Building his campaign on his carpenter background and his Cambridge roots, Gregg J. Moree is hoping that third time is the charm as he runs for Cambridge City Council for the third straight election.
Moree says that over the last 22 years, he has worked as a carpenter at many buildings throughout Cambridge and Harvard University, including Memorial Hall and Harvard Law School. Born and raised in Cambridge, he attended the M.E. Fitzgerald Elementary School, the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, and the North Bennet Street School.
Moree previously ran for a seat on the Cambridge City Council in 2007 and 2009. Both bids were unsuccessful.
He says he got interested in politics because of his uncle, the late Joseph G. Sakey, who was the director of the Cambridge public libraries. Moree described Sakey as “my biggest mentor, tutor, and best friend.”
Although Moree has never held office before, he says his life experiences are exactly what Cambridge needs.
“I made a living on just telling the truth and going to church,” Moree says. “There are so many people lying today. My experience is just telling the truth, being a good citizen, and building buildings. I can go and build a house right now. You know what it would cost you to build a house? It would cost you a lot of money. I know how to build houses.”
“Integrity” is the number one idea that Moree has pushed throughout his campaign. He says he disapproves of the mindset that he sees in the current City Council members.
“They’re professionals,” Moree said. “They lie. They flip-flop. They know how to bang off the issue. We have to go back to integrity in public office. Life is about telling the truth. That’s why we pledge allegiance to the flag, and that’s what we have to stand for.”
In contrast, Moree said that he believes that he has the integrity and intelligence to be the right man for the job.
“I’m smart, and I can see into the future,” said Moree. “I get a lot of information, and I analyze it with great deliberation. I own two pieces of property in Palm Beach. The richest people in the world are my neighbors. These guys can buy Harvard University; they can buy the whole thing.”
Much of Moree’s platform revolves around making sure that Cambridge and Massachusetts citizens have jobs and housing. In addition, Moree is pushing for enhanced bargaining rights for unions and addressing the living wage and prevailing wage.
Moree says he disapproves of the fact that the current city and state governments have not voted on a “residency requirement” for jobs in Cambridge and Massachusetts.
If jobs in the area are required to go to local residents, Moree argues, the resulting increase in income tax revenues would go to the “State department,” thus preventing cuts to programs Moree values such as student aid and programs for the elderly.
“Why should someone from Connecticut or New Hampshire come here to take your job?” Moree says. “You, [a Cambridge resident,] can do it. Why not hire you? Why go to New Hampshire? Because they make backroom deals.”
Moree repeatedly stressed his belief that government dishonesty is to blame for current economic struggles.