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Sumbul Siddiqui

Sumbul Siddiqui

Sumbul Siddiqui is serving her fourth term on the Cambridge City Council and served two terms as Mayor of Cambridge. She is the first Muslim mayor in Massachusetts and the first female mayor to serve two consecutive terms in Cambridge. Councillor Siddiqui immigrated to the United States from Karachi, Pakistan at the age of two, along with her parents and twin brother. She was raised in Cambridge affordable housing and attended Cambridge Public Schools, graduating from Cambridge Rindge and Latin (CRLS). While a student at CRLS, Councillor Siddiqui’s passion for service and youth representation motivated her to co-found the Cambridge Youth Council, now in its 22nd year. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Brown University, Councillor Siddiqui served as an AmeriCorps fellow at New Profit, a then Cambridge-based organization dedicated to improving social mobility for families. Upon earning her J.D. from Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, she moved home to practice as a legal aid attorney with Northeast Legal Aid.

Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui 2018-2019:

  • Sponsored numerous community events, including Cambridge Digs DEEP, a series of Citywide forums on racial justice;
  • Hosted an annual Cambridge Community Iftar during the month of Ramadan
  • As Co-Chair of the Housing Committee, she shared the tenant displacement task force, to provide the City of Cambridge with guidance on how to prevent displacement in the Cambridge community through policy implementation, legislative action, and appropriately targeted resource allocation
  • Advocated to successfully increase the city’s contracts with legal aid agencies

Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui 2020-2024:

  • Launched the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund for Covid-10, which raised over $5 million dollars to help individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations;
  • Started Cambridge RISE, one of the first guaranteed income pilots in the country, and expanded the pilot into a $22 million program providing about 2,000 families with $500 monthly payments for 18 months called Rise Up Cambridge;
  • Helped establish a program partnering the City with East Cambridge Savings Bank to open a savings account with $50 for every kindergartener along with financial literacy classes
  • Initiated an Early College Pilot with Cambridge Public Schools and Lesley University
  • Preserved and expanded affordable housing options in Cambridge. This included the preservation of over 500 affordable units in the Fresh Pond Apartments and the expansion of eligibility criteria for the HomeBridge program to 120% of the area median income and ensuring that home ownership is a reality for people across the income spectrum
  • Formed an Ad-Hoc Committee in collaboration with the Office of Early Childhood Education to implement Universal Pre-K in Cambridge, which begins September 2024 for every 4 year old and some 3 year olds living Cambridge
  • Advocated to bring halal food to the Cambridge Public Schools and worked with Food and Nutrition Services at the Cambridge Public Schools
  • Helped eliminate library fines that disproportionately affect low-income residents and families of color
  • Helped lead the effort to pass the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance amendments, putting Cambridge on a path to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2035
  • Created three working groups to address persistent issues in Cambridge, including the Climate Crisis Working Group, Fare Free Bus Route Working Group, and the Homelessness Working Group, which all provided policy recommendations to the City Council
  • Sponsored the Tenant Rights and Resources Notification Act
  • Created a Cambridge Promise pilot that is providing students with free tuition at Bunker Hill Community College and a College Success Coach
  • Advocated redesigning a Cambridge specific “I Voted” sticker with the help of Cambridge Rindge and Latin students
  • Launched the Winter Gift Card Drive in partnership with Harvard and MIT and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce that raised over $170,000 in gift cards for community nonprofits to help residents in 2021, 2022 and 2023
  • Advanced a language justice policy as the Chair of the Family Policy Council
  • Joined mayors from Somerville, Lynn, and Salem to sign the Commonwealth Development Compact, committing to historic DEI evaluation criteria in public and private real estate development projects and after advocating for spearheaded policy order 2023 #76 that would create a non-binding framework that Cambridge can use to work towards a more diverse real estate development industry

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2018: Outstanding Achievement Award South Asian Bar Association
  • 2020: NAACP Leadership Award
  • 2021: Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts Emerging Women Leaders in the Law award
  • 2021: South Asian Bar Association 2021 Member of the Year
  • 2021: Northwestern Law Emerging Leader Award
  • 2021: Margaret Fuller House Gala Award
  • 2021: Greater Boston Labor Council Labor Champion award
  • 2022: Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc award in recognition of work as Chair of Cambridge School Committee
  • 2023: American Pakistan Foundation Rising Star
  • 2023: UMASS Distinguished Fellow
  • 2024: NAACP Leadership Award
  • 2023-2024: UMASS Distinguished Public Service Fellows Program

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