ABC City Council Endorsements 2017

Today is election day in Cambridge and we're at crossroads. 

ABC believes that, in a progressive community like Cambridge we must work to create more homes for all our families. 

However, some candidates believe that Cambridge is full and oppose the creation of sustainable, mixed-income homes in our community.

ABC is proud to endorse six bold, progressive candidates who understand that increasing housing for all is crucial to racial justice and environmental sustainability. We encourage you to rank them 1-6 in any order

Don't know where to vote? Visit to find your voting location. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm.

We need your vote to elect a City Council says YES to housing for all families.

Photograph of all six ABC-endorsed candidates
From left to right: Samuel Gebru, Adriane Musgrave, Sean Tierney, E. Denise Simmons, Marc McGovern, and Alanna Mallon.

Marc McGovern (incumbent) is a stalwart when it comes to fighting for affordable housing. He led the way on increasing the percentage of affordable units provided and amount of money paid to the city by developers. As a social worker, he takes a holistic approach to the issues affecting the most vulnerable in our city and has a rare talent for bringing opposing stakeholders together to create progress.

Denise Simmons (incumbent) may be famous for being the nation’s first black, openly lesbian mayor, but here in Cambridge, residents know her to be among the most effective and accessible leaders in the city. She’s fought to preserve and expand the city's stock of affordable housing, and is a tireless advocate for environmental, public safety, and diversity issues.

Adriane Musgrave left her management consulting job to run for city council full-time. She has put her remarkable analytical, report-reading and data-mining skills to good use in understanding seemingly every problem that Cambridge faces. Her passions are smart zoning and development, and creating inclusive prosperity for all.

Sean Tierney, a Cambridge native and attorney who works on tax and housing policy for the state legislature, offers an important perspective on the housing crisis. He is dedicated to finding innovative solutions that balance growth and increased density, while fighting the displacement that threatens Cambridge’s economic, racial, and cultural diversity.

Alanna Mallon has already made Cambridge a better place by creating the Weekend Backpack Program, which ensures access to meals for our food insecure students. She has immense talent for spotting problems, creating the structures needed to address them, and coordinating existing solutions to better serve our most at-risk neighbors.

 Samuel Gebru is an Ethiopian native and 2009 CRLS graduate. Despite being among the youngest candidates running for city council, he has an extensive record of leadership in community organizing, policy work, and advocacy. His commitment is to preserving and expanding housing opportunities for residents of all incomes and creating ownership units for low-income residents to build pathways to wealth and equity.

These extraordinary candidates have earned ABC’s support because they understand the housing crisis and other issues facing Cambridge, have tangible ideas for addressing them, and the records to prove that they know how to be effective. Many candidates say the right things; ABC knows these candidates will do the right things. 

The all-volunteer ABC election committee compiled these endorsements based on candidate responses to the questionnaire, performance at our candidate forum, stated positions, past work on issues, and clarifying interviews where necessary. Of the 26 candidates running for city council 20 responded to our questionnaire and 22 attended the forum. We thank all the candidates for their time and participation.

Click here to view our full rating of all 20 candidates that responded to our candidate survey

The members of the Elections Committee gave countless hours in the weeks leading up the selection of our endorsees. It was not an easy process, due to the number of qualified candidates and our commitment to keep the group small to effectively use our limited resources.