Cambridge City Council 2017 Endorsements

MIT Democrats are excited to endorse Nadya Okamoto, Samuel Gebru, and Vatsady Sivongxay for Cambridge City Council!

Nadya Okamoto is Harvard College student! Nadya is running to give the students and young people of Cambridge a voice in their local government. Her primary goal is to preserve economic diversity here in Cambridge, with a focus on housing affordability, education equity, and progress towards more sustainable living.

We believe Nadya will be an effective City Council member and voice for the interests of students and young residents of Cambridge, in part because she is already an experienced leader and accomplished organizer. Two years ago, Nadya founded PERIOD, a youth-run nonprofit that distributes menstrual hygiene products globally. Inspired by her friendships with homeless women struggling to provide for themselves, she has expanded PERIOD into an international movement spanning 34 states and 18 countries with 100+ registered campus chapters in universities and high schools. Building an organization like this takes good ideas and hard work, which is exactly what we need on the Cambridge City Council.

Samuel Gebru is an Ethiopian-American social entrepreneur, community organizer, and consultant. Sam has one of the strongest pro-housing platforms of any of the candidates, advocating for transit-oriented development to help relieve our region’s scarcity of housing supply.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Cambridge, Sam understands that Cambridge thrives when it embraces not just long-term residents and homeowners, but also newcomers to the city and renters. Unlike many candidates for City Council, Sam and his family are renters. Sam has founded his own consulting practice and led advocacy campaigns in both Cambridge and Ethiopia, demonstrating a deep understanding of policy and city government and a record of leadership.

Vatsady Sivongxay is a lawyer and refugee from Laos. She knows what it means to have nothing and has worked her entire life to support immigrant communities and those in need.

Vatsady has experience as an advocate and leader in several community associations and non-profits. She provides pro-bono legal support for immigrants and has organized with school administrators in Boston to create multi-lingual workshops to help parents better advocate for their children’s education. She has also served as Director of Public Policy for Boston City Council District 7 (Fenway and South End), where she arranged a community dialogue with over 150 participants to protect families in danger of eviction.

Vatsady has committed to expand affordable housing, require development of more affordable university housing, expand municipal broadband, and develop a complete network of protected bike lanes. We are proud to endorse Vatsady to lead Cambridge in continuing its legacy as a center of opportunity for all.