PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF SOMERVILLE ENDORSE CANDIDATES IN 2013 WARD ALDERMAN ELECTION

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2013


Contact:
Katie Wallace, Chair
Christine Barber, Endorsements Co-Chair
ChristinePBarber@gmail.com
617-410-6025

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF SOMERVILLE ENDORSE CANDIDATES IN 2013 WARD ALDERMAN ELECTION

Five candidates endorsed. Long-time School Committee member Mark Niedergang endorsed in Ward 5. Katjana Ballantyne endorsed in Ward 7. Rebekah Gewirtz (Ward 6) endorsed for re-election. Matt McLaughlin (Ward 1) and Suzanne Bremer (Ward 3) also endorsed.

Somerville, MA. Members of the Progressive Democrats of Somerville (PDS) have endorsed five candidates in the upcoming Ward Alderman election for this fall .

PDS members voted to endorse Mark Niedergang, who has represented Ward 5 on the School Committee since 2005. Mark’s ideas for keeping Somerville affordable so residents can continue to live here and his dedication to public service make him the clear choice for voters in November.

Katjana Ballantyne, who came within 40 votes of winning against the previous incumbent Ward 7 alderman in 2011, again received the endorsement of PDS members. A Ward 7 resident for over 20 years, Katjana has been a strong advocate for her community. PDS believes that she will be an important voice in support of community-based solutions to issues ranging from residential development to government transparency.

In the three-way Ward 1 race, PDS members voted to endorse Save Our Somerville co-founder Matt McLaughlin. Matt, a Somerville native, has been a terrific advocate for working families in the city, working to advance the local hire ordinance that would create more job opportunities for Somerville residents. Matt also has experience with youth programs in the city, and would prioritize programming for teens. PDS members feel that the Board would benefit from such a voice.

PDS voted to endorse incumbent Ward 6 alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, who is running unopposed this year. Rebekah, who co-founded PDS and was the first chair, has been a strong and consistent voice for progressive priorities on the Board of Aldermen, and members are confident that she will continue to fulfill that role during her next term.

Lastly, members endorsed Suzanne Bremer in Ward 3, in a four-way race. A current board member of Union Square Main Streets, Suzanne has worked to support her Union Square neighborhood since she moved to Prospect Hill over 20 years ago. PDS believes she is the right choice for voters in Ward 3.

Voters in Ward 1 and Ward 3 will vote in preliminary elections for Ward Alderman on September 24 in order to narrow the field to two candidates for the general election. The remaining wards will not have preliminary elections, and will vote on November 5.

PDS invited all Ward Alderman candidates to respond to our questionnaire, which included questions regarding commercial and residential development in Assembly Square and beyond, the Green Line extension, affordability, government transparency and accountability, and diversity, among other things. The candidates’ responses are available in their entirety on the PDS website (http://www.pdsomerville.org/node/241). More than 50 people attended PDS’ Ward Alderman endorsement forum on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013. PDS will be holding an Alderman-at-Large endorsement forum in early September.