In This Issue
SCC Fall Workshop Series
Green Line Progress
More 1st Time Homebuyer Courses Added
Save Money with Individual Development Accounts
Join SCC!
Permit Approved for 181/197 Washington Street
Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage
Food Systems in Somerville: Workshop 8/15
Successful Summer Member Picnic
SCC Voices: New Development, New Opportunities?

Coming Fall 2013!

SCC Workshop Series for Community Leaders


This fall, SCC will host a series of free workshops on how to become a confident and effective community leader. Dates and topics are as follows:


9/19 Gentrification

9/26 Displacement

10/17 Public Speaking

10/24 Finding Your Voice

11/14 Creative Action

These workshops are open to all graduates of SCC's Leadership Development Institute as well as SCC members. Not an SCC member? Become one today!


Childcare, food, and interpretation services will be provided. Please contact Rene Mardones, 617-776-5931 x226 for more information.


The Green Line is Coming! 
Summer 2013 Progress

Exciting progress has been made this summer towards bringing Green Line Extension through Somerville. Most notably, in mid July, an additional $26 million was added by MassDOT's board of directors for funding of it's initial work, and later in the month, a pre-construction contract was signed between MassDOT, the MBTA, and construction management company White Skanska Kiewit. If you see construction crews on the tracks this summer and fall, you'll know why!


SCC's Jobs for Somerville Committee is currently working with MassDOT to develop a contract to ensure that jobs created through this massive construction project are made available to Somerville residents. Stay tuned!

SCC First Time Homebuyer Course in High Demand!
By popular demand, SCC will be holding three more First-Time Homebuyer sessions this year!
The four-session, 12-hour classes 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 starting 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 classes will be conducted in English from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the following dates: 
September 16th, 18th, 23rd, 25th
October 22nd, 23rd 29th, 30th
December 3rd, 5th, 10th, 12th
The registration fee is $35 per participant. For more information, please contact Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 ext 238


Save $Money$ with SCC's Individual Development Accounts
 Hey Somerville residents: how would you like to earn $2 for every $1 you save! Through one of SCC's Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), you can! Now available, IDAs are matched savings accounts created for a specific purpose- in our case, so participants can save for college or professional training. The match incentive works like this:for each dollar a participant saves, two dollars are provided as a match (up to $1,000 in savings and $2,000 in match funsds for a total of $3,000). Participants must be income-eligible ($22,980/one person, $39,060/two people, $47,100/four people, $55,140/five people), TANF recipients, OR eligible to receive EITC. For more information, please contact Shannon Erb at (617) 776-5931 x238  


SCC Membership
SCC is an organization of relationships- people with a passion for social justice and for improving quality of life for everyone in Somerville. When we are members together in an organization, we access collective power and have a greater impact in our community. When we work together, we get more accomplished. Please consider becoming a member today, which you can do online or by contacting Julia at 
617-776-5931 x239 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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 Is it just us, or has this summer flown by quicker than an afternoon thunder shower in July? Perhaps it's because the last few months have been literally brimming with activity here at SCC. From securing approval from the Planning Board for our 181/197 Washington Street proposal (woohoo!) to hosting a great Summer Member Picnic to gearing up for new and/or expanded campaigns for good local jobs, we are excited to share with you a glimpse of the summer that's passed and a peak into what's coming this fall!


 ~From all of us at SCC, have a wonderful rest of your summer and thanks for all you do~

Somerville Planning Board Approves Permit for
 181/197 Washington Street ! 

We are pleased to announce that our joint proposal with Cathartes Private Investments for redevelopment of 181 & 197 Washington Street in Union Square has been approved!


Planning Board Mtg 7-18-13  

On July 18th, in a packed room at City Hall, the Somerville Planning Board voted 4-1 in favor
of granting a permit for the project to move forward. This was the third time the Board has convened to review this proposal since early June and well over 100 Somerville residents have played active roles in shaping this outcome since. 

We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support that you have shown over these last few months (and even years!) for this critical opportunity to provide new affordable homes for families of all incomes in a rapidly gentrifying part of Somerville- you are the BEST and we sincerely could not have succeeded without you!

A number of significant changes were made to the proposal for both properties (former Boys & Girls Club and the existing Cota Funeral Home buildings) in order to appeal to neighborhood concerns and Planning Board requests related to height, parking and greenspace. Read about them (as well as details about the July 18th meeting) in the Somerville Journal, The Somerville News, and the Somerville Patch (namely, the overall development was scaled down from 84 total units to 74 units by removing half the 5th floor from each building- there will still be a total of 40 affordable homes)!


From all of us at SCC, THANK YOU for all you do and all that you have done to support a Somerville that is for everyone. Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter as well as  for news on what's next.


Everyone's Somerville.Mtg6-20-13  

This is #EveryonesSomerville.
Let's keep it that way

New Campaign!
Raise the Minimum Wage from $8.00 to $10.50/hour

This Fall, you can expect to see some major momentum building on the ground and at the State House to raise the Massachusetts state minimum wage for the first time in almost six years- from $8.00 to $10.50/hour. Organized by the Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition, a new campaign has been launched to create a new bill and hopefully land this measure on the election ballot in 2014.  SCC has been asked to join this coalition and we are actively considering joining.  If we do, SCC will be playing a key role in organizing the campaign throughout the fall! 



Starting in September there will be widespread efforts to collect signatures from registered voters for a period of 9 weeks that will qualify this measure for the election ballot. If the SCC Board votes to endorse this campaign we will be leading the signature-gathering effort in Somerville.  Passing this measure would help over 600,000 low-wage earners to increase their quality of life by earning a living wage, while increasing economic security for the state. For more information and to get involved in this campaign, contact Rene, or 617-776-5931 x226 


Examining Local Food Systems in Somerville: 
Second Workshop This Thursday 8/15


This summer, SCC, in partnership with members of the Land Use Committee and Tufts UEP, launched a comprehensive summer project and workshop series to take a critical look at food systems, land use, and opportunities in Somerville.  Led by our awesome interns, Lexi, Pratik, and Blessing, SCC worked with youth organizers from Groundwork Somerville and Teen Empowerment to document current conditions comparing supermarket prices for staple items, transit access to food hubs, and a vacancy survey in East Somerville and Winter Hill. 


The 25+ attendees of our Local Food Access Workshop on July 25th (check out the pics here!) joined in on critical conversations addressing space - specifically how we can better use of public land and abandoned properties to meet our needs and increase access to good food in Somerville.  Participants also took part in Food Economy Engagement Tool (FFET), a unique toolkit that helps track food purchases. Our hope is that the local data and stories collected will feed into our existing community process and hopefully lead to a concrete action plan.  By sharing experiences with one another, we can creatively brainstorm long term solutions.  


Join us for a community meeting this Thursday, August 15th from 6-8 pm at the Mystic Community Center on 530 Mystic Avenue in Somerville and offer your thoughts!  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Lexi Sasanow at (617) 776-5931 x235 or Childcare, interpretation, and light snacks will be provided. 



SCC Summer Member Picnic 2013: Thank You for Coming!


Every summer, we look forward to enjoying a festive evening with our members and friends at the annual SCC Summer Member Picnic, and this year's event did not disappoint! Over 70 members (new and existing) came out to the Argenziano School on July 16th for a night of delicious homemade food (provided by SCC member Estela Calzada) and live music and a notably entertaining Open Mic Talent Show. The stage that night showcased performances ranging from singing to comedic impressions to poetry reading to dramatic duos- what talented members we have! Thanks to all who came out and please check out our photos on Facebook (feel free to tag yourself!)



SCC Voices:
Does New Development in Somerville = New Opportunities for Residents?


By, Karen Narefsky, SCC Organizer


As Somerville experiences rapid new development, SCC has been asking the question, "Who does new development benefit?" The answer is not always clear, as we can see from the most recent developments at Assembly Square.


Cavalia, a traveling horse ballet, began its Somerville run on August 5. The company said they would give preference to Somerville residents during the hiring process, and the City of Somerville said that, "Cavalia has already proven to be a tremendous community partner, providing creative opportunities for employment and entertainment to Somerville residents."(Read more here )


Most of the Cavalia jobs available to Somerville residents are part-time, temporary jobs that pay minimum wage. There will be a greater variety of jobs at Legoland, Assembly Square's newest future tenant, but it is not clear how many of those jobs will be able to sustain a Somerville family in the face of rapid gentrification. If the jobs that much-touted new developments bring are not good-paying, long-term jobs with the possibility of a stable career, they will not do much to prevent displacement and preserve the economic diversity that is so important to Somerville.


An unprecedented amount of money is being spent on new infrastructure and economic development in Somerville. These massive investments should actually benefit the residents of Somerville. The jobs linkage fee that the City has proposed could help to fund training programs so that Somerville's workforce is ready to be hired. As developers come in, we need to think about more than just how many jobs are created. We need to think about what kind of jobs they are: whether they pay well, whether employers are prevented from stealing wages, and whether they are part of a career for Somerville residents. If Assembly Square is really going to contribute to the economic development of Somerville, it has to bring in good jobs.


SCC's Jobs for Somerville Committee has been discussing these issues for years and has developed a successful track record of securing local hiring agreements with developers, such as the once anticipated IKEA. Join us for our next meeting, at the SCC office (337 Somerville Ave, 2nd floor) on Tuesday, September 10th from 6:00-8:00, to get involved or contact Karen or Rene.



As always, we appreciate feedback.  We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon! 

Daniel LeBlanc
Somerville Community Corporation