Today June 6th Marianne Walles turned in 300 nomination petition signatures, 50 more than the required number. She is the first to submit qualifying signatures in the race. A lifelong resident of Somerville, daughter of an immigrant and mother of two boys, Ms. Walles enters the race determined to address issues like affordable housing and local jobs that have long been ignored by the incumbent mayor.
“I see too many people struggling to survive Somerville’s ‘success.’” said Walles. “As a social worker, I’ve been closest to the pain and suffering in our community. I will advocate for affordable housing, to make elite institutions pay their fair share, and to create a transparent city government that will work for the people — not special interests.”
One example of incumbent Mayor Curtatone’s support for special interests over community concerns: He recently supported the statewide “Housing Choice” initiative to spur housing production without any requirements for building affordable housing and no protections from displacement.
“Somerville doesn’t need more luxury developments that will intensify gentrification and lead to displacement of existing residents, businesses, and our community institutions,”said Rand Wilson, an organizer with SEIU Local 888 and labor activist in Somerville.“Somerville doesn’t need leadership promoting worn-out ‘market-based’ solutions. Somerville needs a progressive leader like Marianne Walles.”
In her career as a social worker, Walles serves a diverse set of working-class people every day, working with families to assess their struggles, identifying a path to improvement, and providing support for them to be successful.
A long-time leader in her union, SEIU Local 509, Walles has been very involved in the fight for good-paying jobs in Somerville, affordable housing, and getting billion-dollar nonprofits to pay their fair share in lieu of taxes.
For more information about her campaign, please visit the campaign website: marianne4mayor.org or the campaign Facebook page: facebook.com/mariannewalles