Re-election Fundraiser

Dear Ward 5 neighbors, friends, and supporters,

I am writing to ask for your financial support to run for re-election as Ward 5 City Councilor on November 5, 2019. Please join me, my Campaign Committee, Marya, Rae, friends and supporters at Sound Bites in Ball Square on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM for a fundraiser.

I deeply appreciate your help and support. During my eight years on the School Committee and five years as the Ward 5 Alderman/City Councilor, I have worked with many of you to change the Somerville political culture and make Somerville a better place to live. Our success has brought new challenges – one of them a housing market boom that is displacing many residents. Without continuing community activism and strong leadership from City government, we won’t keep Somerville a mixed-income, diverse community for much longer. In the next few years, the City Council will continue to make decisions 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 unsettling times in Somerville. The pace of change is rapid. This dense little City we love continues to be transformed in ways that are delightful to some and disturbing to others. The Green Line & Community Path Extension, new Somerville High School, and redevelopment of Union Square are underway. But resident turnover and rapid population shifts are changing the demographic character of our City. We need wise, experienced leadership to guide policy responses to these changes, manage City finances effectively, and address the challenges of gentrification and displacement. There is no one simple solution. I have been working hard with my colleagues and the Administration to pass many new policies, programs, and laws.

Unfortunately, the wheels of change and government grind slowly. Legislation that would bring these changes is complicated and often takes many months to finalize. Some important initiatives, especially in the realm of affordable housing, also need approval from the State Legislature. Progress is slower than I would like.

Last year, we sent to the Legislature a home-rule petition for a real estate transfer fee to raise desperately needed funds for affordable housing. We are now working with other cities to try to secure its passage. In the Legislative Matters Committee, which I Chair, we are working to strengthen our Condominium Conversion Ordinance to better protect tenants, and on regulating short-term rentals (like AirBNB). We’ll soon be considering a powerful Tree Protection Ordinance that I proposed, stormwater and pervious surface regulations, and green and open space and other critical environmental legislation. We’re in the fifth year of work on a comprehensive citywide zoning overhaul that would change the way real estate development is done for the better, protecting our residential neighborhoods and enabling more commercial development to raise revenue, to keep residential property taxes low.

Thank you again for your support, for speaking up for what is right, and for sharing your concerns and ideas with me. I feel incredibly lucky that I am at a stage in my life where I can do this (part-time) job full-time plus. It is a pleasure, an honor and an awesome responsibility to be the Ward 5 City Councilor in Somerville.


Mark Niedergang

Ward 5 Councilor


[email protected]

April 10, 2019 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Sound Bites Cafe
Mary Regan · · (617) 838-7615

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