In This Issue
2014 Leadership Development Institute Accepting Applications
SCC Hosts "Donuts With Delegates"
SCC's Helen Corrigan Wins Woman of Excellence Award
Introducing the SCC Leadership Council
Register for March First-Time Homebuyer Class
Planning Board to Hear Revised 181 Washington Street Plans
Housing Workshops Confront Gentrification & Displacement in Somerville
SCC Celebrates a Successful Annual Meeting & Dinner
SCC & MassDOT Near Completion of Local Hire Contract
New Financial Education Class Begins in March
Now Accepting Applications:
2014 SCC Leadership Development Institute
LDI Graduation Group.2013

 Applications are currently being accepted for the 7th annual SCC Leadership Development Institute! Beginning March 8th, this four-session program includes an established core curriculum and several supplementary workshops designed to develop strong leaders in our community. We look forward to convening another stellar group of leaders and developing new skills for making positive change in Somerville and beyond.  More info 


To request an application, please contact Rene Mardones

"Donuts With Delegates"

SCC Hosts Discussions with Somerville Delegation 

 Every year, SCC invites our local delegation to join us for breakfast and conversation about highlights and legislative issues from our core work areas. This year, we were proud to host Senator Pat Jehlen, Representative Denise Provost and Representative Carl Sciortino for a Valentine's Day discussion around how we can work together at both the grassroots and state levels to improve financial opportunities for vulnerable populations, generate good local jobs, and increase affordable housing opportunities in Somerville. We are fortunate to have such engaged and energetic individuals representing Somerville on Beacon Hill!  

SCC's Helen Corrigan Wins Woman of Excellence Award!

Congratulations to SCC's Helen Corrigan for receiving the 2014 Somerville Commission for Women's 25th Anniversary Woman of Excellence Award! Having served the City of Somerville as Alderman at Large from 1985 to 1995, serving on the Board of Directors of the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, Somerville Living Wage Committee, and the Somerville Board of Health, Helen is truly a woman of excellence and well deserving of this award. More

Introducing the 
SCC Leadership Council
Last spring, active leaders from SCC's Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC), Jobs for Somerville, Land Use Committee, and Link Somerville came together to form a new SCC Leadership Council. This group will provide a space to strategize, share information about campaigns, and work collectively toward equity and community power in Somerville.


Representatives from the committees are planning a "People's Assembly" this spring to develop a common agenda (stay tuned!). If you are interested in learning more about this new group of community leaders, please contact Karen.

Registration Open:
March First-Time 
Homebuyer Class 
Sign up NOW for SCC's First-Time Homebuyer Class in March 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 pm on March 3rd, 5th, 10th & 12th
A complete 2014 class calendar can be viewed on our website. For more information or to register, please contact Shannon.
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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In the thick of this ruthless New England winter, we have continued to turn up the heat on affordable housing and local jobs here at SCC! This month's newsletter is meant to both energize and inform you of some of the key initiatives we're working on as well as some of the high impact events that have defined 2014 already. We hope you can join us at the Planning Board hearing tonight (see below) to support our revised plans for 181 Washington Street and for the final workshop in our housing roundtable series on March 4th


~From all of us at SCC, thank you for your support!~ 

TONIGHT 2/20, 6:00 pm:

Somerville Planning Board to Hear Revised Plans for 
181-197 Washington Street 


Six months after approving the SCC/Cathartes joint proposal for redevelopment of 181 and 197 Washington Street in Union Square, the Somerville Planning Board will meet on Thursday, February 20th to review and hear from the public about our newly revised plans for the properties. The meeting will be held at 6 pm the Somerville VNA Assisted Living facility, 259 Lowell Street and the agenda can be found here.


Both SCC and Cathartes remain committed to moving the development of 181-197 Washington Street forward as significant contributions to the Union Square neighborhood, with the affordable and market-rate housing, along with commercial space, that we have envisioned. Among the key elements of the revised, new plan we submitted to the Planning Board in mid-January are:

  • Both buildings will now be 4 stories, eliminating the partial 5th floor previously approved for each building;
  • A reduction from the previously approved 74 housing units to 65 units - the SCC building remains at 35 affordable rental units, while the CPI building is reduced to 30 units and will be built and sold as condominiums;
  • Elimination of the rear parking deck previously proposed and approved, as the required number of parking spaces is also reduced;
  • There will be no access to parking from Boston Street, and the space behind the SCC building along Boston Street will now be green space;
  • The ground level along Washington Street will remain as commercial space, though the ground level space in the SCC building set back along Boston Street will now be housing rather than commercial space
  • Placement of all building mechanicals in the roofs of the buildings, strategically placed as far as possible from adjacent building, and with sound and visual screening.

We want to make sure everyone in the community has an opportunity to find out more about this project and how it has changed in response to the abutters' appeal in July.  We encourage you to attend the Planning Board meeting tonight at the VNA to stand and/or speak in support of this project for a diverse and affordable Somerville for everyone. More info 

Creating Community Conversation: 

How Will the Green Line & New Development Affect Affordability & Diversity in Somerville?


This month kicked off a new series of interactive community workshops hosted by SCC, the City of Somerville and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council about the current state and future of housing in Somerville. Both workshops so far have been excellent testaments to the high levels of engagement among Somerville residents toward issues affecting our community! Check out the photos from workshop #1 ("Housing for Families in Somerville" on 2/4) and workshop #2 ("Implications of Gentrification & Displacement in Somerville" on 2/11), which received great news coverage in The Somerville Times and The Somerville Journal




During the first workshop on 2/4, participants heard from Tufts University Professor Rachel Bratt about how the housing market in Somerville has become increasingly competitive and decreasingly affordable, particularly for families needing more than two bedrooms. Small group discussions explored the difficulties many families face in finding housing in Somerville that meets their needs and what can be done to ensure affordable options for all of incomes. Click here to see what tools are already in place to achieve these goals. 


The second workshop on 2/11 convened over 100 people for the release of a groundbreaking new report, "Managing Change in Somerville: Dimensions of Displacement", produced by MAPC in partnership with SCC, and to discuss the implications of gentrification and displacement in Somerville. In a press conference preceding the event, SCC member Melody Chapin shared her story of growing up in a low-income household moving from apartment to apartment in Somerville and her struggle today as a young professional to keep up with rising housing costs and raise a family of her own (view video). Mayor Joe Curtatone applauded Chapin's story at the press conference and confirmed the City's intentions to boost its housing supply and keep Somerville a place where people of all incomes can live, work, play and raise a family (view video). MAPC researcher Tim Reardon then shared highlights from the report, all of which illustrate that whether or not the Green Line is built, Somerville is going to change: "What we need to do is to make sure that there are continued opportunities for low-income households to move in to and stay in Somerville," he said. Click here for a summary of key findings from the report.


Please join us for the third and final workshop in this series on March 4th where we will roll up our sleeves to develop concrete strategies for a strong and inclusive housing agenda for Somerville. All are welcome! You can read more about the previous workshops in The Somerville Times and The Somerville Journal.


**Want to continue the conversations from this month's workshops online? Check out Somerville's new online town hall at! Ask a question, share a comment, contribute to this new, citizen-driven project that will be shared with the Mayor and Aldermen bi-weekly!

Celebrating a Year of "Getting the Job Done":
SCC's 2014 Annual Meeting & Dinner 


A beautiful and celebratory evening was enjoyed by the nearly 250 people who came out to the Somerville Arts at the Armory for SCC's 44th Annual Meeting & Dinner on January 29th. This  year's theme, "Getting the Job Done," reflects our commitment to the work we do and to making a real impact on the lives of Somerville residents.  Check out the photos!


Special congratulations to this year's award winners, Daisy Vasquez, who received the Hazel Hughes award for her dedication and leadership in bringing good jobs to Somerville, and to First Sterling, recipient of the Norris Weston award for their investment and everlasting commitment to bringing all three phases of Saint Polycarp Village to fruition!


In addition to reflecting on our many accomplishments together in 2013 and looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of 2014, attendees had a chance to participate in a photo booth activity where they captured their New Year's resolutions for involvement with SCC on film. Here are few:




Pathway to Green Line Jobs:
SCC & MassDOT Near Completion of Local Hire Contract


MassDOT Jobs Rally 1 Over the last year, SCC's Jobs for Somerville Committee has been calling for MassDOT and the MBTA to create a pathway for Somerville residents to get trained and hired for employment during construction of the Green Line Extension (GLX). Fueled by unprecedented levels of financial investment, the Green Line will bring a new wave of job opportunities to Somerville, and it is our priority to ensure that these opportunities are made available to local residents.

Since our trip to Denver last fall, the MBTA has created a new team for the GLX jobs program, called MassWIN. Jobs for Somerville and SCC staff are working with the MassWIN team to make sure that reporting procedures are clear and that the building trades unions have a seat at the table, as well as to establish a connection with SCC's First Source jobs program.


We are proud to report that the current draft of the contract does include the Access and Opportunity Committee that we asked for and specifically mentions Jobs for Somerville's hard work! Once the roles of SCC and Jobs for Somerville are clarified, we hope to sign an MOU by the end of this month. Stay tuned!! For more information, contact Rene Mardones.

Jumpstart Your Finances in 2014!
SCC's Financial Education Course Begins March 24th

 We are excited to announce our first financial education class at SCC for the 2014 year! Over the course of four weeks, participants will gain important information and skills to help them navigate their financial lives more successfully. The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 9 pm, and a support group will be offered after graduation so 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 will be open to people who live and/or work in Somerville. Class dates: March 24th, 26th, and 31st and April 2nd, 7th, 9th, 14th and 16th (Mondays and Wednesdays). Language: English. Dinner and childcare offered. Pre-registration is required. Requirements: Participants must a) live, work, or study in Somerville; b) attend all eight class sessions as well as two counseling sessions with SCC staff; and c) qualify under the following income guidelines:


Household of 1

Household of 2

Household of 3

Household of 4

Household of 5

Household of 6

Household of 7

Household of 8



$60, 650









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