Jivan is running for Cambridge City Council!
Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, a Cambridge renter and tenants’ rights organizer who works with environmental programs at a land-policy think tank based in Cambridge, has announced today that he is running for Cambridge City Council.
“Cambridge is rapidly changing—rents and housing prices are skyrocketing, and we’re rapidly losing our urban tree canopy. We need our city councilors to ask: ‘Who are we developing for?’ And we need to make sure the answer is the middle- and working-class residents who are at risk of displacement due to housing costs, whether they’re long-time Cantabrigians or newer arrivals. I think our city government has been too passive, hoping that the market and for-profit corporate developers will solve our problems for us. I want to bring my expertise and experience in land policy and organizing to the City Council so we can fight for real housing justice in Cambridge that stabilizes rents in our community and doesn’t leave behind working-class homeowners,” said Jivan.
Rep. Mike Connolly, who represents Cambridge in the Massachusetts legislature, said "I've gotten to know Jivan through his work as an organizer and advocate for affordable housing and tenant protections here in Cambridge. I'm excited that he's running for City Council because I believe he'll be a compelling voice for housing justice and our middle and working-class communities who are facing continued displacement."
“I also will be pushing for a Cambridge Green New Deal,” said Jivan, “to ensure we’re doing as much as we can to fight climate change in a way that addresses economic inequality and racial equity. I want to see Cambridge lead the nation in tackling the related crises of climate change and inequality at the local level by improving public transit and making buses and subways free for Cambridge residents, meeting our Net Zero emissions targets, and building out the full Cambridge Bicycle Plan with 20 miles of protected bike lanes.”
Jivan’s campaign kickoff will be held on Monday, May 6th from 6-8PM at 730 Tavern, 730 Massachusetts Ave in Central Square and is open to the public. RSVP Here
Beth Huang, a community organizer and resident of the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood of Cambridge, said, "Cambridge is a vibrant city, with opportunities that bring people together from around the world. We need leaders like Jivan who prioritize that everyone can share in the public good. These opportunities belong to everyone, including young renters hoping to build a future in this city, longtime working-class residents facing displacement, and kids in Cambridge Public Schools.”
Part of Jivan’s commitment to economic justice comes from his own experience. After his parents divorced, he spent part of his childhood in subsidized housing and was enrolled in CHIP, the children’s version of Medicaid, for health insurance. He graduated with a BA in Human Ecology, with a focus on environmental and economic policy, and now works at a nationally recognized land-policy think tank based in Cambridge. He is the son of a woman who grew up on a farm in Iowa and a man who was a Portuguese citizen from Goa, a Portuguese colony in India.
Outside his day job, Jivan is a community organizer working to make Cambridge greener and more affordable and to build power among working-class residents who are facing high housing costs, displacement, and difficult commutes. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), where he has worked as a tenant organizer, fought to stop the privatization of public land at the Sullivan Courthouse, and helped organize a Narcan training.
Jivan has also worked with groups including Our Revolution Cambridge, the Sunrise Movement, and City Life/Vida Urbana and has spoken at multiple City Council meetings alongside fellow members of Cambridge Bike Safety, including once with a photo of himself missing parts of his two front teeth after a bike accident last year.
Said Sean McFarland, a local organizer with progressive groups including Our Revolution Cambridge and Act on Mass, "Jivan is an effective organizer who has been integral in advancing progressive causes like robust tenant protections and sustainable, equitable development here in Cambridge. Perhaps more importantly, though, he's also a movement builder. He gets that forming relationships around shared values is fundamental to solving the problems we face."
Jivan will be refusing donations from real-estate developers, fossil fuel company employees, and corporate PACs in his campaign.
His website is www.VoteJivan.com where you can find his full issues platform.
RSVP to the May 6th Campaign Kickoff here: https://votejivan.nationbuilder.com/kickoff
To donate to Jivan’s campaign visit: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jivan