June 22, 2022

Robert Eckstut brings poker player mentality to his first board race | New

Robert Eckstut wants to bring progressive ethics and a poker player mentality to Cambridge City Council.

The 36-year-old political consultant and Connecticut native said his skills and political agenda made him the best choice for voters looking for gradual change.

“I sincerely believe that I would be the best city councilor the city can have,” Eckstut said. “I believe in myself, I believe in goals, I believe in mission statements. I really want this to happen.

Eckstut has largely a progressive political platform in its first campaign, supporting initiatives such as City Councilor Quinton Y. Zondervan’s Cambridge Green New Deal zoning petition, which would charge large commercial buildings for their greenhouse gas emissions. . Eckstut is also committed to supporting tenants through rent control policies and tackling the homeless crisis by increasing funding for the Cambridge Housing Authority. Other reforms he supports include free public transport and increased civilian oversight of the police.

“I firmly believe in government spending,” Eckstut said. “I firmly believe in social spending. “

Eckstut spent his 20s living and studying nationwide while playing poker professionally. After taking a break from school to play poker full time, he spent two years at Harvard Extension School before graduating from Lesley University. He said his poker playing and training experience gives him a valuable analytical approach to public policy.

“The real gift for poker players is being able to assign ranges and stocks,” Eckstut said. “In other words, with very limited information, make the best guesses you can, and then with those guesses try to implement the best strategy for the future.”

A few years after leaving professional poker, Eckstut said he worked on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016, and then began advising for progressive political campaigns in Connecticut and Massachusetts, focusing on politics at the level. States. He said he hoped to bring the progressive, anti-establishment policies adopted by Sanders to Cambridge, where he believes city council is not reacting to the feelings of Cambridge residents.

Eckstut cited the council’s failure to push through municipal broadband internet despite broad support, and said he had not stood up to the city manager to push it through.

“They didn’t do anything,” Eckstut said. “There is no progress with regard to municipal broadband. It’s dead, it doesn’t happen.

He said he was working to educate voters about these shortcomings in other candidates.

“Some advisers are very happy with the job they’ve done, but they haven’t done anything,” he said.