This is my first newsletter in a while, and I'm trying out a new approach. Previously, I saved newsletter writing until Fridays. However, too often pressing matters arose on Fridays that resulted in newsletters not being completed or sent out.
So I'm publishing blog posts on my website whenever there's a good opportunity to do so. I'll post these to social media when they are published, then feature recent posts in a sort digest in what I hope will be a weekly newsletter sent out on Fridays once again, supplemented by additional info.
Here's the first attempt at this new format. I'm curious to know what you think so please feel free to drop me a line with any feedback you have.
The Gaza Ceasefire Resolution
On January 25, the Somerville City Council took up a resolution from Councilor Ewen-Campen calling on our federal elected officials to push for a ceasefire in Gaza and condemning hate here locally. It was hot, boisterous, and crowded in the City Council Chamber that night, with the room packed to the legal capacity with community members, many of whom had strong feelings about the resolution. More
Somernova zoning amendment petition
On Thursday, February 15, the City Council's Land Use Committee and the Planning Board will hold a joint public hearing on a petition by Rafi Properties to amend the zoning code of ordinances to upzone 7.4 acres in Ward 2 to build an additional 1.6 square feet of climate tech space. Since it became public several months back, the proposal has generated an enormous amount of attention, including two high-profile neighborhood meetings on the Somernova campus and a third, smaller off-site session. More
Warming Center at the Armory
Last month the City opened a warming center at the Armory to address the growing problem of our unhoused neighbors needing a warm place to spend the night during our cold New England winter. Operated by a private contractor, Housing Families, the warming center is open nightly from 6:45 PM to offer overnight warmth and sleeping accommodations to those most in need. More
New School Construction
Three years ago when running for office for the first time, one of the things I campaigned on was the need to build a new elementary school. Like anyone who was paying attention, I knew all too well the many problems with the Winter Hill School building at 115 Sycamore, and I was alarmed at the lack of urgency in pushing ahead with that new school construction. More
The week ahead
Here's what I'll be attending this week, if you're interested in joining me:
- Tuesday, Feb. 6: Finance Committee meeting @ 6 PM (Zoom)
- Tuesday, Feb. 6: Rt. 16 Traffic Calming coalition meeting @ 7 PM (Zoom -- contact me for information)
- Thursday, Feb. 8: Winter Hill Civic Advisory Committee meeting @ 5:30 PM (Zoom)
- Thursday, Feb. 8: City Council regular meeting @ 7 PM (City Council Chamber)
Multi-member body opportunities
The City of Somerville's multiple-member bodies (boards, committees, and commissions) are a great way to be an active part of our city and contribute to the community. The Administration currently is seeking members for the following multi-member bodies:
- Pedestrian & Transit Advisory Committee (apply by Feb. 9)
- Bicycle Advisory Committee (apply by Feb. 9)
- Job Creation and Retention Trust Committee (apply by Feb. 26)
- Fair Housing Commission
- Conservation Commission
- Anti-Displacement Task Force
- Cultural Capacity Planning (Somerville Arts Council)
Have a neighborhood email list?
If your neighborhood has an email discussion list and you'd like to have a councilor-at-large on it, please invite me or add me. I'd love to hear what's happening on a hyperlocal level and the issues our city's neighborhoods are talking about.
Did You Know...
In Massachusetts it is illegal to enter an intersection once a traffic signal has turned red. It is not a violation if the signal changes to red while you still are traveling through the intersection.
In Somerville we have many intersections where the stop line is decently far from the intersection. These means drivers need to be aware to avoid getting caught stopped beyond the stop line and not commit a moving violating by entering the intersection when the light is red.
I've seen a lot more interest in my on-demand office hours than the regular weekly ones, so I'm moving to a monthly office hours that I'll announce a week or two ahead of time. So stay tuned for an announcement about February office hours.
Meanwhile, you're always encouraged to find a time to meet with me that works for you via my Calendly.
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