1. Experience with Cambridge nonprofits. Do you have work or volunteer experience with Cambridge nonprofits?
Yes. Have served as a board member and officer for History Cambridge for the past 7 years. Founded the Friends of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway to advocate for a new multi-use path in West Cambridge. Volunteer coach for West Cambridge Little Baseball League.
2. Valuing nonprofit expertise. Cambridge nonprofits deliver programs and services across a wide range of missions, from early education and youth development, to affordable housing production and management, arts and culture exposure and education, food security, environmental preservation, civic engagement (or community involvement), and much more. As a result, nonprofit leaders and staff are often well positioned to advise the City on program policies related to their clients and consumers. Will you use your position on the City Council to ensure that the City incorporates the voice and expertise of nonprofit leaders into planning around current City priorities?
Yes. Cambridge non-profits have deep expertise and local connections that should be better leveraged by the City. Non-profits often represent underserved communities, and, as such, have particular knowledge in areas that are most critical for the City to be addressing.
3. Limiting application of Anti-Aid Amendment. With the exception of contracts for services, the Anti-Aid Amendment of the MA Constitution prohibits municipalities from directly distributing funds raised through taxation to nonprofits. While the City provides financial support to nonprofits through contracting, this approach increased administrative burdens, can cause cash-flow issues due to payment delays, and limits creativity in developing new funding opportunities. It also can create an incentive for the City to start new initiatives rather than invest in programs already well established in the community. Will you use your position on the City Council to limit the application of the Anti-Aid Amendment to tax generated revenue only, in order to maximize the resources available to Cambridge nonprofits?
Yes. I will do whatever I can to ensure the continuing financial viability of our non-profit community. As a board member and founder of non-profits, I appreciate how critical such funding can be to non-profits both new and old.
4. Attending to nonprofit workforce challenges. According to CNC's December 2022 survey of Cambridge nonprofits, (70%) reported open positions and over a third (36%) said they lacked the funding to fill them, comprising their ability to meet service demands. Do you believe the City Council can play a role in helping nonprofits recruit and retain high quality staff?
Yes. Staffing is a continuing struggle for non-profits, particularly in the current low-unemployment environment we are in. I would support a City initiative to help meet non-profit needs, whether through enhanced advertising for available jobs or by providing direct funding to fill open positions with local, Cambridge-based hires.
5. ARPA investments in nonprofits. While Cambridge nonprofits are grateful for the City committing millions of ARPA dollars to local organizations, concerns have been raised both about the slow pace of releasing funds into the community and a lack of information being shared broadly regarding their progress. Will you use your position on the City Council to expedite this process and ensure there is greater transparency going forward?
Yes. I support transparency and accountability in all areas of City government, particularly as relates to local non-profits. Non-profits can be particularly vulnerable to funding issues, so it's important to minimize delays and increase clarity around both the application for, as well as the distribution of, available funds.