headshot of candidate

Joe McGuirk

He/Him

Currently
Bartender
Election history
2nd time running

More about Joe McGuirk

Named the Best Bartender in Boston by the Boston Magazine twice, Joe McGuirk has spent several decades tending Cambridge and Boston bars. He grew up in the area, and wants to continue living and serving in Cambridge - something he says is difficult for working families given the housing crises.

Incumbent
No
Age
59 years, 1 month
Born in 1965
Voting
Reg. March 5, 2010
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary
  • 🗳️ 2016 General Primary
  • 🗳️ 2016 General
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2012 General

Where Joe Lives

Address
Rents at 314 Columbia Street, Apt. 1

Joe on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
2072 Mass Ave
10% Budget for Housing
NCD Reform

Folks are naturally afraid of change. When people hear about bold policies, they are understandably anxious over how their neighborhoods might be affected. But as someone who has struggled to remain a resident here, I can tell you that change has already come. Housing costs have become so overwhelming, many of our neighbors have already been forced out, only to be replaced by wealthier folks, in both home ownership and rentals. Displacement of lower- and middle-income residents is a much bigger threat to Cambridge than changes to our skyline.

Joe on Other Issues

Endorsements for Joe

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Save Mass Ave this cycle
Our Revolution Cambridge on Sept. 17, 2023
A Better Cambridge on Sept. 15, 2023

Q&A

Interviews with Joe

ABC Candidate 2021 Survey

Housing policy questions

ABC Candidate 2021 Survey

Housing policy questions

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 Joe

One cannot paint Black Lives Matter on a fence or hang a sign saying All Are Welcome while building a wall made of money around our city to prevent lower income people from moving here, as well as displacing lower income people who already call Cambridge home.

Joe McGuirk, CCC survey

I read the CCCs recent Op-Ed in the Cambridge Day about the AHO. The values your organization espouses therein do not align with mine. Had your group been around in 1938 when my immigrant grandmother sought to make her home here, (and who then helped build the Cambridge that you now claim to seek to protect,) she would not have been welcome.

Press

Articles about or by Joe

Cambridge Day McGuirk will represent the folks vital to the city but who rarely get representation on its council

... there are a lot of folks who have had the same experiences my family and I have had. And yet we never see folks like us on our council.

Oct. 28, 2023 — Joe McGuirk
Cambridge Day McGuirk will represent the folks vital to the city but who rarely get representation on its council

... there are a lot of folks who have had the same experiences my family and I have had. And yet we never see folks like us on our council.

Oct. 28, 2023 — Joe McGuirk
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Bartender Joe McGuirk Ready for Second Round, Focusing on Affordable Housing in Council Race

“We often imagine that we’re an inclusive city, but we know that we are building through our restrictive zoning, we are building a wall of our own,” he said. “It’s a wall made out of bricks of money.”

McGuirk said he feels the Council would benefit from having councilors who can identify with the experiences of lower- and middle-income individuals — whom he called “essential” — and renters, who make up more than 60 percent of Cambridge residents.

Sept. 21, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Bartender Joe McGuirk Ready for Second Round, Focusing on Affordable Housing in Council Race

“We often imagine that we’re an inclusive city, but we know that we are building through our restrictive zoning, we are building a wall of our own,” he said. “It’s a wall made out of bricks of money.”

McGuirk said he feels the Council would benefit from having councilors who can identify with the experiences of lower- and middle-income individuals — whom he called “essential” — and renters, who make up more than 60 percent of Cambridge residents.

Sept. 21, 2023 — Jina H. Choe
The Harvard Crimson From Bartender to City Council Candidate, Joe McGuirk Hopes to Bring Fresh Voice

He argued that while Cambridge may be a very progressive city, issues like housing showcase that decisions are still made by those with more "economic might."

"I'm kind of tired of hearing that we're champions of housing and watching Cambridge become one of the most expensive cities to live in the country," McGuirk said.

...

McGuirk also said he believes more needs to be done to protect cyclists, but he acknowledged that "the process is dividing" the people involved. He cited the Oct. 2020 amendment of the Cycling Safety ordinance, which sped up the construction of dozens of miles of cycling areas in Cambridge.

Oct. 29, 2021 — Julia García-Galindo, Ella L. Jones
The Harvard Crimson From Bartender to City Council Candidate, Joe McGuirk Hopes to Bring Fresh Voice

He argued that while Cambridge may be a very progressive city, issues like housing showcase that decisions are still made by those with more "economic might."

"I'm kind of tired of hearing that we're champions of housing and watching Cambridge become one of the most expensive cities to live in the country," McGuirk said.

...

McGuirk also said he believes more needs to be done to protect cyclists, but he acknowledged that "the process is dividing" the people involved. He cited the Oct. 2020 amendment of the Cycling Safety ordinance, which sped up the construction of dozens of miles of cycling areas in Cambridge.

Oct. 29, 2021 — Julia García-Galindo, Ella L. Jones
The Harvard Crimson Challenger Candidates Propose Housing Plans, Government Reform in Bid for City Council

"The council has often been made up of land-owning or property-owning people who mostly are white-collar," he said. "They have the leisure time and the energy to do this, and I think that that isn’t truly representative. I thought, 'If not me, who?'"

Oct. 27, 2021
The Harvard Crimson Challenger Candidates Propose Housing Plans, Government Reform in Bid for City Council

"The council has often been made up of land-owning or property-owning people who mostly are white-collar," he said. "They have the leisure time and the energy to do this, and I think that that isn’t truly representative. I thought, 'If not me, who?'"

Oct. 27, 2021
Cambridge Day A healthier conversation for safer streets: Candidate on bike law and group’s pledge

I was surprised to discover that CBS told its community through social media posts and emails that I, along with other candidates who did not sign the pledge, were opposed to the ordinance. I got many emails imploring me to support the ordinance, and I have tried to reply to each to explain that I do, but that its implementation should be open, transparent and built on consensus.

Oct. 23, 2021
Cambridge Day A healthier conversation for safer streets: Candidate on bike law and group’s pledge

I was surprised to discover that CBS told its community through social media posts and emails that I, along with other candidates who did not sign the pledge, were opposed to the ordinance. I got many emails imploring me to support the ordinance, and I have tried to reply to each to explain that I do, but that its implementation should be open, transparent and built on consensus.

Oct. 23, 2021
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidates Lay Out Plans to Support Arts and Culture at Virtual Forum

“People who make our lives better by performing art in the city — they should have the opportunity to live here as well,” [McGuirk] said.

Oct. 20, 2021 — Sarah Girma and Jennifer L. Powley
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidates Lay Out Plans to Support Arts and Culture at Virtual Forum

“People who make our lives better by performing art in the city — they should have the opportunity to live here as well,” [McGuirk] said.

Oct. 20, 2021 — Sarah Girma and Jennifer L. Powley
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidates Propose Strategies for Supporting Low-Income Residents at Virtual Forum

Challenger Joe McGuirk noted the rapid loss of low and middle-income residents from Cambridge, citing mobile housing vouchers as a means of preserving socioeconomic diversity in the city.

Oct. 10, 2021 — Isabella B. Cho
The Harvard Crimson City Council Candidates Propose Strategies for Supporting Low-Income Residents at Virtual Forum

Challenger Joe McGuirk noted the rapid loss of low and middle-income residents from Cambridge, citing mobile housing vouchers as a means of preserving socioeconomic diversity in the city.

Oct. 10, 2021 — Isabella B. Cho
DigBoston Joe McGuirk and the Bartender to Politician Pipeline

... giving working class service industry people a voice, in a city that has seen incredible jumps in cost, a city that wants to retain the authenticity and the uniqueness that has made all these people want to move here, is important.

May 26, 2021 — Luke Oneil
DigBoston Joe McGuirk and the Bartender to Politician Pipeline

... giving working class service industry people a voice, in a city that has seen incredible jumps in cost, a city that wants to retain the authenticity and the uniqueness that has made all these people want to move here, is important.

May 26, 2021 — Luke Oneil
Boston.com Cocktail Club: Meet Joe McGuirk, the people’s bartender of Cambridge

I’d be a Salty Dog. [It’s] grapefruit juice and vodka with a salted rim — a Greyhound with a salted rim. Why? Because I’m outdated, bitter, and basic, yet playful and refreshing.

May 14, 2021 — Emily Turner
Boston.com Cocktail Club: Meet Joe McGuirk, the people’s bartender of Cambridge

I’d be a Salty Dog. [It’s] grapefruit juice and vodka with a salted rim — a Greyhound with a salted rim. Why? Because I’m outdated, bitter, and basic, yet playful and refreshing.

May 14, 2021 — Emily Turner
WBUR Meet Your Bartender: Highland Kitchen’s Joe McGuirk

When I mentioned to a friend, who is a veteran Boston barhound, that I was meeting with Joe McGuirk, the bartender at Highland Kitchen, my friend beamed and said, “Wow, I first knew Joe back when he was at the B-Side! He’s great. I swear he’s worked at every bar in the city. He’s like Boston’s bartender!”

Nov. 8, 2010 — Susanna Bolle
WBUR Meet Your Bartender: Highland Kitchen’s Joe McGuirk

When I mentioned to a friend, who is a veteran Boston barhound, that I was meeting with Joe McGuirk, the bartender at Highland Kitchen, my friend beamed and said, “Wow, I first knew Joe back when he was at the B-Side! He’s great. I swear he’s worked at every bar in the city. He’s like Boston’s bartender!”

Nov. 8, 2010 — Susanna Bolle

Campaign finance

How much Joe has raised and spent

$2,389
Current balance
$1,394
Balance at the start of 2023
$17,369
Raised in 2023
$16,375
Spent in 2023