ABC July 2017 Newsletter: Volpe on the Agenda at Next Week's General Meeting

A Better Cambridge has been shifting into higher gear recently. In fact, 2017 is shaking up to be our most impactful yet:

  • Membership: We instituted formal membership criteria in January – and now have over 200 members! (Join here – dues are $20, but ABC will waive them if unaffordable.)
  • 2017 City Council Election: Having formally filed as a nonprofit advocacy group we are readying to make our first-ever city councilor endorsements ahead of the November election as well as host a candidate forum this fall.
  • Platform: At our first membership-only event in May, ABC members endorsed our platform. In a nutshell: “Increasing density is crucial to racial justice, environmental sustainability, and quality of life.”

If you are as excited as we are to fight for a better Cambridge, please join, and bring a friend to one of our upcoming events (see below).

Recent Events

May 16 – Inaugural Members-only meeting at CCTV

ABC members packed the room to the gills! We reviewed and approved the ABC platform, voted to endorse City Council candidates for the fall election, and discussed what ABC’s stance on parking minimums should be. ABC’s Map Committee also demonstrated the progress they have made explicitly mapping where Cambridge can most easily support increased density.

April 19 – ABC Strictly Social Meet-Up at Tavern in the Square, Porter Square

Check out our Facebook page for proof of a rollicking good time in Porter Square.

March 28 – MAPC on Housing Demand in Cambridge and Greater Boston at MIT Stata Center

In our March General Meeting (also packed, despite being rescheduled due to a snow storm), the Metropolitan Area Planning Council – a nonprofit promoting smart growth in the Boston area – highlighted the larger regional issues causing the housing crunch in Cambridge, and what we can do to fight it. (Check out the slides here.)


July 17 – Volpe Kendall Square Development:

ABC’s July General Meeting (open to all) invites you to hear from and ask questions of MIT representatives about the proposed development.

MIT’s proposal includes 1,400 housing units, a focus on locally-owned retail, and potentially the tallest residential building in Cambridge.

There will also be a presentation on a proposed rail link for North and South Stations.                             

Monday, July 17th • 6:30 P.M. • MIT Stata Center

Let us know if you can make the meeting by RSVPing!

ABC In The News

The YIMBY (yes, in my back yard) movement is making headlines – and so are we! ABC cameoed in two recent high-profile articles on the dire need for increased density to remedy not only unaffordable housing, but also economic/racial inequality and environmental ills.

Atlantic Monthly - From 'Not in My Backyard' to 'Yes in My Backyard'

 Perfectly capturing the YIMBY ethos, the article says, “With more housing, the thinking goes, the cost of rent in thriving cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Portland will not rise so quickly, which will allow more people from different economic backgrounds to live there and share in the prosperity of the local economy.”

It also quotes ABC chair Jesse Kanson-Benanav early on: “We’re saying yes to opportunity, in contrast to the gloom-and-doom negativity of NIMBY. […] There’s now a pro-housing, pro-density constituency in Cambridge that hadn’t been at the table previously.” 

It is currently one of the magazine’s top 10 most-read articles.

Boston Globe - Forget ‘Not in my backyard,’ YIMBY could be the new group on the rise

Illustrated with our own Jesse as its poster boy, this May article is part of a series highlighting Boston-area “game-changers.” And YIMBY organizations are a game-changer, says the Globe. That’s definitely our plan.

(For a particularly good time, read the comments to get an idea of what – even as game-changers – we’re up against!)