Progressive Leadership - Proven Results
I am a Somerville girl, a lifelong resident of Somerville. I grew up in a working class family, attended U-Mass and received a Masters in Sociology from BU. I have an extensive career in healthcare and I currently serve as Senior Director at the Cambridge Health Alliance. I am also the chair of the Ward 2 Democratic Committee, and, for the past 16 years, I’ve been honored to serve as the Ward 2 Alderman. When I first ran for office in 2001, I was driven by commitment to community and the city I grew up in. I still am in every way.
With a focus on quality of life I took on some significant challenges and did not back down. As our plans turn into new buildings and local businesses, it is important to me that we continue to preserve the heart and soul of our community, what makes Somerville - Somerville.
I have voted to support affordability and keep families in Somerville, increase affordable housing, provide tax relief for residential property owners, linkage fees and payments to the affordable housing trust fund, jobs linkage fees for job training, and protecting neighborhoods through downzoning
I championed the removal of the waste transfer station at Brickbottom, held the local automotive businesses accountable to our laws, created the BOA Flood forum committee to put this problem front and center for public discussion and insist on a comprehensive plan for addressing the problem
I advocated and fought for new and better open and green spaces in Ward 2 such as Perry, Quincy St. and Lincoln Park
Repurposed old commercial buildings like Ames Envelope and MAACO into new startups such as Aeronaut and Greentown Labs, generating important commercial taxes and innovation
I believe in exploring all options to make sure that our resident’s aren’t priced out of their homes. This includes implementing a right of first refusal, requiring any contractors that wish to build in our city include at least 20% of their units be quality affordable housing. Included in that requirement is a tier for middle class families because they too should not be priced out. And to get to the root of the problem, we must continue to create quality jobs, promote commercial development to ease the tax burden on residential property owners, and set aside inclusionary percentage of new retail space for low income minority businesses.
I am going to insist that we develop a comprehensive mobility plan for Ward 2, including the creation of a pedestrian safety committee. The city has many tools to make our streets safer, but I will make sure that their changes are built off of residents’ feedback and knowledge.
Better Access, Better Notification, and Better Enforcement
Too many times our residents feel like the only time they know about when construction is happening on their streets or in their neighborhood is when they try to drive somewhere and find their way blocked by construction fences. I have pushed for:
More timely updates to the city web page and additional methods used in alerting residents of street projects, like a direct link to the city website
Making sure that when our tax dollars are being used to collect data, we all get to see that data too
Continued collaboration with our Traffic and Parking Department so that there are more officers on the road to make sure that resident parking places are being used by our residents and;
I am asking for the city to place speed warning signs throughout Ward 2 and better enforcement in Union Square to ensure the roads are safe for all our residents
Through adoption of a new city-wide zoning overhaul, we can take the decisions of how our neighborhoods look and feel and put them in the hands of our residents and communities and not in the hands of developers.
Brickbottom residents I want to collaborate with the community of artists and promote their visions for the future.
Boynton yards, to make sure we leverage the right amount of commercial development/revamp tax structure.
While the current zonings creates situation for more “by right” development. New zoning must:
Include a robust approval process,
Address open space and traffic mitigation,
Include minimum 20% affordable
Be designed to slow down and manage development in our precious neighborhoods which have become prey to developers looking to flip properties and get rich quick at our expense
Building a Strong Somerville
I believe in a back to basics approach to the City budget and those departments that deliver important basic services. For me, that means that there is adequate support for these departments for their workers, adequate staffing, equipment, and resources. Advocating for those resources is the responsible way to do my job as an Alderman and meet the needs of my constituents.
Throughout my career, I have always seen it as my job to translate the concerns and challenges of my constituents into sensible, tailored solutions. We are a popular City, everyone wants to live here as there is a major population shift in this country to urban areas. With this shift and popularity, the City can benefit from change, but change can be difficult and dangerous if not well managed. I understand how it can affect each of you in your daily lives and will continue to make sure that this change works for you.