headshot of candidate

Douglas "Doug" Brown

He/Him

Currently
Project Manager at interior design firm
Election history
1st time running

More about Douglas "Doug" Brown

Doug Brown has lived in Cambridge for almost 25 years, and first bought a house here in 2002. Before being a project manager and stay-at-home-dad, he worked for 15 years at an automative/transportation insurance claims processing tech firm.

He is currently the clerk for History Cambridge, and has also been involved in the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance, the City’s Climate Resiliency Zoning Task Force, the Envision Cambridge Alewife Working Group, and is an organizer of the annual Standish Street Halloween Block Party. He's submitted several zoning changes to the city in the past decades; one in February was rejected by the council as "defective as a matter of law".

He wrote in the Cambridge Citizens Coalition survey that "the continuing polarization of local politics by certain Councilors and by factions such as ABC motivated me to run."

Incumbent
No
Education
  • BA, Princeton University
Age
56 years, 3 months
Born in Mystic, Connecticut in 1968
Voting
Reg. Sept. 11, 1999
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2019 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2017 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2016 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2016 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2015 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2014 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2013 Special
  • 🗳️ 2013 Special Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2013 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2012 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2012 General

Where Doug Lives

Address
Owns at 35 Standish Street
Valued at approx. $2,900,000
Last sold April 2, 2012 for $832,500
inflation adjusted approx. $1,110,000

Doug on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
AHO #1
10% Budget for Housing
NCD Reform

As long as I have lived in Cambridge, our City has had a housing affordability issue.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, ABC Survey 2023

For renters who prefer continuing to rent, we need to solve our vacancy issue. 10% of all housing units are currently vacant, often due to real estate speculation and/or foreign investment, but also because owners can’t afford to fund necessary repairs. Some states are experimenting with controls on house flipping and on foreign ownership, while others are providing grants to fund repairs. We should pursue both options.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, ABC Survey 2023

I don’t support the AHO, particularly along secondary corridors that have neither retail nor quality public transit. I also believe that the heights and dimensions permitted under the proposed AHO amendments are extreme and entirely inappropriate for existing neighborhoods.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, ABC Survey 2023

I believe that more density is appropriate, but only it it can be done responsibly with proper protections for open space, reuse of historic structures, and truly equitable transit options.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, ABC Survey 2023

This year I submitted a citizens’ petition (The Brown Petition) to incrementally modernize the current Zoning Ordinance. I believe that incremental changes are more responsible than the Council’s radical proposal.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, CCC Survey 2023

Not to say we don’t want people in Cambridge, but at a certain point, what can a city actually do? Do we keep building until we look like New York City or Singapore? Or do we decide that there’s a limit?

Doug on Other Issues

Proposal Supported?
Sa/Su Car-free Mem Drive

Endorsements for Doug

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Cambridge Residents Alliance on Sept. 30, 2023
Cambridge Citizens Coalition on Sept. 14, 2023

Q&A

Interviews with Doug

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Distribution of funds, non-profits and their position in Cambridge

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition

Distribution of funds, non-profits and their position in Cambridge

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

Quotes by or about Doug

I support term limits for all elected and appointed officials, including the City Council, School Committee, and all boards and commissions.

Douglas "Doug" Brown, ABC Survey 2023

As a parent of three young children who bike, I am a strong advocate for safer streets. I also support the broad vision laid out in the City’s Bicycle Network Plan. However, I also believe that the City’s process for bike lane implementation has been deeply flawed, and that the results are often confusing for both cyclists and drivers alike.

Press

Articles about or by Doug

The Harvard Crimson Doug Brown Vows To Be ‘Tireless Supporter’ of Families if Elected to Cambridge Council

Brown did not respond to requests for an interview with The Crimson.

Nov. 4, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
The Harvard Crimson Doug Brown Vows To Be ‘Tireless Supporter’ of Families if Elected to Cambridge Council

Brown did not respond to requests for an interview with The Crimson.

Nov. 4, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
Boston Globe In Cambridge, a battle over affordable housing revives longstanding political tensions

“It’s a hammer approach to a problem that’s way more complicated than that,” said Doug Brown, an officer of the Fresh Pond Neighborhood Alliance, who is running for City Council. “We need to have deeper conversations than, ‘build more housing build more housing build more housing.’ Residents have genuine concerns over quality of life.”

Oct. 15, 2023 — Andrew Brinker
Boston Globe In Cambridge, a battle over affordable housing revives longstanding political tensions

“It’s a hammer approach to a problem that’s way more complicated than that,” said Doug Brown, an officer of the Fresh Pond Neighborhood Alliance, who is running for City Council. “We need to have deeper conversations than, ‘build more housing build more housing build more housing.’ Residents have genuine concerns over quality of life.”

Oct. 15, 2023 — Andrew Brinker
Cambridge Day City invitations to Tobin school groundbreaking go to officials, skip neighbors to the construction

[Left as a comment] This is not at all the type of story that I enjoy being quoted in. The City needs to do a much better job of engaging with neighborhoods. Despite beliefs to the contrary, it’s well demonstrated that community involvement makes for better project outcomes, while actively ignoring neighbors creates nothing but contempt and conspiracy theories. Whether a “miscommunication” or something more intentional, this is clearly unacceptable for a City that is of late attempting to re-engage with neighborhoods.

Dec. 14, 2021 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day City invitations to Tobin school groundbreaking go to officials, skip neighbors to the construction

[Left as a comment] This is not at all the type of story that I enjoy being quoted in. The City needs to do a much better job of engaging with neighborhoods. Despite beliefs to the contrary, it’s well demonstrated that community involvement makes for better project outcomes, while actively ignoring neighbors creates nothing but contempt and conspiracy theories. Whether a “miscommunication” or something more intentional, this is clearly unacceptable for a City that is of late attempting to re-engage with neighborhoods.

Dec. 14, 2021 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Home | Features | Did You Know? We’ve seen eight historical waves of migration, but Cambridge’s ninth will be more complicated

So what does the future look like for Cambridge and its immigrants? The next big driver of migration will quite possibly be climate change, with climate refugees replacing economic and political ones as the next great wave.

Writing in Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell reports that extreme weather connected to climate change displaced more than 1 million people from their homes in 2017. A recent study by Mathew Hauer of the University of Georgia estimates that 13 million Americans will be displaced by sea-level rise by 2100. Rather than struggle to adapt, it’s often easier just to leave. Unfortunately, the fact that 40 percent of Cambridge is built on filled wetland means that the city could potentially lose as many or more people to climate migration as it gains.

July 26, 2021 — Doug Brown
Cambridge Day Home | Features | Did You Know? We’ve seen eight historical waves of migration, but Cambridge’s ninth will be more complicated

So what does the future look like for Cambridge and its immigrants? The next big driver of migration will quite possibly be climate change, with climate refugees replacing economic and political ones as the next great wave.

Writing in Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell reports that extreme weather connected to climate change displaced more than 1 million people from their homes in 2017. A recent study by Mathew Hauer of the University of Georgia estimates that 13 million Americans will be displaced by sea-level rise by 2100. Rather than struggle to adapt, it’s often easier just to leave. Unfortunately, the fact that 40 percent of Cambridge is built on filled wetland means that the city could potentially lose as many or more people to climate migration as it gains.

July 26, 2021 — Doug Brown
Cambridge Day Withdraw affordable housing overlay petition for a rewrite to be simply voted by City Council

Aug. 6, 2019 — Alison Field-Juma, Mike Nakagawa, Alice Heller and Doug Brown
Cambridge Day Withdraw affordable housing overlay petition for a rewrite to be simply voted by City Council

Aug. 6, 2019 — Alison Field-Juma, Mike Nakagawa, Alice Heller and Doug Brown
Cambridge Day Threat to $110M affordable housing project makes objections to green petition concrete

“It was an interesting meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments and still not got a date to the prom,” Brown quipped.

Wednesday’s hearing heard testimony that the city was already working on environmental zoning that covered much of what Nakagawa and Brown were trying to accomplish, including in the Envision Cambridge master planning process. On each night, there were criticisms that the petition was overly complex and carried the risk of big unintended consequences – some of which could limit the building of affordable housing, though Nakagawa and Brown believed those projects would likely be exempted from its requirements. (The city’s primary builders of affordable housing, Just-A-Start and Homeowners Rehab Inc., oppose the zoning.)

June 28, 2018 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Threat to $110M affordable housing project makes objections to green petition concrete

“It was an interesting meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments and still not got a date to the prom,” Brown quipped.

Wednesday’s hearing heard testimony that the city was already working on environmental zoning that covered much of what Nakagawa and Brown were trying to accomplish, including in the Envision Cambridge master planning process. On each night, there were criticisms that the petition was overly complex and carried the risk of big unintended consequences – some of which could limit the building of affordable housing, though Nakagawa and Brown believed those projects would likely be exempted from its requirements. (The city’s primary builders of affordable housing, Just-A-Start and Homeowners Rehab Inc., oppose the zoning.)

June 28, 2018 — Marc Levy

Campaign finance

How much Doug has raised and spent

$65
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2023
$5,406
Raised in 2023
$200.00 from self included
$5,341
Spent in 2023