Five weeks before Election Day, a fundraiser by a Cambridge political action group added thousands of dollars to the campaign coffers of several candidates for city offices.
Nearly 60 residents attended Thursday's fundraiser, sponsored by the campaign sub-committee of the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA), a progressive citizens' coalition.
The approximately $9,000 in contributions collected will be used to support the seven candidates for Cambridge City Council and the five candidates for the Cambridge School Committee endorsed by the CCA, according to John W. Gintell, treasurer.
"We will all be working hard to see a majority [of CCA members] elected to the city council and the school committee," CCA President Geneva T. Malenfant said of the November 7 race.
The CCA, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this June, traditionally has pushed for a progressive platform including controlled economic growth, environmental protection, preservation of historic buildings and increased social services.
In the past, much of the group's support was derived from backers of rent control, an initiative begun in 1970 and struck down by state-wide referendum last November.
Following the abolition of rent control, many tenants who previously voted the CCA ticket have fled the city in search of affordable housing, according to CCA member David E. Sullivan.
And with its core constituency in flux, the group is bracing for a tough fight.
"With rent control gone, it's a different ballgame," said member Chuck R. Colbert. "This election is an important one, but it's also a scary one."
'Democracy and Diversity'
CCA-endorsed candidates will battle against a field of conservative independent many of whom are endorsed by the conservative Alliance for Change.
In the 19-person race for city council, the CCA has endorsed incumbents Kathy L. Born, Francis H. Duehay '55, Katherine L. Triantafillou and newcomers Henrietta A. Davis, Craig A. Kelly, Lester P. Lee, Jr. and Ralph Lopez.
The group is also backing Tony Knopp, Susana Segat and Alice Turkel as well as incumbents Robin A. Harris and E. Denise Simmons for the school committee.
"Our slate is a model of democracy and diversity," Malenfant said of the anointed group, which includes seven women, three minorities and two homosexuals.
Malenfant said the diversity of the CCA's slate will prove valuable once city officials move to replace outgoing Police Commissioner Perry L. Anderson and School Superintendent Mary Lou McGrath, whose contract expires in June 1997.