A Plan to Keep Cambridge Affordable

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...


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