Commitment to Cambridge
Now 56 years old, Craig and his wife, Hope live in North Cambridge with their two sons, Robbie (22) and Cooper (19). The friendly neighborhoods, dynamic schools, bustling shopping areas, wonderful parks, super libraries and great people have earned Cambridge a special place in Craig's heart. After ten years of advocacy in his local neighborhood group, Craig was elected to Cambridge City Council in 2005 and he has been helping Cambridge meet the 21st Century’s economic, housing, transportation and educational challenges ever since.
Early education, Military, Environment
Born in Wellesley, Craig went to the University of Rochester on an NROTC scholarship, where he made Dean's list, received a BA in History and won the NROTC leadership award. Craig then served in the Marine Corps for four and a half years, seeing such faraway places as the Southern California desert, the Philippines and Malaysia. It was during these travels that Craig first became interested in environmental issues, realizing that reducing abject poverty and addressing environmental degradation would decrease the likelihood of military conflict in the developing nations where he served. Less than four weeks after resigning his Marine Corps commission, Craig was knocking on doors for Greenpeace.
From Greenpeace, Craig moved on to Boston College Law School, where he served as Chair of the Environmental Law Society, graduated cum laude in 1993 and earned the Susan B Desmaris award for Public Service Achievement and Leadership for his work on environmental issues. A lifetime learner, Craig earned a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015 where he later spent a year as a Research Fellow in Metropolitan Resiliency and Democratic Institutions.
- Chaired the Council's Traffic, Parking & Transportation Committee for his first three terms.
- Currently chairs the Council's Public Safety Subcommittee, where he has focused on surveillance issues, police oversight and legalizing and regulating short-term rentals like AirBnB.
- Co-chairs the Council’s Ordinance Committee, working on cannabis equity, modernizing our zoning code and strengthening our tree protection laws.
- Has chaired the Veterans’ Committee.
- Served on a variety of other Council and City committees, including chairing the Mayor’s Special Advisory Committee on Neighborhood-Based Resiliency during his 2016-2017 term.
- As the leading voice for cyclists on the City Council (Craig has been without a car for the past 12 years) Craig works locally and regionally to:
- promote safe biking in all its forms
- allow Cambridge to prosper without creating street chaos caused by the expanding Delivery Economy and increased use of New Urban Mobility devices.
Craig maintains dozens of email lists focused on City-issues and also publishes articles on his blog and LinkedIn. He has written and published an environmental novel and co-authored a book on environmental compliance.
Cambridge Public Schools
- Served for years on the Maria L. Baldwin School Advisory Council, in addition to his City Council duties.
- Understands the importance of the “A” in STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Math.
- Is an active supporter of all things having to do with visual and performing arts, both in and out of the Cambridge Public Schools.
- Craig’s family had a fabulous and successful CPS experience.
- Is emphatic that public schools exist to serve all students, not just those coming from a position of privilege.
- Has been consistent and data-based in his critiques of Cambridge’s unequal educational results, often being the only “No” vote on the City Council when he thought the CPS budget was insufficiently supporting our most disadvantaged students.
- Has argued for stronger school climate and classroom management programs throughout the District.
- Recently proposed a CPS version of the City’s “Participatory Budgeting” process, to help ensure that the wider school community gets the ability to suggest and evaluate innovative educational ideas.
Craig believes that vibrant local democratic institutions and the give-and-take of honest, robust dialogues, in person or on-line, are crucial to the health of not just Cambridge but the entire United States.
Transparency, accountability and openness are the cornerstones of good government. In keeping with these democratic truths, Craig regularly attends public meetings, maintains dozens of topical email lists and is exceptionally accessible to his constituents as he walks or bikes around town. He is renowned for his constituent services efforts and his ability to effectively and quickly communicate complex civic issues to the general public.
Special interest money funneled into politics via PACs, whether in Cambridge or in Washington, DC, subverts the core values of democracy and stratospheric campaign spending, regardless of where the money comes from, leads people to feel that the general public is being squeezed out of politics at all levels. Craig has been both a vocal advocate for local campaign finance reform and a personal example of how candidates can run successful City Council campaigns without raising and spending the vast sums of cash that, essentially, freeze many would-be contenders out of politics because the entry price is too high.
Besides playing board games with his wife and children, Craig enjoys canoeing, bicycling, hiking, reading and writing. See https://www.facebook.com/craig.kelley.967 for more.