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2007 Aldermen Endorsements (Ward 5 and Ward 7)

The Progressive Democrats of Somerville are proud to announce the following endorsements:

Joe Lynch for Ward 5 Alderman [http://www.lynchforalderman.com]

Joe Lynch has worked behind the scenes in community revitalization issues such as the extension of the Community Path, Maxpac, and the Green Line extension. His support for broadcasting meetings of planning and zoning board meetings will create greater transparency in government. Joe Lynch is the kind of problem solver and independent thinker we need on the Board of Alderman.

Rachel Heller for Ward 7 Alderman [http://www.rachelheller.com]

Rachel Heller as the Policy Director for the Senate Housing Committee brings expertise and commitment to affordable housing to Somerville. She is not only a strong supporter of greater transparency in government but has worked to increase the involvement of homeless and formerly homeless parents in the state budget process. Rachel Heller skills as an organizer and consensus builder would be a great benefit to the Board of Alderman.

2007 Aldermen Endorsements (At-large and Ward 6)

The Progressive Democrats of Somerville are proud to announce the following endorsements:

Fred Berman for Alderman-at-Large [www.fredatlarge.net]

Fred Berman has been a tireless organizer and participant in community groups working to make Somerville a better place for all of its inhabitants to live. Among his notable accomplishments are helping negotiate the Assembly Square settlement and helping bring the Green Line to Somerville.

Bill White for Alderman-at-Large [www.aldermanwhite.org]

Bill White continues to serve constituents across the city with his sharp attention to detail and incisive knowledge of issues concerning Somerville. He has been a great positive force in matters of planning and development, working to ensure that the community has had a voice at Assembly Square, Union Square, the Maxpak site, and many others.

Rebekah Gewirtz for Ward 6 Alderman [www.rebekahgewirtz.org]

Rebekah Gewirtz is a long-time advocate of transparent, open, and accountable local government, and has delivered on those values during her time as Ward 6 Alderman, particularly through her regular newsletters and promotion of the Davis Square Task Force and David Area Resident Business Initiative. A major focus of her work in office has been affordable housing, a major issue both now and in the future as Somerville continues to develop.

PDS has decided not to endorse in the Mayoral race: may the best candidate win.

Election 2007 Questionnaire Responses

We invited all of the candidates for Mayor, Alderman at Large, and Ward 6 Alderman to fill out a questionnaire covering a number of the issues important to PDS members, and we received the following responses. We will be voting on these endorsements at our upcoming meeting, so please join us! Questionnaires for the other offices will be posted soon as well.


Alderman at Large

Ward 5 Alderman

Ward 6 Alderman

Ward 7 Alderman

Somerville Commissions Spreadsheet

View the UPDATED spreadsheet (online) - download the MS Excel version

Although this information is current up to 05/31/2007, there are still many expired and vacant seats available to interested residents wishing to serve the community and increase civic participation. This spreadsheet lists all 37 boards, commissions, and authorities in Somerville with many relevant details about each one.

For questions about the spreadsheet, about the roles & responsibilities of commissions, or about becoming a commissioner, email the chair of PDS at xyz@pdsomerville.org by replacing "xyz" with "chair".

PDS Endorses Jamie Eldridge in MA-05 Special Election

The Progressive Democrats of Somerville are proud to endorse Jamie Eldridge in the upcoming special election for the MA-05 seat in the US House of Representatives.

We salute Jamie Eldridge's history of successful progressive
action, particularly:
* his success as a publicly financed "Clean Elections" candidate
* his work in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on education, affordable housing, environmental issues, open government, health care, and election reform
* his hard work in the struggle for equal marriage
* his history of engaging grassroots Democrats and other progressive organizations

Somerville's Financial Commitment to Youth Declines

by Alex Pirie, editing by Barry Rafkind

Since 2002, [we've seen] fewer employed on the city side in youth services, steady decline in city funding (and these are not adjusted for inflation dollars), smaller, but visible decline in % of city budget allocated to youth – not a sign of a city with a big commitment to youth.

[An analysis of city budgets in recent years looked at] city expenditures and staffing for youth and recreation departments as well as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars for specific youth non-profit programming from 1998 to 2006. It shows totals as well as the percentage of the city budget that goes to youth programming and the percentage of overall CDBG non-profit grants that are allocated to youth programming. There are a couple of gaps, but the overall picture is fairly accurate. The recreation includes a certain amount that is allocated to adult programs, but I couldn't tease this sum out on a year by year basis, so the rec. figure is more than it really is.

Annual Meeting 2007 Photos

Photos from our Annual Meeting in April 2007 (click for a larger image)

May General Meeting

Tue, 05/22/2007 - 7:00pm
Tue, 05/22/2007 - 9:00pm
College Avenue Methodist Church in Davis Square
14 Chapel St.
the corner of College Ave and Chapel Street.
Somerville, MA
see map: Google Maps

Agenda TBA

Enter on Chapel Street.
A $1 donation for the room will be appreciated.

Annual Meeting – election of New PDS Officers

Tue, 04/24/2007 - 6:30pm
Tue, 04/24/2007 - 9:00pm
VNA Assisted Living Facility
259 Lowell Street
Somerville, MA
see map: Google Maps

Why should you come to the Annual Meeting on Tuesday April 24? Two words: John Walsh! That’s right I am pleased and excited to announce that John Walsh, Campaign Manager of the Deval Patrick for Governor Campaign is coming to be our Key Note Speaker. You won’t want to miss this!

Phil Johnston stepped down from his position as the Chair of the State Party last month and on Saturday April 14, Mr. Walsh was unanimously elected as the new Chair of the State Democratic Party.

Yes, that is right. Not only is the visionary campaign architect for our current governor coming to a PDS meeting, but also the brand new Chair of the State Democratic Party. I’d say PDS has come a long way in proving itself to the establishment as a group that isn’t going away and we have more than earned the “Democrat” in our organization’s title.