I am heavily interested and invested in the new Full Circle Program, that is beginning at the Fletcher-Maynard Academy. This is a program that begins at age 3 and one that grew from the work of my good friend and colleague, Geoffrey Canada, with the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York.
I want to be re-elected so that I can help make universal Pre-K a reality for all Cambridge children. The Council and the School Committee discussed the possibility of Universal Pre-K at a roundtable earlier in October. I believe that in order to move forward as a city and as a community, we must invest in our youth. The time has come and I want to be its champion because I think this is an important step we can take.
I am honored to have been a speaker at the opening of the newly minted Alice K. Wolf Center in September. I served as Alice’s first vice mayor when she was elected mayor and since then, we have had a very long and enduring relationship. The building is called the Alice K. Wolf Human Services Center and combines the Community Learning Center, the Housing Authority and the Cambridge Multi-service Center. It has been named for a devoted public servant and the honor is richly deserved.
The center will provide a myriad of services, including a place for residents to come and take courses in English as a second language, seek out pre-college courses if they are looking for higher education and take GED classes for certification. I am so proud to have another community-driven addition to our city in Central Square.
Last year, Upward Bound completed its final year of federal funding and was in danger of having to close its doors. Through my leadership on the council, I secured a $400,000 grant to keep the program open for the 2012-2013 school year. Because of this funding the program has been able to enroll students again.
In June I attended the closing ceremonies (shown above) where 50 Cambridge students celebrated their connections and their academic successes. I am currently working with MIT and the city on securing three more years of funding, to compete their five year cycle. I am hopeful that in working with the new city manager Richard Rossi, a permanent source of funding can be identified.
On September 8th, we celebrated the annual Cambridge Carnival International, a cultural celebration that I founded 21 years ago. This year was an absolute success in its colorful explosion of music, food, dancing and community. A huge thanks to Gabe Mondon and Luis Cotto for their collective efforts in organizing the group for this year. A great time was had by all.