. Will you work to require universities to create substantial additional housing units that are affordable to graduate students and post-docs as a condition of being granted a special permit, variance, or other zoning benefit?                                Y               N               DK

For example, current MIT and Harvard housing is not affordable to grad students, and demand from the thousands of off-campus graduate students and post-docs causes higher local rents.

The Right to Democratic Participation

7. Over 40% of campaign donations in the 2015 council election came from real estate developers. Do you pledge not to accept contributions from any large corporate or real estate interests that are seeking or have recently sought zoning changes or other benefits from the Cambridge City Council or city boards?                   Y               N               DK

8. Will you work for establishing a program that increases voter participation by providing some city funds to candidates running for City Council?   Y               N                   DK

9. Will you work to require registration of people who are paid to lobby at the city level, as in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Chicago, Phoenix, San Antonio, Austin, Tallahassee FL, Jacksonville, and New York City?               Y               N               DK

The Right to the Public Good

10. Will you work to expand or create restorative justice practices in our police department, schools and community programs, and to expand or create re-entry programs for people returning from jail and prison sentences?                  Y               N               DK

11. Will you work to require the Cambridge Police Department to provide justification and seek approval from the City Council in an open process in order to acquire or purchase new surveillance technologies including software and hardware?                  Y               N               DK

12. Will you work for funding and implementing the infrastructure for free high-speed internet access for all city households as a means of increasing economic and social justice?            Y               N               DK

Right to Equity and Justice

13. Will you work to expand the current sanctuary city status by designating all city-owned buildings, including schools, as zones where ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents cannot enter without a warrant?  Y          N         DK

14. To support greater racial equity in city positions, will you work to develop an action plan to ensure that the number of African American, Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and other people of color in high level city positions and on volunteer boards meets or exceeds the percent of African American, Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and other residents of color?     Y               N          DK

15. Since gentrification distinctly impacts women and LGBTQI+ communities (in addition to communities of color), will you work to ensure that the city funds a study of the specific impacts of gentrification and displacement on women and the LGBTQI+ communities of Cambridge?                           Y                N               DK

The Right to a Healthy, Sustainable Environment

16. Will you work to exclude large commercial lab space, which results in substantial noise and lights at all hours, from areas within 500 feet of neighborhoods that are zoned residential?           Y               N               DK

17. Will you work to strengthen and enforce city regulations to limit light and noise pollution to healthy levels?              Y               N               DK

18. Will you work to protect residents from escalating heat by increasing the urban forest and passing an ordinance limiting removal of street trees by developers?        Y               N               DK

19. Will you work for policies that prioritize resilience to climate change over further development in Alewife and other flood-prone areas?                     Y               N                   DK

The Right to Transportation, Transit, and Mobility

20. Will you work for opening private corporate and university buses to the general public for free?     Y               N               DK

21. Before city approval for any large development, will you work to require a traffic study is done by an independent consultant (chosen and guided by the city) to assess the impact of the development’s additional employees and residents on traffic and transit facilities, taken together with the impacts of other developments?                   Y               N               DK

22. Will you work for policies that improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians to fulfill the Vision Zero Initiative of zero traffic related fatalities and serious injuries?

Open ended (up to 200 words)

23. Cambridge has an ever-increasing economic and social equity gap among our residents that most greatly affects our city’s traditional communities of color – African Americans, Afro-Caribbean Americans and those of Latinx heritage. What are 2 or 3 concrete ideas you have for making Cambridge a more equitable and livable city in this context?

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