headshot of candidate

Craig Kelley

Currently
City Councilor

More about Craig Kelley

First elected to the council in the 2005 election, Craig Kelley is serving his 6th term. He has lived in Cambridge since 1993.

Craig Kelley served in the marines from 1984-1989, and was a contractor for US Army Reserves for nearly 20 years as an environmental compliance specialist.

This year, he both refused any money he considered to be from a special interest and turned down questionnaires from groups that could not or would not disclose their own sources of funding - see his post.

Incumbent
Yes
Education
BA from University of Rochester; JD from Boston College; Master's from Harvard's Kennedy School
Age
57 years, 1 month
Born in 1962
Voter Registration
June 9, 1993

Where does Craig live?

Address
Owns at 6 Saint Gerard Terrace. #2 Cambridge, MA 02140
Valued at approx. $1,030,000
Last sold Oct. 12, 1995 for $225,000
inflation adjusted approx. $361,316

Endorsements

Q&A

Interviews with the candidate

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Long form responses about equality and housing

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Long form responses about equality and housing

ABC Candidate 2019 Survey

A Better Cambridge is a local housing/growth-and-development focused group. They used their questionnaire to determine their endorsements.

ABC Candidate 2019 Survey

A Better Cambridge is a local housing/growth-and-development focused group. They used their questionnaire to determine their endorsements.

Vision Zero Coalition 2019

Asking candidates about how to reduce Cambridge to zero fatalities or serious injuries on the road

Vision Zero Coalition 2019

Asking candidates about how to reduce Cambridge to zero fatalities or serious injuries on the road

Quotes

We want to make short term rentals in Cambridge safe, legal, and fair. But it's a huge issue! ... We wanted to make sure we incorporated as many as opinions as possible.

Craig Kelley, Backyard Cambridge Podcast

It’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public. We are struggling to figure out what that means... It’s not something most of us want to criminalize.

Craig Kelley, Profile in The Crimson

We don't want to be holding on to 1987 and thinking, "if only we could turn the clock back."

Press

Articles about the candidate

The Harvard Crimson Craig Kelley (Profile)

It’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public. We are struggling to figure out what that means, because people are smoking it all over, and I’m regularly having people complain to me that they can’t go anywhere without someone lighting up near them and making the air less enjoyable to breathe. It’s not something most of us want to criminalize. It’s not something the police want to get stuck enforcing, and the optics of a lot of police enforcement stuff can be really, really bad; the cops don’t want to be arresting someone for smoking marijuana without the general public saying that’s what they want. I don’t think the general public’s there.

Nov. 1, 2017 — Sanjana Narayanan
The Harvard Crimson Craig Kelley (Profile)

It’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public. We are struggling to figure out what that means, because people are smoking it all over, and I’m regularly having people complain to me that they can’t go anywhere without someone lighting up near them and making the air less enjoyable to breathe. It’s not something most of us want to criminalize. It’s not something the police want to get stuck enforcing, and the optics of a lot of police enforcement stuff can be really, really bad; the cops don’t want to be arresting someone for smoking marijuana without the general public saying that’s what they want. I don’t think the general public’s there.

Nov. 1, 2017 — Sanjana Narayanan
Backyard Cambridge (Podcast) Episode 3: Who are the incumbents?

I've got scores of email lists.

---

I bike everywhere and I have a very recognizable bike, so people will literally flag me down.

Oct. 24, 2017 — Amira Valliani
Backyard Cambridge (Podcast) Episode 3: Who are the incumbents?

I've got scores of email lists.

---

I bike everywhere and I have a very recognizable bike, so people will literally flag me down.

Oct. 24, 2017 — Amira Valliani
Scout Cambridge City Council Candidate Profiles, Group 1 of 5

What are three specific new programs or changes you would make if elected?

Working with my Council peers, I would push to:

A. Create a more collaborate and collegial relationship between councilors, encouraging risk taking among members of the body and approaching debate on public policy issues as an opportunity to experiment with partners you trust even when you disagree with each other.

Oct. 2, 2017 — Reena Karasin
Scout Cambridge City Council Candidate Profiles, Group 1 of 5

What are three specific new programs or changes you would make if elected?

Working with my Council peers, I would push to:

A. Create a more collaborate and collegial relationship between councilors, encouraging risk taking among members of the body and approaching debate on public policy issues as an opportunity to experiment with partners you trust even when you disagree with each other.

Oct. 2, 2017 — Reena Karasin
Wicked Local Cambridge Councilors look to address aggressive turkeys in Cambridge

Five years ago, Councilor Craig Kelley said wild turkeys “were sort of a novelty” in Cambridge.

Since then, they have become a problem.

“There’s a girl at church on Sunday who was telling me how she got chased,” Kelley said. “Her and her dog got chased by a wild turkey.”

Kelley and his fellow councilors voted Monday night to have City Manager Louis DePasquale work with the director of the Animal Commission to review policies regarding urban wildlife management, develop a plan responding to the reintroduction of native animals to the city, and to provide guidance to residents who are unsure of how to deal with the influx of wild turkeys and other animals.

Sept. 19, 2017 — Adam Sennott
Wicked Local Cambridge Councilors look to address aggressive turkeys in Cambridge

Five years ago, Councilor Craig Kelley said wild turkeys “were sort of a novelty” in Cambridge.

Since then, they have become a problem.

“There’s a girl at church on Sunday who was telling me how she got chased,” Kelley said. “Her and her dog got chased by a wild turkey.”

Kelley and his fellow councilors voted Monday night to have City Manager Louis DePasquale work with the director of the Animal Commission to review policies regarding urban wildlife management, develop a plan responding to the reintroduction of native animals to the city, and to provide guidance to residents who are unsure of how to deal with the influx of wild turkeys and other animals.

Sept. 19, 2017 — Adam Sennott
The Boston Globe A year of debate on Airbnb will come to a head in Cambridge

Currently on Airbnb alone there are more than 1,600 active rentals in Cambridge, according to the research site Airdna. City rules require Cambridge homeowners to get permission to rent for less than a month, but few have secured such permits, said Craig Kelley, the city councilor who has been leading the regulatory push.

The ordinance, Kelley said, would remove a legal cloud that has hovered over Internet-based rental services even as their popularity has exploded.

“We wanted to legalize short-term rentals, which are a great option for so many people,” said Kelley, “and we wanted to regulate, to make sure it’s . . . safe, legal, and fair.”

...

But without a state law, Kelley said, Cambridge can’t tax short-term-rentals.

Aug. 6, 2017 — Andy Rosen
The Boston Globe A year of debate on Airbnb will come to a head in Cambridge

Currently on Airbnb alone there are more than 1,600 active rentals in Cambridge, according to the research site Airdna. City rules require Cambridge homeowners to get permission to rent for less than a month, but few have secured such permits, said Craig Kelley, the city councilor who has been leading the regulatory push.

The ordinance, Kelley said, would remove a legal cloud that has hovered over Internet-based rental services even as their popularity has exploded.

“We wanted to legalize short-term rentals, which are a great option for so many people,” said Kelley, “and we wanted to regulate, to make sure it’s . . . safe, legal, and fair.”

...

But without a state law, Kelley said, Cambridge can’t tax short-term-rentals.

Aug. 6, 2017 — Andy Rosen
Wicked Local Cambridge Short-term housing rentals targeted for taxes and regulations in Massachusetts

“The Internet has really changed how business gets done, where it gets done and how it impacts other businesses. The world’s changing really quickly,” said Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley, who’s advocating for the city to adopt a policy to regulate short-term rentals. “We’re figuring out how government can best help in these cases, not to put a brake on the wheel of progress, but how to prevent things from getting out of control.”

...

While cities and towns can independently enact zoning and land-use regulations, they cannot collect new taxes without the Legislature’s approval.

May 26, 2017 — Gerry Tuoti
Wicked Local Cambridge Short-term housing rentals targeted for taxes and regulations in Massachusetts

“The Internet has really changed how business gets done, where it gets done and how it impacts other businesses. The world’s changing really quickly,” said Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley, who’s advocating for the city to adopt a policy to regulate short-term rentals. “We’re figuring out how government can best help in these cases, not to put a brake on the wheel of progress, but how to prevent things from getting out of control.”

...

While cities and towns can independently enact zoning and land-use regulations, they cannot collect new taxes without the Legislature’s approval.

May 26, 2017 — Gerry Tuoti
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge to update surveillance law as technologies advance

“It’s clear that the world is changing around us. It’s clear that technology is making surveillance or security devices, depending on which side of the fence you fall, smaller, cheaper, more powerful, [and] more ubiquitous,” Kelley said. “I think the larger question becomes, what do we owe our citizens, to our students, to whoever, to train them to be digitally safe in a world where stuff is just recorded all the time.”

April 26, 2017 — Adam Sennott
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge to update surveillance law as technologies advance

“It’s clear that the world is changing around us. It’s clear that technology is making surveillance or security devices, depending on which side of the fence you fall, smaller, cheaper, more powerful, [and] more ubiquitous,” Kelley said. “I think the larger question becomes, what do we owe our citizens, to our students, to whoever, to train them to be digitally safe in a world where stuff is just recorded all the time.”

April 26, 2017 — Adam Sennott
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge City Manager Unveils $600 Million Budget Proposal

Also discussed was a proposal allowing MIT researchers to install test sensors along Massachusetts Ave. for the purpose of “observing the behavior of pedestrians, cyclist, and drivers...reporting on parking occupancy/availability, and measuring air quality.”

Councillors were split over the decision to support the test. Councillors Nadeem A. Mazen and Jan Devereux spoke out in support of the sensors as a state of the art way to improve the city with the help of a local entity; McGovern and City Councillor Craig A. Kelley said that Councillors were not provided information on the sensors in a timely matter and that process needed to be established.

April 25, 2017 — Nicholas Sundberg
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge City Manager Unveils $600 Million Budget Proposal

Also discussed was a proposal allowing MIT researchers to install test sensors along Massachusetts Ave. for the purpose of “observing the behavior of pedestrians, cyclist, and drivers...reporting on parking occupancy/availability, and measuring air quality.”

Councillors were split over the decision to support the test. Councillors Nadeem A. Mazen and Jan Devereux spoke out in support of the sensors as a state of the art way to improve the city with the help of a local entity; McGovern and City Councillor Craig A. Kelley said that Councillors were not provided information on the sensors in a timely matter and that process needed to be established.

April 25, 2017 — Nicholas Sundberg
The Boston Globe Cambridge proposes Airbnb-type rentals be owner-occupied

"Cambridge is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis," said City Councilor Craig A. Kelley, who drafted the proposal. “Speculating on the short-term market does affect us. Figuring out how to allow short-term rentals to thrive, but at the same time not overwhelm our housing stock, has been a challenge."

....

Kelley acknowledges that it is hard to quantify how many of Cambridge’s short-term rentals are listings by absentee investors because there is no hard data.

March 6, 2017 — Katheleen Conti
The Boston Globe Cambridge proposes Airbnb-type rentals be owner-occupied

"Cambridge is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis," said City Councilor Craig A. Kelley, who drafted the proposal. “Speculating on the short-term market does affect us. Figuring out how to allow short-term rentals to thrive, but at the same time not overwhelm our housing stock, has been a challenge."

....

Kelley acknowledges that it is hard to quantify how many of Cambridge’s short-term rentals are listings by absentee investors because there is no hard data.

March 6, 2017 — Katheleen Conti
Cambridge Day Medical marijuana dispensary zoning OK’d with recreational pot looming as a concern

Councillor Craig Kelley contributed another of the three votes against the ordinance. “This isn’t perfect, and in its imperfections, it would be creating property rights,” he said. “Whoever comes down the pike, we can’t then go back and say, ‘Hey, we got it wrong last year or we got it wrong the year before, you can’t do this anymore.’”

Feb. 7, 2017 — Chloe Reichel
Cambridge Day Medical marijuana dispensary zoning OK’d with recreational pot looming as a concern

Councillor Craig Kelley contributed another of the three votes against the ordinance. “This isn’t perfect, and in its imperfections, it would be creating property rights,” he said. “Whoever comes down the pike, we can’t then go back and say, ‘Hey, we got it wrong last year or we got it wrong the year before, you can’t do this anymore.’”

Feb. 7, 2017 — Chloe Reichel
Wicked Local Cambridge ‘Safe Streets Now:’ Cambridge City Council endorses safety measures following fatal bike crash

Despite strong support among speakers at the council meeting for fast action on improving bike safety, council members sounded a note of caution about how fast the city could move.

“This is a much more complicated discussion than just ‘do it tomorrow,’” Kelley said.

Building safer bike infrastructure will involve many pieces, he said, and warned that in altering roads, traffic could inadvertently be diverted to other streets, causing new issues.

Oct. 9, 2016 — Joanna Duffy
Wicked Local Cambridge ‘Safe Streets Now:’ Cambridge City Council endorses safety measures following fatal bike crash

Despite strong support among speakers at the council meeting for fast action on improving bike safety, council members sounded a note of caution about how fast the city could move.

“This is a much more complicated discussion than just ‘do it tomorrow,’” Kelley said.

Building safer bike infrastructure will involve many pieces, he said, and warned that in altering roads, traffic could inadvertently be diverted to other streets, causing new issues.

Oct. 9, 2016 — Joanna Duffy
Wicked Local Cambridge How many marijuana dispensaries does Cambridge need?

In reference to Commonwealth Alternative Care’s proposal, Councilor Craig Kelley said at some point, instead of continuing to do “one-up medical marijuana dispensary zoning provisions,” the council should visit the entire issue of zoning. Commonwealth Alternative Care’s proposal is the second for that area, Kelley said, and he suspects he’ll see more pop up throughout Cambridge.

“I want us to think about what the right number is for these dispensaries, if there is a right number,” Kelley said.

Aug. 3, 2016 — Natalie Handy
Wicked Local Cambridge How many marijuana dispensaries does Cambridge need?

In reference to Commonwealth Alternative Care’s proposal, Councilor Craig Kelley said at some point, instead of continuing to do “one-up medical marijuana dispensary zoning provisions,” the council should visit the entire issue of zoning. Commonwealth Alternative Care’s proposal is the second for that area, Kelley said, and he suspects he’ll see more pop up throughout Cambridge.

“I want us to think about what the right number is for these dispensaries, if there is a right number,” Kelley said.

Aug. 3, 2016 — Natalie Handy
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge mulls Airbnb regulations as short-term rentals soar

According to Councilor Craig Kelley, Cambridge is a high-value place, making it “super attractive” for short-term rentals. Through the research of Kelley’s aide, Wil Durbin, it was discovered Cambridge has the highest densities of Airbnb’s around Boston. At some point, this has an impact on other things, Kelley said.

...

However, Kelley emphasized they are in no way trying to drive Airbnb out of Cambridge. To start the process of evaluating its effect in the area, joint discussions of the Housing Committee, chaired by Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, and the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Kelley, will be held. They want to hear from as many people as possible on the issue before developing proposed regulation, Kelley said. After dual committee meetings, they would then send a proposal ordinance to the ordinance committee, and make sure they aren’t transgressing their authority as a city.

June 30, 2016 — Natalie Handy
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge mulls Airbnb regulations as short-term rentals soar

According to Councilor Craig Kelley, Cambridge is a high-value place, making it “super attractive” for short-term rentals. Through the research of Kelley’s aide, Wil Durbin, it was discovered Cambridge has the highest densities of Airbnb’s around Boston. At some point, this has an impact on other things, Kelley said.

...

However, Kelley emphasized they are in no way trying to drive Airbnb out of Cambridge. To start the process of evaluating its effect in the area, joint discussions of the Housing Committee, chaired by Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, and the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Kelley, will be held. They want to hear from as many people as possible on the issue before developing proposed regulation, Kelley said. After dual committee meetings, they would then send a proposal ordinance to the ordinance committee, and make sure they aren’t transgressing their authority as a city.

June 30, 2016 — Natalie Handy
The Harvard Crimson City Council Opposes Surveillance Cameras

Councillor Craig A. Kelley said that the Council should have been more vigilant in monitoring Homeland Security efforts in the city.

Kelley said that “we the council should have known to press more aggressively” when asking the City Manager about Homeland Security funding.

Feb. 3, 2009 — Danella Debel, Sarah Howland
The Harvard Crimson City Council Opposes Surveillance Cameras

Councillor Craig A. Kelley said that the Council should have been more vigilant in monitoring Homeland Security efforts in the city.

Kelley said that “we the council should have known to press more aggressively” when asking the City Manager about Homeland Security funding.

Feb. 3, 2009 — Danella Debel, Sarah Howland
The Harvard Crimson Rebels With a Cause

“I want my kid, at the age of 16, to be able to get on the T with a bunch of his friends and go and have dinner in the North End,” Kelley says. “That’s not the way you grow up in Wellesley—I probably didn’t meet a black person until I got to college.”

...

Kelley faces an uphill battle as he tries to bring his colleagues on board. He cast the only vote against the city’s budget, which included the allocation of funds for the schools.

June 7, 2006 — Paras Bhayani
The Harvard Crimson Rebels With a Cause

“I want my kid, at the age of 16, to be able to get on the T with a bunch of his friends and go and have dinner in the North End,” Kelley says. “That’s not the way you grow up in Wellesley—I probably didn’t meet a black person until I got to college.”

...

Kelley faces an uphill battle as he tries to bring his colleagues on board. He cast the only vote against the city’s budget, which included the allocation of funds for the schools.

June 7, 2006 — Paras Bhayani

Campaign finance

How much the candidate has raised and spent

$10,256.04
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2019
TBD
Raised in 2019
TBD
Spent in 2019