headshot of candidate

Sumbul Siddiqui

She/Her

Currently
City Councillor
Also
Attorney in Legal Aid
Election history
1st term in office

More about Sumbul Siddiqui

Sumbul Siddiqui's family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when she was 2, and they moved to Cambridge when they got a lottery spot in Cambridge's affordable housing system. She is a graduate of CRLS, Brown University, and Northwestern.

While attending CRLS, she co-founded the Cambridge Youth Council (then the Cambridge Youth Involvement Subcommittee), a way for students to engage with city government and policy.

In addition to serving on the council, she is an Attorney at Northeast Legal Aid, a nonprofit that provides legal assistance. Prior to her election, she was on the board of the Cambridge School Volunteers and was a member of Cambridge's Human Services Commission.

She and Alanna Mallon have been producing a podcast together since January 2018.

Incumbent
Yes
Education
BA, Brown University; JD, Northwestern University
Age
31 years, 10 months
Born in Karachi, Pakistan (moved to Cambridge at age 2) in 1988
Voter Registration
June 6, 2006

Where does Sumbul live?

Address
Owns at 283 Sidney St. #3 Cambridge, MA 02139
Valued at approx. $595,000
Last sold Nov. 2, 2018 for $460,000
inflation adjusted approx. $468,600

Endorsements

Q&A

Interviews with the candidate

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

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.

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 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.

Harvard Grad Student Union Guide

The Harvard Graduate Student Union-UAW's guide to municipal elections in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston for City Council and Somerville Mayor.

Harvard Grad Student Union Guide

The Harvard Graduate Student Union-UAW's guide to municipal elections in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston for City Council and Somerville Mayor.

Quotes

Also, we have to have more diversity on the council. I think it’s very important that we have more women, and that we have more women of color. I think someone who is a qualified public attorney who happens to be a Muslim woman of color, you talk the talk for diversity and all that stuff, but this is a time that we can actually make it happen.

Press

Articles about the candidate

The Boston Globe Local elections hinge on housing this fall

A first-term Cambridge city councilor, Siddiqui has emerged several times as a swing vote on housing issues, most recently the controversial plan to sell the shuttered Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge to a developer, for use mainly as an office building. Some in Cambridge wanted to block the deal, saying the public building should be used for affordable housing or something else with public benefits, instead of being turned into pricey office space near Kendall Square.

As a key vote approached last month, Siddiqui was undecided. Two influential groups that had endorsed her two years ago — the Cambridge Residents Alliance and the Bernie Sanders-affiliated Our Revolution Cambridge — told her they would withhold endorsements this time if she supported the project, according to Siddiqui. But she also heard from residents who wanted something to happen with the decaying building, widely decried as an eyesore. So Siddiqui negotiated with the developer to double the amount of affordable housing it would hold — to 48 units — before casting a decisive sixth vote in favor of the plan.

Oct. 28, 2019 — Tim Logan
The Boston Globe Local elections hinge on housing this fall

A first-term Cambridge city councilor, Siddiqui has emerged several times as a swing vote on housing issues, most recently the controversial plan to sell the shuttered Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge to a developer, for use mainly as an office building. Some in Cambridge wanted to block the deal, saying the public building should be used for affordable housing or something else with public benefits, instead of being turned into pricey office space near Kendall Square.

As a key vote approached last month, Siddiqui was undecided. Two influential groups that had endorsed her two years ago — the Cambridge Residents Alliance and the Bernie Sanders-affiliated Our Revolution Cambridge — told her they would withhold endorsements this time if she supported the project, according to Siddiqui. But she also heard from residents who wanted something to happen with the decaying building, widely decried as an eyesore. So Siddiqui negotiated with the developer to double the amount of affordable housing it would hold — to 48 units — before casting a decisive sixth vote in favor of the plan.

Oct. 28, 2019 — Tim Logan
The Boston Globe Cambridge has temporarily banished ‘Big Cannabis.’ Up next: lawsuits

Siddiqui said she believes Cambridge will be able to mount a strong defense against any lawsuits, noting that cannabis commission guidance recommends prioritizing empowerment applicants.

“This is something I’m willing to get sued on,” she said. “This industry comes with an ugly history of racial oppression that needs to be addressed.”

Sept. 23, 2019 — Dan Adams
The Boston Globe Cambridge has temporarily banished ‘Big Cannabis.’ Up next: lawsuits

Siddiqui said she believes Cambridge will be able to mount a strong defense against any lawsuits, noting that cannabis commission guidance recommends prioritizing empowerment applicants.

“This is something I’m willing to get sued on,” she said. “This industry comes with an ugly history of racial oppression that needs to be addressed.”

Sept. 23, 2019 — Dan Adams
The Boston Globe Long-stalled Cambridge courthouse project clears a crucial hurdle

The amount of office space in the tower will also drop, because Leggat agreed to double the number of affordable housing units in the building, to 48. The idea was proposed by Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui, considered the swing vote.

Leggat will also pay more into the city’s affordable housing trust fund, $15 million instead of $11.5 million.

Sept. 19, 2019 — Jon Chesto
The Boston Globe Long-stalled Cambridge courthouse project clears a crucial hurdle

The amount of office space in the tower will also drop, because Leggat agreed to double the number of affordable housing units in the building, to 48. The idea was proposed by Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui, considered the swing vote.

Leggat will also pay more into the city’s affordable housing trust fund, $15 million instead of $11.5 million.

Sept. 19, 2019 — Jon Chesto
The Harvard Crimson Sumbul Siddiqui (Profile)

I think it goes it back to my experience and professional background. I am the only woman running who has grown up here, so I think that’s very valuable in the sense that I have long-term roots. I’m not planning to go anywhere. This is a city I know.

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I think we know that the elderly need parking. I think we know that if you’re disabled, you really need parking. So we have to prioritize those needs. At the end of the day, we have to make a compromise. If we want to be a city that is committed to fixing climate change, it’s better to bike. But we have to realize that not everyone can bike, so we have to recognize that some people have to drive.

Nov. 1, 2017 — A. Perez
The Harvard Crimson Sumbul Siddiqui (Profile)

I think it goes it back to my experience and professional background. I am the only woman running who has grown up here, so I think that’s very valuable in the sense that I have long-term roots. I’m not planning to go anywhere. This is a city I know.

---

I think we know that the elderly need parking. I think we know that if you’re disabled, you really need parking. So we have to prioritize those needs. At the end of the day, we have to make a compromise. If we want to be a city that is committed to fixing climate change, it’s better to bike. But we have to realize that not everyone can bike, so we have to recognize that some people have to drive.

Nov. 1, 2017 — A. Perez
Wicked Local Cambridge Why a record number of Cambridge women are running for City Council

Sumbul Siddiqui, a public interest attorney, is running because she wants to give back to the community that helped raise her.

“As a first-generation immigrant from Pakistan who has benefited from Cambridge’s public school system, public housing, and after-school activities, I am uniquely indebted to Cambridge’s tremendous resources,” she wrote.

Oct. 3, 2017 — Amy Saltzman
Wicked Local Cambridge Why a record number of Cambridge women are running for City Council

Sumbul Siddiqui, a public interest attorney, is running because she wants to give back to the community that helped raise her.

“As a first-generation immigrant from Pakistan who has benefited from Cambridge’s public school system, public housing, and after-school activities, I am uniquely indebted to Cambridge’s tremendous resources,” she wrote.

Oct. 3, 2017 — Amy Saltzman

Campaign finance

How much the candidate has raised and spent

$24,665
Current balance
$9,582
Balance at the start of 2019
$28,033
Raised in 2019
$12,950
Spent in 2019