Outgoing President Quinton Zondervan Seeks Further Work on Diversity and Climate in Third Term | New


After two terms on city council and a decade of activism, Quinton Y. Zondervan is seeking re-election to continue pursuing his goals of diversity, equity and green initiative in Cambridge.

Zondervan said Covid-19 exposed decaying “community infrastructure” in the city of Cambridge.

“One of the things we have seen is that our community infrastructure continues to erode and this makes it harder for us to respond to any emergency, including Covid. We don’t know our neighbors. We don’t have local services available, ”he said.

In addition, Zondervan highlighted how the economic crisis caused by the pandemic has exacerbated the underlying economic disparities that plague the city.

“People who have tech jobs and can work from home, on the whole, are not terribly affected economically,” he said. “People who have low-wage jobs, who have to go to restaurants or grocery stores, artists, these people were hit hard because they couldn’t go to work or it was dangerous for them.”

While Zondervan said he was convinced Cambridge’s economy was recovering, he added that the “fragile” pandemic economy reveals how there is too little protection for people at lower income levels.

Zondervan said he was an advocate for housing justice and noted his proposal to allocate a $ 500 million bond to produce new affordable housing to tackle the “truly precarious” housing situation in Cambridge.

Although a supporter of housing justice, Zondervan criticized the current mechanisms put in place to protect tenants in Cambridge. He explained that the city council should explore other options, such as rent controls and better protections against arbitrary evictions or retaliation.

“Another element we need to work on is the protection and in particular the prevention of rents from arbitrarily increasing without the support of the state house because the state legislature has banned rent control,” he said. Zondervan said. “So far, the legislator has not acted.”

Besides housing justice, Zondervan is also an advocate for the ‘complete demilitarization’ of the Cambridge Police Department. In the spring of 2021, he proposed that the CPD destroy and recycle military grade weapons, including rifles, shotguns and the armored vehicle.

The political order was substantially altered before it was passed, and Zondervan plans to continue pushing for further demilitarization.

In addition to demilitarization, Zondervan said he also wanted to promote programs such as the Cambridge Holistic Alternative Emergency Response Team, which would send non-police responders to the scene of an emergency.

“When we speak with the police, they tell us that 80% of the calls they receive are not violent crimes. These calls are not intended for them, ”said Zondervan.

Longtime climate activist and former board member of the non-profit association Green Cambridge, Zondervan has also developed his own Green New Deal for the city of Cambridge. His bill consists of three essential pillars: emissions accounting, mitigation fees and a program designed to promote “green” jobs.

Zondervan said he supports Harvard’s commitment to start divesting from fossil fuels, explaining that he has been championing this development for nearly a decade and noted that the University is “taking steps in the right direction.” .

When asked what sets him apart from other candidates, Zondervan highlighted not only his unique experience on the board to date, but also his core values ​​for a more inclusive Cambridge.

“I really bring this policy-making experience to the board, as well as a very deep commitment to always protecting the most vulnerable and prioritizing fairness in our policy making, so that we become the anti-racist city that we should be, ”he said.


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