Student Falls Short In City Council Race
Snowberg Receives 429 First Place Votes; Bid Fails Despite Record Student TurnoutBy Efren Gutierrez
Three new members were among the nine elected to the Cambridge City Council in elections held this past Tuesday. Erik C. Snowberg ’99, failed in his bid to become the first current student elected to the council.
Newcomers Marjorie C. Decker, James S. Braude, and David P. Maher joined elected incumbents Anthony D. Galluccio, Kathleen L. Born, Michael A. Sullivan, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Henrietta Davis, and Kenneth E. Reeves on the council.
Anthony D. Galluccio ran strongly, garnering 2,716 first place votes and gaining quota in the first count. MIT student Erik C. Snowberg, ’99, received only 429 votes. Turnout was light at 18,777 making quota just 1,878.
Incumbent Katherine Triantafillou was ranked 10 out of 24, and was not re-elected after being edged out by Maher in this sixth count. Other incumbents, Shiela T. Russell and Mayor Francis H. Duehay, did not seek re-election. The new Cambridge City council will be installed in early January.
The two precincts closest to MIT in Ward 2, received modest turnout. Precinct 2, covering dorms west of MacGregor house, reported a total of 161 votes. A record was set in Precinct 3, which covers most of the on campus living groups, with only 241 votes. Of those votes, 161 were for Snowberg.
In previous years, MIT students have turned out to vote in very small numbers; the record number of voters this year was likely due to the efforts of the Snowberg campaign and other groups on campus.
Groups increase awareness
The MIT College Democrats, for example, have tried to introduce politics to the MIT community by running a large publicity campaign to help remind students about the upcoming election and to encourage them to vote.
Co-president of College Democrats Amy B. Tyszkiewicz, ‘02, said, “We took out an LSC slide, a spot on MIT cable, an ad in The Tech, and a drop poster in Lobby 7.”
Aaron B. Strauss ’02, another president of the group said, “We try to help students make sure that they understand that there is a world outside the MIT bubble, and that it does impact their lives.”
Apathy disappoints Snowberg
With the loss, Snowberg said, “Losing wasn’t that upsetting. What was upsetting was people not having the time to vote, and not caring to vote.”
Snowberg’s campaign managaer, Erik J. Plosky, ’99, echoed his sentiments, “Thousands of MIT students, who were eligible or registered to vote, didn’t. MIT students seemed to be motivated by more immediate and personal matters. MIT students don’t think they will be affected by the voting results and by the City Council. I hope that if something should happen in Cambridge government that would affect MIT that there will be no hypocritical complaints ”
Snowberg is graduating this year and his future is uncertain. “I don’t know about my future political career, but I hope my experiences will help future student candidates so they can rouse up the political feathers. We must build on this so students will become concerned with politics,” he said.