Short Bios

Vote this Tuesday for the Five City Council Candidates

Endorsed by the Cambridge Residents Alliance

…working for an affordable, diverse and livable Cambridge!

     This City Council election will shape our city for years to come. With huge development projects and major up-zoning proposals continuing to flood City Hall, with a citywide planning process that’s just getting started, with rents continuing to skyrocket … this City Council will make choices that determine who gets to live here in the future.

     We need a strong and independent City Council, one that will stand up for the neighborhoods and stand up to the developers when necessary. These five candidates have shown that they are responsive to the neighborhood concerns. They have refused to take money from big developers with business before the city. The seven incumbents who have circled the wagons in the “Unity Slate” do take money from developers. We feel that even the appearance of conflict-of-interest is harmful to our democracy.

     Please vote for all of these five—challengers Mike Connolly, Jan Devereux, and Romaine Waite and incumbents Dennis Carlone and Nadeem Mazen—in whatever order you choose!

     Below, we include brief biographies and platform positions of the five candidates endorsed by the Cambridge Residents Alliance. This time, we begin with the three new challengers and then go on to the two incumbents. Within each category, candidates are listed alphabetically.

Mike Connolly grew up in public housing, was raised by a single mother with health issues, overcame adversity to win a scholarship to Duke University where he majored in computer science. He worked his way through Boston College Law School. He has been endorsed by Lawrence Lessig as a leader in the movement for clean elections and finance reform. Mike was a leader in the effort to demand that MIT provide housing for the majority of its graduate students during the zoning debate in 2013. He organized large demonstrations in support of the Silver Maple Forest. He successfully led the petition campaign for a “net zero carbon emissions” standard, then negotiated with the City Administration on the framework that led to the landmark Net Zero Action Plan. Mike has worked as a legislative aide in City Hall for the past two years, researching and helping to promote many progressive initiatives. He is poised to join the Council as a strong and knowledgeable advocate. He will work for a comprehensive housing plan and a balanced approach to development. Mike and his wife Kacy are tenants in East Cambridge.

Jan Devereux: Responding to the disastrous congestion and piecemeal overdevelopment in the Fresh Pond / Alewife area of Cambridge, Jan led the formation of the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance. Under her leadership this group has grown and has pushed for a sustainable growth and place-making plan, for the protection of green space, for better traffic plans and bike paths, and for the heroic effort to save the Silver Maple Forest. Jan has also consistently come forward to support residents in other parts of the city—from Kendall Square to Area 4 / The Port to North Cambridge—who are fighting proposals from developers that threaten to undermine the quality and character of the community. Jan supports the creation of more affordable housing, especially for families, and will fight to protect residents and local retail facing displacement due to rising rents.

Romaine Waite was raised in Cambridge in public housing. He received a dual degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Cambridge to work with young people around improved Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) learning, to help prepare students to compete in the global jobs market. Romaine will work for programs to support entrepreneurial skills for those experiencing job insecurity and will advocate for a wider adoption of a livable $15/hour minimum wage. He will work to establish an effective informational bridge between city departments anxious to assist and the neighborhoods expecting to be served. Romaine is particularly concerned with programs to support affordable housing for young people and families. He wants to address the short- and long-term drivers of displacement. He hopes to work with MIT and Harvard to find imaginative solutions for housing 100% of their students seeking lodging.

Dennis Carlone (incumbent) has shown consistent and thoughtful leadership during his first term on the City Council. He is working to change how we manage development in Cambridge, to ensure that longtime residents can afford to remain in the city. He works for true, people-centered re-zoning; for development that integrates with, not overwhelms, existing neighborhoods; for regulation of issues in new construction such as height, light, noise, and design character. Dennis has decades of experience as an award-winning architect and city planner. On the Council, he successfully led the effort to launch a comprehensive citywide plan to guide development. He and Councilor Mazen supported a linkage fee (that developers must pay to affordable housing) that was double what other councilors wanted. He sponsored the Net Zero carbon emissions ordinance and led efforts to pass a ban on plastic bags. He is deeply responsive to neighborhood concerns. His platform is truly one of “planning for people.” Dennis and his wife Katie are tenants.  

Nadeem Mazen (incumbent) brought creativity and energy to his first term on the City Council. He has consistently responded to neighborhood residents and resisted the influence of mega-real estate developers. He co-sponsored the call for a citywide Master Plan to guide development; called for sharply increasing linkage fees to be used for affordable housing; championed the Open Data Ordinance; revitalized the discussion over raising the minimum wage to $15/hour in Cambridge; led the charge to ensure the city’s Foundry building maximizes community arts space and minimizes for-profit tenants; advocated for city-owned broadband internet as a high-speed, low-cost competitor to Comcast; supports Net Zero development; and, as a year-round biker, supports plans to make the city safer for bikes and pedestrians. Nadeem is a graduate of MIT, a tenant, and a small-business entrepreneur in Central Square.




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Cambridge Residents Alliance