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All politics is local. This series from Backyard Media takes a look at the issues that have the biggest impact on the lives of Cantabrigians - housing, education, traffic, inequality, and more. We break down the issues so you can become more engaged with the politics happening in your backyard.

All politics is local. This series from Backyard Media takes a look at the issues that have the biggest impact on the lives of Cantabrigians - housing, education, traffic, inequality, and more. We break down the issues so you can become more engaged with the politics happening in your backyard.
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All politics is local. This series from Backyard Media takes a look at the issues that have the biggest impact on the lives of Cantabrigians - housing, education, traffic, inequality, and more. We break down the issues so you can become more engaged with the politics happening in your backyard.




S3 Episode 5: The Results

In our post-election episode, we recap what happened on November 6th, 2018. Which candidates won? What were the results for the ballot questions, especially for Question 3? And what do these results mean for citizens in Massachusetts?


S3 Episode 4: Beyond a Bathroom Bill

In our final regular episode, we’re talking about how the 2016 public accommodations law is more than just a bathroom bill. We look to other states to understand how the implications of this vote on Question 3 go beyond just transgender people. What does it mean for the Commonwealth and the rest of the country if this law stays? And if it’s overturned?


S3 Episode 3: Direct Democracy vs Bureaucracy

Are ballot questions really a form of pure direct democracy? Or are they a more complicated process? Today, we’re unpacking some arguments you don’t hear very much - arguments against the ballot question process itself. In what ways can this process be opaque, too influenced by money, or vulnerable to intervention by state legislators? We’ll also look at a possible solution right here in Massachusetts that could improve the ballot question process for everyone.


S3 Episode 2: Strategy and Persuasion

As we approach Election Day, how are the Yes and No campaigns reaching their bases of support? What strategies are they using in October to educate voters about Question 3? And what does it mean for transgender citizens in Massachusetts if this veto referendum passes or if it fails?


S3 Episode 1: Put It on the Ballot

What are ballot measures? Where do they come from, and who campaigns for them? And what does it say about our democratic process when we’re asked to vote on questions of civil rights? In our first episode, we give an overview of Question 3 and the different groups that are campaigning for and against it.


Season 3 Trailer: Backyard Massachusetts

This election season, Backyard Cambridge is covering the politics of our bigger backyard.


S2 Episode 4: The local, global issue of climate change

Climate change is a global issue, but it’s also a local one. Cities around the world are developing policy responses to reduce their carbon footprint and prepare for the climate change effects we expect will happen in the coming decades. In this episode, we look at how Cambridge is leading the fight against climate change by being an example that other cities can follow.


I’m the Mayor, Ask Me Anything #3: How can I get involved and make a difference?

We ask Mayor McGovern questions about different ways Cantabridgians can get involved and engage with City officials.


S2 Episode 3: What’s it like to build housing in Cambridge? (Housing Part 2)

In the second part of our series on affordable housing in Cambridge we ask, how do we build enough housing? Why is it so difficult to build in the city? And how do we balance density and the concerns of neighbors? We take a look at a couple of different developments in the process of being built, from Porter Square to Alewife to Kendall Square.


I’m the Mayor, Ask Me Anything #2: What’s with the Red Line delays?

We ask Mayor McGovern about the City’s environmental initiatives and protected bike lanes, the delays on the Red Line, and more in our second episode of our “I’m the Mayor of Cambridge, Ask Me Anything” series.


S2 Episode 2 : Why is the rent so damn high? (Housing Part 1)

Backyard Cambridge tackles arguably the biggest issue in Cambridge local politics today - affordable housing. We’re spending the next two episodes looking at the issue from all sides. Our goal is to figure out why it’s so difficult to find affordable housing in Cambridge. Has it always been like this? What government programs are there to help make housing more affordable? And what do local interest groups think we should do to make sure everyone has access to housing that’s affordable?


I'm the Mayor of Cambridge, Ask Me Anything (Mayor AMA # 1)

Have you ever wondered why there's no STOP sign at that pesky intersection outside your apartment? What about why rent in Cambridge is so high? Or, what's the deal with all that development in Kendall Square? Do you want to ask the Mayor? Wait a minute, who is the Mayor of Cambridge? Backyard Cambridge presents a new podcast series with the Mayor of Cambridge, Marc McGovern: 'I'm the Mayor. Ask me Anything."


S2 Episode 1: Why is it so hard to create universal access to Pre-K in Cambridge?

Backyard Cambridge is back! In Season 2, we spend each episode taking a close looking an issue that's affecting the lives of the people living in Cambridge. First up is the topic of universal pre-Kindergarten. Specifically, what's holding back adoption of universal pre-K in the city? And why is it important that everyone, even Cantabrigians without children, care about this issue?


Episode 7: What happened?

What happened on November 7th, 2017 in the Cambridge City Council election? In this episode of Backyard Cambridge, we look at who won, who lost, and what exactly went wrong with the vote tallying process. Then we look beyond this election to see the impact the results will have on affordable housing policies in the city.


Episode 6: The Review Session: What do I need to know before I vote?

If you want to understand the 2017 Cambridge City Council election and you only have time to listen to one episode of Backyard Cambridge, make sure it's this one.


Episode 5: Who are the upstarts?

A 19-year-old Harvard student, an owner of a local theater company, an Indian-American transplant from Mississippi. In Episode 5, we discuss the “upstarts” - six City Council candidates who got motivated to jump into local politics recently, most of them after the 2016 presidential election.


Episode 4: Who are the new generation?

This episode Backyard Cambridge looks at what we've dubbed "the new generation" - seven candidates who are somewhat younger, but who have experience in policy or politics or advocacy. They're looking to take the next step in their political careers and make an impact, and Cambridge City Council is where they hope to do it.


Episode 3: Who are the incumbents?

Who are the six incumbents running to keep their seats on City Council? We profile each of them, from the one-term former community organizer all the way to the City Councillor who’s served for 27 years. We ask these candidates about their backgrounds, why they ran in the first place, what they’ve accomplished, and which issues they want to continue working on if re-elected this November.


Episode 2: How do I choose someone for City Council when there are 26 candidates?

In our second episode, we explain the structure of Cambridge’s local government, including City Council; the three categories we’ve created to think about the 26 different candidates; the pros and cons for having each type of candidate serve on City Council; and Cambridge’s unusual proportional representation voting system.


Episode 1: What the heck is going on, and why should I care?

The first episode of Backyard Media's series about the City Council elections in Cambridge, MA. We'll tell you about why local matters, introduce you to key some players in city politics, and dive into the debate on affordable housing. The episode features leaders from two of the most active community groups in Cambridge - Cambridge Residents Alliance and A Better Cambridge. Check out more resources on Cambridge City politics below: Cambridge Civic Journal:...