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Dear Alderpersons,

I am writing on behalf of MassCOSH, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, which fights to end dangerous work conditions, organize for safe, secure jobs and to advocate for healthy communities.

I’m writing to urge the Board of Alderpersons to hit the pause button on allowing Clarendon Hill developer Redgate to skirt local regulations and community standards. On the face of it, Redgate appears to be offering a substantial redevelopment of affordable housing badly in need of repair. But in reality, the developer is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that is getting a far better deal than the City of Somerville and its working families.

Developers who want to use public land to profit from market rate units should compete to offer the best financial deal and community benefits. But in this case, there is no bidding or public process, and thus no accountability to taxpayers.

Redgate, emboldened by this one sided deal, has now gone a step further, asking for a waiver, arguing it should not have to comply with Massachusetts laws, laws that require responsible developers to include prevailing wage and independent safety inspections. Redgate is receiving the “maximum payments” allowable for services, while eliminating basic standards, wages, and other worker protections.

This is a raw deal for Somerville working families that will contribute to-not erase­ economic inequity. Please tell Redgate, “no deal” when it comes to eliminating worker protections. We need both affordable housing and good jobs, and the people and leaders of Somerville shouldn’t be duped by that false choice.

Sincerely,
Al Vega
Director of Policy & Programs
MassCOSH

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