FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2011
Marty Martinez, Chair
PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF SOMERVILLE ENDORSE CANDIDATES FOR THE 2011 MUNICIPAL RACES
Aldermen at Large Bill White and Dennis Sullivan endorsed for re-election. Katjana Ballantyne endorsed for Ward 7 Alderman and Christine Barber endorsed for Ward 4 Alderman.
Somerville, MA. The Progressive Democrats of Somerville (PDS) has made endorsements in the contested Alderman-at-Large race, and in the races for Ward 4 and 7 Alderman. PDS will consider an endorsement for Ward 3 Alderman at their next meeting in September.
PDS is proud to endorse incumbents Bill White and Dennis Sullivan for reelection for Alderman at Large. Each candidate brings something different to this race and the PDS membership overwhelmingly voted to support those perspectives. "Aldermen at Large Bill White and Dennis Sullivan continue to be strong voices for open, accessible, and accountable government and we know that we have strong progressive leaders on the Board of Aldermen with them present." said PDS Chair Marty Martinez. "We are proud to endorse both of these candidates."
PDS is proud to endorse Christine Barber for Ward 4 Alderman. The PDS members were unanimous in their support for Christine and were impressed with her credentials and grassroots campaign. "Ward 4 needs a strong and energetic leader and that leader is Christine," said PDS Chair Marty Martinez. "As a health policy expert, Christine understands the complex issues that the city faces and we are excited to work with her on her campaign for Ward 4 Alderman."
PDS is proud to endorse challenger Katjana Ballantyne for Ward 7 Alderman. As the former President of Somerville Community Corporation, Katjana cares about keeping Somerville affordable for all residents and families. PDS members were excited about her focus on an open and inclusive government. "Katjana would bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Alderman," said PDS Vice-Chair Judy Neufeld. "PDS is proud to endorse Katjana for Ward 7 Alderman."
PDS invited all candidates in a contested race to submit a written response detailing their positions on a variety of issues, except for the candidates in Ward 3. Candidates were asked to respond to important issues facing this district including thoughts on local issues including the Green Line Extension, the proposed Wal-Mart store, and ways to engage community in local government. Nearly 40 community members attended the PDS Endorsement Meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 and asked the candidates thoughtful questions. Their responses to the questionnaires are posted on the PDS website at www.pdsomerville.org.
More than 50 people attended the first ever celebration and fundraiser hosted by The Progressive Democrats of Somerville (PDS) on Tuesday, January 11th at Foundry on Elm in Davis Square.
Among the almost fifty attendees were School Committee Members Mark Niedergang, Adam Sweeting, and Paul Bockelman along with President of the Board of Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, State Senator Pat Jehlen, and State Representative Carl Sciortino. Guests listened to comments from President Gerwitz, as well as the Executive Director of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council Harris Gruman. PDS Chair Marty Martinez and Vice-Chair Judy Neufeld finished off the evening.
The event was the first major PDS event following a major visioning and strategic planning effort undertaken by the PDS Leadership Committee and membership. At the event, PDS introduced new efforts to take on more issue based and member driven campaigns, as well as continuing with their efforts in campaigning for local progressive candidates.
PDS continues to work on bringing accountability and transparency to all levels of government and supporting elected officials and candidates who share our progressive values. Major achievements this year included:
· Endorsing and supporting numerous progressive candidates both in our community and across the state, including Mac D’Alessandro for Congress, and Martha Coakley for Senate.
· Working with the Coordinated Campaign to reelect Governor Deval Patrick and defeat all 3 ballot questions
· Organizing in opposition to resort-style casino gambling through the state Democratic Party
· Raising awareness about Somerville trash removal company Russell Disposal’s violation of state labor laws
· Supporting the efforts by advocates to bring affordable family housing for formerly homeless individuals to Somerville
The next PDS meeting will be held on March 1st. The location will be announced soon. Go to www.pdsomerville.org for more information on the upcoming meeting and other updates.
Besides the good news of keeping Massachusetts blue this week, the PDS leadership team wanted to send out an announcement that we hired a new Organizing and Communications intern to help us as an organization grow and thrive. We know this was a top priority coming out of the visioning work we did and we are so excited to bring on Andrew Bunyard!
Andrew graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. He works as a Health Care Service Coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association; a job he has held for almost three years. In addition, he works as a Therapeutic Mentor for Health and Education Services in Beverly, MA. He has lived in Somerville for three years and is looking forward to being engaged with the important work of the progressive movement on a local level. Andrew was a stellar volunteer in Ward 6 for the coordinated campaign and was an intern on the Mac D’Alessandro campaign earlier this fall.
Andrew is so excited to be working with us. He said “Progressive politics have always been a passion of mine, but in recent years it has become all the more apparent the urgency for progressive policies and change. I work in a field where I see the cracks in a system every day that allow those most deserving of help to go without notice. I believe that working for PDS will allow me to take part in these larger issues on a local level and with the greatest amount of impact. It is an honor to be a part of such a dynamic and progressive local force. I look forward to the great challenges ahead.”
Please join me in welcoming Andrew Bunyard to our team!
June 4, 2008
Somerville - This week, the Progressive Democrats of Somerville officially launched their endorsement process for the upcoming round of state elections. Invitations were emailed to candidates in local contested races: Rep. Carl Sciortino and Ald. Bob Trane in the 34th Middlesex (Somerville/Medford) House race and Patrick McCabe, Jim Caralis, and Rep. Paul Donato in the 35th Middlesex (Medford/Malden) House race. Candidates who indicate their interest in being considered for endorsement by 5:00pm, Sunday, June 8th will be asked to answer a series of questions about their qualifications and positions which will be posted on our website, and which will help members decide their vote on the endorsement question at our June 24th general meeting. PDS looks forward to hearing from these candidates as it moves forward with this important process.
For more information: Marty Martinez, Chairperson of PDS, 617-256-5641