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Adrienne Klein Draws on City Hall Experience in Cambridge Council Bid, Promises ‘Consensus-Building’ Approach

Adrienne Klein speaks at a Cambridge City Council candidate forum hosted by the Harvard graduate students union on Tuesday night.
Adrienne Klein speaks at a Cambridge City Council candidate forum hosted by the Harvard graduate students union on Tuesday night. By Julian J. Giordano
By Muskaan Arshad, Crimson Staff Writer

Mayoral aide Adrienne Klein is running for Cambridge City Council on a platform prioritizing affordable housing, childcare support, and increased government transparency.

Klein, who has served as the director of constituent support for Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, is centering her pitch to voters on both her experience in City Hall and her ability to bring a new perspective to the Council.

“I’ve spent the past three years in the building working with the players,” Klein said. “I know I could help things get done and hopefully in a more consensus-building way.”

Klein has emphasized affordable housing in her campaign, citing her work for the Mayor helping residents access housing.

“It’s also the issue that I heard the most about, in my role in constituent services,” Klein said. “People were calling all the time, my phone was ringing off the hook, and it was always housing-related issues.”

Klein supports amendments to the 100%-Affordable Housing Zoning Overlay that would raise height maximums on affordable housing developments in the city — a frequent subject of controversy on the Council in recent months — writing on her campaign website that the current overlay “addresses some of the restrictions on housing development, but it needs adjustment.”

Klein is one of nine candidates to be endorsed by housing advocacy group A Better Cambridge. She’s also signed the Cambridge Bicycle Safety Pledge and received an endorsement from transit group Cambridge Bicycle Safety.

Klein expressed support for an inclusionary housing program for businesses, citing challenges presented by rising housing costs.

​​“We really need to aggressively think about supporting the diversity of small businesses that we have and ways to continue to provide an opportunity for that in Cambridge,” Klein said.

Klein spoke about her previous experience with regard to childcare and education.

Prior to working for Siddiqui, Klein worked for Cambridge Community Services, an agency currently focused on improving education and employment in the city.

“A lot of the work that I was doing was serving Cambridge youth and understanding the needs of those particular populations.”

Klein’s platform outlines her support for extending universal pre-K to all two- and three-year-olds, strengthening the relationship between the School Committee and City Council, and expanding early college programs.

“This is where my husband and I are raising our family. So we’re gonna be here for the long run, and I want to do what I can to deliver what’s important to the citizens of Cambridge,” said Klein.

Another priority for her campaign is government transparency and access to city services. While working in City Hall, Klein said she “served kind of like a human Rolodex,” frequently “connecting people to services that already exist in the city.”

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to create platforms where people can find those services more easily and wouldn't need to call to be connected to those,” Klein said. She adds on her platform that wants to “translate city materials into multiple languages.”

The Boston Globe reported in July that shortly after Klein launched her campaign, the city passed a law requiring Council employees to resign or take an unpaid leave of absence while running for office in the city to avoid conflicts of interest — forcing Klein, the sole breadwinner in her family, to take time away from her work in Siddiqui’s office.

“I pulled my nomination papers and then was contacted by the City Manager about a policy change — an HR policy change that essentially only affects me,” Klein said. “It really did feel particularly targeted toward me.”

Nonetheless, Klein said she is determined to serve the people of Cambridge in any way she can.

“I certainly have loved my job and want to continue to serve the Cambridge community as a city employee,” Klein said. “Being a City Councilor would be a way for me to do that.”

—Staff writer Muskaan Arshad can be reached at muskaan.arshad@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @MuskaanArshad or on Threads @muskarshad.

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