The responses below are from 16 Cambridge City Council candidates, to a questionnaire circulated by the KSA to all 19 candidates in the summer of 2021. 

Burhan Azeem: “As an MIT Grad, I believe in Science and all the amazing work done in Kendall Square. I think we need fair development that allows more research to be done in Cambridge while also benefiting the nearby residents. I also think we need to focus in on the start-up community and figure out how we can provide space to them to get started and survive through the R&D – product/market fit stage.”

Dana Bullister: “Our institutional resources guarantee a powerful foundation for a thriving innovation community. To realize our full potential, however, we must ensure robust physical and policy infrastructure to support and promote our human capital as well as an environment that is connected, livable, and welcoming” 

Dennis Carlone, incumbent: “The most successful and loved companies connect their success and work with their city, neighborhood, community, and their people. The story must be better told and the sharing can be expanded.”

Robert Eckstut: “This is not really up to me? I’m not running to be the chief scientist or head of Takeda, I’m running to serve the city of Cambridge.”

Tonia Hicks: “One of my key campaign platforms is housing stability. If elected, I will work to reign in market forces driving increasing housing costs making Cambridge a more attractive place to live and work. More affordable housing costs will help to keep our best and brightest young scientific minds from migrating to STEM hubs in other states.”  

Alanna Mallon, incumbent (Vice-Mayor): “Too often, conversations relating to development in Kendall Square are negative because they focus on putting a strain on city resources: housing, traffic, etc. But the innovation and development in Kendall Square is exactly what puts our City in a unique position to have the vast resources that we do. Cambridge’s social and human services, municipal resources, and City budget are unprecedented in large part due to the success of Kendall Square. The opportunities in the Square are also complemented in part by the presence of the world-class institutions of Harvard and MIT; whereas many young people leave their college towns upon graduation, Cambridge and Kendall Square offer young people the opportunity to remain here as a part of the community and begin their lives.”

Marc McGovern, incumbent: “Kendall is also going through another transition. We are seeing more and more much needed housing being built in Kendall Square. That is a good thing. We need to provide the infrastructure to meet this change. More playgrounds and not just “front lawns” of buildings where workers can eat lunch, but places where families can bring their children and play. We need more amenities (grocery stores, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and not just expensive restaurants/bars or lunch places that close at 6:00 pm when workers go home.”

Joe McGuirk: “Cambridge should be proud and thankful for how our scientific community has had massive impacts on our city and the rest of the world, and we should continue to support this important aspect of our city. Beyond the direct impacts we gain as a society from the discovery and research, Cambridge also benefits from the economic impact of having this dynamic community in town, which in turn helps pay for the services all our residents enjoy. I would seek a balance between ensuring their continued success along with the success of all our residents. I would help communicate the ways we can all be good neighbors to each other.” 

Patricia Nolan, incumbent: “The city, state, and country are the better for the range of products and ideas and programs emanating from KS. Vaccines are foremost in our minds now—but the history of innovation is far wider, as noted. Our issues—health, climate, planning, etc.—that we face cannot be solved by the city alone—we say that, but too often don’t find a way to tap into the energy of the KS community. We need your talents, not only your funds!”

Sumbul Siddiqui, incumbent (Mayor): “The innovation that comes out of Kendall Square and reverberates across the world is not from the Square itself, but rather the PEOPLE who work here. We want the most innovative minds to want to live and work in Cambridge and be pulled to our city by its livability. By continuing to make Cambridge a greener city with exceptional local businesses and entertainment, we will keep attracting the best minds in the world to locate here.”

E. Denise Simmons, incumbent: “Partially, I would turn this question back on the KSA and urge that you tell the City Council what *you* think is required for this to happen. I have been privileged to work alongside the KSA and get to know many of the companies and the leadership in these companies over the years, and I rely upon these connections and relationships to tell me what you need from the City in order to be successful.”

Theodora Skeadas: “Critical to the strength of this ecosystem is ensuring Cambridge centers the needs of workers in our economic policy and strengthens worker protections. As a Councillor, you can count on me to fight for worker dignity, address the root causes of wealth inequality and support the right to collectively bargain.”

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, incumbent: “Cambridge and its residents and workers have played a huge role in breakthroughs that will benefit so many people—from COVID vaccines, to transportation innovations, to sustainable energy. To ensure that Cambridge remains a place where this is possible, we have to make sure that Cambridge retains its affordability, racial and economic diversity, and safe and viable transportation system.” 

Paul Toner: “I think it’s important for councillors and city staff to engage with these firms to discuss various issues, including labor needs, R&D opportunities, lab creation and expansion proposals, environmental sustainability, and more. We need to represent and protect the interests of our residents but also avoid creating unnecessary roadblocks to innovation moving forward.”

Nicola Williams: “I will support a vibrant scientific community for Cambridge. It is an asset we need to continue to cultivate and public recognize and support. Cambridge was fortunate to benefit from the local expertise which we tapped for our public health advisory committee and I would continue to engage the scientific community as partners in our local government.”

Quinton Zondervan, incumbent: “The innovation economy is also very energy intensive and this drives up our climate destroying emissions. I’ve proposed the Green New Deal zoning petition to address both of these issues at once. I hope the KSA will support this approach.”