Uncivil efforts to discredit concerned residents

CCTV blogger tries to defame Cambridge Residents Alliance.

       Though debates over development can be intense, it is disturbing and disappointing when a Cambridge resident attempts to defame and discredit a neighborhood organization representing many hundreds of concerned residents and households. Mr. Saul Tannebaum’s CCTV blogs represent such an effort.

      One of the unresolved issues associated with the petitions for up-zoning in Kendall Square, MITIMCo, Forest City, Central Square and Alewife brook has been the increased traffic burden associated with thousands of new employees and residents. Cambridge Residents Alliance, representing hundreds of Cambridge households, performed a valuable service to the community in organizing a forum on traffic and transit issues.  Of particular value was an analysis of key intersections by independent traffic engineer Steve Kaiser.  Other informative presentations were prepared by Jonathan King on the Red Line, Councilor Minka vanBeuzekom on parking problems, and Richard Krushnic on large scale planned developments . Discussion of these traffic and development issues continued through e-mail exchanges and posts on this website.

       These analyses made clear the danger to Cambridge of proceeding with up-zoning without addressing the threat of overburdening already congested key intersection, and overburdening the Red Line and #1 bus route.

       Mr. Tannenbaum, who was a member of the Central Square Advisory Committee, responded particularly aggressively to these analyses, both in person, on local listservs, and most notably on his blog on the CCTV website. There he identifies himself as a member of “A Better Cambridge”.  He is of course entitled to his detailed critique of the Kaiser, King and Krushnic inidividual presentations. However Mr. Tannenbaum has titled his posts “ The Continued Deceptions of the Cambridge Residents Alliance” and “The Misinformation Campaigns of the Cambridge Residents Alliance”. This attributes conscious negative intention to an entire community organization and its leadership of dozens of community members.

       This smearing of an entire neighborhood organization on the basis of disagreements with analyses presented by individuals at a public forum represents an unprincipled effort to discredit a valuable community resource.

       We actively support principles of free speech and we believe the content of the critiques are acceptable public speech.  However, the titles of the blogposts represent an effort to defame and discredit an entire organization, and discourage other Cambridge residents from joining. The blogs could easily be entitled “ A Critique of the Analyses presented at the CResA Forum” “Rejecting the Critiques of Over-development" or similar. Mr. Tannenbaum has not responded to requests to edit his blog post titles.


Jonathan King


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commented 2013-11-24 12:24:27 -0500 · Flag
Thank you
commented 2013-11-21 22:12:03 -0500 · Flag
The Cambridge Residents Alliance has done extensive research in order to inform ourselves and the community about the complex issues surrounding development, especially in Central Sq. There was one typo in one handout that Mr. Tannenbaum latched onto to prove our “deception”. It is actually deceptive that this tired accusation continues to surface in a Google search of The Cambridge Residents Alliance.
Cambridge Residents Alliance