- Our Shared Values
- The City Budget We Deserve
- Safe, Well-Maintained & Climate Resilient Streets and Open Spaces
- Community Safety
- Public Education Our Community Deserves
- Equitable and Welcoming City Government
- Fighting for People’s Basic Needs
- Housing Affordability and Stability
Our Shared Values
Our coalition of Medford residents, local community organizations and advocacy groups, elected officials, and candidates envisions an inclusive local government that genuinely meets the needs of everyone who is part of the Medford community. Our Revolution Medford is committed to grassroots organizing to implement policies and practices that center working people and are anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-austerity, and intersectional to combat structural oppression.
City government must acknowledge the disproportionate impact of racial capitalism and economic injustice, especially on people marginalized based on race, gender identity, class, ability, national origin, ethnicity, religion, or orientation. Justice and equity are the foundation of the 2023 Medford People’s Platform. We believe that a truly positive society is only possible when everyone, especially those who are most marginalized, have their material needs met.
Medford benefits from being part of a productive and vibrant region. Extreme demand for housing and business growth near Boston presents significant challenges for Medford residents while also providing our city with the opportunity to grow and improve. We want to live in a Medford that is collectively governed by and responsive to the community, not just the interests of the powerful and wealthy.
Our shared policy vision for Medford over the next two years (2023-2025) will bring people together to fight for a fully-funded City Budget, raise needed revenue, and encourage economic development; promote climate resiliency and an open, walkable, and accessible city; provide true community safety for all residents, fully fund public education, create an equitable and welcoming city government; champion and advocate for the public good and working people; and improve housing affordability and stability for people of all incomes.
Candidates for office will be held accountable to this platform through the residents and community groups who have signed on to support the 2023 Medford People’s Platform.
Sign onto the 2023 Medford People’s Platform today! [link]
The City Budget We Deserve
A budget is a statement of values. Right now, Medford’s revenues aren’t big enough to meet the needs of our community. We must thoroughly assess community needs for public schools, city services, and infrastructure. Then we need to make a plan to raise the money to meet those needs. Medford’s elected officials can verbally commit to anti-racism and equity, but without the proper funding, these commitments cannot become a reality. We envision a City Budget which prioritizes people over profit, fully-funded Medford Public Schools and Medford Public Library, fixing our streets and sidewalks so they are safe for everyone, robust social programs that provide for community members’ basic needs and safety, housing affordability and stability for all, and inclusive and effective city services.
- Increasing Revenue to Meet Community Needs – We commit to assessing the city’s funding needs and supporting a plan to raise needed revenue to provide the Medford Public Schools, city services, and city infrastructure Medford residents deserve. We support well-thought out plans to raise revenue, including potential debt exclusions to fund capital projects like a new Medford High School and repair of streets and sidewalks, Proposition 2½ overrides to address understaffing and lack of funding in most city departments, progressive city taxation through existing state-allowed exemptions and petitions to the State House to ask for better tax policy options, and increasing PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) from large non-profits.
- Economic Development – We commit to increasing support for locally owned businesses and commercial development in Medford to build a more vibrant city and expand the tax base. We will support mixed-use development in Medford Square; leasing city land in central locations for development projects rather than permanently selling it off; and reducing the permitting burden for opening new businesses and for existing businesses to stay open later at night.
- Effective City Services and Infrastructure – We commit to a city budget that effectively provides essential city services and that fixes, maintains, and improves our city’s streets, sidewalks, public buildings, and other infrastructure for the long-term. We also commit to building up a fully-staffed City Hall so city departments can deliver better results for residents and lessen the City’s reliance on outside contractors for essential services.
- Transparent and Collaborative City Management – We commit to an open and transparent budget process for the City of Medford and Medford Public Schools; building collaborative working relationships between the Mayor, City Council, and School Committee; fixing the short-term structural deficit and long-term needs deficit; and making important budget and finance information clearly understandable and easily accessible to residents.
Safe, Well-Maintained & Climate Resilient Streets and Open Spaces
Medford residents deserve safe, high-quality streets and sidewalks that are accessible to people using all forms of mobility devices, expanded access to public transportation, and a city that is prepared to combat flooding and other negative impacts of climate change, with a specific focus on residents in environmental justice neighborhoods.
- Walkable, Accessible, and Bikeable Community – We commit to making Medford accessible to walkers, bikers, and people using all forms of mobility devices by fixing the deplorable condition of our streets and sidewalks, expanding the Complete Streets program, and adopting a Vision Zero goal of no serious injuries and fatalities on our streets. This includes building safer street and sidewalk infrastructure that forces fewer people to use and store cars, ensuring transit stops are accessible to people using all forms of mobility devices, and creating a city staff team to clear priority sidewalks and crosswalks during and after snowstorms.
- Climate Resiliency – We commit to climate resiliency planning, creating a net-zero or carbon-neutral requirement for new developments (including City and school projects); expanding solar and renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels, supporting and encouraging green renovations of existing structures, educating and incentivizing residents and landlords to reduce home energy costs, expanding the Medford Resiliency Hubs project, developing concrete goals to electrify city vehicle fleet, and planning with an environmental justice lens that prioritizes housing affordability.
- Expanding Transit Access – We commit to supporting more frequent, expanded MBTA bus and train service; protecting existing MBTA bus routes; adding more bus shelters and bus lanes; eliminating fares for public transit beginning with routes most used by working-class residents; exploring municipally-funded options to provide more transportation options; and expanding electric car infrastructure while reducing the need for car use in general.
- Protecting Our Open Space – Medford’s open space is a treasure, and we commit to protecting the Fells, Mystic River, city parks, existing park and street trees, and other open space; advocating for more funding to plant more trees and expand the urban forest and tree canopy in every neighborhood; updating zoning to require a specific percentage of green or open space for large new construction projects; and incentivizing reductions of paved, impervious surfaces that generate polluted water runoff.
True community safety is non-violent, actively opposes the potential for violence and escalation, and dismantles white supremacist systems and structures. We acknowledge that what is safe for one person may not be safe for another. Community safety is shared when people’s basic needs are met, when we live in a safe built environment, and when our city government is welcoming to and representative of the residents of the community.
- Alternative Emergency Response – We will push to fund city-run social programs and emergency response options that properly support and limit armed interactions with residents in crisis and with people from communities most affected by policing and the criminal legal system. We commit to prioritize hiring unarmed emergency responders with expertise in responding to mental health crises; holding staff accountable to civilian-reviewed policies and community complaints; and increasing interactions between residents and unarmed city staff by hiring more code enforcement officers, health and prevention staff, and creating a civilian traffic enforcement office.
- Community Control and Oversight – We commit to supporting regular systematic reviews of Medford Police Department (MPD) policies and practices, beginning a community-wide discussion about what community input on and control of public health and community safety looks like, and faithfully implementing the Community Control Over Public Surveillance ordinance. We commit to sharing the data collected via public records in community databases such as OpenOversight and using public health education funding from marijuana taxes to fund Narcan purchases and trainings
- Supporting Immigrant Residents – We commit to working with Medford People Power, Safe Medford, and other groups to maintain the existing non-cooperation policy between MPD and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), expand translation services, invest city resources in actively engaging immigrant residents and communities to understand their needs, and support the state Safe Communities Act.
- Gun Violence Prevention – We commit to supporting the work of the Medford chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America by taking concrete steps to increase awareness about the benefits of secure gun storage and the legal requirement of all gun owners to follow MA secure storage laws. We will foster public conversations about the various ways we can prevent gun violence including suicides, homicides, unintentional gun deaths and injuries and school shootings.
Public Education Our Community Deserves
Medford students and families deserve a fully-funded, anti-racist, anti-ableist, vibrant, student-centered public school system. Our public schools must be hopeful, open, and safe spaces for students to learn and thrive. We can only achieve that by providing long-overdue resources, supporting students, and addressing racism and bigotry that negatively impacts many young people in our community.
- Pro-Public Schools – We commit to fighting for full and equitable local funding for Medford Public Schools and advocating for increases in the state budget for public education. We will push State House leaders to fix the state’s charter school policies that negatively impact Medford’s budget and reduce funding for Medford Public Schools.
- Safe and Supportive Learning Environment – Medford Public Schools must receive the funding necessary to truly fulfill the shared commitment to guarantee a safe and supportive learning environment for every student. We commit to demand the staffing and resources to significantly expand mental health supports, social and emotional learning, and conflict resolution education. We know that data and experience prove that restorative and transformative justice approaches are the most successful interventions to improve student outcomes, and we will continue to advance anti-racist policies and curriculums that center those values. School safety and incidents of violence do not start or end in school buildings, and the City, local social service organizations, and the community as a whole must come together to make sure families have their needs met at home so students can thrive in school. Medford Public Schools must comply with state and federal laws regarding student rights and privacy, some of which strongly control and limit how school districts are allowed to act.
- Education Equity for All – We commit to ensuring equity for all students by reviewing and updating school policies and practices; eliminating fees for students to access arts, sports, or other extracurricular programs; focusing on equity for students with disabilities, lower family incomes, and English learners; increasing hiring and retention of Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Latinx educators and staff; addressing incidents of racism and white supremacist systems and structures faced by students; expanding the hours for and enrollment limits for pre-kindergarten and child care programs; connecting schools and families to city efforts to fight food insecurity; increasing funding for the Medford Family Network; and eliminating transportation costs for Medford High School students.
- Support Educators and Staff – We commit to valuing Medford’s educators and staff as experts and decision makers; increasing pay for substitute, paraprofessional, before-school, and after-school educators; and preventing any cuts in staff and services for Medford’s students.
Equitable and Welcoming City Government
We believe that Medford’s city government must welcome every resident and reflect the people it serves through the makeup of city staff and elected officials, equitable systems of participation and engagement, and the translation of information about all city services, resources, and benefits into the many languages used by Medford residents. Our community must make sure that every resident truly feels that they belong in Medford.
- Representative Leadership – We commit to building new systems and structures that ensure equitable representation and participation of Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, women, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and working-class residents while dismantling white supremacist systems and structures. We support the compensation of members of city boards, commissions, and task forces to ensure all income levels are represented.
- City Charter Reform – We commit to implementing a City Charter review process to change and expand the way Medford elects officials to ward representation instead of just at-large seats, increase powers of the City Council and School Committee relative to the Mayor, and ensure an open and transparent process for recruiting and confirming appointments to city boards, commissions, and task forces.
- Welcoming and Safe Public Engagement – We commit to creating a welcoming, equitable, and engaged city government that invites and involves all residents, especially residents from marginalized communities and new residents, in determining how Medford provides city and school services. We commit to reforming and transforming the rules of city public meetings to reduce hostility and build safer, more inclusive public meeting spaces, as well as removing gender-assuming language from city ordinances and communications. We will continue to support full access to mail-in ballots and early voting for municipal elections.
- Communications and Technology Access – We commit to ensuring all residents can continue to participate in public meetings via Zoom, working to offer ASL interpretation, and exploring providing childcare that allows residents to attend meetings in-person. We support the development of a modern, fully-accessible, and frequently updated city website, mandating that all city communications are disability-friendly and translated into multiple languages, creating an Open Data Policy for Medford, and ensuring that city government has the necessary IT staff and infrastructure to enact updates to communications and technology access.
Fighting for People’s Basic Needs
Medford must prevent displacement of working-class residents, champion and defend the public good, support strong labor unions, and continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity, housing insecurity, unaffordable and unavailable after-school and childcare, and lack of local anti-poverty social service organizations make it a struggle to stay in Medford for too many residents. In fighting for economic justice for all residents, we will work to guarantee food security, shelter, access to childcare, and other basic needs.
- Economic Justice for All – We commit to making Medford hunger-free by supporting the City’s Food Security Taskforce and community groups, advocating for the opening of a year-round shelter and seasonal warming center, supporting regional efforts with neighboring communities to house every person, working with the state and private after-school and childcare providers to increase the number of available seats and subsidies to reduce costs, encouraging large non-profit health and educational institutions to provide health services to Medford residents, and bringing social service organizations into the city instead of relying on regional organizations outside of the city.
- Supporting Unions and Workers – We commit to supporting local labor unions, keeping public jobs public by rejecting outsourcing and private contractors whenever possible, being the first city in Massachusetts to enter the state Paid Family and Medical Leave program for city and school employees, educating the public on workers’ rights, and advocating for new collective bargaining units for public and private sector workers.
- Continued Pandemic Response and Resiliency – We will support residents and local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Medford needs increased rental and mortgage assistance for tenants and landlords, and to continue its successful practices like outdoor dining. The Board of Health and Health Department needs more funding to prepare for future public health emergencies and keep fighting the pandemic by providing zero-cost access to COVID vaccines and treatments.
Housing Affordability and Stability
The housing shortage and cost crisis is pushing residents of all incomes to move out of Medford and further away from our community and all of its benefits. Lower-income and working class residents risk being priced out entirely or have already left. Medford must welcome more new neighbors of every income level while actively minimizing displacement by building new housing, maximizing resident access to subsidized housing and housing assistance, and implementing housing stability protections. Local elected officials must demand that state lawmakers repeal state laws that disempower Medford and prohibit policies that would help produce more subsidized and mixed-income housing, stabilize rents, and protect tenants and small property owners.
- Delivering Subsidized Affordable Housing – We commit to policies that match housing costs to a broad spectrum of incomes in Medford by rethinking income restrictions to expand access to housing affordability to more residents; enacting an Affordable Housing Overlay; funding the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund using linkage fees, transfer fees, ARPA funds, CPA funds, and other funding sources; supporting denser redevelopment of public housing; and establishing a unified, city-wide affordable housing waitlist to streamline the application process. We will seek to cultivate affordable housing opportunities, including a Community Land Trust, tenant-owned housing, social housing, ground leases, co-housing, and housing co-ops.
- Housing Stability and Preventing Displacement – We commit to the creation of an Office of Housing Stability to coordinate the efforts of existing city staff and departments and better protect residents, supporting tenant unions and reducing the power imbalance between renters and landlords, ensuring clear notification of and protection of tenant’s rights, improving health and safety code enforcement, and increasing city outreach to the most vulnerable and housing-insecure residents. We recognize tenants’ needs for stability and will initiate a process to create a locally-focused Medford rent stabilization policy to prevent sudden and unreasonable rent increases while expanding housing supply and the inventory of available rental units.
- City Planning for A More Affordable, Inclusive Future – We commit to support city planning work that is grounded in community needs and advances the goals of the Medford Comprehensive Plan, Housing Production Plan, and Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The City must encourage mixed-use, walkable, complete neighborhoods and construction of new housing that is not rented or sold at high prices as “luxury” housing. We will work with city planners to collect more data on Medford’s housing stock, build on previous zoning reforms, allowing more new housing and businesses without mandating new parking, and address the racist impacts of zoning in our region; update zoning so every neighborhood can grow moderately taller, denser, and more mixed-use than it is today; ensure that Medford complies with the state MBTA Communities zoning law; and hold Tufts University and other large nonprofits accountable to institutional master plans.
- Transparent Permitting and Project Approval – We commit to making information on ongoing development projects more transparent by requiring that city staff post regularly-updated active project lists and maps, permit approval and violations data, and a clear flow chart of the permitting process on the city website and at City Hall. City planning staff and the City Council must broaden outreach to community members to determine development priorities and pass a Community Benefits Ordinance to provide clear expectations for residents and developers about benefits the city wants to see from new projects. The city must establish neighborhood plans, especially near the new Green Line Extension stations, that advance citywide goals without creating arbitrary, inconsistent approval processes.