Campaign Digital Newsletter: Week 5
Here at campaign headquarters, we are crushing it.
AHO Update: 2nd Ordinance Committee Meeting:
On Thursday 8/1, many of us attended the 2nd meeting of the ordinance committee discussing the Affordable Housing Overlay. This meeting consisted of a brief presentation by city staff, brief questions by the council, and 3.5 hours of public comment. There was a strong turnout of citizens opposed to this policy. Those of you/us speaking against this policy presented criticisms that were detailed, nuanced, and well reasoned. These criticisms focused on both the flaws in the policy itself and the severe deficiencies of this legislative process. Those speaking in favor of the proposal largely recycled the same tired talking points and gave testimony largely indistinguishable from the simplistic ideologically-driven reasoning they were presenting months ago.
My comments can be found at 9:04 by the clock on the screen and are copied at the end of this email:
Odds and Ends:
Another city council candidate has published an Op-ed in a local paper containing a fair bit of false rumor and misinformation claiming that the Sullivan Courthouse is "exposing our neighbors to dangerous cancer causing toxins, etc." and speaking in favor of the AHO:
This same candidate is very well funded and receives strong backing from ABC - A Better Cambridge, the developer-funded political action committee that is pushing the Overlay proposal.
Recently overheard in one of my Uber Pools:
Driver: "Man, I've been recycling my a** off for like 10 years and it doesn't seem to be helping global warming."
Other passenger: "I know. It was like the hottest July ever...again."
Driver: "What's crazy is that there are still people that don't believe in climate change."
Other passenger: "Yeah, especially since now you can just go outside and, like, feel it."
In other news, the campaign website will be launching next week.
Have a good week everyone!
Ordinance Committee Public Comments:
Thank you Mr. Chair.
If you attach amendments to this proposal in order to make it more "palatable" and then you vote to pass it, you will be bestowing legitimacy upon a proposal and a process that have been fundamentally illegitimate from the beginning. In my public comments to the housing committee back in April, I told this council that if you wished to pass a policy as large and complex as the affordable housing overlay, which would have a significant and unpredictable impact on people's homes, lives, and neighborhoods, then the appropriate course of action for those of you pushing this policy would be to conduct yourselves with honesty, transparency, and professionalism. I urged you to use every opportunity to build consensus in the community. At almost every turn, it appears that those pushing this policy have done the opposite.
After I gave my public comment to the housing committee, as if on cue, as if following a script, a politically connected for-profit developer lawyer rose to speak in favor of the overlay. He did not identify himself as a developer, nor did he disclose the fact that he would personally make windfall profits if this proposal were to pass. In his comments, he advocated cutting down trees in favor of development. This same guy spreads money all over the city council.
These proceedings have been a mess since the beginning. If you vote in favor of this proposal, you will be not only condoning, but engaging in behavior that is reckless, irresponsible, unethical, and sloppy. I urge that this petition be withdrawn.