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Cambridge Charter Review

Project location

Cambridge, MA

Project phase

Community review

After 80 years, the opportunity to change our local government!

Cambridge's charter is like a local "constitution" that defines how the city operates. The Charter defines the powers of the city council, school committee, and city manager. It guides the day-to-day operations of the city and its staff.

Last summer, City Council created the Charter Review Committee to review the City’s current charter. Their task is to recommend potential changes that would make sure Cambridge’s government meets the needs of everyone in Cambridge and is responsive to the challenges of today and beyond.

15 residents were appointed to lead this important discussion around the structure of our city government. The committee has highlighted several values in their conversations:

  • Equity and Enfranchisement,

  • Public Participation,

  • Accessibility, Responsiveness, and Accountability,

  • Effectiveness of government,

  • Balance of power between legislative and executive branches, and

  • Vision/values for the city as a whole.

At the end of the year, the committee will submit recommendations to the City Council, which will review, vote and submit these changes to the state legislature for approval. The changes will then require the voters of Cambridge to approve in a municipal election.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your ideas about how to improve Cambridge’s government.

Click here to share your ideas and give feedback on charter topics!

Cambridge city hall

Attend a community gathering!

  • July 25, Tuesday 6 - 8pm @ tasty burger central

    • 23 Prospect St

Other ways your stay updated?

How are policy decisions made?

City Council made up of 9 members, is responsible for agreeing on and setting policy for the city. This might have to do with affordable housing, environmental goals, public spaces, bike lanes, etc.

How am I represented?

In Cambridge, the elected officials are city councillors and school committee members. All are elected at-large every 2 years, meaning they all represent the whole city.

Who runs the city?

The day-to-day operations of the city are run by a skilled professional, the city manager, who is appointed by the city council. They implement the policies the city council sets and ensure the city is running smoothly and efficiently.

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Add your ideas!

Share your feedback directly with the committee.

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