New leadership at ABC

(Sent by Allan Sadun on March 23, 2023.)

I've been co-chair of A Better Cambridge since July 2020. It's a tough role, but it's been a deeply rewarding volunteer experience getting to know and working with so many people who care so much about Cambridge.

I first entered advocacy as a student, and in the student group world, I became accustomed to fairly regular changes in leadership. In keeping with that tradition, I've decided to step down and leave room for others to shape and steer the pro-housing movement in Cambridge.

I'm emailing not just to announce the news, but also to say thank you. Sometimes, people who dislike advocates claim that advocacy groups represent "fewer people than you can fit around your kitchen table"; but in ABC at least, that couldn't be further from the truth (and not just because my apartment has no room for a kitchen table). Everything that ABC has been able to accomplish has been thanks to the strength and size of our community - our Steering Committee, our active membership, our letter-writers, our professional experts, our dedicated researchers, our mobilized public commenters, our petition signers, our social event attendees, our door-knockers, and, of course, the majority of Cambridge voters and residents who understand that we need more housing.

It is thanks to all of you that we were able to ordain the Affordable Housing Overlay, get hundreds of signatures for the Missing Middle Housing zoning petition, get nearly all the 2021 City Council candidates on the record about housing, get all the top City Manager candidates to speak clearly about the need for housing, increase linkage payments for affordable housing, and remove costly parking minimums; and it will be thanks to all of you that we will hopefully be able to expand the AHO and finally end exclusionary zoning. I hope you will continue to make this movement strong - and fun to be a part of! - in whatever way you can.

Your new volunteer ABC co-chairs are:

  • Dan Phillips ([email protected]) is a risk specialist and renter in the Port. He was a regular at our monthly socials last fall, and he's been active in efforts to end exclusionary zoning.
  • Justin Saif ([email protected]) is an attorney and father of two in East Cambridge. He has been particularly involved with efforts to reform Neighborhood Conservation Districts and prevent them from being weaponized to block housing.
  • Becca Schofield ([email protected]) will continue as co-chair. She grew up in Cambridge, works as an affordable housing developer, and lives in the Riverside neighborhood.

You can reach the three of them together at [email protected] with any thoughts, introductions, best wishes, or interest in helping out.

And I hope to see you at our party with Abundant Housing Massachusetts next Thursday, March 30!