November 2, 2011
Contact: Kevin Gilnack, Communications Director, 617.506.9670


Young Democrats work to protect, add to progressive voices on Cambridge City Council

Endorse Cheung, Seidel, Simmons and Nelson

BOSTON – With municipal elections around the corner in more than 50 Massachusetts communities, the Young Democrats of Massachusetts (YDM) and Greater Boston Young Democrats (GBYD) are working to create more progressive representation at the most local level of government in Cambridge and reminding residents to get out to the polls next Tuesday.

“There are a lot of great candidates who have fought on the issues we care about – job creation, healthy communities, constituent engagement that includes young people – and it would be a terrible loss for our communities and the Commonwealth for us to lose their representation. I hope that everyone gets out and votes in their local elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8,” said YDM Chair Elaine Almquist.

Among the endorsed candidates is freshman Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung – a Young Democrat himself – who has a strong track record of taking on tough issues and facing a tough re-election bid. Cheung has been a vocal proponent of housing and education and made improved relationships between the city and its university community a top priority. 

All of the incumbents face a large field of challengers but Cheung has to buck the city’s tradition of not re-electing the lowest vote getter from the previous election.

YDM is also helping to re-elect Sam Seidel and Denise Simmons. Seidel received YDM’s endorsement for his commitment to protecting the environment and protecting programs for young people. Simmons, who launched the Mayor’s Girls Leadership Program while Mayor of Cambridge, has made education and youth programs a top priority throughout her career in public service.

The Young Democrats aim to add a new voice to the council by endorsing Matt Nelson, a former educator and community activist based on his strong education reform platform. He has a Master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University and was a teacher for the Cambridge Public Schools Summer Programs. Nelson has been involved in numerous local elections and organized with the Massachusetts Environmental Voters Education Fund and for a project of the League of Conservation Voters and the Mass. League of Environmental Voters.

“These candidates represent the new face of politics in Cambridge. All four candidates have strong records of reaching out into the community, talking with previously marginalized constituent groups, and making changes that help move Cambridge in a better direction,” Almquist said.

As part of their effort to support their endorsed candidates, members of YDM have volunteered in the field, hosted and attended fundraisers, and registered their chapter members and members of the Occupy Boston movement to vote. YDM plans to turn out their members to the polls in support of their endorsed candidates.

“Students and young professionals play a critical role in our communities and our economy, and it has been great to see so many members getting involved through campaigns and other civic engagement. I think the track records of our endorsed candidates speak for themselves and have a lot of people excited to get out and vote next Tuesday,” Almquist said.

Municipal elections are being held at Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Cambridge and 52 other Massachusetts communities. Polls will be open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

The Young Democrats of Massachusetts is a partisan political organization with over 3,000 members mobilized to create positive change across the Commonwealth.  Our members are the leaders of today: Democrats under the age of 36 committed to getting Democrats elected and promoting progressive legislation.  We are the future: now.