headshot of candidate

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler

He/Him

Currently
Project Coordinator
Election history
served 1 term starting 2020

More about Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler has lived in Cambridge since 2017 and previously served 1 term on the city council, having been elected in 2019. Prior to that experience, he had been politically active for several years, including working with Our Revolution Cambridge and the Democratic Socialists of America, and being a field and operations manager for a mayoral campaign in New Haven, Connecticut.

Before moving to Cambridge, he worked at consultancy groups in Portland, Maine and the New York City area. After narrowly losing a seat on the council in 2021, he's been working for the Working Families Party.

Jivan also speaks three languages.

Incumbent
No
Education
  • BA, College of the Atlantic
Age
31 years, 11 months
Born in 1992
Voting
Reg. March 28, 2018
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2019 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2016 General
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2012 General

Where Jivan Lives

Address
Rents at 187 Brookline Street Apt 3

Jivan on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
2072 Mass Ave
AHO #2
AHO #1
10% Budget for Housing
NCD Reform

In general, Jivan is a very strong proponent of subsidized, public, affordable housing. Likewise, he's spoken (and voted) in favor of stronger tenant protections, funding for public housing, rent control, tenant right to purchase, and more - even if it means higher taxes.

His record on market-rate housing is less "yes" and more "maybe, it depends". He is the only socialist candidate this cycle to accept (and get) an endorsement from A Better Cambridge.

The triple-decker I live in, which was built several decades ago, is currently illegal to build in much of the city.

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, ABC Survey 2023

Creating more affordable housing in Cambridge is not just a climate issue but an economic, racial equity, and labor issue.

Right now, many working-class people spend hours each week commuting to and from their jobs in Cambridge because they cannot afford to live here. Meanwhile, thousands of Cambridge residents have been priced out of their homes and displaced to other communities, but continue commuting here for work. That means greater emissions produced by people to get to Cambridge, but it also means workers are spending more time stuck in traffic and less time with their families or getting to doctor’s appointments.

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, ABC Survey 2023

... a market-only approach to housing affordability will not solve Cambridge’s housing crisis in the same way the market hasn’t met the basic human needs like education or healthcare—we need to combine ending exclusionary zoning with a robust public response in terms of public funding, tenant protections like rent control, tenant opportunity to purchase, right to counsel, and community responses like CDCs and Community Land Trusts.

Jivan on Other Issues

Proposal Supported?
Sa/Su Car-free Mem Drive
CSO #2
CSO #1

Endorsements for Jivan

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Cambridge Residents Alliance on Sept. 30, 2023
A Better Cambridge on Sept. 15, 2023
Cambridge Bicycle Safety on Sept. 23, 2023
Our Revolution Cambridge on Sept. 17, 2023
Run for Something this cycle
Massachusetts Sierra Club this cycle
Greater Boston Labor Council this cycle
Boston DSA this cycle
UAW Region 9A (includes Harvard Grad Student Union) this cycle

Q&A

Interviews with Jivan

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

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

Quotes by or about Jivan

I’m the son of a woman who grew up on a farm in Iowa and a man who grew up in the Portuguese colony of Goa in India. As result, I speak Portuguese, am conversational in Spanish, and have eaten a lot of sweet corn with butter.

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler

Given all the uncertainty in our country today, I can see how it would be tempting to think the request to double the annual funding to construct affordable housing, preserve our tree canopy, and increase preschool enrollment-might seem controversial. I can also imagine how it might seem wise to save more for a rainy day-especially if I was a government official close to the power but that close to the pain, to paraphrase our Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

As a Cambridge resident and tenant, I'm here tonight to make sure the city realizes today is that rainy day. When the typical one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge rents for $2,000 a month and most tenants are spending more than 50% of their income on rent - it is pouring. When thousands of our residents have been displaced because they couldn't afford to live in Cambridge - like Carole Perrault who spoke at a City Council meeting not long ago - it is pouring. And for the tenants I organize with whose apartments are flooding and whose landlords are unresponsive because they know they can easily find another renter this isn't even a metaphor - it is literally pouring.

Press

Articles about or by Jivan

Cambridge Day Zondervan won’t run for a fourth council term, ensuring at least three new Cambridge leaders

At least 10 challengers have identified themselves as running for a council seat, and three among them are allies or aligned with Zondervan’s principles of climate concern, affordable-housing density, transit prioritization and a wish to see armed police performing fewer functions: former councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, who served on the council 2020-2021...

July 9, 2023 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Zondervan won’t run for a fourth council term, ensuring at least three new Cambridge leaders

At least 10 challengers have identified themselves as running for a council seat, and three among them are allies or aligned with Zondervan’s principles of climate concern, affordable-housing density, transit prioritization and a wish to see armed police performing fewer functions: former councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, who served on the council 2020-2021...

July 9, 2023 — Marc Levy
The Harvard Crimson Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler Launches Campaign for Cambridge City Council

Housing affordability remains a priority for Sobrinho-Wheeler, and his platform also calls for increases to tenant protections, including ending tenant-paid broker’s fees and establishing a rent control ordinance.

June 13, 2023 — Julian J. Giordano
The Harvard Crimson Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler Launches Campaign for Cambridge City Council

Housing affordability remains a priority for Sobrinho-Wheeler, and his platform also calls for increases to tenant protections, including ending tenant-paid broker’s fees and establishing a rent control ordinance.

June 13, 2023 — Julian J. Giordano
The Harvard Crimson Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler Seeks Second Term, Prioritizing Housing, Public Transit, and Climate

"One of the first things I did after I was elected in 2019 was stand with the Harvard graduate students at HGSU-UAW union when they were on strike out in the Yard in the snow," he said. "I spoke to the folks there in support of the efforts for real recourse, gearing up on the contract negotiations to strike again this year."

Oct. 25, 2021 — Marina Qu, Sophia C. Scott
The Harvard Crimson Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler Seeks Second Term, Prioritizing Housing, Public Transit, and Climate

"One of the first things I did after I was elected in 2019 was stand with the Harvard graduate students at HGSU-UAW union when they were on strike out in the Yard in the snow," he said. "I spoke to the folks there in support of the efforts for real recourse, gearing up on the contract negotiations to strike again this year."

Oct. 25, 2021 — Marina Qu, Sophia C. Scott
Wicked Local Cambridge ELECTION 2021: Cambridge City Council candidate statements

The pandemic has dominated so much of these past two years, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to push for free COVID testing for all residents and equity in recovery assistance. I’ve also sponsored and collaborated on measures to create hundreds of new affordable homes in Cambridge, plans to make it easier and safer to get around the city, strengthened protections for tenants facing displacement and implementing a municipal broadband alternative to Comcast’s monopoly on internet in the city.

Oct. 21, 2021 — Community Content
Wicked Local Cambridge ELECTION 2021: Cambridge City Council candidate statements

The pandemic has dominated so much of these past two years, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to push for free COVID testing for all residents and equity in recovery assistance. I’ve also sponsored and collaborated on measures to create hundreds of new affordable homes in Cambridge, plans to make it easier and safer to get around the city, strengthened protections for tenants facing displacement and implementing a municipal broadband alternative to Comcast’s monopoly on internet in the city.

Oct. 21, 2021 — Community Content
The Harvard Crimson Incumbent City Council Candidates Focus on Housing Crisis, Voter Engagement in Reelection Campaigns

"We have some of the most expensive housing in the country in Cambridge," Sobrinho-Wheeler said. "It’s gotten really out of control in the past couple of decades especially."

Oct. 21, 2021 — Sarah Girma, Jennifer L. Powley
The Harvard Crimson Incumbent City Council Candidates Focus on Housing Crisis, Voter Engagement in Reelection Campaigns

"We have some of the most expensive housing in the country in Cambridge," Sobrinho-Wheeler said. "It’s gotten really out of control in the past couple of decades especially."

Oct. 21, 2021 — Sarah Girma, Jennifer L. Powley
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge City Council Candidates Debate Climate Change Approach at Forum

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler argued that his proposal to eliminate public transportation fares will help reduce emissions in the city.

"Our campaign has the ambitious goal of making subways and buses fare free by 2025," Sobrinho-Wheeler said. This initiative is motivated "to reduce car emissions, and because working class neighborhoods, communities of color depend on buses and subways."

Sept. 26, 2019 — Declan J. Knieriem, Michelle G. Kurilla
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge City Council Candidates Debate Climate Change Approach at Forum

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler argued that his proposal to eliminate public transportation fares will help reduce emissions in the city.

"Our campaign has the ambitious goal of making subways and buses fare free by 2025," Sobrinho-Wheeler said. This initiative is motivated "to reduce car emissions, and because working class neighborhoods, communities of color depend on buses and subways."

Sept. 26, 2019 — Declan J. Knieriem, Michelle G. Kurilla

Campaign finance

How much Jivan has raised and spent

$4,607
Current balance
$761
Balance at the start of 2023
$24,205
Raised in 2023
$4750.00 from self included
$20,359
Spent in 2023