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Twenty-one Cambridge City Council candidates met with over 150 residents yesterday afternoon at the Peabody School, Linnean St., to discuss their positions as part of a continuing series of "candidates nights" being held at local schools in the area.
Notably absent were incumbents Alfred E. Vellucci, Daniel J. Clinton, Thomas Coates, Thomas W. Danehy, and Walter J. Sullivan. All were invited by the League of Women Voters, which sponsored the meeting.
While the candidates presented two-minute speeches and answered local residents' questions in well-modulated tones, an undercurrent of anxiety concerning voter registration difficulties seemed present at the meeting.
Barbara Ackerman, one of only two incumbents present at the gathering, said that a number of steps are now being taken to see that both public and governmental pressure is put on Cambridge election officials to grease the rusting registration process.
"We'll try and get as many people as possible to show up at Monday's City Council Meeting and testify concerning the many excuses being used to turn people away from registering," she said.
"If enough people do show up, it may be possible to get Attorney General Quinn to take some sort of action," Ackerman said. "After all, he was the one who said that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that students are being discriminated against as a class," she added.
Also being planned by a group of five community-control candidates--Saundra Graham, Thomas P. Rossi '71, Henry Smilowitz, C. Wendell Smith, and Philip Shaw--is a large "register-in" at City Hall this Friday. The event is scheduled to coincide with the voter registration rally in Boston on the same day where 100 registrars. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D.-Mass.), and Sen. Edmund Muskie (D.-Maine), will be present.
Boston vs. Cambridge
"While Boston is registering all students and even supplying 100 registrars to do it, Cambridge won't even add one extra registrar," said Rossi. "It'll make a pretty fitting contrast to have students turned away here, while in Boston everyone registers while politicians chide students for not joining the system."
"But the prime purpose next Friday is to get people registered so that they can elect representatives who will be responsible to the people," Rossi added.
At yesterday's meeting virtually all of the candidates agreed that the City Manager should be held more accountable to Cambridge residents, and pledged the immediate firing of present City Manager John Corcoran.
Hah Hah Hah
The issue of rent control also got a strong going-over by the candidates, who declared the present rent control administration anywhere from "not so hot" to "just one big joke." Day care and drug addiction also attracted much of the candidates' attention.
Present at the meeting were: Barbara Ackerman, Michael J. Amato, Fred Arsenault, Jerry R. Cole, Donald F. Dailey, Francis H. Duehay, Saundra Graham, Jeanne Lafferty, Robert P. Moncreif, Steve Nelson, Henry F. Owens III, Edward P. Pacheco, Harry Photopoulos, Robert Anthony Romagna '74, Thomas P. Rossi, Leonard J. Russell, Toba L. Singer, Philip S. Shaw, Henry Smilowitz, C. Wendell Smith, and Sarah Jane Ullman.
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