As Cambridge’s biannual City Council elections approach, Gregg J. Moree hopes the seventh time will be the charm for his candidacy.
Moree, a carpenter and life-long Cambridge resident, has run in every City Council election for the last 12 years. Last cycle, in 2017, he received 46 total votes — the second fewest of any candidate.
Moree said he is confident he can “win this election by working in a [bipartisan] way.” His campaign focuses largely on his family history and his roots in Cambridge.
“I’m carrying a torch for my family,” he said.
Moree said he wants to expand youth apprenticeship programs and provide more services for senior citizens. He also proposed city-funded sponsorships for local students to attend Harvard.
“We have lots of kids that are smart. They just don’t have the money to go to Harvard,” he said. “So maybe there’s a way we can get them into Harvard by sponsoring them. The city can sponsor kids to go to Harvard.”
Moree added that he is a strong supporter of unions, including Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Automobile Workers, which voted overwhelmingly last week to grant its bargaining committee the power to call a strike.
“I stand with the workers of Harvard University,” Moree said.
Though he said that he wants the city “to keep a good working relationship with Harvard,” Moree added that the University does not hire enough Cambridge residents for its construction projects.
“You’ve got all those buildings at Harvard University and we didn’t get any jobs out of it,” he said. “We have no jobs. Before the permits are given out, from now on, we want jobs for our youth apprenticeship programs.”
University spokesperson Brigid O’Rourke declined to comment on Moree’s criticisms. Harvard offers a workforce development initiative called the Harvard Careers in Construction Program, which gives residents in Allston, Brighton and Cambridge work experience “with the goal of securing gainful, long-term employment in the construction industry,” according to the program’s website. The University spent $1.7 billion on construction and supplies in Massachusetts during fiscal year 2017, including $140 million spent in Cambridge, according to a 2018 report.
In past campaigns, Moree has faced questions regarding encounters with law enforcement. He faced trial just weeks before election day in 2007 after being charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Moree’s ex-wife alleged he broke into their home beat her with an umbrella. At the time, he denied the allegations and was subsequently acquitted.
Moree called the allegations “false” and declined to comment further.
Despite his six previous unsuccessful bids, Moree said he remains optimistic about his chances on Tuesday.
“I feel very strongly we’re going to win this election,” he said. “I want to focus on positive stuff.”