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ABC AF City Council Candidate Questionnaire 2019

A Better Cambridge Action Fund will be supporting and campaigning for a slate of candidates this Fall. We believe the choice of a formal slate will most benefit the candidates who are a part of it, given Cambridge’s ranked-choice voting system.

Our dynamo candidates are those who are willing to take practical steps toward reducing housing costs and increasing housing equity — by increasing the amount of homes, including affordable housing, in transit-rich areas + by supporting government housing subsidies and programs.

Endorsees will support all the excellent candidates constituting the slate. Their website and all materials printed after endorsements are made must include the names (in alphabetical order) of all the other slate candidates, with the words, “Please vote for me #1, and the following candidates in the order of your choice.”

The Action Fund will also publish our own materials to support our candidates. We will pay for these ourselves. We will promote our candidates as aggressively as we are able, as an all-volunteer organization. Names will be listed alphabetically (or reverse alphabetically).


A Better Cambridge Action Fund (ABC AF) is an all-volunteer organization that fights for a vibrant, growing, affordable Cambridge for all. We are organized as a Political Action Committee, separate from our sister organization A Better Cambridge (ABC). Please view our 2019 City Council Platform at


Release Date: Thurs, August 1, 2019.
Due Date: Fri, August 23, 2019.

Our Method:
+ We will evaluate answers candidate-blind — hiding names before evaluating.
+ Our point system will reward direct, data-driven, and concise answers. Feel free to include references.
+ We will make final endorsement determinations non-blind, looking holistically at other factors about each candidate, such as backgrounds, voting records (if applicable), advocacy records, platforms, and statements at the ABC Candidate Forum and other public events, in addition to questionnaire scores. We also may conduct follow-up interviews with some candidates on Sunday, September 15th.
+ ABC’s candidate forum will be held in early September. Candidates wishing to participate in the forum must timely complete this questionnaire.
+ Please keep all answers under 2000 characters, except where otherwise specified. For the multiple choice questions, you must select one answer AND provide a written explanation under 2000 characters.
+ We will publish all responses on our website.

Identifying Information
Candidate Name *
Your answer
Contact Person Name *
Your answer
Contact Email *
Your answer
General Outlook
What do you think are the causes of Cambridge’s high-priced housing market? *
Your answer
How have high housing prices affected Cambridge and the surrounding region? *
Your answer
What housing options currently exist for low-income tenants who are not high on the affordable housing waitlists? How can Cambridge help them? *
Your answer
How does new market-rate residential development affect the affordability of Cambridge? How does new affordable housing affect the affordability of Cambridge? *
Your answer
What is the relationship between the twin crises of climate change and housing unaffordability? How can Cambridge address both? *
Your answer
What effects might more housing in Cambridge have on quality of life or the environment? *
Your answer
ABC AF Policy Priorities
The Affordable Housing Overlay proposal currently before the City Council would, if adopted, make it easier to build 100% affordable housing projects in every neighborhood, by making their development as-of-right within relaxed density standards. The details are on CDD's website at ABC AF believes the Overlay would help to provide much needed additional affordable housing and citywide diversity. Do you support the Affordable Housing Overlay? *
[AHO] Please explain. *
Your answer
Currently, Cambridge’s zoning code requires the builders of most new housing to include one parking space per unit. ABC AF believes that this requirement needlessly makes housing more expensive to build and encourages car ownership. Would you support eliminating parking minimums for new housing development citywide? *
[Parking] Please explain. *
Your answer
On many parcels in Cambridge, it is not permitted to build multifamily housing by-right, whether explicitly through single-family zoning, or implicitly through minimum lot sizes, setback requirements, and height limits that make such housing impractical. ABC AF believes that excluding multifamily housing leads to economic inequality and de facto segregation. Would you support abolishing these restrictions by establishing citywide minimum zoning that allows more multifamily housing? *
[Multifamily] Please explain. *
Your answer
As Cambridge's housing crisis intensifies, it has most urgently manifested as a displacement crisis. To meaningfully address this, ABC AF sees it as critical to not only increase housing supply, but also to enact other measures to ensure renters - both old and new - and vulnerable populations can all stay in Cambridge. What measures in particular should Cambridge adopt to prevent tenant displacement? (Please be clear about what will or will not require a home rule petition or other statewide action.) *
Your answer
Other Policies
What should the city do to increase walking, biking, and transit usage in Cambridge? *
Your answer
What should the city do, if anything, to increase funding for housing affordability? *
Your answer
What other steps should the city take, if any, to encourage and fund the development of more homes, including market-rate and affordable housing, in Cambridge? *
Your answer
Your Priorities
What other measures do you support that will affect housing or development in Cambridge, which you have not yet gotten a chance to talk about? (Optional)
Your answer
Aside from housing and development issues, what are some major policy priorities that you hope to push for on the City Council? *
Your answer
(NON-BLIND QUESTION) What have you done to advance the goals you’ve described in your answers above in your own work? [Limit: 3500 characters] *
Your answer
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