Why I'm Running

Dear Ward 5 neighbors and others who care about Somerville, MA,

It’s my eighth year as the Ward 5 representative on the Somerville School Committee, and I am still working hard with my colleagues and the Mayor to improve our public schools. We’ve had great success in my time on the School Committee (see my School Committee page) and enrollment in our schools is increasing for the first time in 15 years. But it is now time for me to move on to a new challenge.

I love this City and want to continue to provide leadership to improve life here for families and working people. I have learned a lot in my years on the School Committee and I’m ready to serve on the Board of Aldermen. That’s why I’m excited to be running for Ward 5 Alderman!

I’ve lived in this wonderful, dynamic, and diverse community for 30 years. I met my wife Marya Axner here, we married here, and our daughter Rae graduated from Somerville High School in 2010. I worked in the Somerville Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of Human Services under Mayor Mike Capuano in the 1990s. I’ve volunteered on many Boards and community groups. I’ve learned how things work in Somerville and how we can work together to make them work better.

I’m running for Alderman because I’m concerned about our city’s future. Somerville and Ward 5 are changing. The Green Line extension will improve the quality of life for us all. But as the housing market picks up and the Green Line is built, development pressures will increase, and development will have an impact on our neighborhoods for years to come. I want to make sure that residents – not just the developers – gain from new development in Ward 5 and Somerville.

I want to preserve Somerville’s sense of community, neighborly relations, and rich diversity, while mobilizing the skills and energy brought by newcomers. Ample affordable housing, good local jobs, job training, and strong schools will enable long-time residents and our children to continue to live here.

We need to keep more families in Somerville. As Ward 5 Alderman, I will support more parks, playing fields, community gardens, an extension of the Community Path through the city, and strong environmental sustainability programs. I will continue to work to improve our public schools, strengthen our public library and youth recreation programs, and push for programs that will help our seniors age in place.

I will advocate for the needy and vulnerable. And I will fight for honesty, openness, and fairness in City government. Decisions should be based on what’s best for the community, not on personal or business relationships.

If you have supported me in my past elections for School Committee, please know that I am grateful. If we have not met, I hope to have the opportunity to listen to your concerns and ideas, and to hear what you think of mine.

If you live in Ward 5, I look forward to meeting you at your door or at a community meeting. I will be out Spring, Summer and Fall, knocking on doors all over Ward 5 to meet voters. Whether you live on Winter Hill, in Magoun Square, near Ball Square, in Spring Hill, or down near Porter Square, I look forward to meeting you and to talking about your concerns and how to make our wonderful city an even better place to live.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Niedergang

P.S. Grassroots support is vital to my campaign. Please consider signing up to volunteer or make a donation.

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