Be Somerville

On July 27, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

A monthly look at ways to get involved with your city

By Joseph A. Curtatone

(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries and letters to the Editor of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)

Things may slow down in the summertime in other cities, but here in Somerville, you can get civically engaged even in the dog days of July and August, which is good, because we need you year-round. When residents get involved it brings the benefits of different perspectives, community ownership, and introducing residents to networks of people who share the same concerns and passions within their neighborhoods. Whether you’re an adult or teen, there are many different avenues in Somerville you can take to get involved. No matter which one you choose, there’s always a way to make sure your voice is heard.

Community Preservation Act (CPA) Survey

Do you have two minutes to help your city learn more about your CPA knowledge and preferences? This summer we’re evaluating how our Community Preservation Act (CPA) program is aligning with residents’ priorities and how well known it is within our community. Whether you are familiar with the CPA or not, you can engage with the City by taking a brief survey so we can learn about your preferences as they relate to CPA. To take the survey, visit

As a reminder the Community Preservation Committee is now accepting applications for a general public member. Applications are due by August 3, and more information can be found at

Youth-Police Walking Dialogues, 7/27, 8/10, 8/15, 8/24, and more

As a partnership between the Somerville Police Department and the Center for Teen Empowerment, the Youth-Police Walking Dialogues present Somerville youth with the opportunity to build relationships with police, business owners, and other residents while strolling through their ward. It’s crucial that we work to engage young people in our community too, and these dialogues give youth the chance to personally see and experience the benefits of community engagement.

When/where: Ward dialogue times and locations vary. For complete schedule and location information, visit

Residential Energy Assistance Resource Fair, 7/27

Join the City of Somerville, consumer advocates, and public utility companies to learn more about programs that could help you cut costs on your utility bills. Light refreshments will be served. Additional information on Somerville energy efficiency programs can be found at

When/where: Thursday, July 27, at 4 p.m. at East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St.

Zoning Open House, 7/29, 8/17, 8/22, and 8/31

Are you interested in learning more about the proposed zoning overhaul? Drop by any of our open houses to speak with City planning and zoning staff, ask questions, or provide feedback. For useful introductory information, check out the infographics tab at

When/where: The next open house is Saturday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Somerville High School Library, 81 Highland Ave. Please note that locations vary for the subsequent dates. Complete schedule information can be found on the City calendar at  or at

Somerville Bicycle Committee Meeting, 8/15

Biking tends to be at the forefront of our minds during the summer months. Take that opportunity to attend a meeting and learn more about the Somerville Bicycle Committee’s efforts to make biking in Somerville safer for all. The committee hosts several other public events too. Learn more at

When/where: Tuesday, August 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Somerville Police Department Academy Room, 220 Washington St.

Somerville Climate Forward Meeting, 8/16 and 8/21

Somerville Climate Forward kicked off last month, launching the City’s comprehensive climate change and resiliency planning process. Join staff from the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment as they discuss the findings of Somerville’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and talk more about the Somerville Climate Forward effort.

When/where: Wednesday, August 16, and Monday, August 21, at 6 p.m. at the Somerville Central Library Auditorium, 79 Highland Ave.

Somerville High School Building Committee Meeting, 8/21 and 8/23

With site preparations set to begin soon, join the High School Building Committee for their public meetings to learn more about what’s to come for this project. For detailed plans and project timeline information, visit

When/where: Monday, August 21, and Wednesday, August 23, at 5:30 p.m. at Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave.

The events and meetings listed above represent just a snapshot of ways to get involved with your City. There are several upcoming public meetings of boards, commissions, and committees. More information on these meetings, minutes, and agendas – along with numerous other City events – can be found on the City calendar at  The weekly City Newsletter also provides access to important City news updates as well as information and reminders about upcoming meetings and events. To subscribe, visit


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