headshot of candidate

Vernon K. Walker

He/Him

Currently
Program Director at non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather
Election history
1st time running

More about Vernon K. Walker

Reverend Vernon Walker has worked for the non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (or CREW). He has also organized for the Massachusetts Nursing Association and Voter Choice Massachusetts, and is a Democrat State Committee Member.

Vernon first moved to Cambridge in 2020, and now lives in an inclusionary unit (a below-market unit in an otherwise market-rate building, required as part of Cambridge's policy for larger buildings). He says that is what has allowed him to stay in Cambridge.

He writes that he was motivated to run this year out of concern over the impacts of extreme weather in Cambridge, the lack of affordable housing units available, and the lack of equitable representation of renters on the Council.

Incumbent
No
Education
  • BS, Penn State
  • Master's, Boston University
  • Master's, Boston University
  • Master's, Tufts
Age
37 years, 10 months
Born in Philadelphia in 1986
Voting
Reg. Aug. 13, 2021
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2020 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2019 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2018 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2017 Municipal Primary (ex., in Boston)
  • 🗳️ 2017 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2016 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2016 General
  • 🗳️ 2016 General Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2013 Municipal

Where Vernon Lives

Address
Rents (inclusionary unit) at 165 Main Street, Unit 1205

Vernon on Housing

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

In general, Vernon wants to allow or require more subsidized, affordable housing in Cambridge, and is skeptical of market-rate housing. He also supports and proposes various tenant protections.

I would also support the city expanding the Inclusionary Housing requirement for the new market rate developments to reserve 30% floor area for affordable housing units instead of the 20% that it currently has in place.

I agree more using should be built in the city, I question how effective it would be just to build more market rate housing as the market rate housing prices are increasing becoming more higher.

Vernon K. Walker, ABC Survey 2023

I support looking at all strategies that would look at adding affordable housing units to the city. I do think the strategy could include looking at how the social housing model bill that Rep. Mike Connolly put forward in the State House could help with the housing crisis in Cambridge.

Vernon K. Walker, ABC Survey 2023

I would have to see more deviance to suggest that market rate housing will make Cambridge affordable.

Vernon K. Walker, ABC Survey 2023

It is a great thing that Boston is looking at capping the rent increase. I was fortunate not to have my rent go up less then 10% when I lived in Portor Square but if the rent would have gone up by 10% it would have become a cost burden for me. Because of the high cost of living in Cambridge I think the cap on rent should be lower then what Boston has at 10%.

Vernon on Other Issues

Endorsements for Vernon

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Cambridge Residents Alliance on Sept. 30, 2023
Massachusetts Sierra Club this cycle
Cambridge Bicycle Safety on Sept. 23, 2023
Our Revolution Cambridge on Sept. 17, 2023
SEIU Local 509 this cycle
Greater Boston Labor Council this cycle
UAW Region 9A (includes Harvard Grad Student Union) this cycle

View on their site »

Q&A

Interviews with Vernon

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.

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2023

They asked candidates to sign a pledge, which starts: "I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes..."

Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge 2023

They asked candidates to sign a pledge, which starts: "I support rapid implementation of the citywide network of protected bicycle lanes..."

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

Quotes by or about Vernon

One issue that I want to achieve in the next City Council term is a policy order that helps prepare residents for extreme weather that impacts Cambridge. I want to advocate for a policy order that would require one of the city departments to provide educational material to residents on how to prepare for flooding, heatwaves, extreme cold, etc. Part of policy order would require the city CDD to reach out to community-based organizations and hospitals to jointly work together to conduct climate resiliency educational workshops throughout the city. We need more climate adaptation policies that are designed to help prepare and protect people from extreme weather.

Vernon K. Walker, CCC Survey 2023

What City Council decision were you most disappointed in the last Council term?

That the City Council did not pass an ordinance to allow a ballot question to be placed on the ballot this November for Cambridge voters to vote on if the Police Review and advisory board should be elected.

Press

Articles about or by Vernon

Cambridge Day Cambridge city councillor and three candidates about conflict among Israelis and Palestinians

Oct. 16, 2023 — Quinton Zondervan, Ayah Al-Zubi, Vernon K. Walker and Dan Totten
Cambridge Day Cambridge city councillor and three candidates about conflict among Israelis and Palestinians

Oct. 16, 2023 — Quinton Zondervan, Ayah Al-Zubi, Vernon K. Walker and Dan Totten
WGBH As the climate changes, obsolete dams put Mass. at risk for flooding similar to Vermont

“We’re looking at building green storm water infrastructure,” Walker said. “We’re looking at reducing impervious cover. We’re looking at land conservation and increasing the tree canopy. And all these are potential opportunities for flood water storage.”

And for when those floods eventually do hit, Climate CREW is prepared to give community members “to-go” emergency bags with items like flashlights, can openers and waterproof matches.

July 14, 2023 — Craig LeMoult, Casey Choung
WGBH As the climate changes, obsolete dams put Mass. at risk for flooding similar to Vermont

“We’re looking at building green storm water infrastructure,” Walker said. “We’re looking at reducing impervious cover. We’re looking at land conservation and increasing the tree canopy. And all these are potential opportunities for flood water storage.”

And for when those floods eventually do hit, Climate CREW is prepared to give community members “to-go” emergency bags with items like flashlights, can openers and waterproof matches.

July 14, 2023 — Craig LeMoult, Casey Choung
Cambridge Day Zondervan won’t run for a fourth council term, ensuring at least three new Cambridge leaders

Zondervan also mentioned challenger Vernon Walker, who is a program director at the organization Communities Responding to Extreme Weather.

July 9, 2023 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Zondervan won’t run for a fourth council term, ensuring at least three new Cambridge leaders

Zondervan also mentioned challenger Vernon Walker, who is a program director at the organization Communities Responding to Extreme Weather.

July 9, 2023 — Marc Levy
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Begins Evaluating Candidates for Next City Manager

Reverend Vernon K. Walker, an official at the non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather and a screening committee member, told The Crimson in April that he will be looking for city manager candidates who prioritize supporting marginalized groups.

“It’s important to have that voice at the table representing communities that are disproportionately affected by extreme weather and the climate crisis,” Walker said.

May 9, 2022 — Elias J. Schisgall
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Begins Evaluating Candidates for Next City Manager

Reverend Vernon K. Walker, an official at the non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather and a screening committee member, told The Crimson in April that he will be looking for city manager candidates who prioritize supporting marginalized groups.

“It’s important to have that voice at the table representing communities that are disproportionately affected by extreme weather and the climate crisis,” Walker said.

May 9, 2022 — Elias J. Schisgall
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Begins Evaluating Candidates for Next City Manager

Reverend Vernon K. Walker, an official at the non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather and a screening committee member, told The Crimson in April that he will be looking for city manager candidates who prioritize supporting marginalized groups.

“It’s important to have that voice at the table representing communities that are disproportionately affected by extreme weather and the climate crisis,” Walker said.

May 9, 2022 — Elias J. Schisgall
The Harvard Crimson Cambridge Begins Evaluating Candidates for Next City Manager

Reverend Vernon K. Walker, an official at the non-profit Communities Responding to Extreme Weather and a screening committee member, told The Crimson in April that he will be looking for city manager candidates who prioritize supporting marginalized groups.

“It’s important to have that voice at the table representing communities that are disproportionately affected by extreme weather and the climate crisis,” Walker said.

May 9, 2022 — Elias J. Schisgall

Campaign finance

How much Vernon has raised and spent

$2,517
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2023
$16,111
Raised in 2023
$812.00 from self included
$13,594
Spent in 2023