headshot of candidate

Paul Toner

He/Him

Currently
Executive Director of Teach Plus; Education Consultant
Election history
2nd time running

More about Paul Toner

A longtime cambridge resident, Paul Toner lives in the home of his great-grandfather. He is a graduate of Cambridge's Matignon High School, as well as BU, UMass Boston, and Suffolk university.

Paul Toner has run for City Council once before, in 2017. He was vice president and then president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association from 2006 until 2014, and was president of the Cambridge Teachers Association from 2001-2006. Prior to being in leadership, he was a 7th and 8th grade teacher from 1993 to 2001 at the Harrington Elementary School in Cambridge.

Recently, he was an Executive Director at Teach Plus, a non-profit focused on training teachers to lead to education policy and a supporter of teacher and student evaluation systems.

Incumbent
No
Education
Boston University BA in Political Science; Umass Boston Masters of Education; Suffolk University JD
Age
55 years, 7 months
Born in 1966
Voter Registration
Aug. 18, 1984

Where does Paul live?

Address
Owns at 24 Newman Street Cambridge, MA 02140
Valued at approx. $815,000
Last sold Nov. 10, 1997 for $300,000
inflation adjusted approx. $458,487

What are their housing positions?

Proposal Supported?
2072 Mass Ave

Local Endorsements

Q&A

Interviews with the candidate

ABC Candidate 2021 Survey

Housing policy questions

ABC Candidate 2021 Survey

Housing policy questions

Cambridge Citizen's Coalition Survey

Questions about recent zoning petitions, city manager contract, and "housing challenges"

Cambridge Citizen's Coalition Survey

Questions about recent zoning petitions, city manager contract, and "housing challenges"

Vision Zero Coalition 2021

Reduction in traffic injuries and deaths

Vision Zero Coalition 2021

Reduction in traffic injuries and deaths

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition 2021

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

Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition 2021

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

Quotes

My top priority is bringing civil discourse back to local government.

Paul Toner, Scout Cambridge Profile

The City has been experimenting with variations of bicycle paths with very mixed reviews. I want to take the time to engage more people in the conversation... before committing to specific forms of bike lanes, and mandated benchmarks.

Press

Articles about the candidate

The Harvard Crimson Longtime Cantabrigian Paul Toner Hopes to Build Consensus on Council

For Toner, whose family has been in Cambridge for generations, running for City Council is just the next step in giving back to the city that has meant so much to him and his family.

"What I love and what so many long-term residents love about Cambridge is the community that’s about supporting one another and helping each other’s neighbors and giving back," Toner said.

Oct. 28, 2021 — Edona Cosovic, Io Y. Gilman
The Harvard Crimson Longtime Cantabrigian Paul Toner Hopes to Build Consensus on Council

For Toner, whose family has been in Cambridge for generations, running for City Council is just the next step in giving back to the city that has meant so much to him and his family.

"What I love and what so many long-term residents love about Cambridge is the community that’s about supporting one another and helping each other’s neighbors and giving back," Toner said.

Oct. 28, 2021 — Edona Cosovic, Io Y. Gilman
Wicked Local Cambridge ELECTION 2021: Cambridge City Council candidate statements

As a leader, I have sought to build consensus to make policy decisions based on open dialogue, and data. I am confident that I can bring the same spirit of respect and collaboration to the council. I will work with the council members, staff, and constituents to provide the solutions-oriented leadership necessary to develop and implement a vision for our city that preserves the best of our past and prepares us for the future.

Oct. 21, 2021 — Community Content
Wicked Local Cambridge ELECTION 2021: Cambridge City Council candidate statements

As a leader, I have sought to build consensus to make policy decisions based on open dialogue, and data. I am confident that I can bring the same spirit of respect and collaboration to the council. I will work with the council members, staff, and constituents to provide the solutions-oriented leadership necessary to develop and implement a vision for our city that preserves the best of our past and prepares us for the future.

Oct. 21, 2021 — Community Content
Wicked Local Cambridge GUEST COLUMN: Working to keep city’s values, economy strong

I will fight to maintain our vibrant neighborhoods. Cambridge’s assets are its neighborhoods, small businesses and strong sense of community. I will advocate for policies and infrastructure investments that balance the need to maintain livable neighborhoods, improve our quality of life and create sustainable economic growth.

Oct. 17, 2017 — Paul Toner
Wicked Local Cambridge GUEST COLUMN: Working to keep city’s values, economy strong

I will fight to maintain our vibrant neighborhoods. Cambridge’s assets are its neighborhoods, small businesses and strong sense of community. I will advocate for policies and infrastructure investments that balance the need to maintain livable neighborhoods, improve our quality of life and create sustainable economic growth.

Oct. 17, 2017 — Paul Toner
Scout Cambridge City Council Candidate Profiles, Group 2 of 5

What would your top three priorities be if elected?

My top priority is bringing civil discourse back to local government. I am a very solutions-oriented person and have worked hard at developing collaborative relationships in all of the work I do.

Oct. 5, 2017 — Reena Karasin
Scout Cambridge City Council Candidate Profiles, Group 2 of 5

What would your top three priorities be if elected?

My top priority is bringing civil discourse back to local government. I am a very solutions-oriented person and have worked hard at developing collaborative relationships in all of the work I do.

Oct. 5, 2017 — Reena Karasin
Cambridge Day Surprising many, district public schools will switch to controversial PARCC test

In public comments, Paul Toner – a Cambridge parent, member of the state Board of Education, and former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association – agreed. “I want my son in fifth grade to have the chance try these new assessments as soon as possible so that he and all CPS students are better prepared for the new test in 2017,” he said, also putting heavy weight on the attractiveness of being “held harmless.”

But several teachers took exception to the term, with Preval saying after Toner’s remarks that she found harm in a new, problematic test “setting our kids up for failure.” Graham & Parks School literacy coach Kathy Greeley said teachers were not opposed to assessments, but harm came to schools through “narrowing our curriculum so that students are spending less and less time in a creative, imaginative way.”

Dec. 18, 2015 — Jean Cummings
Cambridge Day Surprising many, district public schools will switch to controversial PARCC test

In public comments, Paul Toner – a Cambridge parent, member of the state Board of Education, and former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association – agreed. “I want my son in fifth grade to have the chance try these new assessments as soon as possible so that he and all CPS students are better prepared for the new test in 2017,” he said, also putting heavy weight on the attractiveness of being “held harmless.”

But several teachers took exception to the term, with Preval saying after Toner’s remarks that she found harm in a new, problematic test “setting our kids up for failure.” Graham & Parks School literacy coach Kathy Greeley said teachers were not opposed to assessments, but harm came to schools through “narrowing our curriculum so that students are spending less and less time in a creative, imaginative way.”

Dec. 18, 2015 — Jean Cummings
The Boston Globe New teachers union chief is unapologetically adversarial

The 57-year-old former psychologist turned teacher won her race by openly criticizing the current union president, Paul Toner, for his record of negotiating with — rather than fighting — officials on the development of teacher assessments and the Common Core, a set of national education standards adopted in Massachusetts and 43 other states.

Her agenda forcefully rejects those policies, which have gained increasing support from Republicans and Democratsover the last 20 years. She supports a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and teacher assessments and denounces charter schools. Though these initiatives have never been popular with teachers unions, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, under Toner, took a softer line, seeking compromise rather than confrontation.

June 6, 2014 — Michael Levenson
The Boston Globe New teachers union chief is unapologetically adversarial

The 57-year-old former psychologist turned teacher won her race by openly criticizing the current union president, Paul Toner, for his record of negotiating with — rather than fighting — officials on the development of teacher assessments and the Common Core, a set of national education standards adopted in Massachusetts and 43 other states.

Her agenda forcefully rejects those policies, which have gained increasing support from Republicans and Democratsover the last 20 years. She supports a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and teacher assessments and denounces charter schools. Though these initiatives have never been popular with teachers unions, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, under Toner, took a softer line, seeking compromise rather than confrontation.

June 6, 2014 — Michael Levenson
Cambridge Day MTA elects Cambridge teacher president

Toner taught social studies and reading to seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Harrington Elementary School in Cambridge from 1993 to 2001, when he was elected president of the 1,100-member Cambridge Teachers Association. In 2006, he was elected vice president of MTA.

A graduate of Boston University and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Toner also holds a law degree from Suffolk University. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, Susan Connelly, and their school-age children, Grace and Jack.

May 8, 2010 — Robert Travers
Cambridge Day MTA elects Cambridge teacher president

Toner taught social studies and reading to seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Harrington Elementary School in Cambridge from 1993 to 2001, when he was elected president of the 1,100-member Cambridge Teachers Association. In 2006, he was elected vice president of MTA.

A graduate of Boston University and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Toner also holds a law degree from Suffolk University. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, Susan Connelly, and their school-age children, Grace and Jack.

May 8, 2010 — Robert Travers

Campaign finance

How much the candidate has raised and spent

$28,199
Current balance
$157
Balance at the start of 2021
$62,333
Raised in 2021
$34,291
Spent in 2021