In recent years, there has been growing interest in establishing publicly-funded municipal elections, in the hope that Cambridge might serve as the model that other cities across the country could look to and draw inspiration from. Denise has long been interested in and supportive of the concept of an election model that would allow public servants, and those who wish to serve, to focus less of their time on fundraising and more time on the critical art of governing and serving their constituents. While she believes that Cambridge has been largely free of the corrupting influence of big-dollar donors and “dark money” flowing in from outside of Cambridge from those seeking to influence our elections, she feels that Cambridge would nevertheless benefit from looking to establish a system that ensures a fair and even playing field for those running for office, and that allows all candidates a fair opportunity to run on the strength of their ideas.
Denise been running municipal campaigns for 30 years, and one of the lessons she learned very early on is that campaigns cost money. From hiring a campaign manager, to having money to send information to voters, to purchasing the technological platforms that let us access and manage our voter relationships, a successful campaign is often going to require a substantial financial investment. Denise has long stated publicly that she will accept campaign contributions from those who are reputable and who wish to see her style of straightforward, commonsense leadership be a part of the City Council; in the past, she has returned contributions from those found to be disreputable, and that shall remain her policy going forward. In return, people can have confidence that regardless of whether or not they fund her campaigns, she will always have an open door, she will always give full and fair consideration to those coming before the City Council, or to those who have sought her out for assistance. Whether it is the president of Harvard or a family facing eviction, Denise always worked hard to show the same level of accessibility, consideration, and courtesy to those who wish to speak with her. This is what she expects of all public servants, and Denise works hard every day to honor this ideal.