ABC Statement on Anti-AHO Amendments

(Approved by the A Better Cambridge board on December 7, 2021.) The 100% Affordable Housing Overlay enacted in October 2020 is beginning to show results that surpass most predictions made at that time. There are currently four projects with over 350 apartments in the planning and design review stages. With over 21,000 households on affordable housing waitlists, and with housing prices and rents continuing to rise sharply – even during the pandemic – the success of the AHO is welcome news for every Cambridge resident who supports and prioritizes creating more affordable housing. Continue reading

ABC News, November 2021: Book discussion, AHO and zoning activity, campaign finance and more

(Sent on November 23, 2021.) The ABC book club has returned! We will be reading Tufts professor Eitan Hersh’s Politics is for Power -- an analysis of the perils of “political hobbyism” -- and meeting in person to discuss it on Sunday, December 5, 1-3pm, at Darwin’s on Cambridge Street.  For more details (especially if you might be interested in a follow-up Zoom!), contact Matthew Wallace at [email protected]. Additionally, for those who live in Cambridgeport or near MIT (specific ward/precinct info here), there is a special election for State Senator occurring on December 14th! You can read candidate statements from Lydia Edwards and Anthony D’Ambrosio in Cambridge Day. While ABC has not had time to conduct an endorsement process, we will note that Lydia Edwards has been endorsed by 5 ABC-endorsed City Councillors among many other state and local elected officials. Continue reading

Thank you!! Election results + next steps

(Sent November 3rd, 2021.) The preliminary results from the election are in, and it looks like Cambridge has once again elected six of our endorsed candidates to the City Council - incumbents Alanna Mallon, Marc McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, and Denise Simmons, plus challengers Burhan Azeem and Paul Toner! In addition, all three of the proposed charter reforms which we supported have passed, putting Cambridge on a path towards fairer and more democratic governance. Continue reading

ABC News, Sept/Oct 2021: VOTE!, AHO threats, corridor studies, and more

(Sent October 17th, 2021.) Help elect a pro-housing City Council! With the Affordable Housing Overlay under attack yet again (see below), it’s more important than ever that we elect our endorsed candidates, who will fight for a welcoming, affordable Cambridge. ABC also supports a YES vote on all 3 charter questions. Continue reading

Support for Raising the Linkage Fee

(Posted Monday, September 20th, 2021.) A Better Cambridge strongly supports PO #5 to raise the linkage fee for commercial development to $33.34/sqft, or to whatever level the Housing Committee deems appropriate. Continue reading

ABC's housing vision for the next City Council: growth, affordability, stability

OP-ED: ABC’s housing vision for the next City Council: growth, affordability, and stability (Published in the Cambridge Chronicle on September 13th, 2021.) This year, like every year, surveys reminded us that the cost of housing is the #1 issue facing Cambridge residents. (Yes, even above COVID-19.) Every year, rising rents have pushed more and more of our neighbors out of the city - away from jobs, schools, and community - and put countless others in positions of fear and instability. Every year, it gets more and more difficult for us to claim that Cambridge is a “welcoming community”, open to refugees and immigrants, when often it’s not even open to people raised here. We write to stress, however, that the housing crisis is not a force of nature - it is a crisis of our own making, which elected bodies like the Cambridge City Council have meaningful powers to address. We hope that candidates running for office this November are up to the challenge. Continue reading

ABC News, August 2021: Candidate forum, multiple mid-rise proposals in danger, and more

(Sent August 27th, 2021.) A Better Cambridge has just released the responses from an extensive City Council candidate questionnaire, completed by nearly the entire field. ABC’s public candidate forum will be streamed live on Sunday, September 19 at 4:00 pm. Please keep an eye on our Election 2021 page for more details and election news. Continue reading

ABC News, July 2021: Candidate forum, condo conversion, parking and more

(Sent on July 30th, 2021.) The November municipal elections are fast approaching, and it's critical that we elect a pro-housing City Council. ABC is planning a public forum for Council candidates on September 19 at 4:00 pm. Please keep an eye on our Election 2021 page for more details and election news. Continue reading

ABC June 2021 News: Zoning and Racial Justice, New Member Orientation, and more

(Sent on June 23rd, 2021.)The ABC/Sunrise Missing Middle Housing proposal has run out of time allotted by state rules governing zoning petitions. At this month’s Ordinance Committee hearing, it was clear that the proposal has succeeded in changing the conversation toward substantial -- not merely symbolic -- reform of our outdated zoning laws. It's not yet clear what form the conversation will take going forward, but ABC will continue to advocate for an end to exclusionary zoning. Zoning reform would be more feasible if the City’s Planning Board, which reviews proposed zoning amendments and special permits for development, were more concerned by the harms of maintaining the status quo than by proposals for change. If you or a pro-housing friend may be interested in filling one of the vacant seats on the Planning Board, please apply or encourage them to apply now! The deadline is June 25. Continue reading

Statement Regarding Anti-Housing Rally

In our housing and climate crises, it is indefensible for the City to continue to prohibit new triple-deckers and fourplexes in residential neighborhoods, while allowing and encouraging new 2+-million-dollar detached houses. Small multifamily apartment buildings are some of Cambridge’s most affordable and sustainable housing stock, and the regulations that ban them have an ugly, racist and classist history. Continue reading