Author Archives: Robert Sondak

Banking on Change Part 2: Cambridge Savings Bank

Robert Sondak The Cambridge Savings Bank is a financial institution whose history spans 176 years. This Harvard Square headquartered bank has grown despite weathering three periods of economic hardship over the past 110 years. During the depression of the late 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA employed a

Faith-Based Groups Advocate for Fair Practice in Mortgage Lending

Four decades prior to the millennium, faith-based community groups organized to become a very powerful force to confront the Pentagon and two U.S. Presidents—Johnson and Nixon—to stop the Vietnam War. These faith-based agencies facilitated anti-war protests nationally and offered draft resistance counseling to young men facing conscription. As these groups organized anti-war marches on our

Banking on Change

This is the first in a series of social banking articles. I became familiar with Wainwright Bank four years ago when I was invited to attend a meeting by Oakes Plimpton of the Arlington Farmers Market and the Boston Area Gleaners. Plimpton circulated a newspaper article highlighting Wainwright Bank and its online donation program,

Fair Foods Fights Nutritional Insecurity

On a wintry Tuesday in January, I boarded the bus in Central Square. Half an hour later a block from Boston Medical Center and proceeded to walk west on Washington St. until I came to the Cathedral Projects housing complex. I went the next block over to the South End Salvation Army shelter and asked

Election Practices: A Cross-National Overview

We should recognize that the recent Senate Special Election reflects the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. campaign system. Highlighting the campaign process of culturally similar industrialized countries can help to shed light on alternative campaign practices and spending on elections. Two of our European allies have a comprehensive election system like the United States but

Teddy’s Legacy: A Primer for the Upcoming Senate Election

The death of Senator Ted Kennedy on August 25, 2009 marked the end of nearly five decades of service representing Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate. The late Senator Kennedy and his staff were responsible for more than 300 bills that have been enacted into law. Throughout his career, Kennedy consistently championed an interventionist government framework

Not Your Average Pol: An Interview With Mark Flanagan

Robert Sondak Mark Flanagan is an outgoing and sociable young man who brings a fresh face to local Cambridge politics. Mr. Flanagan has embodied several career roles in his life that make him an attractive candidate for Cambridge City Council. He previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in the fields of engineering and

Federal Relief for Mass Farmers

Robert Sondak On October 14, All News WBZ AM radio and David Pepose in the Berkshire Eagle both reported that Governor Patrick has secured disaster relief from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 12 Massachusetts countries that suffered agricultural production losses due to this summer’s abnormally cool and rainy weather. Governor Patrick