Non-Citizen Voting Policy Order

Whereas: Cambridge is a community that is enriched by its sizable immigrant community; and


Whereas: As integral members of the population, immigrants with Green Card status or at least 3 years of residency in Cambridge should be able to have a voice in municipal politics; and


Whereas: Other municipalities such as Brookline and Newton have been working towards similar goals in recent years, providing a platform for collaboration and solidarity for a common civic participation cause; and


Whereas: In Takoma Park, Maryland, one of the most recent municipalities to instate noncitizen voting, it was found that the demographic breakdown of all residents is starkly different to the demographic breakdown of eligible voters in the city, disenfranchising productive members of their community; and


Whereas: Extending municipal suffrage in Cambridge would foster a sense of belonging to both the city, as well as the country, for noncitizen immigrant residents, paving the way for naturalization; and


Whereas: All residents of Cambridge are affected by local issues, and should have the right to engage in their community while paying taxes and having children in the public school system; and


Whereas: Chicago’s project enabling non-citizens to participate in school board elections has demonstrated increased engagement in the public school system by immigrant families; therefore be it


Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Election Commission and the appropriate city departments to determine a feasibility study and subsequent action plan, instituting suffrage for immigrants in Cambridge; and be it further

Ordered: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to report to the council on this matter.

  • commented 2014-11-23 21:06:37 -0500
    Yay! Thanks Nadeem!

    I actually called the city asking about this a few years ago when I first became a nonimmigrant resident. And now that I’m an immigrant resident, the current policy bugs me even more. I actually ended up asking for census info to make a case that Cambridge needed to change this policy due to the large number of noncitizen residents. I was told that the city followed state law which limits voting to citizens.

    I’d love to be involved and help with this if you need support from residents. I’ve been a resident now for many years and currently not eligible to vote in any jurisdiction. Would be awesome to have access to more civic rights.

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