ACT Governing Board election

ballots must be received by October 19

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20— In a few days, official ballots will be mailed to 5800 ACT households for the 2019 Governing Board election. Sixty-four candidates are on the ballot, competing for thirty seats on the Board. Ballots will be counted on Saturday, October 19. 

The ACT ballot also includes four policy questions. The vote on the questions will not establish official positions for ACT but may serve as guidance for the new Board.

1. Does the city need some kind of rent control?

2. Do the city’s public schools treat our children fairly?

3. Should tenants ever be allowed to smoke in their apartments?

4. Is there is too much real estate development in your city?

This is the fifth ACT election since the organization was founded in 2008. The new Board will meet for the first time in December to select ACT’s executive officers for the next two and a half years.

ACT is officially recognized by the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA), so in accordance with government guidelines, all adult CHA voucher tenants and public housing/RAD residents are ACT members, entitled to vote for its Board. Each voter can choose up to four candidates.

Only one ballot is mailed to each household, in the name of the person who signed the lease as head of household. If a household has more than one eligible voter, additional ballots may be obtained by calling the ACT Office at 617-499-7031.

The ACT Board reserves fifteen seats each for voucher/leased housing representatives and public housing/RAD representatives. Therefore it is not necessarily the thirty candidates with the most votes overall, but the fifteen candidates with the most votes in each category, who will be elected.

The ACT Election Committee is encouraging candidates and interested residents to campaign actively. The Committee also wishes to thank the CHA for fully reimbursing the cost of printing and mailing for this election, which it had not done since 2009.

Below is a list of the candidates whose names appear on the ballot. Some candidates have made statements, and you can read their words below the list of candidates.

(Voters may also write in names that do not appear on the printed ballot.)

public-housing/RAD candidates

Consuelo Diaz - Putnam Gardens

Victoria Bergland - Lincoln Way

Leroy Bush - LBJ Apartments

Adenise Carelus - Jefferson Park

George Cook - Burns Apartments

Dalgis Gomez Cruz - Woodrow Wilson Ct.

bill cunningham - Newtowne Court

Roberto Famania - Roosevelt Towers

Michael Goodman - Manning Apartments [*not on ballot due to Postal Service error]

Charles Guerlin - Newtowne Court

Jean Hannon - Woodrow Wilson Court

Kathleen Locascio - Jefferson Park

Ms. Stephanie Lopes - Manning Apts.

Marie M. Luberisse - LBJ Apartments

Robert MacGilvray - Truman Apartments

Brian McCarthy - Putnam School Apts.

Laura Montgomery - Putnam Gardens

Linda Montgomery - Corcoran Park

Rosemarie Moorehead - LBJ Apartments

Charlene Nelson - LBJ Apartments

Janak Nepal - Putnam Gardens

Cheryl Pattterson-Munroe - Newtowne Ct.

Joanette Ortiz Reyes - Woodrow Wilson Ct.

James Joseph Sawtelle - Linnaean Street

Ashlee Smith - Manning Apartments

Listz Jean Toussaint - Woodrow Wilson Ct.

Rebecca Wade - LBJ Apartments

James Williamson - Jefferson Park

leased-housing/voucher candidates

Firehiwot Belachew - Inman Square

Barbara Bynum - Somerville

Duane Callender - Fresh Pond/Highlands

Rose Marie Celleti - Riverside

Lutant Clenord - The Port

Helena Da Silva - Cambridgeport

Jennie Dejesus-Acevedo - East Cambridge

Betty Dupont - Riverside

Leonard Francis - Cambridgeport

Cibele Goncalves - Donnelly Field

Kevin Goode - Riverside

Lola Yvonne Gray - Walden Square

Michael Gerald Gross - Hull

Alice Haynes - Central Square

Mohammed M. Hoque - North Cambridge

Gwendolyn Howard - Central Square

Amina Hutchinson - Neighborhood Nine

Abdulmalik Jackson - Memorial Drive

Sarmonica T. Jones - Cambridgeport

Johnnie Jasper Landrum - Central Square

Laura Lopez - Memorial Drive

Doris M. Maldonado - Kendall Square

Laika Maria Marseille - East Cambridge

Cherie Regina Meade - Roslindale

Sharon Obeng - Area Three

Dinesh Rajbhandari - Malden

Hasson J. Rashid - Central Square

Marie L. Rene - The Port

Tonia-Heriberto Rodriguez - North Cambridge

Barbara A. Samulevich - Strawberry Hill

Evelyn Soto - Riverside

Mulugheta Teclezghi Tedla - Kendall Square

Mulunesh Abebayehu Telkewold - Rindge

Sherri Tucker - Central Square

Aonica Whormes - North Cambridge

Katheleen Williams - Fresh Pond/Highlands

candidate statements

Victoria Bergland

Board member of ACT since its beginning. Served three terms as ACT Public Housing Co-chair. CEOC Board member. Resident Commissioner on CHA Board, now serving second term. ACT is a University without walls for me, and all voucher and public housing residents.

Leroy Bush

I would like to be elected to the ACT Board / Committee. I would like to hear the concerns of the tenants and the concerns of the Cambridge Housing Authority. 

It would be great if we all could work together to come to an agreement on the issues most important at the present time. 

I think every tenant is on the committee. Only so many can talk at a certain time, that's why all tenants should work together to bring our concerns to CHA. All concerns are important. It should not color, gender, language spoken or wealth.

"We Are One - We Are Tenants"

We should also enjoy life to the best of our ability. Let's have more events in our buildings & outside buildings. Safety of our tenants and buildings along with fun stuff.

All work and no fun MIGHT lead to stress. 

Duane Callender  

The reason why I want to remain a member of the ACT Board is because as a tenant I want to be able to help other tenants with their issues and grievances etc. As an ACT member I believe it is time to act. 

bill cunningham

For more than ten years, whether we’ve agreed or disagreed with management, ACT has advocated for our fellow tenants. In doing so I believe we have helped CHA to improve its performance. That is good and right, but it isn’t enough. The low and moderate income tenants of Cambridge have deep roots in this city and in the soil of many countries. I want to see ACT connect across ethnic and language barriers. And for the sake of our neighbors and our children, I want us to work for policies that will strengthen our communities and the connections among them. We especially need rent control and balanced, restrained, disciplined real estate development. Otherwise our future here will be as nothing more than a few sentimental murals. Whether I’m elected to the ACT Board or not, I want to strengthen ACT as a voice for all lower income and working people, as comrades to all who are ready to fight for justice by our side, and as a defender of the rights of all tenants, regardless of status or income. 

Leonard Francis

I would like to take this time to introduce myself. I am first and foremost a long time section eight voucher holder. I am also a member of the ACT Board and the Assistance and Outreach Committee.

My intention is to remain actively connected to ACT indefinitely. I am also interested in remaining on the ACT Board and to serve the low income tenant community.

The Alliance for Cambridge tenants and its talents are capable of assisting in the empowerment of those Cambridge tenants we serve. My drive is to be an intimate part of this. 

Cibele Goncalves

I have been a Cambridge resident now for almost 4 years. I moved with my daughter from Miami 5 years ago. Due to domestic violence, we were almost killed. We had to flee into the night and we became homeless and lost everything. We were put into a shelter and introduced to poverty first-hand. I always promised myself that once I was out of the situation, I would do anything to help others in my position. Today, I work for MassHousing in the Homeownership Dept. I teach first-time home buyer classes for low-income borrowers in Portuguese and English. I am on the Board for Rebuilding Together Boston (Habitat for Humanity) and I was a Committee member for the Benefits Advisory Committee for the City of Cambridge. I am looking to make a difference in my community. I want to be the voice for other tenants who can’t speak for themselves. I have been there, I know what it is like. I am planning on running for city council in 2021. It would be an honor to be a part of ACT creating a strong alliance in our community.  I think that together, we can make our city inclusive and fair for all. 

Michael Gerald Gross

Yes I would like to be on the ACT Board. I live in Hull Massachusetts since I’ve been living here I’ve been having problems with my Landlord. Just to get things done in my apartment where I live I didn't have any support but when I joined with ACT I received the help I needed to start the fight against noncompliance with the Landlord and I will continue to help others that need help. Thank you for the Votes. 

Jean Hannon 

We tenants must understand the CHA Policies that govern our tenancy.

 Sarmonica T. Jones 

Ms. Jones is a Cambridge Resident, who works and resides in CambridgePort. She is active in her community, as an Institutional Biosafety Committee Board member Ms. Jones’s experience working with advocacy groups in the Cambridge and Boston Metro areas, will contribute to ACTs continued success as a tenant advocacy group.

Laura Lopez  

Yes, I would like to take part in the ACT Board election. I believe that I will be an asset to the group. I’m Hispanic and I’ve lived in Cambridge for the last 20 years.

Brian McCarthy 

I would like to join to the ACT board to assist with promoting friendships and activities among the residents of the Putnam School Apartments and the other CHA residents. I would like to see at least one resident from each the the CHA apartment buildings and Section 8 apartments in order to promote a great diversity among the board members. And this would allow fresh ideas to spread among the CHA residents. Thank you for your consideration.

Laura Montgomery

As a long-time resident of the Cambridge Housing Authority, I am proud to be a Board member. Years of attending meetings and city-wide gatherings. I am grateful for the opportunity. 

Linda Montgomery

My experience is as tenant advocate at the city state and nationally. I work with council boards, on updating bylaws, training, special elections, and keeping Resident Services.

Rosemarie Moorehead 

I want to serve on the ACT Board because I learned a lot of things attending the conventions of the Mass Union of Public Housing Tenants, and as tenant council president at Erie Street last year. Also I have heard a lot about the ACT Board, my sister used to serve on the Board before she had health problems, and about the nice things ACT does, like going to tenants’ buildings to hold meetings.

Charlene Nelson

I would be more than happy to join the ACT Board because I feel that I’ll be able to work with everyone else that is on the Board, to help people to deal together with problems and issues that arise.

Janak Nepal

I am interested to be an ACT Board member which is very important for the residents of CHA. Many persons who are living in housing are uninformed about the law and rules of CHA and facing so many problems from management. ACT is recognized by CHA as able to explain to the residents about the policy and rules of CHA. ACT also can give us more new information about what is going on. Therefore I want to be a member of the ACT Board again. Thank you.

Hasson J. Rashid

Peace Be Unto You All,

If you are a Cambridge Housing Authority Section 8 Voucher/ Public Housing 18 years old, or head of household, you are a voting member of ACT. I Hasson Rashid invite you all to vote for my re-election to the ACT Governing Board in the upcoming election to take place in October 2019. I will be responsible for bringing the best results to the ACT Board based on knowledge, experience, and understanding. Vote for continuous uniqueness of the Citywide Mission of ACT. Proper communication is key to ACT’s Citywide mission, of building a unique community voice. Section 8/ Public Housing voter please vote in this election with the quality of one spirit, sentiment, and purpose.

I’m grateful to be blessed with an opportunity to serve ACT once again, and I’m looking forward towards earning the right to serve ACT for another term. Vote for Hasson Rashid a candidate for re-election to the Governing Board of the Alliance of Cambridge Tenants, and when you do, don’t forget the Code of King Hammurabi of Ancient Arabia; “The First Duty of Government is to Protect the Powerless against the Powerful.” Thank You All. Peace.

Sherri Tucker  

I am now completing a three-year term as the Voucher Co-Chair of ACT. Since April 2009, I have  served you on the ACT Board and was the first Voucher Vice Co-Chair. I have participated in most of the CHA trainings and meetings. I am dedicated to serving you both individually,  assisting with your housing issues, and challenging CHA policies which don't serve tenants. I am a Greater Boston Legal Services Board member.  I was active in forming ACT.  I was an Eviction Free Zone activist. Thank you for your support.  

Rebecca Wade

I am very interested in becoming a member because I am a Cambridge Tenant. I grew up here in Cambridge and graduated from CHLS. I love Camridge., Have tried living in Boston only to return to what is so familiar. I have been living in Camb. Housing since the early 90's in section 8 as well as state public housing. I currently live in LBJ. I am a true believer that together as tenants we can assure the continuance of safe, affordable, pleasant, healthy and fun loving environments. I am proud to be a Cambridge native. I believe in standing strong and working hard toward maintaining the dignity and respect each and everyone deserves and the right to express our needs as great consumers in The Camb. Housing Authority. 

Katheleen Williams

I have been a CHA client for a number of years and feel that I have gained a lot of knowledge in how this system works or doesn't. I feel my years as a client and mediator with the elderly/disabled community would provide some healthy expertise. My prior experience in working with elderly/disabled persons assisting them at times with housing issues gives me some experience and would allow me to be of value to this board.  

James Williamson

Dear Fellow CHA Tenants: Perhaps the most important thing  we will do as an ACT Board is to elect a group of “officers,” who  typically play an important role in communicating with, and meeting  regularly with, senior staff at the CHA. I want to make sure we  choose the best possible group of officers we can from among  those elected to the board who may be interested in serving.    

In addition, we need to advocate more effectively for those things  which matter most to us as residents/tenants, from swifter and better  maintenance to stopping abusive behavior by management whenever it occurs. We need to find respectful alternatives to the endless intrusions  into our homes with little or no notice which generate so much of our  discontent as CHA tenants. Do we have rights? We deserve to find out. 

ACT should not replace advocacy by tenants, but support and stimulate  it. Thanks for considering a vote to help elect me to the ACT Board.