headshot of candidate

Burhan Azeem

He/Him

Currently
City Councillor
Election history
1st term on council

More about Burhan Azeem

Burhan Azeem's family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when he was a kid. They moved several times, and he's spoken about how, as a brown Muslim immigrant living in the USA after 9-11, Cambridge was the first place he felt welcome.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from MIT and speaks three languages. He has studied sustainability and is passionate about mitigating climate change and its impacts. Professionally, before being elected to the council, he was an engineer.

In addition to canvassing, he has helped residents register to vote and has also been a volunteer EMT. A renter, he served on the board of A Better Cambridge, and founded a housing nonprofit called Abundant Housing Massachusetts.

Incumbent
Yes
Education
  • BS, MIT
Age
27 years, 5 months
Born in Pakistan in 1997
Voting
Reg. Oct. 14, 2015
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2019 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2017 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2016 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2016 General

Where Burhan Lives

Address
Rents at 96 Berkshire Street, #3

Burhan on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
2072 Mass Ave
AHO #2
AHO #1
+$20mil Housing Trust
10% Budget for Housing
NCD Reform

Burhan's housing stance can broadly be described as "yes". In his first term, he was a strong supporter of expanding the Affordable Housing Overlay, loosening the restrictions places on non-profit built, subsidized, income-restricted housing developers. He also supported removing required parking mandates, maintaining that they drive up the cost of housing.

He's also spoken and written about ending market-rate apartment bans, ensuring tenant right-to-council, increasing funding for the city's Office of Housing Liaison, and rent stabilization.

Housing policy is climate policy.

Burhan Azeem

To productively address our housing crisis we need to address supply, subsidy, and stability. This means that we need to build more housing, provide more resources to help people afford housing, and strengthen protections for residents.

Burhan Azeem, ABC Survey 2023

I started working on just legalizing triple deckers this term and it was really hard. I'm hoping that we can do it next term but 4-5 story buildings are going to be tough. I'd 100% support it but my colleagues are not there yet.

Burhan on Other Issues

Proposal Supported?
BEUD(ER)O
Sa/Su Car-free Mem Drive
Delay Mass Ave Bike Lanes
Remove Wires Before Bike Lane
Release Use-of-Force Names
Automated/Unarmed Traffic Enforcement
HEART Funding
No Parking Min.

Endorsements for Burhan

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Massachusetts Sierra Club this cycle
Cambridge Bicycle Safety on Sept. 23, 2023
A Better Cambridge on Sept. 15, 2023
Greater Boston Labor Council this cycle
UAW Region 9A (includes Harvard Grad Student Union) this cycle

Q&A

Interviews with Burhan

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2023

They asked candidates to sign a pledge, which starts: "I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes..."

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2023

They asked candidates to sign a pledge, which starts: "I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes..."

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Distribution of funds, non-profits and their position in Cambridge

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Distribution of funds, non-profits and their position in Cambridge

Reddit AMA

Public internet forum, anything goes

Reddit AMA

Public internet forum, anything goes

Reddit AMA

Public internet forum, anything goes

Reddit AMA

Public internet forum, anything goes

Quotes by or about Burhan

It is because of pure luck and generosity that I am here – and I will never forget that. I have worked for my community every way I can.

Burhan Azeem, Kickoff, 2021

There’s a well-documented problem of public meetings and boards being unrepresentative–BU professors Katherine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer, and David Glick have conducted extensive research on this across Massachusetts municipalities.

Press

Articles about or by Burhan

The Harvard Crimson In Reelection Bid, Cambridge’s Youngest Councilor Burhan Azeem Is Confident He’s Won Over His Skeptics

In Azeem’s first month on the job, he moved to revive a policy order ending all minimum parking requirements for housing developments — ultimately leading to its passage in October 2022. Now, housing developments are no longer mandated to include a certain number of parking spaces, which Azeem says paved the way for more housing and decreased rents.

Oct. 25, 2023 — Samuel P. Goldston
The Harvard Crimson In Reelection Bid, Cambridge’s Youngest Councilor Burhan Azeem Is Confident He’s Won Over His Skeptics

In Azeem’s first month on the job, he moved to revive a policy order ending all minimum parking requirements for housing developments — ultimately leading to its passage in October 2022. Now, housing developments are no longer mandated to include a certain number of parking spaces, which Azeem says paved the way for more housing and decreased rents.

Oct. 25, 2023 — Samuel P. Goldston
Boston Globe In Cambridge, a battle over affordable housing revives longstanding political tensions

“This is a moral issue,” said City Councilor Burhan Azeem, who proposed the amendments. “I understand that tall buildings are something that people are sensitive to, but this comes down to which should we care more about. How tall a building is? Or the people who don’t have stable housing?”

Oct. 15, 2023 — Andrew Brinker
Boston Globe In Cambridge, a battle over affordable housing revives longstanding political tensions

“This is a moral issue,” said City Councilor Burhan Azeem, who proposed the amendments. “I understand that tall buildings are something that people are sensitive to, but this comes down to which should we care more about. How tall a building is? Or the people who don’t have stable housing?”

Oct. 15, 2023 — Andrew Brinker
Cambridge Day Statements by five Cambridge city councillors on the attack on Israel

Oct. 13, 2023 — E. Denise Simmons, Patty Nolan, Paul Toner, Burhan Azeem, Marc McGovern
Cambridge Day Statements by five Cambridge city councillors on the attack on Israel

Oct. 13, 2023 — E. Denise Simmons, Patty Nolan, Paul Toner, Burhan Azeem, Marc McGovern
The Harvard Crimson Challenger Candidates Propose Housing Plans, Government Reform in Bid for City Council

"There’s also a huge difference in not only what we want to do, but how we plan to get there," [Burhan Azeem] said. "A lot of candidates care about climate change, but our plans to address climate change are really different, and I think that that has pretty big implications."

Oct. 27, 2021
The Harvard Crimson Challenger Candidates Propose Housing Plans, Government Reform in Bid for City Council

"There’s also a huge difference in not only what we want to do, but how we plan to get there," [Burhan Azeem] said. "A lot of candidates care about climate change, but our plans to address climate change are really different, and I think that that has pretty big implications."

Oct. 27, 2021

Campaign finance

How much Burhan has raised and spent

$8,188
Current balance
$1,557
Balance at the start of 2023
$37,585
Raised in 2023
$2000.00 from self included
$30,955
Spent in 2023