A Better Cambridge is committed to creating a more affordable, sustainable, and vibrant Cambridge. We believe that increasing housing, creating more affordable housing, and enhancing tenant protections are critical to ensuring more people can live here and stay here — our goal is to increase access to the opportunities our city provides, regardless of background or income. Through education and advocacy, we seek to impact the public conversation, include under-represented groups, and encourage thoughtful planning and policy.
In June 2019, A Better Cambridge adopted the following platform:
A Better Cambridge believes Cambridge should make inclusion and equity a priority. That means building more homes — particularly affordable housing — to welcome people to every neighborhood of our high-opportunity city, while protecting tenants against displacement.
ABC believes Cambridge should be a climate leader, promoting not just climate resiliency policies, but also new housing and transit that reduce the amount of pollution that the city and the larger region emit.
By welcoming new residents, Cambridge will nurture dynamic, exciting urban life, and create healthy racial, ethnic, and economic diversity.
To achieve that vision:
- Cambridge should increase housing supply by allowing more density than what current zoning allows (particularly in areas well-served by public transit).
- Cambridge should increase spending on affordable housing by at least $20m over the FY19 level for the next 5 years.
- Cambridge should make it easier to build affordable housing in every neighborhood by passing the Affordable Housing Overlay that would allow more 100% affordable housing projects to be built as-of-right.
- Cambridge’s zoning should no longer require the builders of new housing to include one parking space per unit, needlessly making housing more expensive, and encouraging people to buy and use cars who otherwise would not.
- Cambridge should abolish single-family zoning and other exclusionary restrictions, by establishing citywide minimum zoning that allows triple-deckers.
- Cambridge should protect tenants from displacement through policies such as providing mediation services, lawyers, and subsidies to fight evictions; strengthening condo conversion controls; and lobbying for state legislation for additional financial resources and stronger legal protections.
A Better Cambridge is an all-volunteer, membership-based organization. We work to host educational events, advocate for a future that aligns with our platform, and bring together a community of people who care about cities, housing, and creating change.
The organization is led by a Board of Directors comprising community members who have dedicated significant time to our activities for a sustained period of time. The Board helps steer the organization — setting direction and priorities in the efforts we pursue — and works with other members on projects and tasks. The Board members elect new Board members yearly.
Our members reflect a cross-section of the Cambridge community: renters, homeowners, working families, retirees, young people and others from across the city who are united in our efforts to help build a better Cambridge (click here to join as a member!). In addition to receiving our monthly newsletters, members have access to our Slack workspace and are invited to internal events such as book club meetings and planning meetings for projects and tasks. Members seeking greater involvement can also join the higher-traffic “Active ABCers” list, where we discuss and debate policy ideas and track project progress. If this sounds like the right space for you — reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our Board of Directors includes:
Larry Bluestone, Secretary
Alexandra Markiewicz, Co-Chair
Bill McAvinney, Treasurer
Becca Schofield, Co-Chair
Join as a member to get involved!