Good News(letter)!

Aerial view of Cambridge

Hi all,

Each Friday, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be sending out a Good News(letter), highlighting the many positive things that are shining through during these scary and unprecedented times. Hopefully, if you have the capacity, you will latch on to something on this list and take action!

It is especially important to celebrate the good things – today I am celebrating our son’s 24th birthday! He is living at home – so we will see him in person but his friends will not be coming over for cake – instead they’ll be doing some remote bonding remotely. Speaking of remote bonding – it is not the same as in person, but zoom meetings can be a great way to stay in touch -if you haven’t tried it, I bet you will soon.

I will continue to send out my regular Monday emails about the council agenda and other Cambridge updates, and do not hesitate to reach out if you think there is something more the city could be doing in response to this crisis.

There has been an outpouring of good will and voluntarism and generosity in the community. One of the ways the community is responding to the crisis is appreciating in concrete ways the front line workers. I am working – with Mayor Siddiqui and Vice Mayor Mallon – to bring to Cambridge an initiative to provide cooked healthy locally sourced meals for health care workers. A friend of mine in Newton started Feed the Fight Boston – and we are collaborating to see how Cambridge can be part of the effort, or at a minimum build on and learn from what they’ve done as we implement here in Cambridge.

Stay tuned!

The Black Student Union at CRLS created a video thanking all of the custodial and food service staff for their work during this crisis. It’s a beautiful video and a great example of what we should all be doing right now – saying thank you to frontline workers.

There has been a movement for everyone to go outside at 8pm each night in Cambridge and clap for all the folks who are still working to ensure the rest of us are safe and have access to the essentials we need. Send a note to your neighbors and try to spread the message! It is a great way to show appreciation and see your neighbors once a day!

The arts are struggling and deeply worried about the short and long term impact of this crisis on their future. Many museums are putting their collections online for a virtual tour (here is one example). And meanwhile, there has been an outpouring of creativity. Harvard Office for the Arts has started a Pause for the Arts” program – a short (2-3 minute) video of an artistic performance (ranging from classical piano to beatbox to jazz) available to all.  Other snippets of delight include many virtual performances (check out Berklee’s video) and updated songs for the quarantine (see One Day More).  One of my favorite dance companies has streamed some performances for the first time. If you know of others, share widely!

Food For Free and the City of Cambridge have provided 9,000 lunches/breakfasts to students, 2,600 home delivery of free groceries to residents, and 1800 meals (purchased from local restaurants) to homeless programs. Click here to read more! If you are symptom free, and not high risk, sign up to volunteer as well!

The City of Cambridge has contracted a number of local businesses around the city to provide food to homeless shelters in an effort to support our small businesses while feeding our homeless population. It is a total win-win and in the first week close to 2,000 meals were delivered!  The effort is getting national press attention and sparking a movement for other cities that have the resources to do the same – it is always amazing for Cambridge to be on the forefront of creative and progressive ideas. And a reminder of the outsized role we play working for good!

You can get a family portrait, support local news, and be a part of the Cambridge historical record at the same time! Scout Cambridge has started The Front Steps Project – for a donation of any amount to the magazine, a photographer will come and take portraits of you – check the link for some cute pictures and consider supporting!

And finally, Historic New England is live-streaming Comet, a two week old goat, that lives at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury. We could all use a baby goat in our lives right now.