An Open Letter to the Cambridge Citywide Planners
Please rethink your undemocratic procedure for renaming the Cambridge Master Plan process and extend the voting deadline. The four tepid options you have offered do not reflect the unbounded creativity of the Cambridge citizenry and do disservice to the award-winning talents and renown accomplishments of our city's hardworking professional planning department.
As we have recently seen, Cambridge's unique Proportional Representation voting system allows the electorate to pick the excellent leaders we deserve in a much fairer manner than conventional winner-take-all methods.
Since you received 200 suggested names for the upcoming citywide planning process, why not provide a final ballot that lists all of these candidates, allows voters to rank-order their preferences, and lets them write-in other possibilities that you may have overlooked?
This approach would help to dispel rumors that the election has been rigged to ensure that "Envision Cambridge," a stale sobriquet that evokes the "Envision Porter Square" planning debacle of decades ago, is the predetermined selection of self-interested city planning officials who will enjoy a free junket visit to the upcoming "Envision America" event in Charlotte. North Carolina.
I have given this matter much thought, and I realize that the local PC police have properly demanded that the earlier "Cambridge Master Plan" designation be changed because of its sexist, racist, and fascist overtones. The term Master immediately evokes thoughts of our paternalistic society's ongoing subjugation of women. Surely a name such as the "The Cambridge Mistress Plan" or "Ms. and Mister Rossi's Neighborhood" is more appropriate for an inclusive community like Cambridge.
Instead of uttering "Master" and evoking the inequities of the medieval guild system, painful memories of slavery and brutality in American history, and degrading sadomasochistic sexual practices and forms of self-abuse that survive around the world to this day, how about substituting less inflammatory names, as, say, "The Cambridge Livin'-Wage-Is-Easy PLAN-tation," or "Cambridge Miracle Whip," or "Happy Ending Cambridge"?
And we certainly should not offend others by triggering thoughts of Hitler's "Master Race" policies when more appropriate names for our citywide comprehensive plan are readily available. How about "Triumph of the Willpower," "CamBridj Uber Call Lyft," or, my favorite, "Cambridge: The Final Solution"?
It's hard to accept that not one of the hundreds of suggested names I previously submitted made your final cut. I hope you will reconsider your decision, alter the online ballot to allow for multiple-preference selection, and open the naming process to individual write-in candidates such as those below.
Very truly yours,
A Concerned Citizen Voter of Cambridge
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THE CONCERNED CITIZENS WRITE-IN SLATE
mpeters (at) cambridgema.gov wrote:
Hello Community Leaders –Please help spread the word about an opportunity to help name the Citywide Plan!We received 200 suggestions for names, and now we need your vote! To participate, simply complete this survey to select your top choice by December 21, 2015 from the names below:
- Envision Cambridge
- Cambridge Forward
- Cambridge: A Community Plan
- Cambridge: Our PlanThanks!Melissa Peters, AICP, LEED AP NDLand Use PlannerCambridge Community Development Department344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139