Representing Ward 1 as a Somerville Alderman has been one of the greatest honors of my life; but I pride myself on being a community organizer first and an elected official second. Our ability to remain a strong and resilient community has always been my motivation. As a lifelong Somerville resident, I have seen many changes to our community over the years. I want to make sure that the people who live here are at the heart of our decision-making, not the people who are out to make the most money.
My work on the board has always been centered on the values that I believe build a strong community – affordability, diversity, and safe and healthy neighborhoods. If these are values that are important to you too, I’m asking for your financial support so that I can continue to advocate for these values for you, and for Somerville’s families and seniors. I am proud of the many accomplishments we made as a community in these areas. I have actively supported the following work:
• Increasing the affordable housing allowances from 12% to 20% in large developments.
• Ensuring a fair and transparent community hearing process for any major new development.
• Doubling the use of SomverViva language liaisons for Spanish, Portuguese and Creole speakers.
• Increasing the diversity of the ward Democratic Committee to include minorities, young people and people with disabilities to reflect the people who live here.
Safe & Healthy Communities
• Submitting hundreds of board orders regarding constituent services to reduce traffic and rodents, and to increase snow plowing, lighting and crosswalks.
• Advocating for opiate abuse prevention and reform. My advocacy on this issue led to first responders carrying Narcan, which has saved hundreds of lives since 2013. I also worked with the city to implement criminal justice reforms that prioritize treatment over incarceration.
• We doubled the staff for youth and recreation in the city to empower the next generation of Somerville residents.
• Broadening the green space in east Somerville through the creation of Symphony Park and the renovation and renaming of Otis Park to Deanna Cremin Park, after a beloved Somerville resident who died too soon.
These are just a few accomplishments that I hope to build on. This cannot be done without time and money. I humbly request your support in the coming years. Together we can make this great city even greater. Sincerely, Matthew McLaughlin, Alderman, Ward 1, Somerville.