Cambridge is a great place to live — but the high-end commercial development and luxury housing boom is making the city unaffordable for its current residents.
The centerpiece of Mike's platform is a call for a comprehensive housing plan to protect renters and homeowners and keep Cambridge affordable for all.
Boston and Somerville recently completed housing plans, but Cambridge does not have any recent housing plan. A housing plan is important because it can enable us to do a better job of leveraging complex opportunities, forming public-private partnerships, and capturing more of the wealth that is being extracted from our community by the international speculators and Wall Street-backed corporate development firms.
Cambridge’s housing plan should be the result of collaboration and a robust public process. All city councillors should be working together — along with city officials, neighborhood leaders, and independent experts — to ensure the success of the process and the quality of the plan.
At a minimum, our affordable housing plan should include:
- Updates to the inclusionary zoning ordinance;
- Expanded opportunities for affordable middle-income housing units;
- Requirement that MIT provide affordable housing for its graduate students and post-doctoral fellows;
- Higher commercial development linkage fees ($24.30/square foot);
- A condominium conversion ordinance;
- A Tenants' Bill of Rights;
- Use of Affordable Housing Trust funds to fill the gaps in the Section 8 program;
- A tax on real estate speculation;
- Better use of city funds and city-owned land;
- Increased support for limited equity ownership and non-profit development opportunities;
- Independent financial analysis of pending development decisions;
- Increased support for the homeless population, and
- Preservation of the city's existing stock of affordable housing.
Mike also understands that affordability is about more than just housing and development. That's why, in addition to a comprehensive affordable housing plan, Mike's vision for an affordable Cambridge also includes the following measures:
- Universal pre-kindergarten and affordable child care options for all families;
- Municipal broadband — Cambridge should end the Comcast monopoly;
- Municipal aggregation — Cambridge should provide options for all residents to obtain clean, green electricity at a reduced price;
- Support for a $15 minimum wage;
- Support for paid family/medical leave;
- Support for local, independent, and affordable retail and service options for all residents;
Mike's other top priorities:
- Continued efforts to promote civic engagement and movement building;
- Continued leadership in support of the Citywide Planning process;
- Continued leadership in support of the Net Zero Action Plan;
- Continued leadership in support of the Grand Junction Multi-Use Path project, linking Somerville with East Cambridge, Area IV/ The Port, MIT, Central Square, Cambridgeport, and Allston;
- Support for implementing the recommendations of the city’s Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative;
- Support for racial justice and Black Lives Matter in Cambridge;
- Working to address residents’ concerns over light pollution, air pollution, and noise pollution (including aircraft noise);
- Support for the arts;
- Preservation and expansion of public open space, including support for the planned 7.5-acre park at the Volpe site in Kendall Square, and continued support for the Whittemore Avenue Community Garden in North Cambridge;
- Investments in transportation infrastructure, including a tax on Kendall Square real estate developers to fund upgrades to the MBTA's Red Line, improved bus service to the Longwood Medical Area, and the construction of a new commuter rail stop in the Alewife neighborhood.
A more detailed version of Mike's campaign platform and reasons for running can be found here: http://www.mikeconnolly.org/detailed_campaign_platform
Other examples of Mike's positions and work on behalf of Cambridge residents can be found at the following pages...
- Keep Cambridge Affordable For All, www.keepcambridgeaffordable.org, Mike's call for a comprehensive housing plan.
- Mike's pledge to support Black Lives Matter in Cambridge.
- Net Zero Cambridge, Mike's successful petition campaign to reduce the city's carbon footprint, www.netzerocambridge.org.
- Silver Maple Forest, www.silvermapleforest.org, an effort to organize for the protection of a vulnerable open space resource adjacent to the Alewife reservation.