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? […]

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 […]

A Faster, Better #1 Bus and More Participatory Budgeting Winners

The second round of Participatory Budgeting wrapped up last week, with more funds to spread around ($600,000, up from $500,000), a greater number of project proposals (540 rather than 380) and a 53 percent increase in overall voter participation. That big spike in interest could be due to the retooling of the PB timeline—last year, […]

Citywide, a Renewed Focus on Ending Domestic Violence

On a brisk but bright afternoon in October, Risa Mednick walks through the sun-drenched rooms at Transition House, where the sounds of shouting children and beeping kitchen timers have, for the time being, been replaced by power drills and hammers. Mednick, who is the executive director at the domestic violence agency, ducks past a construction […]

Five Participatory Budgeting Proposals We Love

The project proposal period for the second round of participatory budgeting came to a close on Monday, with ideas that were futuristic (using gym equipment to power an electrical grid), suggestions so nice that they popped up twice (Kendall and Central Square had residents requesting public, real-time transit screens) and submissions that were at least a little tongue in cheek. (“Stop giving out […]

NEWS: Year’s First Cyclist Death A Preventable Tragedy

A matte white ghost bike, adorned with flowers scattered over time by the city’s winds and replenished by friends paying respect, sits chained to a light pole on Putnam Avenue, just outside the Whole Foods Market. The bike is the year’s first addition to the dozens of cyclist memorials around Greater Boston. It commemorates the death of Marcia Deihl, a 65-year-old LGBT […]