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 small group of neighbor reporter at the initial launch of CCTV neighbor media in 2007, and have been blogging ever since, check it out:https://www.cctvcambridge.org/user/932/history.
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 site 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 became a candidate for City Council, running A NO DONATIONS, NO SPENDING campaign. My objective was/is to bring back Democracy to Cambridge by engaging the citizens of Cambridge, so together we can bring the People back into 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, thefoundryequation.org. 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, and is what drives me to run for city council.