Goals and priorities
Mayor Maher is focused on making Cambridge the best city to live, to work and to learn. The Mayor hopes to accomplish this by working towards these goals and priorities.
PURPOSE & OVERVIEW:
As the official leader of the City, the Mayor fulfills political, ceremonial and community leadership functions on behalf of the City while serving as the Chairperson for both the City Council and the School Committee. The Office of the Mayor has a broad range of duties and responsibilities. Focused primarily on assisting residents, the Mayor’s office responds directly to members of the public seeking information or seeking to address concerns regarding city government and municipal services. In addition, the Mayor’s office implements a variety of citywide public events and celebrations throughout the year, conducts public policy research, drafts legislation and serves as the city liaison between federal and state agencies, as well as community groups and citizens. The Mayor also serves as the City’s official receiver for visiting dignitaries and distinguished visitors.
The Mayor works in coordination with the City Council and the School Committee for such purposes of training, professional development and special events. The Mayor’s Office is a hub of governmental activity in Cambridge. The Mayor, Vice-Mayor and the City Councilors work together to serve various interests within the City. It is a goal of the Mayor’s Office to be responsive to the diverse range of requests it receives from the citizens of Cambridge.
The Mayor hosts numerous visiting delegates, local colleagues and officials interested in forging or growing partnerships with the Mayor’s Office and the City of Cambridge. The Mayor participates in various conferences, municipal policy boards and educational boards, with the goal of ensuring her active engagement in and awareness of current issues and trends facing municipalities. The Mayor is a liaison to the Congressional and State Delegations, National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Massachusetts Mayors Association.
The Mayor’s Office represents the City at ceremonial functions and hosts a variety of ceremonial and public events. The two largest events are for Cambridge seniors, one in conjunction with Harvard University in the summer and the other in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the spring. Many months of the year have special themes or events which are coordinated with or by the Mayor’s Office. Many occasions celebrate the diversity of Cambridge and the rich heritage of the city.
An important role that the Mayor performs is promoting unity and forging new partnerships throughout the city. Occasionally, the Mayor may appoint special commissions or task forces to examine or effectuate policy discussions around issues of concern to the citizenry. The Community Leadership Fund is used for printing, mailing and other organizational or public information expenses. Additionally, this section includes funding for the Sister Cities Program, which maintains relationships and fosters exchanges between the City of Cambridge and several cities around the world.
FY15 DEPARTMENTAL GOALS
The Mayor’s Office will revitalize the relationship the city has with community groups and associations to create, support and advance valuable partnerships that unite these institutions toward a common vision for the community. Understanding that Cambridge and its citizens have distinct values and talents, the Mayor’s Office will work to unify the interests of the city and its residents by facilitating long-term, sustainable relationships between city agencies and community based organizations that ultimately improve the quality of life and level of positive interaction between the community and city government.
Support Collaboration among Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations and civic associations serve a critical function that improves the lives of children and families in the City of Cambridge. The Mayor’s Office will lead an initiative to bring together non-profit organizations throughout the city to coordinate the variety of interests represented by each unique group and foster partnerships that are mutually beneficial to their missions.
Enhance Cooperation between the City, City Schools, Businesses and Universities
The Mayor’s Office will work to achieve a more collaborative and comprehensive relationship between the City of Cambridge, Cambridge Public Schools, businesses and the non-profit community as well as Harvard, MIT and Lesley Universities. Organizing these institutions will help serve their emerging needs and achieve a more accessible platform for the exchange of institutional visions where early collaboration will provide a meaningful context for understanding the challenges facing residents, business owners, non-profit leaders and students.
Cambridge Public School Mini-Grants
The Mayor‘s Office will reinstitute the awarding of mini-grants along with the Cambridge Public Schools in order to support teachers, students, non-profits and entrepreneurial efforts that promote the physical and academic well-being of students at all grade levels.
Support the Creation of a STEAM Commission
The Mayor's Office will work to articulate a vision between City agencies, the School Department, community based organizations, the business community, and members of the public to improve access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) learning. The Mayor’s Office will convene these stakeholders in order to ensure that Cambridge students benefit from the availability of STEAM programs inside or outside of city-based institutions.
Support Locally Owned Businesses and Healthy Living
The Mayor’s Office will continue to work with local businesses, local business organizations and their leaders to support, strengthen and expand the movement toward shopping local, independent retailers. The Mayor will also provide leadership and support toward the City's healthy living agenda while encouraging healthy living policy initiatives, advocating for local food and promoting healthy commuting activities.
Promote Initiatives to Mitigate the Effects of Global Climate Change
In collaboration with City departments and the City Council, the Mayor's Office will work toward a more sustainable local infrastructure that can withstand the challenges presented by global climate change. The Mayor's office will continue to support the City's efforts on energy efficiency programs, transportation mode-shifting and enhancing bicycle and pedestrian options, advocating for local food and healthy commuting activities, reducing waste and promoting reuse, and supporting the work of the Net Zero Task Force.
Raising Academic Achievement
The Mayor's Office will focus on efforts to raise academic achievement for all students in Cambridge in collaboration with the Superintendent’s Office. The Mayor's Office will support efforts to close the achievement gap, increase parental involvement and community engagement, support efforts to promote and improve early childhood education, ensure that the needs of our Special Education students are met and that all students are being challenged to fulfill their academic potential.
Support the Efforts of the GLBT Commission
The Office of the Mayor will support the work of the GLBT Commission as well as other city organizations to promote a safer and more inclusive community. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the landmark Goodridge ruling designating the constitutional right of same sex marriages in Massachusetts. The Mayor’s Office, along with the City Administration and the GLBT Commission, will honor this watershed moment in our history this year while also continuing the tradition of the celebrated PRIDE brunch in the city.