Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How We Elect Cambridge Officials: A Discussion on Proportional Representation
Monday, November 6, 6:30 PM
Lecture Hall, Cambridge Main Library

Cambridge municipal elections happen on Tuesday, November 7th. Do you find it curious that we rank our candidates numerically when we vote? Did you know that this process of voting is called Proportional Representation? Do you know how Proportional Representation works? Do you know how it came to be that Cambridge adopted this system?

Join us for a lively panel discussion with experts on Cambridge political history. Discover how Proportional Representation works in our city. Learn just how much your vote counts to be better prepared for the November 7th election.

Panelists include Howie Fain (Co-founder of Fair Vote), Glenn Koocher (former Cambridge School Committee Member), Susana Segat (former Cambridge School Committee Member), and Robert Winters (founder of Cambridge Civic Journal).

Howie Fain
In 1992, Fain Co-founded Fair Vote, a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice. He served as the President of the Fair Ballot Alliance of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. Fain has been a consultant to the Cambridge Election Commission, authoring the 1994 report, Computerizing a Cambridge Tradition. Fain serves as an Executive Committee Member of VoterChoice Massachusetts and is a science teacher in the Worcester Public Schools.

Glenn Koocher
A native of Cambridge, Mass., Koocher served on the Cambridge School Committee from 1974-1985. He was the budget chair during the implementation of Proposition 2 1/2 and was actively engaged in the city’s multi-year desegregation effort. Koocher was the founding host of Cambridge InsideOut, a weekly TV show on CCTV focusing on current events that aired from 1989-2000. He has written extensively on the political history of Cambridge. Koocher is currently the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Susana Segat
Segat was a member of the Cambridge School Committee from 1996-2001. She was the first Hispanic elected official in Cambridge to serve a full term and win re-election.  Segat was the founding chair of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, on which she served from 1999-2008.  A longtime union official, Segat was the President of the Local Service Employees International Union (SEIU) from 2003-2009.  In 2013, she cofounded CCTV’s Cambridge InsideOut, a remake of Glenn Koocher’s original TV show, focusing on Cambridge politics.  Segat cohosts the biannual Cambridge municipal election night on CCTV.  She is currently the Chief of Staff at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Robert Winters
Winters is the founding editor of the Cambridge Civic Journal, an online news source that monitors the Cambridge political scene. Starting in 1989, he spearheaded the campaign to bring curbside recycling to Cambridge. He ran for City Council several times in the 1990’s. Since 2013 he has been the co-host of CCTV’s Cambridge InsideOut, a remake of Glenn Koocher’s original TV show, focusing on Cambridge politics. Currently, Winters is a Lecturer in Mathematics at MIT and the Harvard Extension School.


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The earliest known view of Harvard showing its first complete quadrangle, by William Burgess, 1726, courtesy of Building Old Cambridge by Susan E. Maycock and Charles M. Sullivan, MIT Press, 2016, p. 757.

Join Cambridge Public Library’s Archivist Alyssa Pacy for a lunchtime tour of Harvard Yard.  We will meet inside Johnston Gate at 12 today for a 45 minute walk.  (Alyssa will be carrying a red folder so you can identify her.)

This tour is part of the City of Cambridge’s Walking Series.

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The earliest known view of Harvard showing its first complete quadrangle, by William Burgess, 1726, courtesy of Building Old Cambridge by Susan E. Maycock and Charles M. Sullivan, MIT Press, 2016, p. 757.

Join Cambridge Public Library’s Archivist Alyssa Pacy for a lunchtime tour of Harvard Yard.  We will meet inside Johnston Gate at 12 on Thursday July 20 for a 45 minute walk.  (Alyssa will be carrying a red folder so you can identify her.)

This tour is part of the City of Cambridge’s Walking Series.

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 2016 Public Art Walk, Central Square

Cambridge Walking Tours
Each week features a different theme and neighborhood. Bring friends, get moving and learn fun and interesting facts about a neighborhood!   (View the poster here.)

Thursdays, 12 PM
Approximately 45 minutes

July 20
Historical Highlights of Harvard Yard
Meet inside the Johnston Gate
(walk leader will be holding a red placard)

July 27
Explore Magazine Beach Park
Pool Entrance, 719 Memorial Drive

August 3
Cambridge Women’s History
Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave.

August 10
Public Art, Harvard Sq. and Cambridge Common
Harvard Square T-Station, Main Entrance


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A color photograph of the Weeks Bridge. There are two men sitting on the edge of the bridge letting their legs dangle over the water.

We are pleased to announce that the John and Ellen Moot Papers, 1903 – 1982 are now available for research. Select digital items are also available.

John and Ellen Moot were political activists in Cambridge. John (1922 – 2008), the son of Welles V. and Caroline E., was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Cambridge to attend Harvard University, where he graduated in 1943 with a degree in engineering. During World War II, John served in the U.S. Navy, loading ships in England for the Normandy invasion. John returned to Harvard and earned an MBA in 1948 and launched the Cornwell Corporation, a kitchen supply company, in the 1950s. He later became a management consultant for failing companies. For over fifty years, Moot was active in Cambridge politics. In 1963, he launched a campaign to “Save Memorial Drive” from the proposed Inner Belt, the eight lane highway planned to go through Cambridge. He was also a founding member of People for the Riverbend Park Trust, PRPT, located at 99 Memorial Drive in Cambridge. In addition to serving as President of the Cambridge Civic Association, Moot held leadership positions in several other Cambridge civic organizations, including the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, the Charles River Watershed Association, the Harvard Square Defense Fund, and the Republican City Committee. In the 1980s, he was a mayoral appointee on the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee and the Technical Working Committee for the Computerization of the Cambridge Elections (TWCC). He served on city-wide study committees for Proposition 2/12, the water system, and municipal finance. In 1998, he co-founded the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods with Stash Horowitz. John was the lead plaintiff in a suit brought against the State Department of Environmental Protection and the Guilford Transportation Company to block Cambridge’s NorthPoint development. In 2007, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Moot’s favor.[1]

Ellen (Guild) (1930-2016) grew up in Boston, Mass. and graduated from the Shady Hill School (Cambridge, Mass., 1945), St. Timothy’s School (Stevenson, MD., 1948), and Radcliffe College with a degree in Government (1952). After receiving a Master’s degree in International Affairs at Yale University, Ellen worked at the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research at John Hopkins University. She became engaged to John Moot while living in Washington, D.C., and the couple moved to Cambridge after they were married. In Cambridge, Ellen was as a research assistant at the Harvard Center for International Affairs (CFIA), where she worked with Henry Kissinger, Robert Bowie, and Joseph Nye. She served on the Boston World Affairs Council and the United Nations Association.

After her daughter was born in 1962, Ellen returned to the CFIA part-time and began working on political campaigns in Cambridge. She ran the successful City Council and State Senate campaigns of Alice Wolf as well as the successful City Council campaigns of Cornelia Wheeler. (Wheeler lost her bid for State Senate in which Ellen was the campaign manager.) She also worked on the School Committee and City Council campaigns of Frank Duehay. During this time, she partnered with Artistic Director and Conductor Benjamin Zander to found (and later become the Executive Director of) the Shady Hill Summer Arts Program.

In the 1970s, Ellen’s career turned toward the field of mental health and she served on the board of the Cambridge Guidance Center, the Metropolitan State Hospital’s Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s Area Board, and as the President of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s Mental Health Center for Cambridge-Somerville.[2]

From 1983-2001, Ellen served on the board of the Cambridge Foundation. She was active in the Cambridge Historical Society, co-writing a chapter on the Coolidge Hill neighborhood, where she lived, for the book, A City’s Life and Times: Cambridge in the Twentieth Century (2007). Also, she played on Cambridge’s first women’s ice hockey team, founded in the 1970s and nicknamed the Mother Puckers. Outside Cambridge, Ellen was active in the Chocorua Lake Association in Tamworth, New Hampshire. Ellen was an avid sailor.

Ellen and John married in New Years of 1960 at the Unitarian Church in Boston. They were members of the First Parish Unitarian Church and patrons of local theater and opera. They have two children Amey (b. 1962) and Alex Moot (b. 1964).

[1] Anderson, Travis, “Moot Dies at 86, Successfully Fought Highway Through Cambridge,” Cambridge Chronicle, December 19, 2008. http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x1435867302/Moot-dies-at-86-successfully-fought-highway-through-Cambridge?zc_p=0. Retrieved 30 December 2013.

[2] Ellen Guild Moot, 1930-2016, Boston Globe, September 25, 2016. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=181469944. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

Collection Overview
This collection contains materials related to Ellen and John Moot’s work on preserving recreation areas around Memorial Drive in Cambridge, including People for the Riverbend Park Trust. There are several oversize materials, some of which like the Cambridge Civic Association Billboards are fragile. Jacek von Henneberg, author of the Memorial Drive Drawings, is a Polish artist and architect, who lived in Cambridge. The proposed underpass on Memorial Drive by Harvard Square was never created. The Save Memorial Drive poster has a reproduction of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte.

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Do you have a copy of the post-election November 10, 2016 edition of the Cambridge Chronicle?  If you’re willing to part with it, we’d love to be able to microfilm it.  We keep the Cambridge Chronicle in perpetuity and 2016 is incomplete.  Please help us preserve Cambridge’s newspaper of record!  E-mail apacy@cambridgema.gov.

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Bulletin de la Conference Haitienne Une Nouvelle Strategie, May 1984, from the Eddy Toussaint Tontongi Papers (034)

The  Cambridge Room is pleased to announce that the Eddy Toussaint Tontongi Papers, 1984-2014 are now available to research.

Eddy Toussaint (aka Tontongi) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After studying poetry in high school in Port-au-Prince in the 1960s, Toussaint moved to Paris in 1974 and later to Reims to study French literature and philosophy. He has lived in the United States, in the Cambridge area, since 1976. In the 1980s, Toussaint adopted the name his mother gave him as a baby – Tontongi (Uncle Guy or Uncle Gi) – as a pen name.

Poet, critic, essayist, Toussaint writes in Haitian Creole, French, and English. His books of poetry include Cri de Rêve: La Manifeste Poétique de la Poésie Exilée, The Dream of Being: Liberation Poetry, the epic poem, The Vodou Gods’ Joy / Rejwisans Lwa Yo (about his experience growing up in a Voodoo temple), and In the Beast’s Alley: Poems of Conscience. His essays include a study of the first Aristide presidency, La Présidence d’Aristide: Entre Le Défi l’Espoir.

Toussaint has published several newspapers and magazines related to the Haitian Diaspora in the Boston area, including Nouvelle Stratégie (first published in 1984), Haiti-Progrès, Haiti en Marche, Boston Haitian Reporter, Left Curve, and Tanbou. He has contributed to several anthologies, including Vodou: Visions and Voices of Haiti, Open Gate: Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry (the first translated poetry book of Haitian Creole), Revolution/Revolisyon/ Révolution: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution, and Liberation Poetry: An Anthology, Poetica Agwe: Essays, Poems, and Testimonials on Resistance, Peace and the Ideal of Being.

Toussaint is the editor of the trilingual literary-political journal, Tanbou (available online at tanbou.com), and the founder of Trilingual Press based in Cambridge, Mass. Tanbou, founded in 1992, seeks to “embody a written, artistic expression of a consciousness that is trapped, mystified and oppressed but which still maintains the struggle against the domination of the absurd.” Works are published in English, French, or Haitian Creole without translations so that equal importance is placed on each language. The first issue was published in January 1994.

Trilingual Press was founded in 2003, as a collective, collaborative and non-commercial press, which advocates the concept of koumbit (helping hand) to help publish work of interest in Haitian Creole, French, English, and other world languages and literatures. In 2004,Trilingual Press published its first book: Love and Other Poems by Haitian Youths by Paul Germain. The Press features local poets, including Dumas F. Lafontant, who lives in Cambridge.

Collection Overview
This collection contains journals, pamphlets, and books either written by or published by Eddy Toussaint Tontongi through Trilingual Press. The publications, which include poems, essays, and translations, are bilingual (English/Haitian Creole or French/Haitian Creole) or trilingual (English/French/Haitian Creole) and promote the Haitian Creole language or describe the Haitian Diaspora in the Boston area. The Trilingual Press publishes poetry, novels, essays, and translations.

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