In This Issue
Thank you, Donors!
SCC's Meridith Levy and Mayor Curtatone Win CPA Awards
Welcome Jorge Alberto Colon!
SCC on Union Square Advisory Committee
Register for February First-Time Homebuyer Class
Housing & Gentrification Workshops this Winter
Big Wins for Local Jobs
Saint Polycarp 3 Lottery
SCC/MassDOT Partnership on SCATV
RaiseUp Massachusetts Update
2013 Annual Appeal a Success

 This year's Annual Appeal was a great success and we want to sincerely thank every person, organization, and business who donated to SCC this holiday season! Your support is what makes our work possible, and we are grateful for each and every donation. Please come and celebrate with us and be recognized at our Annual Meeting & Dinner on 1/29!

Somerville Wins!

SCC's Meridith Levy & Mayor Curtatone Win 2014 Community Preservation Awards

 On Tuesday, January 14th, SCC Deputy Director Meridith Levy and Mayor Curtatone became recipients of the 2014 Kuehn Community Preservation Award, presented by the Community Preservation Coalition at the Massachusetts State House. The two Somerville leaders were recognized for their significant contributions to the success of the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which passed with 76% of the vote in Somerville in 2012. The Mayor and Meridith were accompanied on stage at the ceremony by Senator Pat Jehlen, Representative Denise Provost and Representative Carl Sciortino, all of whom have been active supporters of the CPA. Read more 

New Staff at SCC! 
Welcome Jorge Alberto Col�n

We are pleased to welcome Jorge Alberto Col�n to SCC as our new Career and Employment Services Coach for our Community Asset  Building Program. Jorge has more than ten years of experience as a journalist and is also an attorney at law in Puerto Rico.  Jorge acquired his experience as a journalist while working for El Nuevo D�a Newspaper in Puerto Rico and as a participant of multiple community initiatives such as Desde Adentro, Inc., The Photojournalism Workshop (Taller de Fotoperiodismo) and Sapientis, Inc.  As an attorney, Jorge worked for three years at a law firm dedicated to the litigation of cases in the fields of contracts, corporations and labor law.  During his free time Jorge enjoys music and writing his food blog You Eat, You Smile.

SCC Staff Selected for Union Square Advisory Committee

 SCC Project Manager Shaina Korman-Houston has been selected as one of the nineteen Somerville residents to serve on the new Union Square Advisory Committee, which will help to make crucial decisions about development in the ever-changing square over the coming years. We are also proud that representatives from some of our fellow community based organizations Union Square Main Streets, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, and Somerville Local First have also been selected for the committee. Union Square has a BIG future to be shaped, and these folks are well suited for the job! Read more


Registration Open:
February First-Time Homebuyer Class at SCC
 Sign up NOW for SCC's First-Time Homebuyer Class in February 2014! The four-session, 12-hour class will feature presentations by a real estate agent, a lender, a home inspector, a real estate attorney, and an insurance agent, in addition to SCC staff, and it will teach you everything you need to know before you start the process of buying your first home. Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate that enables them to access products geared specifically towards first-time homebuyers, such as SoftSecond. The class will be conducted in English from 6 to 9:00 p.m. on February 3rd, 5th, 10th and 12th
A complete 2014 class calendar can be viewed on our website. For more information or to register, please contact Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 x238 or
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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Not even one full month in, 2014 has already proven to be a notably high impact year! Our work to create and ensure local jobs and workforce development has seen both widespread news coverage and critical new sources of funding, while our newly completed 31 units at Saint Polycarp Village 3 received over 1,100 applications (a testament to the prevailing demand for affordable housing in Somerville). Looking down the road to 2014, we are excited to announce a new series of roundtable discussions on housing & gentrification in our community, and of course, to see as many of our members and supporters next week as possible at our Annual Meeting & Dinner Celebration

It's not too late to reserve your ticket
~From all of us at SCC, Happy New Year!~ 
ps- On February 14th, some SCC members & staff will be meeting with our local representatives at our annual "Doughnuts for Delegates" event. If you are interested in participating, please contact Meridith


Help Shape the Future of Housing in Somerville:

Roundtable Discussion Series on Housing for Families & Individuals in Somerville  


 This winter, SCC, the City of Somerville and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) are co-hosting a series of public roundtables to discuss important issues related to housing & gentrification in our community. Residents are encourage to attend any or all of these forums and to contribute their thoughts and experiences:

  • Housing for Families in Somerville: Tuesday, 2/4
  • Implications of Gentrification & Displacement in Somerville: Tuesday, 2/11 (featuring special release of our brand new report with MAPC, "Dimensions of Displacement"!)
  • Taking Action: Rolling Up Our Sleeves to Ensure Housing for All: Tuesday, 3/4
Details about these workshops can be found here, as well as in the Somerville Patch.
All meetings will be held at the Argenziano School in Somerville from 6:00-8:00 pm (doors open 5:30) and will include childcare, snacks, and interpretation services. 

Big Wins for Jobs in Somerville: 

Working Cities Grant & Jobs Linkage Program Launch


January was a big month for local jobs and workforce development in Somerville:

Jobs for Somerville
SCC Launches Workforce Development & Jobs Linkage Program for Somerville:
As Somerville undergoes tremendous transformation- with a projected 10.5 million square feet of new development by 2030 and 30,000 new jobs- SCC has launched a First Source program as part of the THRIVE network of partners to connect Somerville workers with new jobs.  We were notified last week that, together with The Career Place, we have been selected by the City of Somerville to provide workforce development and job linkage service programs that will serve at least 150 active participants from Somerville each year, and will place 60 people into jobs.This program will focus on residents with incomes below the area median income (AMI), immigrants, and under-employed people by increasing job opportunities in Somerville and improving opportunities for low income workers to increase their skills in order to access good paying jobs. Read more


Somerville Wins $100k Working Cities Grant:
Earlier this month, the City of Somerville was announced as one of six Massachusetts cities to win a Work Cities Challenge Grant, a community development initiative by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston providing $1.8 million to support cross-sector projects in smaller cities across the state.  Somerville will receive a $100,000 seed award towards reducing unemployment among low-income youth by creating new, youth-targeted workforce development systems infused with mobile technology and social media. We look forward to working together with our partners at the City and The Career Place to elevate this important project for our community! Read more


Affordable Housing in High Demand:
Over 1,100 Applications Received for Saint Polycarp 3


 After completing construction in late 2013, the 31 new affordable apartments at Saint Polycarp Village Phase 3 received an overwhelming amount of applications from prospective tenants. A total of 1,150 eligible people applied for the 31 units through a lottery that was held on January 7th at City Hall. 

Built adjacent to the existing 53 apartments at Saint Polycarp's Phase 1 and 2 developments, this project brings to completion a seven-year process of creating 84 energy-efficient, green affordable housing units for working families and vulnerable individuals at Saint Polycarp Village in Somerville. We look forward to welcoming new tenants later this winter and to a festive ribbon-cutting celebration this spring!


Calling for Local Jobs with Green Line Extension:
SCC's Jobs for Somerville Featured on SCATV 


With construction of the MBTA Green Line Extension to Somerville already underway, attention has begun to shift not just to the new transportation access that the GLX will provide, but to the thousands of much needed jobs that will be created along the way. Somerville's public access television station, SCATV, ran an episode on this issue in their new Somerville Neighborhood News program that featured SCC's Rene Mardones as well as MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. Standing over the bridge where the new Union Square Station will be, Rene spoke about the importance of using Green Line investment dollars not just to improve transportation infrastructure but also economic opportunities for local residents: "Here is an investment of $1.4 billion- how can we make sure some of that money stays in our community here in Somerville and provides opportunities for residents to have access to some of those jobs?" 



SCC's Jobs for Somerville committee and MassDOT have been working together over the last six months to develop a local hiring agreement that will ensure that local residents- including minorities, people of color, and women- benefit from the massive investments coming to Somerville by way of the GLX. The MBTA's Dr.Scott agreed that local jobs should be central to MassDOTs projects like the GLX. Speaking from her desk during the SCATV interview, she said: "There is no reason why we should not be in every instance trying to see how we can spend these dollars not only to make great transportation investments but at the same time doing every we can to stimulate both job opportunities and overall business opportunities for the people who live within the Commonwealth"


We look forward to continuing to craft this local hiring agreement with MassDOT and to ensuring that investments in the GLX are also investments in the people of Somerville.


Watch the episode (segment begins at minute 3:50) and read about our work together with MassDOT


Our Message to Legislators:
Raise the Minimum Wage, Don't Cut Unemployment Benefits!


Last fall, SCC and other organizations across the state gathered over 285,000 signatures to increase the the minimum wage and guarantee earned sick time for workers as part of the Raise Up MA campaign. In December, the State Senate responded with a bill that calls for raising the state minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2016, raising the wage for tipped workers to $5.50, and tying the minimum wage to the cost of living.


Unfortunately, low-wage workers across the state are now facing the possibility that the money they would gain through a minimum wage increase would be taken away through cuts in unemployment insurance. House Speaker Robert DeLeo has said that any bill to raise the minimum wage should be paired with reforms (widely interpreted as cuts) to unemployment insurance.  Minimum-wage workers are often the same people who receive unemployment benefits when their jobs end, and cuts to those benefits will keep a million Massachusetts workers in poverty, allowing corporations to keep making huge profits.


 We want to send a clear message to the state legislature: raise the minimum wage, but don't cut unemployment benefits. SCC and the Raise Up MA coalition will be scheduling meetings with our legislative delegation, talking to community members, and participating in days of action. Stay tuned for more campaign updates!


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