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).
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.
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.
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.
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.