Stone Talk - Council

Traveling on a Runaway Bus

By Paul Steven Stone

- Jan 31 "Who Decides?" Forum

   I’ve been asked to speak about the need to elect a progressive city council. Which—to do that—requires us to replace at least three of the folks shown in the photo, ideally from the back row. (I’ll speak later about the criteria that leads me to say that)

   Three years ago, like most of you, I was totally ignorant of what was happening in our city. Totally ignorant of the city’s addiction to development, or the wheels that had been set in motion to virtually rubber-stamp any project that came before the Planning Board or our City Council.

 City_council.jpg  But then I discovered a staggering fact. In the last few years, more than HALF the development projected for the next 20 years in Cambridge had either been built or permitted. Most of it without the guidance of anything I would consider real planning.

    Well, that woke me up and once it did I saw we were all traveling on a runaway bus with no one at the wheel. A bus that was throwing off passengers—my neighbors and yours—as we merrily careened on our way.

   Ever since I’ve been struggling, along with others, to grab the steering wheel and slow down the bus. I guess that’s why I’m here today.

    If I can paraphrase from a far greater orator than myself…

    Friends, neighbors, Cantabrigians, lend me your votes!

   I come to shake up the city council, not to praise them.

    For the deeds these councilors do will live long after they’re gone.

    As will their unfortunate zoning decisions—and lack of foresight—chip away at the foundations of our beloved city.

    Make no mistake, we are now drawn to an epic battle to preserve all that is most precious to us in Cambridge—our quality of life, our economic and racial diversity, our sense of community identity.

   The next city council election may well decide the future of our city; and whether there’s a place for any of us in that future.

    Many of us rail against the city council for their kneejerk reactions to complex issues. For the speed with which they approve almost any proposal that hides behind claims of protecting our most vulnerable citizens.

   No matter that their political war chests are brimming with donations from developers…

   No matter that they vote for zoning changes that award millions to developers while potentially displacing the very people they profess to care about…

    No matter that they have failed to insist on thoughtful planning for our city’s growth…

    Most of these councilors voted down the Carlone Petition, the one tool they could have used to protect our city from misguided mega-developments like the Sullivan courthouse.

    And though they agreed to a Master planning process, they cynically placed it under the control of the very agency whose lax planning and arrogant behavior led to the outcry for a master plan in the first place.

    That’s like sending a mugger out to protect his latest victim.

    Over and over, they trumpet their concern for the families and poor people flushed out of Cambridge on a tsunami of development, but they never insist on an analysis of the real impacts of all this unbridled development.

    And so I’m here today with two missions: first to call for right-thinking individuals to run for city council. We need candidates who will stand up to the pro-development cabal that threatens the fabric of our community. It only takes four votes to stop up-zoning and spot-zoning in its tracks. Just four votes to send proposed 19-story luxury towers back to the drawing board.

    We believe we currently have three such enlightened councilors who’ve shown they can see beyond the false arguments, who won’t trade away our city’s future for a fast buck. (This time I direct your attention to councilors in the front row of the photo.)

     Secondly, the Cambridge Residents Alliance will be endorsing a slate of candidates in the next election, and I humbly ask you to vote for that slate. Or at least not to vote for anyone in that photo who voted against the Carlone Petition, or who supports the status quo, takes money from developers, or naively claims the city is doing a good job planning for its future.

    Your vote in the next City Council election may help decide who gets forced out of Cambridge, and who gets to stay.

     That’s all I have to say…except I‘ll see you at the polls!

Thank you.






Do you like this page?

Showing 7 reactions

commented 2024-06-18 04:47:59 -0400 · Flag
Great discussion and the idea behind it is novel and what the world needs right now. Today we recognize editing as a fundamental part of the research writing process. Improve your skills with the help of for better outcomes. While communicate your ideas on paper it is important to make it brief and comprehensible, to be vague and undecided at some points is actually quite common.
commented 2024-06-11 06:26:14 -0400 · Flag
This is a wonderful discussion by the Stone Talks – Council. However, I’m unclear on a few points mentioned in line three. Could you please clarify? As an academic writer at, I provide writing services and would appreciate your insights.
commented 2022-05-13 07:37:24 -0400 · Flag
Most awaited KGF 2 2022 has released. KGF Chapter 2 is an approaching Indian Kannada-language period action film created and composed by Prashanth Neel, and conveyed by Vijay Kiragandur under the banner Hombale Films.would you like to download KGF Chapter 2 Full Movie
commented 2022-03-15 02:26:09 -0400 · Flag
This is a very wonderful communication between these stone Talks – Council, but I don’t understand the few points please clear these points you mention in the line three, I am an academic writer working with, and provide writing services.
commented 2021-08-17 12:42:44 -0400 · Flag
Wants to earn money from home? Then quickly sign up on our site Surveys for Money and become a part of our panel. We’ll send to you the surveys which will be relevant to you. Just connect with us now!
commented 2020-05-16 05:00:19 -0400 · Flag
This makes it adaptable and useful for different types of cooking and finishes.
commented 2017-05-16 06:42:05 -0400 · Flag
Thanks for sharing this best stuff with us! Keep sharing! I am new in the blog writing.All types blogs and posts are not helpful for the readers.Here the author is giving good thoughts and suggestions to each and every readers through this article.Quality of the content is the main element of the blog and this is the way of writing and presenting.Waiting for again wonderful blogs or posts.please get in tough with
Cambridge Residents Alliance