Seniors & Accessibility - Denise Simmons

Seniors & Accessibility

Over the past several years, Denise has been a driving force in holding periodic Senior Town Hall Meetings, with pa3.jpgrtners including the Cambridge Council on Aging and the Citywide Senior Center. The meetings have included workshops (which focused upon health, wellness, fitness, and technology), and lunch, and an on-the-spot report back to City officials. In September 2016, she launched the first Senior Service Providers Fair at the Cambridge Senior Center, bringing in various agencies and organizations that cater to senior citizens under one roof and providing important information to seniors about the services they may be eligible for and interested in.

During her two terms as Mayor, Denise established her Senior Advisory Committee, comprised of local seniors from across the city. These monthly gatherings - which, since early 2020, have continued to be held virtually - give Denise the chance to hear directly from the seniors on any and all concerns of the moment. The members of the Advisory Committee have acted as her eyes and ears within the senior community, and this proved to be a great asset in learning what issues are affecting the local seniors in real time.

As a senior and as a small business owner, Denise appreciates the concerns expressed by both seniors and by our small business owners over the recent loss of parking spaces throughout the community in order to create a network of critical bicycle safety infrastructure. The way the City has gone about this process has earned some deserved criticism, and it has certainly made it more difficult for seniors and those with mobility issues to patronize some of our local businesses. Denise rejects the false notion that the City can either have a bicycle infrastructure or we can have thriving local businesses and a community that allows our seniors to fully participate. This need not be an either/or scenario; it may take more work and more willingness for compromise, but Denise believes that we can have both if we’re willing to think creatively and work more collaboratively.