Resistance in the Democracy House

Saturday, February 11th 2017

 

The middle of my action-packed Saturday entailed my first ever official business at this intriguing little building nestled inconspicuously in the middle of Harvard Square:  The Democracy House. I mean Center.

After recently becoming aware of this little gem which I must have passed thousands of times, I was extra thrilled to find myself with official business there to meet up with my PEOPLE; fellow Bernie Sanders disciples taking progressive action organized through OurRevolution.com.

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Caucus Day: Election Process

Here a dude is training us up on how to become a delegate for our local ward in the upcoming state caucus.  Although I learn my schedule conflicts with the upcoming dates, it occurs to me for the first time in my life that SHOWING UP to such a thing in order to ELECT such very local representatives who share your values is a THING. 

It is astonishing to feel the light dawn on one’s own very marble head.

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This is what Democracy looks like

They had computers at the ready with a program loaded for us to look up our respective ward districts right there on the spot, and sign in so they can coordinate representation for all the districts.

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How to use SLACK

Here an intelligent kid who looks like he simultaneously just rolled out of bed yet somehow had a shower introduces us to a new social media tool that is more powerful and effective than email or Facebook for our purposes here.

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Mike Connolly shares his perspective on a new housing project in the area

As for familiar faces in the crowd, look who it is; my own favorite State Representative, Mike Connolly.  Toward the end of the meeting he was given time to share with us his concerns about a multi-billion dollar housing project going up in our town for which our City Counselors seem poised to approve an EXEMPTION for any of the standard requirements to make a portion of the units AFFORDABLE.  FFS!

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North Point Affordable Housing huddle with State Rep. Mike Connolly

Those who were interested could stay afterwards to learn more about this situation.  And considering that I am literally a poster-child of an artist who has been afforded the ability to stay in Cambridge thanks to affordable housing, you bet your ass I stayed.

Besides, Mike is not only so very affable, he is informed and compassionate and a lawyer.  He was able to explain complicated zoning issues simply.  And when I asked, WHY wouldn’t our City Council members be motivated to impose the normal percentages of affordable housing on the (enormous global corporate) developers… oh my stars.  Imagine the crushing of my credulous, naive ears when my neighbors informed me it is because of CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS.  “Welcome to ‘Progressive Cambridge’!” one of them said to me.

Oh my beloved, accessible City Councilors!  Reportedly not Corlone, Mazen or Devereux, but the other six, including the Mayor!  One of them is even a father in my daughter’s class.

Cambridge City Council Members

Mayor Denise Simmons
E. Denise Simmons (Mayor)
(dsimmons@cambridgema.gov)
195 Brookline Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617 349-4321 (work)
Marc Mcgover
Marc C. McGovern (Vice Mayor)
(mmcgovern@cambridgema.gov)
15 Pleasant Street #2
Cambridge, MA 02139
617 642-1731 (home)
617 349-4280 (work)
Dennis Carlone
Dennis J. Carlone
(dcarlone@cambridgema.gov)
9 Washington Avenue #6,
Cambridge, MA 02140
617 494-9559 (home)
617 349-4280 (work)
Leland Cheung
Leland Cheung
(lcheung@cambridgema.gov)
157 Garden Street,
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-444-9080 (home)
617-349-4280 (work)
Jan Devereux
Jan Devereux
(jdevereux@cambridgema.gov)
255 Lakeview Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
781-296-2969 (home)
617-349-4280 (work)
Craig Kelley
Craig A. Kelley
(ckelley@cambridgema.gov)
6 Saint Gerard Terrace. #2
Cambridge, MA 02140
617 354-8353 (home)
617 349-4280 (work)
David P. Maher
(dmaher@cambridgema.gov)
120 Appleton Street,
Cambridge, MA 02138
617 547-7219 (home)
617 349-4280 (work)
Nadeem Mazen
Nadeem A. Mazen
(nmazen@cambridgema.gov)
720 Massachusetts Ave, Apt.4,
Cambridge, MA 02139
617 852-4638 (home)
617 349-4280 (work)
 Timothy Toomey
Timothy J. Toomey, JR.
(ttoomey@cambridgema.gov)
88 Sixth Street,
Cambridge, MA 02141
617 576-6483 (home)
617-349-4280 (work)

 

Survey says:  6 out of 9 City Councilors are in the pockets of the multi-national developers. UGH!

I will be waiting to learn more about this before taking any action, although when I asked, everyone in the group agreed that sending postcards and contacting the councilors to let them know we are concerned about this issues is a good idea.  I understand there is a special meeting on the topic scheduled for Feb 28th.  And I look forward to following Mike’s lead.

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In the meantime the Democracy House Center offers a “GrownUp Study Hall” on Mondays, I’m conceiving a #NODAPL action evening myself and oh yeah it’s high time to study the Indivisible Guide.

So much to do.  Never realized knew how much work is involved in the fight to maintain Democracy.  Never knew our own government itself could be so hellhound and determined to destroy her.  Right now I’m still catching up to understand how she even works.  Just like a woman apparently; complicated!

Nevertheless, we persist.

the-future-is-female

About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in education, faith, fight, politics, work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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