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What we heard from you during the community engagement phase of the City Manager search.

We are excited to share some of the biggest priorities gathered from you! From feedback through this website, our team gathered the most mentioned themes for the next City Manager to hold below.

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Cambridge City Manager Survey Results


Housing has become a major topic of discussion not just in Cambridge, but nationwide. It’s important that the next City Manager understand the crisis many Cambridge residents face in the housing market and to be open to a multi faceted approach to build housing throughout every neighborhood of Cambridge, and most importantly, a diverse range of prices. 

“Without more homes and apartments that are affordable to families and individuals across Cambridge, we'll continue to see people displaced or struggle financially.” - Kenny F.

“I think one of the important issues the next City Manager should focus on is funding a realistic yet timely plan to develop, build and implement housing opportunities for the elderly and moderate/mid-market income families.” - Anita B.

“The next City Manager needs to have a vision for a growing and changing Cambridge. We need more housing to support the job growth in the region. We need to find a way to maximize growth of sustainable and affordable housing, while retaining the historical charm of Cambridge.” - Valerie L.

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The next city manager should prioritize authentic collaborative strategies that involve every resident, not just the loudest voices. They should create multiple routes for feedback that run two ways, ensuring residents who express their feedback feel heard, understood and educated on the topic at hand.

“The city manager should bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely manner before decisions are made that will affect all the residents in Cambridge. A person who values transparency in decision making. Someone who encourages compromise and civility over all or nothing approaches and divisiveness. Someone who demonstrates interpersonal skills who is collaborative and encourages diversity.” - Lisbeth A.

“Knowledgeable about Cambridge and its needs, neighborhood knowledge, leadership, collaborative success with staff and residents.” - Robert M.

“The next city manager needs to be highly collaborative - deal with uncertainty and ambiguity by balancing inputs from various sources and stakeholders.” - Thomas O.

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Equity should impact every choice the city, and ultimately, the city manager makes for Cambridge. This means the next city manager should not take a one size fits all approach to housing, transportation needs, and climate mitigation, all of which are top concerns from residents. 

“Issues of equity, anti-racism, and supporting our most vulnerable populations and marginalized communities by changing structures in our government that are barriers to equity” - Tina L.

“Big picture leader with a bold vision for health and true equity in the city.” - Josephine W. “I think the next City Manager should lead through an equity lens; ensuring all residents and city employees are listened to.” - Sophie R.

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Majority of commenters recognize the progress Cambridge has made in bicycling safety and infrastructure. The next city manager should continue improving the bicycling network in all parts of the city and see it as a tool for the city’s climate action. They should support a Vision Zero policy that ensures everyone who bikes, whether out of choice or out of need, can do so safely and efficiently. 

“Sustainable development plan for the city, including maintaining or increasing green spaces and playgrounds, decreasing traffic and congestion, and a plan that allows for safer bike lanes while meeting needs of commuters and businesses.” - Pam A.

“As a resident, homeowner, business owner, and parent of CPSD students I have high stakes in many areas of city development. Fostering supported, unique, diverse neighborhoods is key to maintaining a rich fabric of city living. That means support for small, independent, local businesses, places for neighbors of all ages to congregate, safe transportation options for pedestrians, bikes, and vehicles.” - Shelley B. “Figuring out how to make the bike and bus lanes safe and effective without taking away all the parking on Mass Ave.” - Susan G.

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The next city manager should advocate for progressive policies that drive change in housing, transportation, climate and policing. Policies set and updated by the next city manager need to be adaptable, unique to Cambridge, data oriented and above all, transparent in the vision and intentions of policy additions/adjustments. 

“I believe the new manager should be all of the above (progressive, collaborative, inclusive) but he/she needs to also have a vision and be a leader to have Cambridge continue to make progress environmentally, with education and growth. The individual must also know how to move forward without jeopardizing our good financial state.” - Pam L.

“Progressive and able to adapt to changes. So much of government gets stuck in the past and refuses to adapt to changing technologies and policies. I hope the new City Manager brings some youthful energy, regardless of age.” - Sergio C.

“Progressive, open to change and streamlining, and most importantly attentive and responsive to the City Council” - Luis M.

“I think we need a forward-thinking, progressive, collaborative manager who is able to hear, understand and synthesize input from different points of view, who will prioritize livability in the city over commercial development, who can bring a diverse population together to make the sometimes difficult changes necessary to address the reality of climate change.” - Andrea W.

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Climate Change and its impact on Cambridge is a top priority for Cambridge residents. The next city manager should take a holistic approach to climate policy, with an understanding of its impact on other issues the city faces. Every decision city leaders make going forward should be considered with a climate-oriented lens.  

“The next City Manager should be ethical, approachable, and have integrity combined with a view looking to the future of Cambridge - a future where Cambridge works to mitigate the effects of climate change through better infrastructure and less reliance on cars and the housing crisis through policies that lead to more housing (affordable and market-rate) being built in Cambridge.” - Tim R.

“I think we need someone progressive and policy oriented, someone with a vision for how the city needs to change to adapt to the challenges of the next couple decades. Between climate change and the housing crisis, Cambridge cannot and will not look the same a decade from now, and the city manager needs to be someone actively interested in driving that change, not just being responsive.” - Aaron H.

“We need to both prepare for and mitigate our contribution to climate change as a city. I'd like to see a holistic and system-wide effort taken on by the city.” - Kenny F.

“I think we need a passionate fighter against climate change who can implement projects quickly and effectively to make Cambridge more sustainable.” - Noah M.

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The next city manager should not only have experience relevant to the role, but the residents of Cambridge feel it is equally important to have an understanding of how national and regional challenges are uniquely felt in Cambridge. While being from the area may not be a top priority for many residents, having an understanding of the region, its history and culture are important. 

“I think the City Manager should have extensive experience effectively managing real life projects. This person would understand all aspects of project management and know how to effectively implement plans that are well-researched, thoughtful, well-designed, and implemented correctly. This is the right way to do things.” - Liz C.

“I would like the new Manager to be experienced at inclusive leadership leading to effective operational management.” - David S.

“Experience working in a collaborative way with political bodies, government entities, a diverse workforce and diverse population. Ability to be calm and productive under public pressure. Open to change.” - Kathleen B.

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