ABC February 2017 Newsletter: Attend Our March Meeting to Hear from MAPC about Regional Housing

After years of decline, population in the Greater Boston region is growing and is expected to continue to grow for years to come. YIMBYs like A Better Cambridge believe that housing production is critical to provide affordable housing opportunities to families across the income spectrum, but just how much new housing is needed to make an impact?

Join ABC for our March general meeting as we hear from Tim Reardon, Data Services Director at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) who has been studying these questions for years. He'll present MAPC's housing projections for Cambridge to help us better understand the critical role that housing production plays as we seek to build a more diverse and sustainable city and region.

ABC March General Meeting

Tuesday, March 14th

6:30 P.M.

at the MIT Stata Center, Room 32-141

32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

 Everyone is welcome at ABC general meetings!

NEWS AND UPDATES

MIT announced its plans for the redevelopment of the Volpe Center site. The plans include 1,120 housing units along with office space and retail.
Cambridge Chronicle

After an increase in construction of multifamily housing in past years, the number of permits issued for 2016 fell sharply in cities and towns around Boston. This is a worrying sign for housing affordability in the region.
Boston Globe

UPCOMING EVENTS

There will be a public meeting to discuss the redevelopment of 55 Wheeler Street in Alewife which would include 20% below market rate housing on Wednesday, March 1st at 7 pm. The meeting will take place at the Beth El Temple Center at 2 Concord Ave. in Belmont.

The City will be hosting two public forums to help shape the search for the next Police Commissioner. The forums will be held on:
Thursday, March 2, 2017, from 6-8 p.m., School Committee Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway.
Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.,
Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue.

The City will be hosting free document shredding at City Hall on Saturday, March 11th, 9:30-11:30 am.

There are multiple Envision Cambridge meetings in March and April. Information and dates are here.


LINKS OF INTEREST

 

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ABC March Meeting: Join us to learn from MAPC about housing demand in our region

After years of decline, population in the Greater Boston region is growing and is expected to continue to grow for years to come. YIMBYs including A Better Cambridge believe that housing production is critical to provide affordable housing opportunities to families and renters across the income spectrum...but just how much new housing is needed to make an impact?

Join ABC for our March general meeting as we hear from Tim Reardon, Data Services Director at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) who has studied these questions. Tim will present MAPC's housing projections for Cambridge and Greater Boston to help us better understand the critical role that housing production plays as we seek to build a more diverse, affordable and sustainable city and region.

ABC March General Meeting
Tuesday, March 14th
6:30 P.M.
at the MIT Stata Center, Room 32-141
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge
We'll post signs at the Stata Center to direct attendees to the correct room

Please RSVP to let us know you're planning to come.
RSVP is not required, but will help us ensure the room can accommodate everyone.

Remember, everyone is welcome at ABC general meetings. 
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ACTION ALERT: Tell City Council to vote YES on Central Square Restoration Petition

After months of advocacy by ABC and our supporters, the Cambridge City Council is now poised to approve the Central Square Restoration Petition at tonight's meeting.

I’m asking you to take two final actions to ensure this important petition passes:

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ACTION ALERT: Next Steps for More Housing in Central Square

Two weeks ago I asked you to take some important actions to help increase housing in Central Square. Now I need you to go a step further.

Please attend Thursday’s City Council Ordinance Committee and speak in favor of the Central Square Restoration Petition/Sater Petition:

Thursday, February 2nd
3:00 P.M.
City Council Sullivan Chambers
Cambridge City Hall

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ACTION ALERT: Act Now for More Housing in Central Square

We all know that Cambridge and Greater Boston face a housing affordability crisis.

Over the years, multiple planning studies and commissions have agreed: transit-accessible Central Square is the right place to create higher density communities that provide more housing for Cambridge families.

I need you to take three actions right now to ensure that Cambridge and Central Square remain on the path towards a more vibrant and affordable community.

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ABC January 2017 Newsletter: An Important Central Square Proposal and a YIMBY Social

NEWS AND UPDATES

A citizen’s petition to reform zoning in Central Square is slowly moving forward as the City Council referred the petition to the Ordinance Committee. The petition would be an important step in bringing more housing to the area along with other improvements.
Cambridge Chronicle

The discussion over changes to Harvard Square including the possible closure of the Out of Town News kiosk was featured in the New York Times.
NY Times

A Boston University annual survey of American mayors highlighted the increasing focus on poverty and inequality in cities across the country.
Boston Globe

The city is seeking volunteers for the new City Manager's Advisory Committee. The committee will consist of 12-15 volunteers and meet at least quarterly. Applications are due February 17th.
City of Cambridge

UPCOMING EVENTS

ABC is hosting a strictly social meet up to bring together YIMBY activists across Greater Boston on Thursday, January 26th from 6:30-9:00 at Cambridge Brewing Company at One Kendall Square.
RSVP Here

The first public meeting for Inman Square intersection improvements will take place on Tuesday, January 24th from 6-8 PM at Cambridge Hospital, 3rd Floor, 1493 Cambridge Street.


LINKS OF INTEREST

DID YOU KNOW?

According to Smart Growth America, only three metro areas, Colorado Springs, Portland, ME, and Madison, were safer for pedestrians than Greater Boston.

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Join our Greater Boston YIMBY Meet Up in Cambridge on Jan. 26th

From Cambridge to Roslindale, Newton to Jamaica Plain, points in between and beyond, local residents are coming together to say YES In My Back Yard (YIMBY) to more housing and sustainable development to address the housing affordability crisis in our region.

This month ABC is devoting our regular Strictly Social event to bring together YIMBY activists from across Greater Boston. Whether you are affiliated with a YIMBY group in your community or not, we hope all pro-housing activists will join us to schmooze and make connections with like-minded smart growth warriors.

Thursday, January 26th
6:30pm to 9:00pm
at Cambridge Brewing Company
One Kendall Square
(a short walk from Kendall Square T)

Please let us know if you can make it by RSVPing via our Facebook event. If you don't have a Facebook account you can RSVP on our website instead.

All are welcome and we encourage you to bring a friend or two.


I hope to see you on January 26th.

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Happy Holidays from A Better Cambridge

On behalf of all the members and friends of A Better Cambridge, we want to wish you a very happy holiday season.

Although we face difficult times on the national and international stage, our resolve is now strengthened more than ever to fight for justice in our local community. We are lucky to live in Cambridge -- a community that understands that diversity is what makes us special and strong.

As we look to 2017, A Better Cambridge is excited to transition to a more formal membership model where our supporters will have the opportunity to actively influence the work and direction of the organization. We hope you'll join us in our effort to ensure Cambridge and Greater Boston retain their vibrant diversity by providing housing opportunities for all.

Again, happy holidays and we look forward to working with you next year.

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Chair
Pamela Thilo, Board Clerk
Bill McAvinney, Treasurer
Alec Papazian, Board Member
Sam Seidel, Board Member

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Please Support Victims of the Cambridge Fire

By now I'm sure you've heard of the devastating fire that impacted Cambridge's Wellington-Harrington neighborhood over the weekend. As we understand, over 60 families have been displaced. Among those neighbors displaced were residents living in St. Pat's Place, an 18-unit affordable housing development in the former Catholic church now owned by Just-A-Start Corporation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families impacted but the fire.

While we are so lucky that no serious injuries or worse occurred as a result of this fire, we are devastated for the many families now made homeless. In the aftermath of this awful event, Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons has established a Fire Relief Fund to assist those families impacted. I hope you'll give generously to help our neighbors in this difficult time -- but donations in any amount will be useful:

https://www.gofundme.com/cambridge-mayors-fire-relief-fund

At this time, the City of Cambridge and Red Cross are asking people not to make physical/material donations of food, clothing, blankets, etc. If you wish to make donations of Target or all-purpose gift cards I understand that those will be accepted in the Mayor's Office at City Hall.

Thank you for supporting our neighbors in need.

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ACTION ALERT: Support the Central Square Restoration Petition

A few weeks ago I was excited to join with over a hundred other neighbors from in and around the Central Square area to add my name as a signatory to the Central Square Restoration Petition (CSRP). Primarily sponsored by Nabil Sater, longtime Cambridge resident and owner of the historic Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, this zoning amendment would implement a number of changes that I believe will help strengthen and expand Central Square as a vibrant and diverse mixed-use district while allowing for new, desperately needed housing development in this transportation-rich neighborhood.

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