In Blog

Wednesday, October 27 at 7:00 PM

Somerville Stands Together (SST), is a coalition of 22 community, environmental, and labor groups committed to maintaining the city’s diversity and upholding progressive principles – racial and economic justice, green justice, affordable housing, quality education, workers’ rights immigrant rights, and LGBTQIA rights.

In September, 2020, SST convened a virtual Labor and Climate Summit to gather input from community, labor, and climate organizations about setting goals and developing working plans for more aggressively combating climate change while increasing economic, racial, and social equity. 

We divided into 2 working groups.  During the next year, one revised the Climate Forward Plan, developed by the city in 2018 – to more aggressively respond to the increasingly urgent climate crisis, and represent values that reflected the needs of all community residents (contact SST for electronic copies of the revised “Climate Further Forward” plan).  The other defined what types of projects representing SST’s goals should be recommended as “shovel ready” to receive initial funding from federal and state sources.  We wrote a position paper presenting our suggestions for moving forward.

In August, 2021, we presented our plan to the candidates for Somerville Mayor and City Council in two virtual sessions – one for Mayoral candidates and one for City Council candidates  (the presentation can be viewed at    https://somervillestandstogether.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/somerville-climate-further-forward-presentation-slides-shorter-version-102521.pdf.  Nearly all the candidates participated.  After brief discussions, they each agreed to endorse our plan and to work with us, if elected.

SST requests a meeting with the Somerville ARPA Director and MAPI community engagement representative to discuss ways we can contribute to decision-making about the use of ARPA funds in Somerville.  We are particularly well-positioned to engage people from disproportionately impacted communities – working class residents, labor unions, people of color, low income people, immigrants and environmental justice communities- who are traditionally marginalized from decision-making on these issues. 

SST also can help coordinate the infrastructure investment strategies of ARPA with those of climate change advocates, that seek to mitigate climate catastrophes.

We can advise about hiring and workforce development strategies that will distribute opportunities, jobs and income to increase economic, social, racial, and gender equality.

Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to an opportunity to work with you. Contact:  Judy Leff, judithleff1229@gmail.com