[personal profile] ron_newman
The Somerville Republican City Committee (really, that's a thing?) has scheduled a "Citizens Against Sanctuary Cities" meeting for Wednesday, July 12, at 6 pm at the Somerville main library.

The organizers keep hiding and then re-showing the guest list. The last time it was visible, many of the people attending it or interested in it were people I know who are definitely not on their side.
[personal profile] ron_newman
The city has published the final list of candidates in this year's city election. Yesterday was the deadline for submitting nomination petition signatures. Only the candidates listed in red have qualified for the ballot.

There will be a citywide preliminary election for Mayor on September 19, because two candidates, Payton Corbett and Kenneth Van Buskirk, are challenging Mayor Joe Curtatone. Preliminary mayoral elections have become rare in recent years, but Mayor Joe ousted our previous mayor, Dorothy Kelly Gay, in a 2003 preliminary election. The last preliminary election for mayor happened in 2007. The top two finishers in the preliminary go on to run against each other in the November 7 general election.

Ward 1 residents will also have a preliminary election for School Committee. Three candidates are running to replace incumbent Stephen Roix, who is not seeking re-election.

All four current aldermen-at-large are seeking re-election, along with challengers Stephanie Hirsch, Will Mbah, and Kevin Tarpley (a former Ward 2 alderman). Since there are fewer than nine candidates, there will not be a preliminary election for alderman-at-large.

Ward Four alderman-at-large Tony Lafuente is not seeking re-election. Two candidates are running to replace him. All other aldermen-at-large are running for re-election, and they have challengers in wards 1, 2, and 3.
[identity profile] nomacmac.livejournal.com
From the Somerville by Design website:
The City of Somerville’s Planning Department invites community members in the Davis Square area to a series of Somerville by Design meetings aimed at chartering the next steps in developing this great neighborhood while preserving its character.

Whether you are a renter or owner; new to the neighborhood or a long time resident, a planning meeting veteran or never attended one: We want to hear from you!
February 13th – History and Future
March 2nd – New Developments
March 21st – Aesthetics and Character
April 4th – Aesthetics and Character Continued
April 25th – Design Guideline Reviews
LOCATION
Somerville Baptist Church
31 College Avenue
 
[identity profile] serious-noir.livejournal.com
From the Boston Globe: Hundreds rally in Boston against Trump’s immigrant policies

Ron Newman of Somerville, who attended the rally, said the order reminded him of how the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away by countries including the United States in 1939. Many of the refugees later died in concentration camps.

“It seems like Donald Trump wants to repeat that history,” said Newman, who is Jewish. “I think anyone who fought in World War II, whose family fought in World War II, should consider this [executive order] to be a betrayal of what they fought for.”
[. . .]
Marching toward the State House, the protesters held signs reading, “Immigrants make America great” and “No trade war,” as they chanted, “Donald Trump, you racist clown! Build a wall, we’ll tear it down!”




Wish I had known about this rally. Is there a super secret mailing list or something?
[personal profile] ron_newman
We're having a special election for Ward 6 School Committee next Tuesday, because Paul Bockelman resigned in order to become Town Manager in Amherst. You have to really drill down on the city's website to even know this is happening. I've seen one or two official paper signs around town announcing it.

There's only one candidate on the ballot, Paula O'Sullivan. I know nothing about her, as I've never encountered her or her campaign in any way. Any further information would be appreciated.
[personal profile] ron_newman
Mayor Joe Curtatone and the Somerville Democratic City Committee are meeting tonight (Wednesday, November 30) from 7:30-9 pm at Somerville High School Auditorium "to discuss Somerville's status as a Sanctuary City in light of the recent presidential elections."

RSVP here

The Mayor and Welcome Project director Ben Echevarria issued this joint statement last week: Somerville Will Stand With You
[identity profile] serious-noir.livejournal.com
I missed the protest on Wednesday – didn't hear of it in time. Does anyone have a line on upcoming protests or a social media feed for such things?
[personal profile] ron_newman
The City of Somerville sent me unofficial election results:

Ballots cast: 39,919 (73.4% of 54,360 total registered voters)

President:
Clinton-Kaine: 32,903 (82.4%)
Trump-Pence: 4,064 (10.2%)
Johnson-Weld: 1,100 (2.8%)
Stein-Baraka: 812 (2.0%)
Write-in: 593 (1.5%)
Blank: 447 (1.1%)

(Compared to 2012 results, or even 2008 results, not much change.)

Q1 (Additional slots parlor): Yes 10,151 (25.4%), No 27,857 (69.7%), Blank 1,911 (4.8%)
Q2 (Raise charter school cap): Yes 11,113 (27.8%), No 27,438 (68.7%), Blank 1,368 (3.4%)
Q3 (Conditions of farm animals): Yes 32,448 (81.3%), No 6,204 (15.5%), Blank 1,267 (3.2%)
Q4 (Legalize marijuana): Yes 29,447 (73.8%), No 9,498 (23.8%), Blank 974 (2.4%)
Q5 (Tax override for new high school): Yes 26,260 (65.8%), No 10,166 (25.5%), Blank 3,493 (8.8%)

Statewide results in all races match Somerville's results, except that in each case, the winning percentage is higher in Somerville than it is statewide.

Unfortunately, national results for President don't currently appear to match Somerville (and Massachusetts) at all. What does this mean for our city and our state?

This post is an open thread for any discussion whatsoever about yesterday's election (Somerville-related or otherwise).
[personal profile] ron_newman

Early voting in all Massachusetts municipalities ends this Friday. Hours vary.

  • Somerville: City Hall, Thursday 8:30 am - 7:30 pm, Friday 8:30 am - 12:30pm.
  • Cambridge: 5 locations, close at 6 pm both days. Election Commission office opens at 8:30 am, other locations at 9 am.
  • Medford: City Hall, Thursday 8:30 am- 4:30 pm, Friday 8:30 am - 12:30 pm.
  • Arlington: Town Hall, Thursday 8 am - 7 pm, Friday 8 am - noon.
  • For other towns and cities, visit this page.

[identity profile] fenicedautun.livejournal.com
So, I'm pondering the early voting this weekend, but I'm wondering what the setup looks like. How many booths are there? Are they organized? Are there lines? Is it going to be insane this weekend and I'm better off waiting for my local polling place on 11/8?
[identity profile] rmd.livejournal.com
I haven't seen anything about it except for a couple of yard signs, but I gather there's a question on the ballot about construction of a new High School. I didn't see a link to it on the city elections department page, and I haven't seen it discussed here. Anyone have info or opinions?

we don't have a tag for 'elections' or 'politics'? I'm surprised.
cos: (Default)
[personal profile] cos
Although we don't have final numbers yet as far as I know, it sounds like enough results are in to know that Pat Jehlen won overwhelmingly over Leland Cheung. According to several sources, including https://dblstand.com/2016/09/08/jehlen-wins/, "Preliminary results show Jehlen with over 13,000 votes. Cheung received fewer than 4,000. Some precincts have yet to report."

Over in Cambridge, progressive challenger "no money" Mike Connolly has reportedly defeated 24-year incumbent state rep Tim Toomey.
[identity profile] mem-winterhill.livejournal.com
Vote--on THURSDAY this week, folks. Just wanted to highlight the unusual day. A nice young canvasser just came by my house to remind me, and I realized I hadn't seen notice of it much on the social media channels.

Sample ballots: http://www.somervillema.gov/alerts/sample-ballots-available-september-8-state-primary
[identity profile] tequilamckngbrd.livejournal.com
FYI, Senator Elizabeth Warren is coming to the Somerville Theater Tuesday night 08/02 to talk about income inequality, for those interested. It's free, open doors at 6:00PM.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1602175433413408/
[identity profile] gruene.livejournal.com
I received a telephone survey this afternoon regarding a potential ballot question this fall that would raise property taxes to pay for the new Somerville High School. This is the first I'd heard that a so-called "Prop 2½ override" was being considered, which, I believe, would be the first such vote in Somerville's history. Does anyone have more information about this?

Background on the new school here: http://www.somervillema.gov/highschool/
[identity profile] serious-noir.livejournal.com
Mike at the sit-in. Good stuff!




http://www.c-span.org/video/?411624-1/congressional-democratic-sitin-continues-house-floor&live

https://www.facebook.com/RepMichaelCapuano/videos/vb.151168844937573/1027079904013125/?type=2&theater


"I joined Members of Congress from all over the country, including Rep. John Larson of Connecticut, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and Rep. Robyn Kelly of Illinois on the floor of the House today, demanding action on gun control legislation. We simply want a vote on closing the gaping loopholes in current background check laws and on keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. While I think Congress should do so much more to address gun violence, these two issues really should unite us all. It is ridiculous that someone on the terrorist watch list can’t get on an airplane, but they can buy a gun."
[personal profile] ron_newman
Story here. I think this will mean a special election to replace him on the School Committee, as he would be stepping down with more than half of his current term unserved.
[personal profile] ron_newman
State Senator Pat Jehlen, who represents Somerville, Medford, and north and west Cambridge, faces a primary challenge this year from Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung. So far, I know of three debates scheduled:

Tuesday, May 31, 7 pm: Somerville High School Library, 81 Highland Ave. Debate is part of the Somerville Democratic City Committee meeting.

Wednesday, June 8, 7 pm: Amphitheater of University Hall at Lesley University, 1815 Massachusetts Ave in Porter Square. Sponsored by Cambridge Ward 11 Democratic Committee. Event listing at NextDoor.

Thursday, June 16, 7 pm: Medford City Hall, City Council Chambers. Sponsored by Medford4MA.

The state primary election will be Thursday, September 8.
[identity profile] jbcampbe.livejournal.com
Greetings Davisonians!

You may have heard rumors about the proposed West Branch Library Renovation Project and the tree and garden destruction it would involve. Here’s an overview of what’s going on:

The West Branch of the Somerville Public Library is in drastic need of renovation. All agree on that. However, the current project design also calls for the paving over of the gardens presently surrounding the building, replacing them with a “low-maintenance plaza space,” and the construction of a meeting room extension onto the existing building. Here is a link to the design plans:

http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/160229_Somerville%20WBL%20Community%20Meeting_FINAL.pdf

The plans for the present garden areas are disturbing. Over the decades, the Somerville Garden Club (which is not associated in any way with this opposition) has designed and maintained lovely gardens around the library and has planted several significant trees, including Somerville’s only Dawn Redwood, two Columnar Beeches, and a Fernleaf Beech, among others. All are rare and mature and are great landscape features.

The current design plan would remove all of these trees.

The proposed plan also raises a number of other issues:

First: it flies in the face of the City of Somerville’s policy of maintaining and acquiring new open green spaces. The past 20–30 years have been significant in the history of the city. The advocacy for green spaces, street trees, and gardening under Mike Capuano’s and Joe Curtatone’s terms as progressive mayors who actively encouraged the development of public green spaces and private gardens, has been a glorious period of renewal. Their advocacy of gardening contests and awards and their hiring of a city Senior Planner/Landscape Developer to help implement green plans and acquire new green areas have been tremendously revitalizing throughout the city.

All of these changes—including the development of the West and Main Branches of the Library—are as valuable a part of Somerville’s history as are the historical monuments and homes. These sites deserve preservation, and not an opportunistic “update” of a site which is a monument to the best changes brought about during the past years of Somerville history. The West Branch Library building was designed by McLean and Wright of Boston, and was built in 1906–09 with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and the city. It is the city’s best example of Classical Revival architecture, also exhibiting Beaux Arts details that were then in fashion. It was the first branch library in Somerville .

Second: the projected concrete plaza area would not be low maintenance, as claimed, but would, rather, be much higher maintenance than the gardens have been. There are mulberry trees on adjacent lots that would cause considerable mess. And most of the garden maintenance is done by SGC members, aside from occasional mowing.

Third: the projected plaza would be redundant, since there is already a nicely paved plaza area across the street from the Rite Aid on Highland Ave.

Fourth: the tax burden ($6–8 million) would be substantial, especially at a time when the Green Line Extension and Somerville High School projects are placing additional tax stress on residents.

Fifth: the addition of a meeting/performance space intended to accommodate a hundred people would mean that dozens of people at once would need parking in the Davis Square area. Yes, the Red Line is right there, but many people don’t use the T and/or would be coming from other directions. Traffic and parking problems are already severe in the Davis area—we don’t need more.


Members of the Somerville and Davis Square communities in general and the library property abutters in particular are all opposed to the current design. All parties are in favor of renovations to the existing building—and would be happy to see additional funding granted to upgrade the library’s services. But we oppose any other alterations, except insofar as are needed to make the existing building ADA compliant.

We do appreciate the need for more meeting and performance space in Somerville. But the proposed addition wouldn’t even be good for these, since they would be squeezed into a site not fit for the purpose. Further cramming of the small library lot, increased parking demand, and a considerable tax burden on the residents of Somerville (just at the time when we’re about to be whacked with Green Line and High School project expenses)—all for a project of dubious value that the people don’t really want—all seem like a no-go.

The City Aldermen have received a great many emails and phone calls on this subject, and a community meeting has been scheduled for:

Wednesday June 1, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
TAB Building – 169 Holland Street. Second Floor

This meeting will review and discuss the renovation and scope of library program services in the historic structure. There will be discussion of the community’s preferred landscape alternative. The meeting will discuss the scale and viability of the proposed community room addition. The ultimate objective is a project that meets the goals outlined by the community and garners the support of direct project abutters.


Additionally, people who are interested in this issue should:

1. Make sure they’re on Steve Vitello’s (the Project Manager’s) email list (by calling or emailing him at svitello@somervillema.gov 617-625-6600 x5124).

2. Join the Facebook page created by Janet Campbell on this issue. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/120522718357131/)

3. Join the Google Group moderated by Ulysses Lateiner and Janet Campbell. (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/somerville-west-branch-library-renovation).

We’ll make sure you’re up to date on what’s going on!

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