headshot of candidate

Marc McGovern

Currently
City Councilor

More about Marc McGovern

Born and raised in Cambridge, Marc McGovern is currently serving his 2nd term as a city councillor.

Previously, he served on the school committee for 4 terms. He was first elected to that office in 2003, and re-elected in 2007, 2009, and 2011. He is also active in the Cambridge City Democratic Committee.

Outside of politics, he is a trained social worker, and continues to work part-time as the Clinical Support Social Worker for Farr Academy, a Cambridge school for students grades 7-12 with a range of emotional and learning problems.

Incumbent
Yes
Education
UMass - Boston; Masters of Social Work from Simons
Age
50 years, 10 months
Born in Cambridge in 1968
Voter Registration
Sept. 30, 1994

Where does Marc live?

Address
Lives at 17 Pleasant Street

Endorsements

Q&A

Interviews with the candidate

Green Cambridge

Sustainability and environmental health for all

Green Cambridge

Sustainability and environmental health for all

Harvard Square Neighborhood Association

Harvard Square and all things about it

Harvard Square Neighborhood Association

Harvard Square and all things about it

The Whistler

Introduction to the Candidates

The Whistler

Introduction to the Candidates

Vision Zero Coalition

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

Vision Zero Coalition

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

Cambridge Bike Safety 2017

Supports safe biking infrastructure for all ages and abilities. Asked Candidates for statement on CBS's platform.

Cambridge Bike Safety 2017

Supports safe biking infrastructure for all ages and abilities. Asked Candidates for statement on CBS's platform.

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Long form responses about equality and housing

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Long form responses about equality and housing

Our Revolution 2019

Our revolution supports a new generation of progressive leaders across the US.

Our Revolution 2019

Our revolution supports a new generation of progressive leaders across the US.

ABC Candidate 2017 Survey

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

ABC Candidate 2017 Survey

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

CRA Candidate Questionnaire

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

CRA Candidate Questionnaire

CRA 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.

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

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2019

A pledge to rapidly implement protected bicycle lanes

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2019

A pledge to rapidly implement protected bicycle lanes

Quotes

In the midst of a housing crisis, how could I ever vote for shadows and height over the housing needs of the people of this city?

Marc McGovern, ABC Candidate Questionnaire

I am the only city councillor who has filed major policy initiatives with every other member of the city council. I work with everybody.

Marc McGovern, Multiple, including our "Differences" Interview

I live across the street from the needle exchange program in Cambridge. They came in in 1994; my family's been there a lot longer than that. We welcomed them. ...

In my dream of my 7-year-old twins getting off the school bus to come home from school, did it include walking past active heroine users waiting for clean needles? No, that's not how I envisioned my kids' childhood. But you know what? It's a value we believe in.

Press

Articles about the candidate

The Boston Globe Cambridge passes ‘first-of-its-kind’ law to add protected bike lanes when reconstructing roads

The ordinance was a collaborative effort between City Manager Louis A. DePasquale’s office, Mayor Marc McGovern’s office, and members of Cambridge Bicycle Safety.

April 9, 2019 — Steve Annear
The Boston Globe Cambridge passes ‘first-of-its-kind’ law to add protected bike lanes when reconstructing roads

The ordinance was a collaborative effort between City Manager Louis A. DePasquale’s office, Mayor Marc McGovern’s office, and members of Cambridge Bicycle Safety.

April 9, 2019 — Steve Annear
The Boston Globe Cambridge officials want to add gender-neutral option to birth certificates

A policy order introduced by Mayor Marc McGovern this month, and cosponsored by several city councilors, asks the city solicitor to draft a home-rule petition to send to the state Legislature that would allow people to amend their birth certificates and choose “X” as a gender option.

Jan. 7, 2019 — Steve Annear
The Boston Globe Cambridge officials want to add gender-neutral option to birth certificates

A policy order introduced by Mayor Marc McGovern this month, and cosponsored by several city councilors, asks the city solicitor to draft a home-rule petition to send to the state Legislature that would allow people to amend their birth certificates and choose “X” as a gender option.

Jan. 7, 2019 — Steve Annear
The Harvard Crimson Marc McGovern (Profile)

Affordable housing is a top issue facing the city. We also have a lot of folks in our city, low-income and middle-income folks, who are really struggling, not just with housing, but paying for childcare and just the high cost of living here in Cambridge. Cambridge actually has a higher poverty rate than the state average; this is something people don’t know.

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I think both questions—medical marijuana and recreational marijuana—passed overwhelmingly in Cambridge. I think it's something that the residents have spoken about, that it’s something they support, and I think we should follow through with that.

Nov. 1, 2017 — Luke Vrotsos
The Harvard Crimson Marc McGovern (Profile)

Affordable housing is a top issue facing the city. We also have a lot of folks in our city, low-income and middle-income folks, who are really struggling, not just with housing, but paying for childcare and just the high cost of living here in Cambridge. Cambridge actually has a higher poverty rate than the state average; this is something people don’t know.

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I think both questions—medical marijuana and recreational marijuana—passed overwhelmingly in Cambridge. I think it's something that the residents have spoken about, that it’s something they support, and I think we should follow through with that.

Nov. 1, 2017 — Luke Vrotsos
Scout Cambridge City Council Candidate Profiles, Group 2 of 5

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

1) Create an Office of Housing Stability – An Office of Housing Stability will be a one-stop location for residents to obtain information regarding all available housing programs, with a primary goal of preventing displacement. This office will provide information to both tenants and landlords regarding their legal rights and offer mediation, crisis intervention, and referral services.

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

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

1) Create an Office of Housing Stability – An Office of Housing Stability will be a one-stop location for residents to obtain information regarding all available housing programs, with a primary goal of preventing displacement. This office will provide information to both tenants and landlords regarding their legal rights and offer mediation, crisis intervention, and referral services.

Oct. 5, 2017 — Reena Karasin
The Boston Globe Cambridge bans retail sales of commercially bred pets

Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, who proposed the ban a year ago, pointed out the pet-store chains get most of their revenue from the sales of supplies, care, and training — and not animals. Live animal purchases made up 3 percent of the $67 billion spent on pet-related purchases in 2016 in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Association.

“The pet shop industry cannot and has not been able to weed out bad breeders, and they do business with bad breeders, and I can’t turn a blind eye to that,” McGovern said. “This, to me, comes down to, is Cambridge going to be knowingly part of an industry that mistreats animals, or are we going to say, ‘No, it’s not going to happen here’?”

Aug. 8, 2017 — Katheleen Conti
The Boston Globe Cambridge bans retail sales of commercially bred pets

Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, who proposed the ban a year ago, pointed out the pet-store chains get most of their revenue from the sales of supplies, care, and training — and not animals. Live animal purchases made up 3 percent of the $67 billion spent on pet-related purchases in 2016 in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Association.

“The pet shop industry cannot and has not been able to weed out bad breeders, and they do business with bad breeders, and I can’t turn a blind eye to that,” McGovern said. “This, to me, comes down to, is Cambridge going to be knowingly part of an industry that mistreats animals, or are we going to say, ‘No, it’s not going to happen here’?”

Aug. 8, 2017 — Katheleen Conti
Wicked Local Cambridge Guest column: Concrete action requires collaborative efforts among councilors

At the end of the day, I am running to make the lives of the people of Cambridge better. Sometimes that is through bold policy, sometimes that is through starting supportive programs. But many times, that is through individual assistance.

June 22, 2017 — Marc McGovern
Wicked Local Cambridge Guest column: Concrete action requires collaborative efforts among councilors

At the end of the day, I am running to make the lives of the people of Cambridge better. Sometimes that is through bold policy, sometimes that is through starting supportive programs. But many times, that is through individual assistance.

June 22, 2017 — Marc McGovern
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge to update surveillance law as technologies advance

Vice Mayor Marc McGovern believes the city will be able to come up with an ordinance that is not overbearing and is respectful of privacy concerns.

“I’m confident that with the wisdom that we have in this city that we can come up with something that doesn’t require you to come back to us when you have to change the batteries in the fire detector, but also get to people’s concerns about surveillance,” McGovern said.

McGovern said he understands residents’ concerns about added surveillance.

“I understand we have so little privacy already, and there are cameras all over the place already,” McGovern said. “But that doesn’t mean we should just kind of be laissez faire about it and not be really diligent and careful about how we’re going to add to the surveillance and add to that lack of privacy.”

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

Vice Mayor Marc McGovern believes the city will be able to come up with an ordinance that is not overbearing and is respectful of privacy concerns.

“I’m confident that with the wisdom that we have in this city that we can come up with something that doesn’t require you to come back to us when you have to change the batteries in the fire detector, but also get to people’s concerns about surveillance,” McGovern said.

McGovern said he understands residents’ concerns about added surveillance.

“I understand we have so little privacy already, and there are cameras all over the place already,” McGovern said. “But that doesn’t mean we should just kind of be laissez faire about it and not be really diligent and careful about how we’re going to add to the surveillance and add to that lack of privacy.”

April 26, 2017 — Adam Sennott
Cambridge Day Climate rally calls for all renewable energy, steps against ‘anti-science’ of White House

Cambridge has long been a leader in sustainability and resiliency, and officials and residents were at the rally Monday to renew that commitment and intensify it, said city councillor Jan Devereux, who sponsored the order with vice mayor Marc McGovern.

April 25, 2017 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Climate rally calls for all renewable energy, steps against ‘anti-science’ of White House

Cambridge has long been a leader in sustainability and resiliency, and officials and residents were at the rally Monday to renew that commitment and intensify it, said city councillor Jan Devereux, who sponsored the order with vice mayor Marc McGovern.

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

“Here are some highlights: the FY18 operating budget is $605 million, which is a 4.97 percent increase over the 2017,” Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern said. “Included in the budget is a 2.5 percent Cost of Living increase for employees [and] a 5.8 percent increase in pensions [for employees].”

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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

“Here are some highlights: the FY18 operating budget is $605 million, which is a 4.97 percent increase over the 2017,” Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern said. “Included in the budget is a 2.5 percent Cost of Living increase for employees [and] a 5.8 percent increase in pensions [for employees].”

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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
Wicked Local Cambridge Vice Mayor McGovern names new liaison for immigrant affairs

I am proud to announce that with the support of Mayor Simmons, my office, the Office of the Vice Mayor, has added a volunteer position titled Liaison for Immigrant Affairs, and I am further honored to name longtime Cambridge resident, activist and advocate for immigrant rights, Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi to that position.

Feb. 16, 2017 — Marc McGovern
Wicked Local Cambridge Vice Mayor McGovern names new liaison for immigrant affairs

I am proud to announce that with the support of Mayor Simmons, my office, the Office of the Vice Mayor, has added a volunteer position titled Liaison for Immigrant Affairs, and I am further honored to name longtime Cambridge resident, activist and advocate for immigrant rights, Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi to that position.

Feb. 16, 2017 — Marc McGovern
Spare Change News Addressing Homelessness with a New Lens

My hope and the hope of many is that through these and other initiatives, we can better provide for the homeless in our community. We need to be focused on both short- and long-term goals to ensure that every member of our community has a safe place to call home.

Oct. 21, 2016 — Marc McGovern
Spare Change News Addressing Homelessness with a New Lens

My hope and the hope of many is that through these and other initiatives, we can better provide for the homeless in our community. We need to be focused on both short- and long-term goals to ensure that every member of our community has a safe place to call home.

Oct. 21, 2016 — Marc McGovern
Cambridge Day McGovern calls Homelessness Summit, with seven communities aligning efforts

It is because of this shared responsibility that I asked Mayor E. Denise Simmons to allow me to create the Metro Boston Homelessness Summit. The goal of this group is to bring together policymakers and department heads from Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Everett, Chelsea, Medford and Malden for four meetings over the course of the next several months to address homelessness on a regional basis.

Oct. 16, 2016 — Marc McGovern
Cambridge Day McGovern calls Homelessness Summit, with seven communities aligning efforts

It is because of this shared responsibility that I asked Mayor E. Denise Simmons to allow me to create the Metro Boston Homelessness Summit. The goal of this group is to bring together policymakers and department heads from Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Everett, Chelsea, Medford and Malden for four meetings over the course of the next several months to address homelessness on a regional basis.

Oct. 16, 2016 — Marc McGovern
Wicked Local Cambridge ‘Safe Streets Now:’ Cambridge City Council endorses safety measures following fatal bike crash

Councilor Marc McGovern said the conversation on improving bike safety should not end once the policy orders were passed, as it would surely be a long process toward understanding the complex traffic and cyclist patterns of the city, and balancing the needs of all.

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

Councilor Marc McGovern said the conversation on improving bike safety should not end once the policy orders were passed, as it would surely be a long process toward understanding the complex traffic and cyclist patterns of the city, and balancing the needs of all.

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

As far as zoning, Vice Mayor Marc McGovern said if a dispensary fits the state criteria, he doesn’t care where they open. He also said he would like to see a “few” dispensaries open in the city.

“I would approve if someone wants to be outside the zoning, and if it meets the requirements. Then it’s up to the dispensaries to go through the process with the state, and whoever gets their license first, opens. I’m not here to support one over another,” he said.

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

As far as zoning, Vice Mayor Marc McGovern said if a dispensary fits the state criteria, he doesn’t care where they open. He also said he would like to see a “few” dispensaries open in the city.

“I would approve if someone wants to be outside the zoning, and if it meets the requirements. Then it’s up to the dispensaries to go through the process with the state, and whoever gets their license first, opens. I’m not here to support one over another,” he said.

Aug. 3, 2016 — Natalie Handy
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge City Council names Denise Simmons mayor

At the ceremony, McGovern was chosen as vice mayor in an initial six-to-three vote.

Dennis Carlone, Mazen and Jan Devereux voted for Mazen as vice mayor at first, but changed their decision to McGovern before the vote was finalized. As stated before the vote was taken, councilors could change their vote before declared by the chair, but roll call could not be interrupted until all members had voted.

...

Despite his own interest in the position, Mazen said he believes McGovern will do well as vice mayor.

Jan. 6, 2016 — Natalie Handy
Wicked Local Cambridge Cambridge City Council names Denise Simmons mayor

At the ceremony, McGovern was chosen as vice mayor in an initial six-to-three vote.

Dennis Carlone, Mazen and Jan Devereux voted for Mazen as vice mayor at first, but changed their decision to McGovern before the vote was finalized. As stated before the vote was taken, councilors could change their vote before declared by the chair, but roll call could not be interrupted until all members had voted.

...

Despite his own interest in the position, Mazen said he believes McGovern will do well as vice mayor.

Jan. 6, 2016 — Natalie Handy

Campaign finance

How much the candidate has raised and spent

$23,341.16
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2019
TBD
Raised in 2019
TBD
Spent in 2019