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Cambridge City Councillors passed a resolution Monday urging the House of Representatives to begin an investigation into President Donald Trump’s potential violations of the Constitution and decide if grounds exist to impeach him.
The resolution asks the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee to determine whether or not Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by possibly profiting from his business empire while in the White House.
“There are numerous examples of Trump’s many businesses having dealings with foreign governments," Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern said. “This order was filed because we’re concerned President Donald Trump has violated the Constitution.”
Trump is unique among modern presidents for maintaining substantial business holdings while in office, and although he has signed them over to a blind trust run by his sons, critics say he has not fully divested from his companies.
Multiple Cambridge residents spoke in favor of the resolution, which was sponsored by local activist group Cambridge Area Stronger Together, McGovern, Councillor Leland Cheung, and Councillor Jan Devereux.
Some residents said they thought the resolution was outside of the Council's scope and that there were more pressing issues to be dealt with, but Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, who has spoken out against Trump’s actions in the past, disagreed. Instead, he said he thought the job of the Council to champion the voice of the people and urge action on a federal level.
“I think we’re doing it because we do think we can have an impact. And because the people of this city can go on to spread the message,” Mazen said. “It’s our way as a Council to say we will stand against you.”
At the meeting, Councillors also praised the work done by various city groups on a newly passed Inclusionary Housing Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance requires new housing developments to dedicate 15 to 20 percent of their housing floor space to affordable housing, depending on the type of permit.
Councillor Devereux said the ordinance was a positive step forward and should serve as a stepping stone towards continuing to address the City’s housing challenges by creating new affordable housing for low income residents.
“I hope that we do as people have advised us, which is to take up the next challenges: help middle income families or people who are in the gaps,” Devereux said. “
Also at the meeting, Councillors discussed more than $5 million in renovations to a housing facility on Massachusetts Ave., regulations for adding traffic signage around the City, and a police substation in Central square. Cheung also presented a report on changing city ordinance to allow victims of last December’s 10 alarm fire to rebuild the original structures, even if they don’t conform to current code.
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