Levy Ilan Vote #1 for Cambridge City Council

Levy Ilan Vote #1 for Cambridge City Council

Levy Ilan Vote #1 for Cambridge City Council Levy Ilan Vote #1 for Cambridge City Council Levy Ilan Vote #1 for Cambridge City Council Levy

Hello Cantabridgians,

We are now 3 days away from the election. I've been knocking on lots of doors in the neighborhood over the last 3 months and have met a lot of you.  Today I’m again going to remind you why I’m running. Tuesday’s election offers an very rare opportunity to make a change in the way we govern ourselves. The main issue of this campaign should have been what happens at the end of the City Manager’s contract, in June 2016, unfortunately during the last 3 months no candidate but me has asked the question and proposed a solution. I’m going to take the opportunity to remind you who I am, why I’m running, and my proposal for the future of Cambridge. I very much hope that over the last 3 months I’ve made the strongest possible argument for bringing Democracy back to Cambridge. And that on Tuesday you will cast you #1 vote for me, so together we can make Cambridge the beacon of what a 21st century Democracy..

Who am I?

My name is Ilan Levy, my parents are Clement and Loretta Levy. I’m Jewish. I come from Brussels, Belgium, and moved to Cambridge, on the East side, in August 2003. I’m white privilege. During the day time I’m a software engineer, and when I’m not enjoying time with my family, friends, and my dog, I’m an activist for justice and Democracy.

Why am running?

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 city process that underpinned it. During this fight I went around our neighborhood, informed my neighbors, and collected over 1,000 signatures against the up zoning. 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. During the initial stages, I also started a petition and collected over 750 signatures from all over Cambridge to make this happen. Starting in 2014, 75 New Street came up, in Fresh Pond area, it was the beginning of another long battle against the dark processes of the City. At the same time as New street, I also fought, along my neighbors, the Sullivan court house development, and was, until I started my campaign, a member of the board and founder of the Neighborhood Association of East Cambridge (NAEC).

The problem
Plan E, a corporate form of government. Its setup: 
A City Manager (salary: $330,000/year) equivalent to a CEO, a City Council, 9 people we elect, (salary: $78,000/year part time) equivalent to a board of directors, amongst themselves they elect a chairman, the Mayor ( $116,000/year part time), and finally the People, the taxpayers, or supposed ‘shareholders/consumers’. 
The decision maker is not elected and not accountable to the citizens of Cambridge. The City Manager/CEO appoints the heads of departments and boards, and they are only accountable to him, not to the Council, and certainly not to the citizenry.  
The City Manager/CEO is accountable only to the City Council, not the citizenry.  The last appointment of the City Manager was done behind closed and the Massachusetts Attorney General found the City guilty of having broken the Open Meeting Law (https://www.dropbox.com/s/0hih96w4sfc41m2/OML%202013-76%20Cambridge%20Ci...), 5 candidates in this years election were a part of this. 

Plan E is the root of fundamental problems, both procedural and political, in our City, henceforth we need a charter change.

My proposal:

I’m running for city council, a No Donations, No Spending campaign to restore Democracy to Cambridge, move us to a directly elected Mayor form of government. But not only do I want us to go back to a Directly elected Mayor form of government like Boston, and Somerville, I also want to strengthen our local Democracy by enhancing our home rule. The objective is to get us engage again in our local government, and for Cambridge to become a beacon for the ideal that is Democracy, and not it’s dark hidden secret.
The City Manager’s contract will expire next year, June 2016.  It is the perfect opportunity, and a necessity, to bring back Democracy, the rule of/by the people to Cambridge.   I propose we take the next 2 to 3 years to bring our community together around the rebuilding of our Democracy.  I propose a basic framework on which to build.  The five foundational pillars of this framework are:

 1. Transparency and Accountability
 2. Terms limits for all elected public offices (i.e: 8 years)
 3. Directly elected Mayor
 4. Publicly financed Campaigns
 5. Non-cumulation of mandates, ie: only one public job at a time.

It is urgent we redefine our local governance, it is urgent we put the People back in charge.  We all must take the time to get engaged and to engage others.  We all need to be a part, today not tomorrow!  Our voices need to be heard ... NOW!

And one final thing to motivate you further.
In Cambridge:
- Total eligible voters: 87,000
- Total register voters: 62,000
Total inactive voters: 22,000

The last 3 local elections have seen an average voter turn out of 16,000 with a low of 13,500 and a high of 17,500. These are dismal numbers for what is suppose to be the people’s republic. The main reason for this disengagement: Plan E, City Manager, an unaccountable decision maker form of government.

Together we can bring back Democracy to Cambridge, let take this election to make.

Thank you in advance for your time, and consideration,

No Donations, No Spending
Together Rebuilding Democracy

#1 Levy, Ilan S. For Justice, For Democracy, For Cambridge City Council
email: vote1ilan@gmail.com
social: cctvcambridge.org/user/vote1ilan - facebook.com/vote1ilan -
twitter.com/vote1ilan -- tumblr.com/blog/vote1ilan