6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone,
Somerville Local First Executive Director Joe Grafton speaks to the
Board of Alderman at its March 25 meeting.
By Tom Nash
Local First gained an endorsement from the Board of Alderman last week
supporting its efforts to get city residents to spend 10 percent of
their budgets at local businesses.
Somerville Local First
Executive Director and 10 % Shift committee member Joe Grafton was on
hand with business representatives from throughout the city to receive
recognition from both the Aldermen and Mayor Joseph Curtatone.
is going to support our local character and diversity," Curtatone said.
"I think that's what makes Somerville unique. In these economic times,
it's good that our dollars are staying here within our business
The 10% Shift is a coalition of businesses
throughout New England that has seen 277 people sign a pledge to spend
that amount of their budget locally since forming last fall. The group
claims that if five million households in New England signed the pledge
it would generate $5 billion and create 48,000 jobs.
Local First, an alliance of business owners, formed in March 2008 to
create awareness of the support needed form the community in competing
against large chain stores.
"The 10 % Shift and Somerville
Local First first is one of the more exciting things happening now in
this city," Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz said at the board's March
25 meeting. "I think far too often we've seen what happens in other
areas when chains come in and take over, and the fabric and the nature
of that community is lost. And it's really lost for good."
and Curtatone recently became the first elected officials to sign on to
the pledge, joining 45 Somerville residents who had signed up by the
end of March.
More information can be found at www.somervillelocalfirst.org and www.10percentshift.org.