2021 Candidate for Cambridge City Council
1.The City of Cambridge received $65M+ in fiscal recovery funds through the American Rescue Plan Act. Although the Treasury Department provided some guidelines, the City has significant discretion in how to use the funding. If elected, what will you do to ensure that the residents most harmed by the pandemic, and the nonprofit organizations that work to support and empower them, will be prioritized to receive these funds and be an authentic part of the decision making process?
2. The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies recently reported that nationally nonprofits lost 1.6M jobs between March-May 2020.What policies would you advocate for to hasten the recovery of Cambridge nonprofits and increase their capacity to serve Cambridge?
3. The Anti-Aid Amendment of the Massachusetts State Constitution prohibits municipalities from directly distributing funds raised through taxation to nonprofits, with the exception of contracts for specific goods or services. This creates many challenges including but not limited to: use of cost reimbursement contracts, that can increase the administrative burden and in some cases cause cash-flow issues for organizations, limiting the amount of funds available to support individual organizations, constraining creativity in funding models, and creating an incentive for the City of Cambridge to implement its own programs rather than more significantly investing in nonprofits already running well established programs in the community. Although the City of Cambridge does not have the authority to abolish the Anti-Aid Amendment, it has some discretion in how broadly to apply it. If elected, what would you do to limit the negative impacts of the anti-aid amendment in order to maximize the resources that Cambridge nonprofits represent?
4. The recent Cambridge Community Foundation Equity and Innovation Cities report paints a stark picture of a Cambridge that has experienced both significant prosperity during the last decade, as well as deep and fast growing income inequality along racial lines. What do you believe would need to change for the City of Cambridge to become the anti-racist community it aspires to be?
5. How do you propose creating a more inclusive approach to current community engagement strategies that research has shown overwhelmingly favor the wealthy? What ideas do you have to both increase the diversity of participants on City of Cambridge boards and committees, and make those governing bodies more inclusive and welcoming to all?
6. How would you describe the role of Cambridge nonprofits in meeting the needs of Cambridge residents and advancing equity in our City? What do you believe is the ideal way for City councilors to engage with local nonprofits in service of achieving these goals?
7. Is there anything that we haven’t asked that you would like to share with the Cambridge nonprofit community?