Craig Kelley #1 Craig Kelley for Cambridge City Council in 2015I want to vote for Craig
Because Neighborhoods Count 

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Craig Kelley - Platform for City Council

Neighborhoods Count

I still believe that no one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live there, and I try to listen to those people as often as I can. I have been a voice for neighborhood residents on issues, writing letters and attending meetings on issues ranging from overdevelopment to late hours for bars to noisy or potentially dangerous business uses adjacent to residential areas. I have pushed for easy solutions to some neighborhood issues — such as getting residential stickers for Zipcars to allow for easier use — and tougher ones, such as trying to figure out just how much parking should new developments be required to have. In my next term, I will continue to:

  • Argue for better Council oversight of City boards, agencies and commissions.
  • Propose and support zoning changes that mitigate development pressures.
  • Neighborhoods Count platform essays

Safe Streets are Essential in Having a Livable City

I still believe that streets must be safe for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motorists. The Police, in conjunction with residents, businesses and other City agencies, must be more proactive in developing and implementing sustainable public safety programs, with an emphasis on Community Policing. I have worked to get the police to focus more on their traffic safety duties, to get the DPW to put more effort into fixing potholes and clearing sidewalks, to get the City to put traffic enforcement data on the City's website and, in general, to get City management to take these street safety issues more seriously. I have also served as co-Chair of the Community Response Task Force, working with others to develop a roadmap to help neighbors and City agencies build and maintain safer communities. In my next term I will continue to:

  • Advocate for a consistent, citywide traffic enforcement and education policy.
  • Encourage the Cambridge Police Department to view traffic enforcement duties as a more crucial part of their overall mission and to make enforcement data readily available to the public.
  • Work to get all pedestrian crossings properly and boldly marked and made accessible to people with mobility issues.
  • Push for a more proactive, neighborhood based public safety program.
  • Safe Streets platform essays

We Need a Strong, Dynamic School System

I still believe that good schools are at the heart of a healthy city. As a Councilor with children in the Public School system, I have worked to get my fellow Councilors to better understand that, through its budgetary oversight responsibilities, the City Council has some responsibilities for our schools. I have also argued that providing a better educational experience for all of our children requires far more teamwork between the Cambridge Public School Department (CPS), our libraries, our Human Services programs, our housing communities and other groups. In my next term, I will continue to:

  • Encourage the City Council to take more responsibility for our School system and have healthy, proactive discussions about school-related issues.
  • Work to build a stronger team relationship between the City Council and the School Committee and between the Public School system and other programs that support our families and youth.
  • School System platform essays

High Tax Loads are Linked to High City Spending

I still believe that the City must work harder to ensure we don't spend money unnecessarily. I voted against the City budget seven of the last eight years because I did not think we were getting our money's worth, primarily from our School Department but also from various City agencies such as the Community Development Department and the Traffic, Transportation and Planning Department. This year, I continued to feel strongly that the City Council's budget was excessive, especially regarding the Council's personal assistants. In my next term, I will continue to push for:

  • Reallocation of the Council's personal assistant funds to programs that directly serve Cambridge residents.
  • A proactive and public discussion about how future construction projects, primarily for school programs, will impact our debt load and resulting tax rates.
  • High Tax Loads platform essays and news.

We Need a Long-term, Sustainable Housing Policy

I still think that few things are as important to Cambridge as providing opportunities for people who do not have high paying jobs or a background of wealth. We, like much of the region, face both a housing crisis and an affordable housing crisis. But Cambridge must do a better job of ensuring that our affordable housing is also acceptable housing, and that it is matched with appropriate support programs to help residents of affordable housing develop the skills and financial ability to move into market rate housing if they wish. In my next term, I will continue to push for:

  • The City Council to set measurable, affordable, specific housing goals that avoid economic segregation.
  • The City Council to develop a proactive approach to creating affordable housing, rather than an opportunistic "as much as possible, as dense as possible" philosophy.
  • Housing platform essays

City Council Service is a Privilege

I still think that City Councilors must always remember that we serve the public and cannot take that public for granted. We need to pay attention when members of the public talk to us during Council meetings, we need to go out of our way to attend neighborhood meetings and we need to recognize that the Internet and email is an increasingly popular method for people to communicate with us. During my next term, I will continue to:

  • Communicate proactively with the public about relevant issues, using email, Facebook, committee meetings and similar public venues to interact directly with Cambridge residents and members of the business community.
  • Support efforts to create more effective dialogue between City staff and local residents, minimize the need for taxpayers to file Freedom of Information Act request and enhance public discussions of important policy issues.
  • City Council Service platform essays