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Let's make Cambridge
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Meet Dana

Dana Bullister is a longtime Cambridge renter, an award-winning data scientist, and an avid member of the local entrepreneurial community. A Boston area native, she studied at Wellesley College, where she applied computer science to studying the role of misinformation in political discourse. She also studied Data, Economics, and Development Policy at MIT, worked as a data scientist and then entrepreneur, and now conducts research at Northeastern University on integrating and communicating data to inform effective policy.

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Dana is passionate about grounding policy conversations in truth, data, and the collective insights of a community. She adds a unique, analytical perspective and is willing to acknowledge nuance while firmly championing equitability, transparency, and sustainability. Her most important skill is simply listening to the needs of real people. Years as an attentive technology designer have taught her that valuable solutions do not come from silicon and wire and code; they come from conversations with actual people with real concerns.

As a long-time East Cambridge renter who relies almost exclusively on public transit, walking, and biking, Dana also embodies a prominent yet underrepresented voice in our government. And as a young woman in tech, she can bring a fresh perspective and spark a different type of conversation. As an activist, she has valuable experience working alongside Our Revolution Cambridge and as an engaged citizen, advocating for empirically effective policies concerning economic inequality, climate change, and criminal justice at the local, state, and national levels.

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It would be an honor to serve the people of Cambridge and the community she loves. Her favorite creators - and policymakers - are responsive, competent, and compassionate. She works to be all three.

“I love my home of Cambridge. I believe in kindness, creativity, and working both hard and smart.
Together, let’s change for good.

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Dana Bullister
Trees in Charles River

What Dana Cares About

Investing in Our People

To chart a sustainable path for our future, we must strategically invest in our city’s most valuable part: our people. Despite Cambridge’s progressive reputation, there is still much to do to support equity, sustainability, and connectedness for our residents. It is time to make smart, longer-term investments in our city and our community.

Housing and Neighborhood Affordability

Housing cuts to the heart of inclusion within our city, since our policies determine who can afford to join the Cambridge community and who is excluded. Such outcomes intersect critical issues like access to economic mobility, racial inequality, and environmental justice.Geographic segregation by socioeconomic status is not something that can be solved passively using the market. We need a deliberate strategy that prioritizes communities by considering options such as increased and diversified inclusionary zoning, new forms of social housing such as limited-equity co-ops and land trusts, and homeownership programs.

Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This past year has been an unprecedented struggle for residents, families, and local businesses that form the pillars of our Cambridge community. Our city should continue and expand its support of local residents and businesses through grants and relief funds to ensure that as many doors as possible stay open to survive COVID-19. We must also ensure that such recovery efforts are equitable and that none of Cambridge’s diverse businesses or people are left behind.

Sustainable Transit

An effective transit system comprises the foundation for a vibrant, sustainable, equitable, and fundamentally successful city. While a richly diverse selection of transportation options means more inclusive access to economic opportunity, achieving this requires careful planning to ensure both safety and equity. I support expanding our infrastructure for sustainable transit by supporting electrifying of MBTA buses as well as developing a connected, balanced network of protected bike lanes. I also support proactive investment in city infrastructure more generally, which is also vital for the safety and quality of life for residents.

City Administration

Cambridge has a system whereby an appointed city manager wields tremendous power in executing nearly all city policies.The current manager’s contract ends six months into the new city council’s term, meaning the new council has responsibility for selecting a new and interim manager. They also have an opportunity to reconsider the balance of responsibilities and accountability in our current system. I support a transparent and inclusive process for both of these critical decisions in a way that reflects the voices of the community as well as an open conversation on the structures best suited to serve our people.

Addressing the Climate Crisis

Climate change is an existential crisis. Even at the local level, our city can take numerous steps to enact smart, sustainable initiatives that model what it means to do our part. I support moving the city toward net zero carbon emissions, expanding our tree canopy, and expanding permeable surfaces. Sustainable transit options and housing policy also feed into a comprehensive vision for a responsible city. As a vibrant hub of innovation, Cambridge also has the opportunity to partner with local research and innovation institutions to explore creative new ideas and technologies in urban agriculture, energy use, and infrastructure monitoring. I also support the preservation of waterways like the Charles River and local implementation of a Green New Deal .

Getting Money Out of Politics

Money in politics is a form of selective disenfranchisement. Before people vote with their ballots, they vote with their wallets. And the simple fact is that some people have less capacity for influence, and thus fewer votes, than others. If we want to fix our system, a great place to start is ending the legalized purchase of access and influence in government. I support modelling progress in Cambridge by restricting campaign contributions to the greatest extent possible given federal realities. In the meantime, my campaign will not accept donations from parties with any potential real or perceived conflicts of interest with the city, such as commercial real estate developers, corporate PACs, and fossil fuel companies.

Universal Basic Income-Inspired Pilot

I support continued investment in initiatives like the ongoing guaranteed income pilot in Cambridge. This partnership illustrates the further potential for Cambridge to leverage its unique proximity to institutions with both research and capital to foster programs in social innovation. Universal Basic Income-inspired programs not only benefit local residents but additionally model alternative visions for the future for municipalities and states across the nation.

Expanding Voting

A government is only as smart and responsive as its community’s engagement. I support advocating for the expansion of early and 24-hour voting in municipal elections, automatic and/or same-day voter registration, and ongoing automatic mail-in ballots.

Investing in the Arts and the Communities

The arts are core to the cultural richness of our community. I support the continuation of our vibrant public arts initiatives, especially creative new programs that merge the arts with cultural events, community building, climate preparedness, and city beautification.

Policing

Trust among citizens and public safety officers is vital for a safe community that is welcoming to all. I support appropriate measures for transparency and the distribution of public responsibilities in a way that supports effectiveness, accountability, and trust.

Municipal Broadband

More than ever, internet access is a critical connection to employment, health updates, and other vital information in today’s online world. I support pursuing a feasibility study for implementing municipal broadband throughout the city, which would constitute an important step to exploring the best way to ensure stable, equitable online access for all.

Recent News

dana smiling

Data scientist Bullister announces for council, planning to channel insights into local policy

The first City Council challenger new to the political scene has declared officially for the Nov. 2 municipal elections: data scientist Dana Bullister.
She follows into the field two challengers prominent in the local business community, including one who has run for a council seat before; and several of the sitting councillors.
Read More

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