Dear Ward 5 neighbors, friends, and supporters,
I am writing to ask for your financial support as I run for a third term as the Ward 5 Alderman in Somerville. Also, I invite you to join me, State Representative Christine Barber, other friends and supporters at Olde Magoun’s Saloon on Wednesday, March 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM for a re-election fundraiser.
I deeply appreciate your help and support. I have worked closely with many of you during my eight years on the School Committee and three years as Ward 5 Alderman. We have helped make Somerville a great and desirable place to live! Ironically, because of our success, we now face new challenges. Without activism by residents and strong leadership from our city government, we won’t keep Somerville a mixed-income, diverse, creative and eclectic community for much longer.
The Board of Aldermen (BOA) will continue to make big decisions in the next few years that will shape the future of Somerville for generations to come. Thank you for the opportunity to have a seat at the table. These are exciting but also scary times for us in Somerville. The pace of change is rapid. Major new developments include the Green Line and Community Path Extension, re-zoning Union Square and the entire City, the many real estate development projects in Ward 5, a new Somerville High School, sewer and water infrastructure, etc. We need wise and experienced leadership to guide the City, manage City finances effectively, and to slow the increase in taxes and fees.
I spend most of my time as Ward 5 Aldermen on neighborhood issues such as traffic calming, parking, potholes, street paving, streetlights, trees, rats, and development projects in Ward 5.
My #1 concern continues to be affordable housing. Last year, I worked with activists and my colleagues to increase the affordable housing required in new developments from 12.5% to 20%. For the first time, some new affordable units will be reserved for middle-class families. In 2015, I co-chaired the Mayor’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Working Group. I now serve on the Mayor’s Real Estate Transfer Charge Task Force to explore a 1% fee on most residential real-estate sales. This would raise millions of dollars every year for affordable housing. Other priorities for 2017 are to generate more commercial development (which provides more tax revenue and jobs), to increase the City’s job-training programs, and to ensure that union labor is used on all major developments. Helping people get better work that pays more will enable them to handle higher housing costs and stay in Somerville.
Thank you again for your support and friendship, and for sharing your concerns and ideas with me. They help me do my job better.
518 Medford St
Somerville, MA 02145
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