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A City Council candidate in every election since 2007, Gregg Moree touts his lifelong ties to Cambridge and his Democratic family background as his reasons for repeatedly running. Moree, a carpenter by trade, says that as a Councillor, he would want to have dinner with President Donald Trump and fight to increase the number of affordable housing units available in Cambridge.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
The Harvard Crimson: What do you think are the biggest issues facing the Cambridge City Council right now?
Greg Moree: It’s jobs and housing, jobs and housing. Internships, youth apprenticeship programs. We need to get these kids off the street. This is a community, we’re supposed to look out for each other. We don’t want anybody to fall through the cracks. There are people cut out to go to Harvard and MIT, and then there are people cut out just to go to work as a cop or a plumber, an electrician. And internships.
THC: What do you think Cambridge should be doing about its affordable housing crisis?
GM: I think they should build affordable housing all over the city of Cambridge. And I understand that the developers need to make a profit, so if the building needs to go a little bit more higher up, then let it go up a little bit more higher. This is a campus city, this is a bike city. People are going to want to walk around this city, and they need to use their bikes more often, and less automobiles.
THC: Why are you prepared to solve these problems?
GM: I have a hundred year history here in the city of Cambridge. I spent my whole life being honest, being a good neighbor, and telling the truth. And those things matter. And it’s just common sense solutions in the city of Cambridge. We’re going to sit down and talk about the issues, and come up with a good resolution.
THC: Do you think the City Council has done enough to respond to President Donald Trump’s policies or would you go further?
GM: I think it’s better to work with him than fight with him. It’s better to have some type of dialogue with him, to have a conversation. I’d like to have dinner with him–Gregg Moree would like to invite Donald Trump to the Kennedy School of Government to discuss issues, in a bipartisan way. That’s why the Kennedy School is there, to talk about issues that we care about. So we can bring everybody together at the Kennedy School of Government, and let them know that we care about health insurance, we care about our diversity here in Cambridge. Please, Mr. President, protect our youth, protect our people. I believe he’s gonna do that. I actually believe he’s gonna do it, but we need to invite him here to have a dialogue here.
THC: Are there any policies that you believe the Cambridge City government should be putting in place in response to Trump’s policies?
GM: Well, I listen to the attorney general, Maura Healey. She’s the one that can do all that stuff. She files lawsuits, and she cares about that stuff. So that’s an area that whatever she does I’m gonna do, cause she’s the attorney general.
THC: Back to more local issues, how do you think Cambridge should balance the need for more bike lanes and concerns from residents who do say that they need more parking spaces?
GM: Well, we should have a study, and we have pros and cons to the issue. Do I favor bike lanes and bike safety? Yes. Do I want to stop jaywalking? Yes. But what about these bikes going through intersections and stuff? This is a congested city, there are a lot of complex issues that we have to work on. I’m in favor of all good resolutions.
THC: Where do you stand on the preservation of Harvard’s historical architecture?
GM: I stand with the communities. I stand with the universities, and the citizens of this community and the commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s where the city council’s supposed to be there. It’s going along so we can get along.
THC: How should Cambridge regulate the use and distribution of recreational marijuana?
GM: Well, the kids should be doing their homework, not smoking pot in Harvard Square, you know? I don’t favor marijuana. The kids basically should just do their homework, not think about getting high.
THC: What are your thoughts on medical marijuana?
GM: Well, medical marijuana, for people who have cancer and all that—I think I can agree to that, you know. Medical marijuana, with doctor’s prescriptions, I can support that.