Thank you for voting!


A big thank you to everyone who voted this year, and an even bigger thank you to those of you who volunteered your time and money working to protect democracy across the country. There are still many races that have yet to be decided, and it wasn’t a perfect election night by any means, but it’s clear that dedicated folks across the country worked hard and won some important battles: protecting abortion rights, defending voting rights, and working to make our country a more just place for everyone. The work is hardly done – in fact, the work is never done – but I think it’s important to take some time to recognize the people who spent so much time fighting for what is right.

Locally, Cambridge has published preliminary results from the Massachusetts state-level elections, which you can see below.
November 8, 2022 State Election Unofficial Results

In observance of Veterans Day, Cambridge and the Department of Veterans Services will be hosting an Observance event on Friday, November 11, from 11am – 12pm, at Cambridge Common, by the Civil War monument, which is bordered by Massachusetts Avenue, Garden Street, and Waterhouse Street, near Harvard Square. There are events all next week as well for Veterans’ Appreciation Week – if you are interested in learning more, check out the schedule below.
Veterans Day Observance Event and Veterans’ Appreciation Week

Next week I will be heading to Kansas City, MO for a “City Summit” conference sponsored by the National League of Cities. I am looking forward to meeting leaders from cities across the country, sharing ideas, and learning as much as I can. I am hopeful that I can take back many lessons for Cambridge and also spread the word about the good work we already do.

Below are some comments on a few top line items including some comments on some items from the last City Council meeting and a few quick notes for this Monday’s meeting. As always, please take care of yourself and take time out to appreciate something, small or large, every day. 


Local Events/Notes

Tasty Burger’s New Location
I was excited to get to Tasty Burger’s new location in Central Square on Monday for their grand opening. Their new space on Prospect Street looks great and the food was as good as ever. They even have a pool table in back! (Unfortunately I found out my pool skills were a bit rusty…) I spoke with one of the managers and they are excited to cater to a broad base – from the lunch crowd, to the after work crowd, to the late night crowd (open till 2am on Friday and Saturday). Go check them out if you’re looking for a quick bite in Central.

City Council Updates

First I wanted to touch base on a few items from the last City Council Meeting on November 7 before hitting on a few notes for the next meeting this Monday, November 14.

MBTA Bus Redesign
As you’ll remember, last week I sponsored a policy order with Vice Mayor Mallon and Councillors Azeem and Toner asking the city and the MBTA to consider additional changes. The City Manager will be reaching out to the MBTA to discuss the changes we are advocating for. I want to once again thank all of you in the community who have emailed the City Council advocating for additional changes. Your testimony and advocacy are incredibly helpful in shaping policy decisions.

Garden Street
The policy order for asking for the City to meet with residents on the Garden Street change was Charter Righted last week so that we could rework some of the language. I always support monitoring the impact of these changes and increasing communication with residents. I do want to ensure that residents are clear that the one-way will stay and that the bike lanes are part of a longstanding plan. AND, as we monitor and assess, we know that the first couple of months people will be adjusting to the new traffic patterns. I travel through that area regularly – by car, by bike, and as a pedestrian. I know it well, and know that we need to take time to analyze the changes and understand the impact. I also went to a community meeting for Raymond Street residents this Wednesday – I made it clear to the City this week that more of these meetings need to happen and they need to be as inclusive as possible so that we can gather a broad understanding of the effects of the Garden Street changes on the ENTIRE community. Since reaching out, the City has scheduled a few listening sessions – I’m sure there will be more to come and I will keep pushing for better communication by the City.
Upcoming Listening Sessions on Garden St:
Garden Street Safety Improvement Project – City of Cambridge, MA

Right on Red
Vice Mayor Mallon and Councillor Azeem put in a very good policy order last week that asked the City to work to eliminate “right-on-red” turns in as many intersections as possible. Honestly, I understand how people are either skeptical or feel this step may be overreach, or unnecessary. It seems to me as I drive or bike around the city that every intersection already has a “NO TURN ON RED” sign. And, the reason for the no turn on red movement was due to not wanting unnecessary idling which increases emissions and is bad for public health and clean air, since most cars burn fossil fuels. That suggests we should consider this change in light of that rationale for allowing turns.  I did and support the change in general.

The data is clear that eliminating right hand turns on red lights decreases the chance and likelihood of accidents and near-accidents. We must do all we can to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety – which this step does. I also know that some intersections work better with the flexible right hand turns. One great example is Rindge Avenue and Alewife Brook parkway, which should allow right turns on red since that has been shown to reduce traffic back up with NO safety compromise. That is why I proposed and supported an amendment to ensure that if there are no safety issues, the city and the state on the roads it controls be able to maintain flexibility for those instances. The amendment was accepted.

As I expressed at the meeting during discussion, flexibility is needed. If there are no safety issues, then we should allow traffic to flow. The intent of the policy order is great and we should eliminate the right on red turns from as many intersections as possible. I look forward to the city’s response on how we can move forward with this idea.

City Council Meeting – Monday, November 14, 2022

Climate Resilience Zoning
An item on the City Manager’s Agenda for this week that I am particularly interested in discussing is the Climate Resilience Zoning proposal. This zoning proposal is one part of the Resilient Cambridge Plan which works to prepare the city for a future that will include drastic changes caused by the climate crisis. This draft, prepared by the City, will be forwarded for a more in-depth discussion in the Health and Environment Committee, which I chair. I’m looking forward to hearing from CDD on Monday night on this important proposal and to continuing the hard work of preparing our City for the future.
Climate Resilience Zoning 

Green Plus Cambridge Community Electricity
I have prepared a policy order for this Monday with the help of Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Mallon, and Mayor Siddiqui which addresses the communication efforts of the City regarding the Cambridge Community Electricity program (CCE). As you know, improving the effective communication of the City is something I’ve been very focused on lately and the CCE is an incredibly important program, not only in our mission to reduce emissions pollution, but also in our goals of lowering energy cost for residents. It’s a program that every resident in Cambridge should know about and take advantage of – especially the 100% renewable option (which I do!). If you’re one of the 40,000 customers of CCE in Cambridge but NOT one of the 1,000 customers who choose 100% Green Plus, please consider switching! Good policies are only as good as the effectiveness of implementing them and we cannot let good programs like the CCE run the risk of losing effectiveness due to limited advertising and poor marketing. I hope this policy order will help the City revamp their efforts to promote this great program.
Cambridge –

COVID Boosters
The CDC recommends use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster shots for better protection against COVID-19 Omicron variants. The updated Moderna booster is authorized for people ages 6 years and older. The updated Pfizer booster is authorized for people ages 5 years and older. Children in this age group are eligible for the bivalent boosters if it has been at least two months since the completion of their primary series or booster vaccination. Please see the links below to learn more about getting the booster and find out where you can get yours.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone for reading. If there are any topics you want me to cover in future newsletters, I’m always happy for the input! As always, please feel free to reach out to my aide, Patrick, or me for any of your City Council needs.

You can find all previous newsletters on my website. Please share with anyone you think would be interested:

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