There are two important events coming up next week that I want to make sure you’re aware of:
- Monday, April 2 at 5:30 PM: Fresh Pond development moratorium at City Council
The City Council is considering a proposed moratorium on new development in the Alewife/Fresh Pond area. A moratorium on all development at Alewife is a moratorium on affordable housing, a moratorium on transit oriented development, and a moratorium on an ecologically responsible future.
ABC opposes the proposed moratorium. Visit the ABC website to read our full statement on the issue.
Can I count on you to attend Monday’s council meeting to speak against the moratorium? Emails in opposition before Monday’s meeting are helpful as well. Click here or read below for details on how to take action.
- Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 PM: ABC Strictly Social Meet-Up at Alewife
While we’re on the topic of Alewife, next week we’ll be in the neighborhood for our first Strictly Social of the year! We’re heading over to the Bertucci’s at Alewife Station to chat with some great people over drinks and pizza. For more information or to RSVP visit our Facebook event page. You can also RSVP on our website if you don’t have a Facebook account.
Info about the proposed Fresh Pond moratorium
A moratorium on all development at Alewife is a moratorium on affordable housing, a moratorium on transit oriented development, and a moratorium on an ecologically responsible future. It is fundamentally out of step with Cambridge values. Proposals for housing moratoria are often discussed or adopted in surrounding suburban cities and towns, and for the same reasons forwarded in this letter. We join suburbs like Brookline, Newton, Marlborough, Pembroke, among many others as part of the moratorium discussion. Cambridge has been a leader in progressive solutions to affordable housing, the environment, and transit, and we cannot set a precedent by turning our backs on that legacy.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Attend city council on Monday, April 2nd, 5:30 PM at Cambridge City Hall and speak out against the moratorium
Members of the public are allowed three minutes to address the city council on agenda items. We expect moratorium supporters to come out in big numbers so we hope you’ll come out to say yes to transit-oriented affordable housing and a more sustainable future for Alewife!
- SIGN UP FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ONLINE - Click here to access the city council’s public comment sign up form (form is accessible beginning 9am on Friday morning)
- Alternatively, beginning at 9:00 AM on Monday you can call the city council office to sign up: 617-349-4280.
- Please also shoot me a quick email ([email protected]) or just respond to this message to let me know if you can attend on Monday.
Given the expected turnout on both sides of this issue it’s best to sign up for public comment as early as possible! However, you can sign up in person at the beginning of Monday’s council meeting, but by then you’ll be far down the list.
- Email the City Councillors before Monday’s meeting to express your opposition to the proposed moratorium
This is especially important if you cannot attend Monday’s city council meeting in person.
- Use [email protected] to reach all nine city councillors at once
- Include the city clerk to make sure your comments are included in the public testimony for Monday’s meeting: [email protected]
- Please also CC me ([email protected]) so we know that ABC members and supporters are reaching out!
WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY TO THE CITY COUNCIL:
Feel free to use ABC’s statement of opposition to the moratorium as a reference or guide as you craft your own public testimony on this issue. However, try not to just repeat what we’ve written - comments that include personal stories will resonate the most with city councillors.
Do you struggle to afford the cost of housing in Cambridge and how do you believe further limits on affordable housing will impact your ability to stay here? Why is it important to you to live near public transit and do you believe more people should have that opportunity? Why do you appreciate living in an urban community like Cambridge instead of more suburban places like Newton? Answering these and similar questions in your testimony will help add a critical personal element to your testimony.
There is so much going on in Cambridge right now that I’m taking the risk of sending you a long Action Alert on a Monday morning.
This email contains information on three important and timely items we need you to take action on:
Support New Homes at Volpe - Make your voice heard at Planning Board & Ordinance Committee meetings Tuesday & Wednesday
Support Affordable Housing in Porter Square - 1791 Mass Ave development presentation on Tuesday
Submit your questions (then attend) ABC City Council Candidate Forum on September 19th.
I hope that you’ll read this full email for complete details on each item above.Read more
With Labor Day just around the corner, the City Council election will be heating up. ABC will be hosting a candidate forum as well providing ratings and endorsements for the candidates this year. With 26 candidates for nine seats there is a lot of information to sort through. A great resource to start is the candidate pages on the Cambridge Civic Journal created by Robert Winters.
If you are not yet a member of ABC, please consider joining, and bring a friend to one of our upcoming events (see below).
Did someone forward you this email? Make sure you don't miss another newsletter or announcement from A Better Cambridge by signing up on our website: http://www.abettercambridge.org/sign_up.
Development NewsThe City Council passed regulations for short term rentals including AirBnB. The new rules restrict short term rentals to owner occupied units as well as requiring registration for hosts.
A group of MIT students filed a petition with the city requiring the university to add 1,800 graduate student beds before they could develop the Volpe transportation site.
At the first Ordinance Committee hearing on MIT's zoning petition for the Volpe center, councilors pushed the university for a stronger and more detailed transportation plan. The next hearing before the Ordinance Committee is on September 13th at 2:30 pm in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall
Facebook announced plans to expand its presence in Kendall Square at a new building on Binney Street.
ABC is co-sponsoring the Citizens' Housing and Planning Association's (CHAPA) 3rd annual Housing Day at the State House on Thursday, September 14th. The event aims to gather over 200 advocates to meet with lawmakers and speak up for affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development. To get more information on attending click here.Don't miss the ABC candidate forum on issues of housing affordability and sustainable urban development in Cambridge on Tuesday, September 19th at 630 pm at the Broad Institute, 415 Main Street. Our moderator for the evening is David Sullivan, former Cambridge City Councilor and current special counsel to the President of the Massachusetts State Senate.
We are excited to invite you to our first-ever A Better Cambridge Annual Fundraiser! Come celebrate with us and help ensure that we have the resources we need to be strong and effective advocates for housing for all. It will take place on Thursday, October 5th, from 6:30-9 at Meadhall in Kendall Square and will feature special guests, a buffet dinner, a silent auction, and more! You know we know how to throw a party and this is one you really don’t want to miss! Stay tuned for ticketing information in the coming week.
LINKS OF INTEREST
What Happens After the Real Estate Wave Crests?
YIMBYism: More Housing, But How?
Sierra Club: Housing - Dense, Near Transit, and Green - Can Be a Climate Solution
Please join A Better Cambridge & affordable housing advocates from around Massachusetts for a rally in support of federal investments in affordable homes and our communities.
Organized by our partners at the Citizen Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), this rally is the local event as part of a national week of action calling on Congress to fund programs that provide critical housing and anti-homelessness support to many Americans.
Please RSVP via CHAPA's Facebook page for this event
ABC will join with CHAPA, Cambridge Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other residents, housing advocates and policymakers from around our Commonwealth for this important rally.
Too many families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Nationally, only 25% of families in need receive housing assistance, which means millions of people do not have an affordable place to call home. The President and Congress are proposing devastating cuts that would increase housing instability and homelessness, including cuts to Section 8 and public housing. Our communities and state are working hard to address the challenges we face in Massachusetts. We cannot do it alone. Federal partnership is critical to creating vibrant communities.
I am happy to announce that ABC has secured a new date for our March ABC meeting that was postponed due to Tuesday's snow storm. Note that the time and location remain the same:
Exploring Housing Demand in Cambridge & Greater Boston with MAPC's Tim Reardon
Tuesday, March 28th
Please RSVP to let us know you're planning to come.
RSVP is not required, but will help us ensure the room can accommodate everyone.
As MAPC detailed in regional housing projections issued in 2015, demand for housing across our region expected to grow significantly over the next 25 years. This demand is due not just to new residents moving into our region, but also changing housing preferences of many families already living here, including aging baby boomers looking to downsize from suburban homes into more urban areas near public transportation, services, and amenities.
YIMBYs including A Better Cambridge believe that housing production is critical to provide affordable housing opportunities to families and renters across the income spectrum...but just how much new housing is needed to make an impact? Join us for an insightful presentation to help us better understand housing demand in our community the critical role that housing production plays as we seek to build a more diverse, affordable and sustainable city and region.
Please note that everyone is welcome at ABC general meetings.
While Cambridge’s real estate market booms and population is expected to grow in the coming decade, low and middle-income families in our city still struggle with unaffordable and rising housing costs. How can we ensure that new development in Cambridge serves the housing needs of all families including those with lower incomes? How does this relate to other important development issues -- density, walking/biking/public transit, parking, and creating exciting, walkable neighborhoods?
On Saturday, September 26th A Better Cambridge brought together experts to discuss what Cambridge can do to build a more diverse and affordable city for all families. Click here for a recap of the forum by ABC Chairman Jesse Kanson-Benanav. A full recording of the panel discussion is included below:
The panel was moderated by Dante Ramos, Op-Ed Columnist for the Boston Globe.
Panelists from left to right include:
- Andre Leroux, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance
- Aaron Gornstein, President/CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) & former Massachusetts Undersecretary for Housing & Community Development
- Ed Marchant, affordable housing development consultant and Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Materials used in the presentation include: