Ilan Levy #1 For City Council

Ilan Levy #1 For City Council

From Ilan Levy

I'm running for Cambridge City Council & I need your support. Thank you in advance for your contributions. Only US Citizens and green card holders can contribute, it's the law.

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Hello Cantabridgians,

My name is Ilan Levy, I’m a software engineer living on Spring St in East Cambridge.  I’ve been in Cambridge for 14 years and have been an activist for 10 years.  I’m also very proud to say I was one of a small group of neighbor reporters at the initial launch of CCTV neighborhood media in 2007, and have been blogging ever since.  Check it out:

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/user/932/history

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In December 2013, I went to a protest for Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  I was 1 of 23 who got arrested. (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/13/state-police-ask-protesters-avoid-entering-highway-during-demonstrations-boston/M1svIZebmO8mTPTGsY2zUO/story.html).   The presence of a military police at the protest, where all ages were represented, was disconcerting, and the ensuing violence it generated was frightening.  It crystallized for me the governance problem we currently have in Cambridge.  I decided I needed to get my citizenship so I could freely help resolve our deep systemic issues.  On June 18th 2015, I became an American citizen, and a candidate for City Council, running A NO DONATIONS, NO SPENDING campaign.  My objective was/is to bring Democracy back to Cambridge by engaging the citizens of Cambridge so together we can make the people the center of our local governance.

I have been an activist in Cambridge since 2006, when I became a member of the East Cambridge Planning Team (ECPT).  I was a member of the board of the ECPT for 4 years, from 2007 to 2011. During the early years, I actively participated in getting a community garden, the Lopez park, and the Broadwalk canal bridge/walkway.  From 2009 to 2011 I was heavily involved in the fight against the proposed Alexandria Real Estate up zoning (900,000 sqft to 1,800,000 sqft), not only because of the development itself, but because of the dark processes underpinning it.  From 2013 to today, I have fought to have the Foundry Building remain an asset of the City, and used to serve the arts, non-profits serving kids of Cambridge, and the community.  After many years of fighting, in 2017, $28 Million was allocated, by the city, towards the renovation the building.  And the Foundry will serve the arts, kids of Cambridge, and the city at large.  In 2013-15, I fought the Sullivan court house redevelopment which I opposed because of the transfer of eminent domain rights by the State of Massachusetts to Leggat McCall Property, in exchange for the costly asbestos remediation of the building. Over the last 4 years, I have also been deeply involved in the discussion about the up zoning of the Volpe parcel in Kendall square, which I oppose in its current form.  I have seen the deep impact of the developments, and accompanying spot zoning, on my, and other, neighborhoods in the city: more traffic, less affordable housing, displacement, loss of open space, loss of floodplains, loss of community.  This is what drives me to run again for city council, on the following platform.

For East Cambridge, my neighborhood.

Maintain & Improve  Quality of Life in East Cambridge. 

Infrastructure management and improvements: Addressing traffic & parking resulting from density increase, Maintaining and Improving tree inventory, Work with the City to improve the roads and sidewalks, Work to implement protected bike lane on all the main artery in East Cambridge and Cambridge at large.  

- Open Space: Work to have the new park between 2nd and 3rd, completed, Lobby for the maximum of public, and accessible open space on the Volpe site, Insure a dog park is finally a permanent fixture of East Cambridge.  

- Development: Fight for holistic planning ,Deep impact studies on neighborhoods adjacent to any development of .5 acre or more ,Make sure the voice of East Cambridge is not only heard, but more importantly acted upon, Make sure the Grand Junction plan, and improvement to infrastructure, and public transportation is a priority of the Volpe development, Underlining the displacement, and inequities imposed on adjacent neighborhoods by the ongoing and proposed development, in particular in Kendall and Alewife, Mandate sustainable and resilient development in the face of climate change.

For Cambridge at large, my city! Systemic Change (democracy, equity, justice)

Lead a conversation about our current system of government, and how we can create a more democratic alternative reflecting the values of the citizens of Cambridge.  The foundation of which would include: 1. Term Limits, for engagement, 2. Publicly financed campaigns, for transparency, 3. Strong Mayor, for leadership and a vision of the future of the City, 4. Non Cumulation of mandates, for engagement

Climate Change (democracy, equity): Mandate sustainable and resilient development in the face of climate change, Protect Alewife Floodplain

Affordable housing (equity, democracy): Work to find a long term sustainable solution to the new speculative nature of real estate to alleviate and ultimately resolve the ongoing affordable housing crisis.Work with the Graduate Students, MIT, and Harvard to make sure they increase affordable graduate student housing stock with the goals of alleviating pressure on Cambridge housing stock.

- Public Broadband (equity, democracy): Internet access is an equity issue.  Work towards the goal of having a modular, upgradable public broadband infrastructure.

Fighting for equity, justice, and Democracy.I understand my white privilege.

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