Neighborhoods Count

What’s happening
As the world gets increasingly complex, demographic changes, technological advances and economic tensions are giving us more and more challenges.

My plans

  • It is crucial to factor what is foundational to Cambridge’s essence into the City’s policy making. As part of making this happen I listen to the people who live in the neighborhoods, because no one knows the neighborhoods better than its residents.
  • I have been a voice for neighborhood residents on issues since long before starting on the City Council — I bring that history of neighborhood advocacy into every decision I make.

Diversified Housing Helps Create a City’s Soul

What’s happening
Like much of the region, Cambridge faces both a housing crisis and an affordable housing crisis. In the face of global real estate pressures, housing prices in Cambridge pose significant challenges to keeping a healthy mix of people in our City.

My plans

  • Maximize inclusionary zoning for new developments.
  • Eliminate speculative short-term rental operators that take long-term housing off of the market and inflate real estate prices.
  • Ensure the City is ready to purchase our many expiring use buildings when they come on the market, to keep hundreds and hundreds of affordable units on the market and help maintain the diversity that makes Cambridge such a special place to live.

Education is a Civil Right

What’s happening
Good schools are at the heart any healthy city. Yet too many of our children do not experience the academic success they need for today’s world.

My plans

  • The City Council and the School Committee must be far more effective partners in making sure all of our children get the education they need to have a successful life when they graduate high school.
  • My own children have gone to our public schools, I’ve been a Cambridge School Volunteer and I have served on my sons’ School Advisory Committee. Beyond Cambridge, I’ve travelled through much of the Northeast where I’ve seen how a good education opens up opportunities no matter where you are — these experiences guide my thinking.

Safe Streets For Everyone

What’s happening
Streets and sidewalks must be safe for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and the emerging sector of personal electric vehicles like E-bikes and OneWheels. The ‘Delivery Economy’ of Ubers, Lyfts and Amazon services must fit into our streets, to provide us the convenience of internet-driven services while minimizing the inconvenience — and sometimes even dangers — they pose to other users of our streets and sidewalks.

My plans

  • Cambridge needs to envision and then embark on creating a future where more people safely move through and around Cambridge without a car.
  • Options include safe, separated bikeways, data-driven vehicular enforcement and a more effective transportation safety education.
  • I have started the City’s discussion about how to work with these new transportation sectors and plan to further that work in the next term.

Planning For A Climate-Changed Future

What’s happening
Nothing threatens our future like climate change. From flooding, droughts and extreme rainfall to heat waves, invasive species and new diseases, the past is no longer a good predictor of our future.

My plans

  • I have been focused — and will continue to focus — on helping Cambridge meet these emerging climate challenges.
  • This term, I chaired the Mayor’s Special Advisory Committee on Neighborhood-Based Resiliency to help the City build the systems and social cohesion we need to thrive in this uncertain future.
  • Cambridge needs to be more adaptive for its future than it has ever been in the past. Options include changing zoning to better allow adaption efforts like battery storage and treating trees as truly important pieces of civic infrastructure.

Craig Kelley swearing oath