Though he agrees with their platform almost point by point, local liberal John T. St. George '70 didn't seek the support of the liberal Cambridge Civic Association (CCA) for his city council bid. Running an independent campaign, he says "lends a sense of adventure to my candidacy."
"It never occurred to me" to ask for a CCA endorsement St. George said Sunday. "I am (running without a CCA endorsement) because it was obvious to me that if I sought their endorsement I would spend a great deal of time explaining it away."
Much of the city, especially the working class wards, consider the CCA elitist, anti-labor, anti-union, and overly cozy with academia, St. George said.
And many of the wards--Ward 1 in East Cambridge, for example--that have been rejecting CCA candidates for conservative members of the Independent slate would support a non-CCA liberal, he adds. "These working class neighborhoods are the same neighborhoods that put Tip O'Neill and Jack Kennedy in office."
"I don't want to be misunderstood," St. George said. "The CCA has taken some progressive stands on issues in the Cambridge community, especially rent control," he added. But he's hoping voters ignore the slate cards and concentrate on individuals; if they do, he says, he has a chance.
The Rent Control Task Force's rejection of CCA candidate Wendy Abt points up one problem for the CCA, he says--the potential that some voters will desert straight-slate voting.
Strong rent control and the availability of low and moderate income housing are the key issues in the campaign, he says; "there are no conditions" under which a rental property should be taken off the rental market, he adds.
In response to the cuts in revenues due to Proposition 2 1/2, St. George would like to see legislation passed allowing Cambridge to tax institutions such as MIT and Harvard--a stand many in the CCA share.
But though he's a Harvard graduate with leftist credentials that include membership in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, St. George says he will never join the traditional liberal coalition. As his brother--and campaign manager--Robert'64 says, "we feel the CCA rarely has sensitivity to community needs."
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