In This Issue
Public Input Sought for New Community Preservation Committee
New Member Open House: November 7th
Progress at Star Market Site
Green Line Extension Gets $393 Milllion!
1st Time Homebuyer Class Starts 10/22
Somerville "Great Neighborhoods" Tour 10/29
RaiseUp Massachusetts Campaign
Fall Leadership Workshop Series Continues
Financial Education Course Starts 11/4
SCC Voices: Why We Need Housing & Jobs Linkage Fees Today

Public Input Sought: 

New Community Preservation Committee Members

Now that the voters of Somerville have successfully approved the Community Preservation Act to fund our parks, historic buildings, and affordable housing supply, we need to create the committee to oversee it! The City of Somerville is currently reviewing applications for the 4 general public seats on this new Community Preservation Committee, and is soliciting public feedback on applicants. Click here to review candidate summaries and provide feedback.

LDI Graduation Group.2013

Calling All New Members:

SCC Open House Nov.7th

Are you a new member of SCC, a Somerville resident (or worker) who is interested in learning more about SCC, or an current member looking to reconnect with us? Then please come to an open house at our office in Union Square on Thursday, November 7th from 6:00-8:00! Enjoy light snacks and beverages and a chance to tour our office, get to know some of our staff, and find out how you can get involved in our work this year.


Please register online here or by contacting Julia.

Vacancy as Opportunity: Progress at Star Market Site

SCC's Land Use Committee met with the City's Planning Department in early October to discuss next steps for the vacant Star Market site in Winter Hill. After a recent court ruling upheld the city's zoning amendments for this part of Broadway at Temple Street, the committee is now pushing to launch and help lead a new participatory public process. It is our goal that through this process, we will obtain a use for this long vacant property that can serve as a positive community anchor. To learn more and to get involved, contact Mashael .

$393 Million Approved for Green Line Extension!

The sound of the Green Line trolley rolling down the tracks from Lechemere station to Somerville just got a whole lot louder. In late September, the state made its largest financial committment to date towrads the project by signing off on a $393 million contract to fund phase two of the project (phase one to Union Square is already underway!): the construction of three new stations! Read more...

October First-Time Homebuyer Class Starts 10/22

Time is running out to sign up for SCC's First-Time Homebuyer Class starting October 22nd! 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 will cover everything you need to know before you start the process of buying your first home. The class will be conducted in English from 6 to 9:00 p.m. on October 22, 23, 29,
and 30. 
Registration cost is $35 and must be submitted prior to the first class. Contact Shannon Erb to register today, (617) 776-5931 ext 238


Somerville "Great Neighborhoods" Tour 10/29

Somerville is one of five "Great Neighborhoods" flagship sites under the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance. On 10/29, the LINK Somerville Coalition and other Great Neighborhoods partners will be meeting to tour and review local efforts to ensure good development that benefits local communities in Somerville. Recognizing that our city will undergo an unprecendented land use transformation over the next 25 years, this is an opportunity to learn about how SCC and our local partners are working to make sure this public investment results in local and regional public benefit that includes reduction of green house gases, new jobs and economic opportunities, and affordable housing. 

For more information, contact  Meridith

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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Fall is in full swing, and so are our efforts to accomplish great things for our community here in Somerville! Our big push right now is gathering signatures to approve two important ballot initiatives in 2014: raising the state minimum wage, and requiring earned sick-time for all workers. We need your help! (see below). Besides pounding the pavement with petitions, we're looking forward to hosting our Fall Open House for new (and current!) SCC members, continuing our Fall Leadership Workshops, and launching November's Financial Education class. Please join us!
~From all of us at SCC, happy fall!~ 
Raise Up Workers! Raise Up Somerville!
 Join the Statewide Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage & 
Provide Earned Sick Time

As the cost of living in Massachusetts continues to soar, the statewide minimum wage has been stuck at $8/hour for a decade. At the same time, our workers are often forced to choose between skipping paychecks or showing up to work sick because their employers offer no earned sick time. We think it's time for this to change- but we need 200,000 signatures to do it!



SCC is proud to have joined the statewide Raise Up Massachusetts campaign to pass two important pieces of legislation in 2014, and we need your help:

  1. Raise the Minimum Wage: We are working to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016 and ensure that it keeps pace with the rising cost of living. Such a raise would impact 1 in 5 workers in Massachusetts! 
  2. Earned Sick Time: Under our proposal, workers would be able to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year, so that they don't have to risk losing their jobs to care for themselves or their families.
We created an SCC goal of 3,000 signatures of registered voters towards the state goal of 200,000 signatures by November 20th. As of today, we are 25% on our way toward this goal. Can you help? Contact us and we will send you petitions that you can use to gather signatures from neighbors, friends, family, etc. Also, check this website to find (or start!) a local action event near you! Upcoming signature gathering events in Somerville include Honk! from 10/10-10/13, Union Square and Davis Square Farmers Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and  SomerStreets Monster Mashed UP on 10/20. Find out where we'll be and join us please!
Tweet to @RaiseUpMa and @SCC_Somerville using #EarnedSickTime and #RaiseTheWage!
Fall Leadership Development Workshops Continue! 
Sign-Up Today

 SCC launched our 2013 Leadership Development Institute (LDI) Fall Series with an exciting workshop in September on public speaking for social change.  From newcomers to seasoned veterans, everyone had an exciting story to share and practiced techniques for effective and impactful communication.  We would like to offer our immense gratitude to Jeannette Huezo from United for a Fair Economy for her inspired facilitation!


In October, we will feature two sessions on Gentrification & Displacement.  What are some of the root causes of gentrification?  How has displacement affected you and what is its history in Somerville?  Join us to share analysis on this phenomenon and how we can confront it in our communities.  


 Click here to register for the following workshops:


 Gentrification & Displacement 

Part 1: Thursday, October 17th, 5:30 -8:30 

Part II :Thursday, October 24th, 5:30 - 8:30 PM


Step Up, Speak Up: The Role of Active Leaders in Meetings

Thursday, November 14th, 5:30 - 8:30 PM 


All workshops are free and will be held at SEIU 888, 52 Roland St in Charlestown (near Sullivan Station). Interpretation, childcare and food provided for all sessions. For more information, click here or contact Rene Mardones, 617-776-5931 x226  

Build Prosperity for You & Your Family!
Sign up for SCC's Financial Literacy Course 


 Are you working hard, but still struggling to make ends meet? Start building your own path to prosperity by enrolling in SCC's Financial Education class starting November 14th! 


  fin litOver the course of five weeks, participants will gain important information and skills to help navigate their financial lives more successfully. The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 9 p.m., and a support group will be offered after graduation so that participants can continue to hone the knowledge and skills acquired in the class. Graduates will receive a $200 stipend to get them started on a successful financial path! The class is open to people who live and/or work in Somerville. 

Class dates: 11/4, 11/6, 11/11, 11/13, 11/18, 11/20, 11/25, and 12/2. Language: English. Dinner and childcare offered. To register, please contact Shannon Erb at (617) 776-5931 x238.


SCC Voices:
"Linkage Fees Are Crucial Tools to Make Sure
Our Community Benefits from Development"



Linkage Fees for housing and jobs continue to be hotly debated at City Hall and throughout our  community. (See our past action alert on linkage fees). Check out this op-ed from Jobs for Somerville and the Affordable Housing Organization Committee (AHOC) which was recently published in the Somerville Patch and The Somerville Times:  



This year, the City came forward with two important proposals that address the impact of commercial development in Somerville through linkage fees. As residents affected by that development, we support the proposed amendments to the housing linkage fee and the creation of a jobs linkage fee. The amendments to the housing ordinance would increase the amount paid by developers from $3.91 to $5.15 per square foot, index it to the cost of living, and lower the threshold for payment to developments of 20,000 square feet or more. The proposed ordinance on jobs linkage would create a jobs linkage fee of $1.40 per square foot, which would go into a Job Creation and Retention Trust.

We strongly believe that the Board of Aldermen should adopt the proposals. The increase in housing linkage will provide critical resources for affordable housing in Somerville. The ordinance is meant to be updated every three years, but has not been updated since 2004. In the meantime, the cost of rental housing in Somerville is increasing faster than the rate of inflation, and the city is losing rental housing due to condo conversions. Somerville residents are already leaving because there is not enough affordable housing.

  Affordable housing an d jobs create stable, healthy communities. Any developer who balks at contributing is probably not one who will be responsive to community needs overall. We understand the need for commercial development to expand the city's tax base and relieve pressure on residential taxpayers, but that does not mean we support any commercial development regardless of its impact.The people of Somerville want development that benefits the community and prevents displacement.

On September 25, MassDOT approved $393 million dollars to fund the portion of the Green Line Extension that will go to Union Square. Jobs for Somerville has been working with MassDOT and the MBTA to create a workforce development program that will provide training and jobs on the Green Line for Somerville residents. This program will involve a system of local outreach, placement in training programs, and a commitment to hire qualified local participants. We are very excited about the possibilities of this system, and we think it could work throughout all of Somerville, not just on the Green Line. It's an opportunity to bring Somerville residents, only 16% of work in the city, access to the jobs they need to survive and thrive. In order to operate and staff such a system, there needs to be a financial commitment from the City of Somerville. The Jobs Trust Fund, which would receive money from the linkage fee, would be an ideal source of initial funding for that system.

In individual meetings with aldermen, we were dismayed to hear some of them express the idea that Somerville is still suffering from a lack of commercial development. From Assembly Square to Cobble Hill Plaza to Union Square, it is clear to all of us that development is already coming, and elected officials cannot wait until the perfect anchor tenant arrives to deal with the need it creates for affordable housing and jobs. Many of the current aldermanic candidates have expressed their support for both linkage fee proposals. Boston provides a nearby example of a Neighborhood Jobs Trust, funded by linkage fees, that successfully connects residents to training and employment.

Developers in other cities have not been deterred by linkage fees, and Somerville's current  fee has not been an obstacle, according to the City's planning department. 
An increase in the housing linkage fee will responsibly provide for additional affordable housing stock in Somerville, and the creation of a jobs trust fund will jumpstart an innovative and forward-thinking system to connect Somerville residents to training and employment. Somerville has already given countless benefits to Federal Realty and other developers; we can't let them derail these opportunities to keep families in Somerville.


-Beatrice Kwaa, Maria Flores, Van Hardy, Yenii Majano, Mary Jo Connelly, Benny Wheat, and Daisy Vasquez on behalf of Jobs for Somerville.

-Ellen Shachter, Lauren Shuffleton, Celia Basilio, Louise Marks on behalf of the Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC) 




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