Are Publicly Funded Elections Viable in Cambridge?

City Councilor Nadeem Mazen can still remember representatives of special interest groups approaching him on the street to offer him funding during his 2013 campaign. “I would have folks who passed me on the street and say, ‘Nadeem it’s election season, I’ve got to give you that max contribution,’” Mazen says. When he declined, Mazen […]

Furnishing Hope Finds a New Home

Furnishing Hope, a nonprofit that works with recently housed families to make sure they have the essential furniture for their homes, is moving into Harvard Square this month. Furnishing Hope works with several agencies in Greater Boston to identify people who are transitioning out of homelessness or situations involving domestic violence. When people are in […]

City Council Considers Fund for DACA Recipients

The Cambridge City Council will discuss a policy order on Monday night that would establish a fund to aid Cambridge DACA recipients. The policy order comes after President Donald Trump announced a six-month-delayed ending of the Obama-era program that protected undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The deadline for current […]

In 2018 Participatory Budget, More Residents Than Ever Put Their Mouth Where Their Money Is

When budget delegates convene next week to discuss 2018’s Participatory Budgeting proposals, they’re going to have their work cut out for them. This is the fourth PB cycle, which invites the community to decide how a portion of the city’s capital budget is spent. Ideas are organized into seven categories: culture and community facilities, education, environment, parks and […]

Cambridge Has Increased Affordable Housing Requirements. Now What?

For the first time since 1998, Cambridge City Council voted on April 3 to increase mandatory affordable housing requirements for new developers. Beginning June 30, developers will be required to make 20 percent of total new units built affordable units, up from 15 percent. The measure comes after years of effort from activists and council […]

Cambridge and Somerville Officials Speak On Trump’s Threat to Sanctuary Cities

Donald Trump, the former reality T.V. Star now slated to head the largest superpower in world history, has made no secret his disdain for undocumented immigrants. He’s called for a border wall, for mass deportations, for triple the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and he’s threatened to use federal funding as a […]

Immigrant Affairs Advocacy Commission to Seek Municipal Immigrant Voting Rights

Earlier this year, a citizen-led immigrant affairs advocacy commission helmed by Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi and Sylvie de Marrais helped reinvigorate the city’s Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship, which had lain dormant for more than a decade. After working with Councilor Nadeem Mazen and with Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, that same group will tonight appear in front […]

Could Cambridge City Council Regulate Airbnb? Should It?

It’s a sweltering, humid July day, but the Sullivan Chamber at Cambridge City Hall is nonetheless overflowing with attendees. A few audience members are spilling over into the threshold of the chamber door; some look down on the proceedings from the second-floor balcony. The source of such fervent interest in a mid-afternoon City Council meeting? […]

Newly Formed Advocacy Group Looks to Support Immigrant Rights at the City Level

Cambridge is a city of immigrants. Out of a total population of 106,844, an estimated 30,075 residents—28.15 percent—are foreign born, according to 2010- 2014 data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. That makes the city one of the top communities in Massachusetts for immigrant populations—perhaps unsurprising, given that City Council unanimously reaffirmed Cambridge’s […]

Minimum-Wage Workers Fight for 15

Cambridge is a progressive city—it’s not known as the People’s Republic for nothing. And yet, Cambridge is also a city divided, split between haves and have-nots. For workers trying to get by on the minimum wage, the city can seem less like a forward-thinking haven and more like a prohibitively expensive dream world. The high […]

There’s an App for That: Can For-Profit Companies Fix Social Ills?

On its surface, the tech industry is one that’s steeped in optimism and altruism. Thousands of the world’s smartest people are teaming up to find solutions to even the most minute problems. They’re building apps that aim to make customers’ lives healthier, easier, more organized, more peaceful—or even more meaningful (yes, there are apps for […]