It is hard to believe, but it’s been almost two years since I was re-elected to Cambridge City Council in 2017. While I can’t say enough to thank everyone who helped me during that campaign, I similarly have trouble expressing adequate appreciation for everyone who has made this 2018-19 Council term so successful.

This term I:
  • wrote new zoning to create more market-rate housing
  • helped pass the first municipal surveillance ordinance on the East Coast
  • preserved our tree canopy by working to strengthen Cambridge’s tree protection ordinance
  • organized multiple events to explore how new forms of urban mobility can help Cambridge conquer congestion
  • worked to ensure that equity guides Cambridge’s actions in everything from bicycle enforcement to educational results to marijuana sales.
Where the City has been right, I’ve been actively supportive, but I stood up when I felt the City was heading in the wrong direction:
  • I opposed the misguided destruction of Inman Square’s Vellucci Plaza because it does not promote bicycle safety, removed numerous mature trees and continues to expand in cost.
  • I was vocal and specific in my objections to a school budget that promises to continue the unequal educational results we’ve seen for generations.
  • I used the City’s Open Data source to illustrate how our police, wonderful in so many ways, are not doing enough to promote traffic safety.

Combining data with my professional experience in governance — and my experiences as a father, husband, and neighbor — I make informed, independent decisions. I am more than willing to stand by myself when I feel the majority is heading in the wrong direction.

As with everything else in my life, I have done none of this on my own. The passion and expertise people have shared when talking about climate change, tree protection, social equity, and the importance of housing they can afford informs each one of my votes. And that passion and expertise — the public’s desire to create a stronger, more equitable Cambridge that is ready for the ever-changing challenges of the 21st Century — is what I hope many of you will bring to my current re-election campaign. This level of support is the reason I can run a successful campaign for less than one-quarter of what some of my competitors spend — your faith in me is more important than money when it comes to local politics.

Like past elections, the upcoming election season promises to be an exciting, if sometimes bumpy, journey. I look forward to making it with you and, after a successful race, continuing to work with you to build the best Cambridge possible.

Accomplishments on the City Council, 2016-2017

  • Regulate Short-Term Rentals — an Ordinance that passed
    I worked on an ordinance to make short-term rentals like Airbnb legal, safe and fair.
    This (1) creates a legal framework for short-term room rentals, (2) protects neighborhoods from rental speculators, and (3) preserves long-term rental stock.
  • Limit Fire Risk by Banning Smoking on Construction Sites — an Ordinance that Passed
    In 2017 the Council unanimously passed my Ordinance. All Cambridge is safer as a result.
    Background: two major Cambridge job-site fires were linked to improper handling of smoking material.
  • Combat Running Bamboo, an Invasive Species — an Ordinance that Passed
    The Council unanimously passed my Ordinance requiring property owners to manage running bamboo. Background: A constituent’s property was becoming overrun by a neighbor's bamboo. Climate change is increasing problems with invasive species like bamboo.
  • Improve bicycle safety — working with stakeholders across the City and beyond
    Background: methods include (1) promote street-grade protected bike lanes and (2) analyze details of police traffic citations. The goal is to have a more-effective, data-driven traffic safety program.
  • Chaired the Mayor’s Special Advisory Committee on Neighborhood-Based Resiliency
    Background: I’ve helped explore what makes our neighborhood and our City resilient. And helped develop new ideas and approaches to keep Cambridge viable as a community of innovators and neighbors.

Personal Accomplishments, 2016-2017

  • Sent my eldest son to college. The analytical thinking and social skills he learned in our public schools have helped his success.
  • Watched my younger son transition through Cambridge Rindge and Latin School to become a senior. Studying Arabic, physics, theater and more at CRLS helps him build a base of 21st Century skills.
  • Biked from Houlton, ME to Washington, DC to learn more about our country, its challenges and its opportunities. Along the way, I asked dozens of people what worried them and what made them feel safe. The answers help me understand how Cambridge fits in with the rest of the world.
  • Became a Harvard Research Fellow in Metropolitan Resiliency and Democratic Institutions. I focus on how modern governments can build resiliency and respond to short-term political challenges.

2017 Campaign for City Council

I am eager to bring my experience and education passions to City Hall for another term. My focus will be:

  • Help Cambridge create a better future for all of its residents, with special emphasis on equity, street safety and transparent, inclusive governance.
  • Build a more collaborative City/school relationship.
  • Develop safety programs that reflect address the social and climate change challenges we all face and which we must solve together.

I Need Your Help

Like my last election, I will not succeed without your help. Whether it's hosting a campaign party for me, telling your neighbors and friends why you support me, donating money, putting up a yard sign or helping me knock on doors, this is a campaign I can only win as part of a team.

Craig Kelley with Hope sign