headshot of candidate

Robert Winters

He/Him

Currently
Harvard Extension School Instructor
Election history
5th time running (ran in the 90s)

More about Robert Winters

Robert Winters is perhaps best well known in Cambridge for maintaining a blog, titled Cambridge Civic Journal, about Cambridge politics; his notes about City Council meetings going back to 2006 are still available at his website. He started including videos, often with guests, in 2014. And he puts together a page with basic candidate information for every election as well.

He has also been active on Twitter for many years. His long history of posting, engaging with, and liking content there that other people and organizations classify as transphobic, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, and pro-retaliatory-violence is an issue other candidates, in addition to voters, are weighing in on this election season. For instance, he follows the well-known far-right, anti-LGBT+ LibsofTikTok account, and drew their attention to a local drag queen event at the Cambridge Public Library. Since that account is notorious for inciting violence, the Cambridge Police ended up deploying to protect residents in response.

When questioned about this history at a candidate forum, he said he didn't remember or liked something he found funny. On Twitter, he responded to accusations of transphobia with, "Fortunately, I don't follow those with nothing to say worth listening to."

Despite being a registered Democrat, he has referred to Ayanna Pressley and Mike Connolly as "misrepresentatives", publicly says Elizabeth Warren exaggerates, and repeatedly replies to Katherine Clark's twitter account with tweets like "ClarkBot".

While his website refers to himself as a new candidate, he previously sought election in the 1990s.

Incumbent
No
Education
  • BS, Queens College
  • MIT
  • PhD, Boston University
Age
69 years
Born in NYC in 1955
Voting
Reg. Feb. 2, 1980
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2019 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2017 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2016 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2016 General
  • 🗳️ 2016 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2015 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2014 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2013 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2013 Special
  • 🗳️ 2013 Special Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2012 General
  • 🗳️ 2012 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2012 General Primary - Democratic

Where Robert Lives

Address
Owns at 366 Broadway
Valued at approx. $1,750,000
Last sold Sept. 11, 1995 for $185,000
inflation adjusted approx. $370,000

Robert on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
AHO #2
AHO #1

In general, Robert Winters does not support subsidized housing, nor many market-rate housing initiatives, nor increasing tenant protections.

No. I didn’t support he original “Affordable Housing Overlay” as written or as originally proposed when I was a member of the Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group, and the current proposal is worse. There are far better and fairer ways to do this. It should not just be about maximizing the number of subsidized units.

Robert Winters, ABC Survey

Cambridge is already is one of the most densely populated cities in the state and the country. There are some opportunities for additional growth, but I would not support wholesale disruption to the residential character of Cambridge.

Robert on Other Issues

Proposal Supported?
HEART Funding

Endorsements for Robert

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Save Mass Ave this cycle
Cambridge Citizens Coalition on Sept. 14, 2023

Q&A

Interviews with Robert

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

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

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 Robert

I applied to be on the Charter Review Committee and was blocked from membership.

Robert Winters, CCC Survey

Democracy is a great idea, but it really doesn't mean much to me when every single one of my "representatives" is not representative of me or my positions.

Robert Winters, twitter

Islam and democracy rarely mix well.

Robert Winters, https://twitter.com/Robert02139/status/755397948788400128

Could we possibly consider bringing electrical infrastructure up to modern standards before we just pass out free [school] lunches to everyone? How about extending our transit system? That would be "thinking big again".

Robert Winters, https://twitter.com/Robert02139/status/1703775263035674817

Given a choice between a creeping Islamic government vs. a military takeover, choose the military takeover. Islam and government don't mix..

Robert Winters, https://twitter.com/Robert02139/status/754087659300130816

The best form of support for local businesses is to simply get out of their way by keeping regulations as simple as possible while remaining consistent with overall City objectives. I will add that ensuring at least a chance at parking along or near major corridors and Squares is still important even if reduction on the dependence of motor vehicle use is an overall goal.

Robert Winters, CCC Survey

There is no question that cyclists want and need greater safety on our roads, but suggesting that the only way to build in that safety is via mandates and rigid timelines and one monolithically preferred treatment of roads (that were never properly reviewed for this treatment) is the antithesis of good planning.

Robert Winters, Candidate's Website

[About a protest over the Cambridge police killing of Faisal] Just a small bunch of misinformed twerps being indoctrinated by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Nothin' to see here.

Robert Winters, https://twitter.com/Robert02139/status/1645625630283661318

I don’t know if anyone has yet lashed out me for this, but I am generally supportive of the Cambridge Police Department as one of the best-trained and empathetic departments in the entire country. That, of course, is not a statement that every single Cambridge Police Officer is auditioning for sainthood, but pretty much all whom I have met in recent years impress me as the kind of people who I would like to know as personal friends. I believe the Cambridge Police as well as the City Administration have acted very responsibly in all that they have done after the unfortunate tragedy that took place early this year. This won’t make me any friends among the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) nitwits who continued to shout down City Council meetings this year, but I don’t really like any of those people anyway and I always thought they were more interested in building their brand than actually pursuing justice. Vigilante justice, by the way, is not justice.

Speaking of police and public safety, I think the City made a great move in creating the new Community Safety Department. On the other hand, I have never supported the so-called H.E.A.R.T proposal and I have generally viewed it as a political patronage scheme from people who have never disguised their overt hostility toward police in general and their ultimate goal of abolishing police entirely. For this I am quite sure that the proponents view me as an evil racist for speaking against their quest for funding with little or no accountability. I still cannot fathom why the City Administration continues to entertain their proposals – except as a purely political concession to some city councillors. In contrast, the Community Safety Department seems to be making all the right moves recently as they try to get established.

Robert Winters, http://cambridgecivic.com/?p=9348

I apparently have commented with words to the effect of “Islam and government don’t mix well” – and for this I have been called an Islamophobe.

Fact: Islam and government do not mix well

Press

Articles about or by Robert

The Harvard Crimson Longtime Civic Blogger Robert Winters Is Running for Cambridge Council. Now, He’s Facing Political Scrutiny of His Own.

But the longtime Cantabrigian denied allegations that he is racist, transphobic, or Islamophobic, which he wrote in an Oct. 2 blog post are part of a “full-fledged campaign of harassment and intimidation.”

Still, Winters stood by his social media posts, including a post alerting the popular far-right TikTok account Libs of TikTok to a drag story hour at the Cambridge Public Library — which prompted the Cambridge Police to send an officer to the event — and a post where he wrote that “Islam and government don’t mix.”

“I’m sorry if anyone failed to appreciate my sense of humor (actually, I’m not really sorry) or failed to see either the irony or the absurdity of something I said over the last quarter-century,” he wrote in the Oct. 2 blog post, accusing his critics of using “the tactics of Joseph McCarthy.”

---

To Winters, a problem with BEUDO is the “obsession” with “requiring retrofits of buildings via mandate without any regard to practicality and expense.”

Winters said he does not support city funding for HEART, a local police response alternative, and that the criticism towards the Cambridge Police Department “is not fair.”

“I think we actually have a pretty good police force in Cambridge, when you compare it to almost anyplace else in Massachusetts, if not the whole country,” he said. “Does that preclude the possibility that maybe somebody could make an error? Of course not.”

Oct. 10, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
The Harvard Crimson Longtime Civic Blogger Robert Winters Is Running for Cambridge Council. Now, He’s Facing Political Scrutiny of His Own.

But the longtime Cantabrigian denied allegations that he is racist, transphobic, or Islamophobic, which he wrote in an Oct. 2 blog post are part of a “full-fledged campaign of harassment and intimidation.”

Still, Winters stood by his social media posts, including a post alerting the popular far-right TikTok account Libs of TikTok to a drag story hour at the Cambridge Public Library — which prompted the Cambridge Police to send an officer to the event — and a post where he wrote that “Islam and government don’t mix.”

“I’m sorry if anyone failed to appreciate my sense of humor (actually, I’m not really sorry) or failed to see either the irony or the absurdity of something I said over the last quarter-century,” he wrote in the Oct. 2 blog post, accusing his critics of using “the tactics of Joseph McCarthy.”

---

To Winters, a problem with BEUDO is the “obsession” with “requiring retrofits of buildings via mandate without any regard to practicality and expense.”

Winters said he does not support city funding for HEART, a local police response alternative, and that the criticism towards the Cambridge Police Department “is not fair.”

“I think we actually have a pretty good police force in Cambridge, when you compare it to almost anyplace else in Massachusetts, if not the whole country,” he said. “Does that preclude the possibility that maybe somebody could make an error? Of course not.”

Oct. 10, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
Loren Crowe's Medium How a City Council Candidate’s Online Bigotry Exposed Cambridge Children to Far Right Danger

In June 2022, Libs of TikTok was putting together one such harassment campaign by publicly building an online list of Pride events around the country that were being marketed as age-appropriate for children and families. Such events are common, a regular part of most cities’ Pride Month programming. After all, LBGTQ+ kids exist, most of your queer friends will confirm that they knew who they were before they turned 18, and children deserve to feel proud of and loved for who they are just as much as any adult.

Libs of TikTok disagrees, and put out a call for its followers to add events in their own communities to a running public list. Robert Winters quickly complied and provided the Libs of TikTok list with a date, time, location, and link for a Drag Queen Story Hour event for LGBTQ+ children and families being hosted by the Cambridge Public Library during the first week of Pride Month.

Oct. 4, 2023 — Loren Crowe
Loren Crowe's Medium How a City Council Candidate’s Online Bigotry Exposed Cambridge Children to Far Right Danger

In June 2022, Libs of TikTok was putting together one such harassment campaign by publicly building an online list of Pride events around the country that were being marketed as age-appropriate for children and families. Such events are common, a regular part of most cities’ Pride Month programming. After all, LBGTQ+ kids exist, most of your queer friends will confirm that they knew who they were before they turned 18, and children deserve to feel proud of and loved for who they are just as much as any adult.

Libs of TikTok disagrees, and put out a call for its followers to add events in their own communities to a running public list. Robert Winters quickly complied and provided the Libs of TikTok list with a date, time, location, and link for a Drag Queen Story Hour event for LGBTQ+ children and families being hosted by the Cambridge Public Library during the first week of Pride Month.

Oct. 4, 2023 — Loren Crowe
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Activists Protest Council Candidates After Racist, Transphobic Social Media Activity Comes To Light

In one such tweet, Winters is quoted as writing, “Keep the chains on the protestors. They’ll go well with the leg irons #StupidLivesMatter.” The flier also includes Pasquarello’s liked tweets, one of which includes the statement, “We’ve been told that teachers talking to kids about sex (fantasies, orientation) doesn’t lead to grooming!”

...

In a Thursday interview, Winters called the accusations against him “completely uncalled for and unfair,” adding that they were “clearly motivated by hostility.”

“Sometimes I think things are funny, no matter where they come from,” he said. “I don’t think anybody should be censoring my right to laugh at what I think is funny.”

Oct. 2, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad, Julian J. Giordano
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Activists Protest Council Candidates After Racist, Transphobic Social Media Activity Comes To Light

In one such tweet, Winters is quoted as writing, “Keep the chains on the protestors. They’ll go well with the leg irons #StupidLivesMatter.” The flier also includes Pasquarello’s liked tweets, one of which includes the statement, “We’ve been told that teachers talking to kids about sex (fantasies, orientation) doesn’t lead to grooming!”

...

In a Thursday interview, Winters called the accusations against him “completely uncalled for and unfair,” adding that they were “clearly motivated by hostility.”

“Sometimes I think things are funny, no matter where they come from,” he said. “I don’t think anybody should be censoring my right to laugh at what I think is funny.”

Oct. 2, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad, Julian J. Giordano
Robert Winters' Blog Now It’s My Turn To Speak

I was surprised to learn that in some public libraries there were “drag time story hour” events taking place that were publicly funded. On that same day I saw that one was taking place in Cambridge and simply made a note of this fact – and for this I was called a transphobe.

Fact: I really had never heard of such a thing – even though people apparently argue about this all the time now. In case you actually care what I think, I don’t believe it is age appropriate to subject young children to things that are either sexually provocative or overtly political. I understand that some people in Cambridge have a different point of view on such matters, but I daresay that my point of view is quite mainstream and I don’t even see it as either conservative or controversial. I don’t care what adults or even adolescents choose to see or do, but I do think that young children should be shielded from most of this.

Oct. 2, 2023 — Robert Winters
Robert Winters' Blog Now It’s My Turn To Speak

I was surprised to learn that in some public libraries there were “drag time story hour” events taking place that were publicly funded. On that same day I saw that one was taking place in Cambridge and simply made a note of this fact – and for this I was called a transphobe.

Fact: I really had never heard of such a thing – even though people apparently argue about this all the time now. In case you actually care what I think, I don’t believe it is age appropriate to subject young children to things that are either sexually provocative or overtly political. I understand that some people in Cambridge have a different point of view on such matters, but I daresay that my point of view is quite mainstream and I don’t even see it as either conservative or controversial. I don’t care what adults or even adolescents choose to see or do, but I do think that young children should be shielded from most of this.

Oct. 2, 2023 — Robert Winters
Cambridge Day Group should look closely at endorsed candidates and consider the company that they are keeping

[Winter's] Twitter account is a compendium of far-right ideology. None of this is a mistake, he’s liked and tweeted hundreds of racist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion and other vile posts over the years. (I don’t have links to every post because he seems to have scrubbed his Twitter account of some tweets.) He says he’s a registered Democrat but proudly supported Charlie Baker.

Sept. 30, 2023 — Ari Ofsevit
Cambridge Day Group should look closely at endorsed candidates and consider the company that they are keeping

[Winter's] Twitter account is a compendium of far-right ideology. None of this is a mistake, he’s liked and tweeted hundreds of racist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion and other vile posts over the years. (I don’t have links to every post because he seems to have scrubbed his Twitter account of some tweets.) He says he’s a registered Democrat but proudly supported Charlie Baker.

Sept. 30, 2023 — Ari Ofsevit
Cambridge Day Two candidates for City Council in Cambridge named as the focus of rally to ‘oppose bigotry’

“These are some pretty virulently Islamophobic, racist, transphobic tweets and likes that these candidates have put out, and the public deserves to be aware of it so that they can make an informed choice,” said DSA organizer Willow Carretero Chavez, a resident of Somerville and an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A letter to Cambridge Day received Saturday from resident Ari Ofsevit went over much the same ground about Pasquarello and Winters, which Winters believed was a “parallel email campaign initiated by Totten to disparage me.” Carretero Chavez said the DSA had no public-facing email campaign on the topic. Separately, Totten also said he was unaware of any letter-writing campaign.

Sept. 30, 2023 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Two candidates for City Council in Cambridge named as the focus of rally to ‘oppose bigotry’

“These are some pretty virulently Islamophobic, racist, transphobic tweets and likes that these candidates have put out, and the public deserves to be aware of it so that they can make an informed choice,” said DSA organizer Willow Carretero Chavez, a resident of Somerville and an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A letter to Cambridge Day received Saturday from resident Ari Ofsevit went over much the same ground about Pasquarello and Winters, which Winters believed was a “parallel email campaign initiated by Totten to disparage me.” Carretero Chavez said the DSA had no public-facing email campaign on the topic. Separately, Totten also said he was unaware of any letter-writing campaign.

Sept. 30, 2023 — Marc Levy
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Council Candidates Clash at Forum Hosted by Harvard Grad Student Union

About halfway through the event, Aanchal Manuja, a Tufts graduate student, asked Cambridge blogger Robert Winters about several transphobic tweets he had liked.

“You have posts on Twitter that oppose trans rights, including one that calls transgenderism like a pedophilic ideology,” Manuja said.

“I actually don’t remember if I put a like or something on something I thought was funny or something,” Winters said. “That is certainly possible, but I certainly don’t remember doing anything particularly controversial in that regard.”

Manuja replied that it wasn’t just one liked tweet.

“I don’t agree with that,” said Winters.

Sept. 27, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad, Julian J. Giordano
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Council Candidates Clash at Forum Hosted by Harvard Grad Student Union

About halfway through the event, Aanchal Manuja, a Tufts graduate student, asked Cambridge blogger Robert Winters about several transphobic tweets he had liked.

“You have posts on Twitter that oppose trans rights, including one that calls transgenderism like a pedophilic ideology,” Manuja said.

“I actually don’t remember if I put a like or something on something I thought was funny or something,” Winters said. “That is certainly possible, but I certainly don’t remember doing anything particularly controversial in that regard.”

Manuja replied that it wasn’t just one liked tweet.

“I don’t agree with that,” said Winters.

Sept. 27, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad, Julian J. Giordano
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidate Teaches Harvard Class

"It is a shame that a old building which people are very familiar with gets replaced by something that is unacceptable...we hope that [the new building] will not be a detriment to the Square," says Winters.

Oct. 24, 1995 — Manlio A. Goetzl
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidate Teaches Harvard Class

"It is a shame that a old building which people are very familiar with gets replaced by something that is unacceptable...we hope that [the new building] will not be a detriment to the Square," says Winters.

Oct. 24, 1995 — Manlio A. Goetzl

Campaign finance

How much Robert has raised and spent

$5,431
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2023
$5,440
Raised in 2023
$2000.00 from self included
$9
Spent in 2023