Be Somerville

On January 11, 2018, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

A monthly look at ways to get involved with your city: Don’t just live in Somerville, be Somerville!

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)

At last week’s inaugural ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker, new Board of Aldermen President Katjana Ballantyne, new School Committee Chair Andre Green, and I all spoke about what’s to come this year. We discussed the priorities we have for the communities we serve, initiatives we’re working on or that we expect to work on soon, and even some of the challenges we anticipate. During her speech, Alderman Ballantyne said that our strongest asset is our diverse, engaged community. And she’s exactly right.

With the ever growing to-do list and our city on the cusp of unprecedented infrastructure investment and growth, we need you – our strongest asset – to remain as actively engaged as ever. The goals we are striving toward were inspired and driven in large part by you. All of us in City government are going to be working to deliver on the vision we collectively created and planned for. We’re counting on you to continue showing up ready to engage and work alongside us. You can start by taking part in the meetings and events below, and always keep an eye out on for additional opportunities.

Board of Aldermen Meetings, 1/11 and more

All members of the new Board of Aldermen have been sworn in and are ready to get to work, and we’re ready to work with them. With the promise of submitting a new comprehensive zoning proposal on Jan. 11, there’s much exciting and important work to be done. All Board meetings are open to the public, and as a reminder, the Board’s meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes can be found at

When/where: Thursday, January 11, at 7 p.m. at City Hall in the 2nd Floor Aldermanic Chambers, 93 Highland Ave.

Community Preservation Act FY18 Application Presentations, 1/16 and 1/24 

To date, more than $12 million in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds has been awarded to 42 projects throughout the city. This will soon increase once funding is awarded to FY18 projects. But first, the projects need to be selected, and we need your help on that front. Join us at one of the application presentation meetings to learn more about the project proposals and provide feedback. Can’t make it to a meeting? Information about the projects, as well as instructions on how to submit online feedback, will soon be available at under the ‘CPA Projects’ tab.

When/where: Tuesday, January 16, and Wednesday, January 24, at 7 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association in the Community Room, 259 Lowell St.

Clean and Open Elections Task Force Meeting, 1/23, 2/13, and more

Last summer we put out a call to residents to apply for a spot on the Clean and Open Elections Task Force. The group is tasked with exploring ways to expand democratic opportunities for Somerville residents. Are you interested in learning more about their efforts to increase participatory democracy in our city through public financing, early voting expansion, and more? If so, consider attending their public meetings. Do your interests lie elsewhere? Check out the event calendar at for the full schedule of other public meetings ranging from the Human Rights Commission to Bicycle Committee and many more.

When/where: Tuesday, January 23, and Tuesday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Tufts Administration Building Atrium, 167 Holland St.

Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results Discussion, 1/25

Join Somerville Cares About Prevention and Somerville Positive Forces (SPF100) Youth Leaders as they share results from the 2017 Somerville Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey data. The meeting will feature an opportunity for an open community discussion with parents, grandparents, children, teachers, counselors, mentors, leaders, and more on health topics that include: substance use, mental health, physical and sexual Health, violence and safety, gender related issues and student protective factors. Attendees will also have the chance to share their ideas on how to improve student health.

When/where: Thursday, January 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Somerville High School Highlander Café (now Culinary Arts Bistro), 81 Highland Ave.

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