In This Issue
SCC's Mashael Majid Wins "Rising Star Award"
2014 Class Schedule Now Available
Just Released: Great Neighborhoods Impact Report 2013
Re-Envisioning Brickbottom's Waste Transfer Station
SCC Core Leaders Meet
RaiseUp Massachusetts SUCCESS!
Application Deadline for Saint Polycarp III: 12/20
Big Wins for Affordable Housing & Local Jobs
City Seeks Master Developer for Union Square
SCC & MBTA Travel to Denver

A Rising Star!

MACDC Award Goes to SCC's Mashael Majid

Congratulations to Mashael Majid, SCC's Community Planner who received a "Rising Start Award" at this year's Massachusetts Association of CDCs (MACDC) Annual Meeting! Mashael has worked at SCC since late 2011 and has played a pivotal role in facilitating participatory initiatives around civic engagement and design/planning processes and developing the Link Somerville Equity Tool (more on this to come!). This award is presented to Executive Directors, staff or board members that are 40 years old or younger who have demonstrated their potential, outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement in community development.

Now Available:
2014 SCC Class Schedule
 We are excited to announce our Asset Building class schedule for 2014! The year is full of opportunities for people to learn all about buying their first home and gain important information and skills to help them navigate their financial lives more successfully. A complete 2014 class calendar can be viewed on our website. For more information about any of our classes please contact Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 x238 or
Just Released: 
Great Neighborhoods Impact Report 2013

Check out this year's stories of local people working on smart growth and equitable transit oriented development in the newly released Great Neighborhoods Impact Report 2013! A product of the Great Neighborhoods Network (a place-based program of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance), the report features stories about how SCC and local partners Groundwork Somerville, Friends of The Community Path, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, and City of Somerville are leveraging and creating opportunities for positive community transformation by way of major transit investments such as the Green Line Extension and Assembly Square. 

Waste Transfer-mation: 
Vision & Discovery Meeting at Brickbottom

 More than 50 stakeholders representing local arts, urban farming, affordable housing and economic development took part in the "Waste Transfer-mation: Visioning and Discovery" event last month in the Brickbottom neighborhood. The exciting design + visioning workshop was facilitated by leaders in Link Somerville- a grassroots resident advisory group that works on issues addressing displacement, community planning + placemaking, and environmental justice - and hosted by  the Brickbottom Artists Association. Taking markers to maps, participants were asked to re-imagine a former waste transfer site (currently undergoing demolition) into a thriving multi-use container space for the 2.2 acre site. Check out the pics!

SCC Core Leaders Meet 

to Celebrate 2013, 

Strategize for 2014

 This week, member leaders from SCC's organizing and planning committees got together to celebrate the year's victories and start thinking about a common agenda for 2014. We shared food, acted out our accomplishments (literally!), and discussed the root causes of displacement and other problems that we are working to address in Somerviille. Here's to another year of community leadership in Somerville! To get involved with one of our committees, contact Rene or Karen.

Ongoing Meetings
Our many groups and committees meet regularly and are usually open to newcomers! Please click on the calendar image below to see the what's happening this month!
12.09 Elizabeth Peabody


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We hope you are enjoying a cozy and festive holiday season with family and loved ones! Here at SCC, we cherish this time to reflect on the accomplishments of the closing year and to give thanks to those who have made our work possible. It's easy to go the extra mile to make Somerville an inclusive and affordable community when we know we have the support of hundreds of donors and members like you. We anticipate 2014 to be unprecedented in the amount of community development activity happening in Somerville, and your support means more than ever. Please make a donation to our annual appeal  so that we can continue to keep Somerville diverse & affordable for everyone!

 Donations can be made securely online or by sending a check to: 
Somerville Community Corporation, 337 Somerville Ave 2nd floor, Somerville, MA 02143.

Thank you for your support!
~From all of us at SCC, happy holidays!~ 
ps- SAVE THE DATE for our Annual Meeting on January 29th, 2014 at The Armory!
Over 280,000 Signatures Collected to Raise the State Minimum Wage & Require Earned Sick Time for Workers


Thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers across the state, including many right here in Somerville, the RaiseUp Massachusetts coalition successfully collected a record-breaking quarter of a million signatures in 10 weeks to ensure that a higher minimum wage and earned sick time appear on the 2014 ballot. As a core member of this coalition, SCC collected nearly 2,000 signatures in Somerville alone!


 On Tuesday December 3, we joined fellow activists, workers and community leaders to turn in the massive collection of signatures- which would have formed a stack 21 feet tall- to the Secretary of State, the final step in the process to get these issues on the ballot. THANK YOU to everyone who helped out with this campaign!


Application Deadline for Saint Polycarp III Apartments:
Friday, December 20th 4:00 pm

Are you, or someone you know, seeking an opportunity for affordable housing in Somerville? The lottery period for our 31 brand new green affordable apartments at Saint Polycarp Village Phase III is now open and will close this Friday, December 20th! Please share this info with your networks and anyone who would be interested in this opportunity: 


We look forward to welcoming thirty one Somerville families into these much-needed and beautiful affordable homes in February 2014! (Click here for details)


A Good Month for Affordable Housing & Local Jobs:

Momentum for Housing and Jobs  Linkage Fees   

 Somerville will soon have more funds to support much needed affordable housing thanks to the recently approved affordable housing linkage fee! On November 26th, the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an increase of the Somerville Affordable Housing Linkage Fee, which is currently applied to all new real estate developments over 30,000 square feet- from $3.91 to $5.15 per square foot. This fee, which has not been raised since 2004, directly supports the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund to preserve and create affordable homes in Somerville and carry out programs to directly assist homeowners and renters.  Many thanks to amazing community members who spoke out about this issue, and to our Board of Aldermen for supporting it!


This positive momentum at City Hall continued in December as the Board of Aldermen also unanimously voted to send two Home Rule Petitions to the State Legislatures to create a Jobs Linkage Fee and to establish the Job Creation and Retention Trust Fund in Somerville.  If the Legislature approves these petitions, the Board of Aldermen will face another vote in months ahead to set the terms and adopt the Jobs Linkage Fee and Trust Fund.  Special thanks to outgoing Alderman Desmond for his leadership on this very important issue, and to all our members and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this happen! The future is looking brighter by the day.


Click here to learn more about what these linkage fees will do for our community and why they matters.


Re-Envisioning Union Square:  

City Releases RFQ for Master Developer


Big changes are on the horizon for Somerville's Union Square, and the City is now actively seeking developers to facilitate that change. In a recently released Request for Qualifications, city officials outlined their search for a single master developer to plan Union Square's billion-dollar urban renewal, which would include 2.3 million square feet of new commercial and residential development in the square. See renderings of this potential development here


Most locals agree- including us here at SCC- that the opening of the Green Line Extension station by 2017 carries with it enormously transformative potential for our community. However, we must be cognizant that that new development does not transform Union Square into something entirely out of character and that the residents and businesses who call the neighborhood home today are not displaced.


Check out last week's episode of Somerville Neighborhood News (@SCATV) that included coverage from a recent community meeting on these issues and interviews with neighborhood business owners:


SCC & the MBTA Travel to Denver!
Working Toward a Win for Somerville on 
Green Line Extension Jobs


Last month, we traveled to Denver with the MBTA to learn about WIN, the workforce development program Denver has piloted in its recent transit expansion. CEO Danny LeBlanc, organizer Karen Narefsky, and JFS member Kelvin Mejia represented Jobs for Somerville and SCC. We were impressed with the program - it has received grants from the Federal Transportation Authority and placed over 100 low-income Denver residents in construction jobs. However, we believe that without the Access and Opportunity Committee that Secretary Davey and GM Scott agreed to in July, the program will not be accountable to Somerville residents and will lack meaningful community involvement.


The Access and Opportunity Committee, based on a successful model at the UMass Boston Science Complex, should include Jobs for Somerville, SCC, MassDOT and the MBTA, the Boston Building Trades, and the general contractor White Skanska Kiewit JV. The committee will provide a meaningful opportunity for the people who fought for and will benefit from the program to ensure its success. It will be a collaborative context for solving problems and maximizing opportunities for women, minority, and local residents.


The committee could also help implement successful aspects of the Denver WIN program, such as connecting with employers and subcontractors to prepare participants for specific jobs. It could facilitate the use of WIN by developers adjacent to the project, especially in Union Square. Whereas the Denver WIN program tracks measures like crime and homeownership in the zip codes where participation is concentrated, we could track displacement along the GLX to make sure residents are not being forced out.


At the end of our time in Denver, MBTA General Manager Dr.Beverly Scott suggested a working meeting between SCC, Jobs for Somerville, and the MBTA to work out the details of our pending contract. We hope to have that meeting as soon as possible so we can move forward with this exciting partnership to provide jobs and opportunities to Somerville residents.


Click to see our photos from this Denver trip!


As always, we appreciate feedback.  Be sure to join us on Facebook & Twitter for the most current info on what we're up to and how to get involved. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon! 

Daniel LeBlanc
Somerville Community Corporation