Legislative Affairs Update by Terrence F. Smith
Recap 2010 Events
2010 was a busy year for the Government Affairs Committee. The year began with our biennial Leaders event, which brought together leaders from local, state and federal government. Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray was our featured speaker. In February, the GAC was hosted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Kennedy School of Government for a luncheon address by City Manager Robert Healy. Healy reported that the three major bond rating agencies had again given Cambridge a Triple A rating. Newly elected Mayor David Maher also joined us for this event that was made possible by former IOP Director Bill Purcell and the IOP staff.
Cambridge Superintendent of Schools Jeff Young addressed our March meeting and helped members better understand the opportunities and challenges facing the Cambridge Public Schools. The GAC sponsored an Executive Speaker breakfast with Congressman Michael Capuano in April. Congressman Capuano discussed a number of issues at the national level that are of importance to the Cambridge business community. Newly elected State Senator Sal DiDomenico was our guest in June and he discussed the budgetary challenges facing the State.
The Chamber hosted Mayor Maher at our September GAC meeting and two breakfasts with candidates for Governor in October (see page six for more on the governor forums). The Mayor discussed how a strong business community builds a stronger city. Governor Deval Patrick spoke at our October 8 breakfast and Republican candidate for Governor Charles Baker spoke on October 22.
In November the Chamber co-sponsored “It’s Clear—Water is Your Business” with the National Association of Water Companies and the Let’s Rebuild America Program of the US Chamber of Commerce. This luncheon program brought leaders from the City Water Department and Department of Public Works together with consultants and leaders from companies that require a safe, secure, consistent and affordable water supply.
During 2010 the City Council and the Planning Board considered and approved a number of changes to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. In August, the Council approved a number of zoning changes recommended by the Green Building/ Green Zoning Task Force. The Council also approved changes in Kendall Square that will allow for expansion of the Broad Institute and a change in zoning that will allow EF to expand in North Point. A modest change in the Cambridge Sign and Illumination Ordinance was approved in September and rescinded in November. A number of changes in the Zoning Ordinance will be considered in 2011.
City, State and Federal Budgets
Expect to see reductions in spending at all levels of government in 2011. While Cambridge has done well compared to other communities during the current economic downturn, it is likely that reductions in state and federal spending will result in reductions in spending by the City. In December, Massachusetts officials announced that the State anticipates a $1.5 to a $2 billion budget gap in the fiscal year beginning July 1. New leadership in Washington has discussed the reduction of federal spending.
GAC members have the opportunity to hear from City Manager Robert Healy about how the City anticipates dealing with this challenge at our January 25 meeting.
While the November election brought changes around the country, the Cambridge delegation to the State Legislature remains the same. The two changes at the State level, newly elected Treasurer Steven Grossman and newly elected Auditor Susan Bump, replaced officials who chose not to run for re-election. In Special Elections held earlier this year, Scott Brown was elected US Senator to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Sal DiDomenico won a special election for the State Senate in May and a full two year term in November. The Governor is expected to appoint a successor to the late Middlesex Sheriff Jim DiPaolo by the first of January 2011. City Council and School Committee elections will be held in November 2011. We look forward to working with our elected leaders in the coming year.
For more information on GAC activities, contact Director of Government Affairs Terrence Smith at email@example.com
or (617) 876-4213.
Business After Hours 2011 Series
Who says you can't celebrate after the holidays? Of course we can and where better than one of the most festive locations in Cambridge! Join us “Upstairs” for some delectable food and delicious cocktails all while networking with the best and brightest. Don't miss an opportunity to shake off the networking blahs and brrrrrs at the Winter BAHsh. You're bound to add some hot prospects to your business list!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Upstairs on the Square 91 Winthrop Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge
$25 for members and $50 for non-members with registration & ­payment by
January 14. $10 additional thereafter.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14