March 2 Wrap Up

Cambridge recently achieved a AAA bond rating from the three major national credit agencies. This continues a trend of low rates and large capital expenditures for Cambridge - things like schools and refinancing. On the whole, this state of affairs saves Cambridge money and keeps our long term infrastructure investments financially sound.

The City Council proposed an ordinance change easing restrictions on leafletting. This is a free speech issue, especially when involving non-profits and other non-commercial groups engaging city. So, the Council and City Manager are working together to make sure we balance free speech and the inevitable litter created by non-commercial leafletting. I believe that the ordinance change will reflect a good balance.

Councillors Cheung, McGovern, and I passed a resolution asking for fair treatment of the adjuncts and core faculty at Lesley University as they bargain with the university administration for a fair contract. The resolution highlights how the Lesley administration has cut corners and also seeks to correct unfair salary practices. I spoke to my experience as an adjunct, as university staff, and as faculty at various (non-Lesley) institutions - and the unfair pay and treatment I encountered.

I also put in a policy order to release the agendas for city committee meetings days in advance. This availability will allow concerned residents to stay informed on topics under discussion and will help prospective attendees gauge interest in advance.

I moved reconsideration for publicly funded elections. I believe publicly funded elections are crucial and the vote taken at a special meeting on Friday, February 20 was both out of context and against my wishes. Now, again, the issue has been defeated and I believe it will take even more substantial organizing and public outrage to make publicly financed elections the law. My opinion is that this shift will be necessary and inevitable - it is the best way to dilute the grip special interests have and the best way to allow prospective candidates from all socioeconomic backgrounds to run and win. I want to protect and improve the democratic process and I believe that rejecting my proposed order on this matter is a bold step by the current council in the wrong direction.

The meeting of the Municipal broadband task force took place on March 2, 2015. My hope is that we all contact that group and discuss our hopes for municipal fiber infrastructure, which will allow us to break Comcast’s monopoly on internet service and plan for a future where all of our devices (personal, municipal, and otherwise) are connected affordably. These discussions are vital and I hope readers will get involved imagining the future of connectivity in Cambridge - and share personal experiences about the current abysmal state of Comcast service.

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