Community Members Ages 12 and Older Can Now Vote on How to Invest $1 Million in City Improvement Projects

Voting Open Now Through October 13, 2023

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Katjana Ballantyne is inviting all Somerville residents ages 12 and older to vote in the City’s first-ever Participatory Budgeting process. Voting is open now through Friday, October 13, 2023. The City will begin taking steps toward implementing the winning projects later this fall.

The Somerville community submitted more than 900 ideas for consideration. Throughout the summer, budget delegate volunteers collaborated closely with City staff to evaluate each idea’s need, impact, feasibility, and cost to determine the final ballot proposals.

“Somerville’s first-ever Participatory Budgeting is a historic moment where residents have the opportunity to directly determine the allocation of city funds toward projects that matter most to our community,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “The proposals on the ballot reflect the passion and ingenuity of our community, and I’m excited to see which ideas are selected by our neighbors. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the budget delegate volunteers and City staff who collaborated throughout the summer to create the final ballot ideas. I encourage everyone age 12 and up to vote and help shape the future of Somerville.”

Somerville Participatory Budgeting 2023 Ballot Proposals
For more information on each idea, including cost and location, go to
Solar System Sculpture
Hire a local artist to build a scaled model of the solar system in a sculpture series
Concrete Safety Island Crossings on Wide Thoroughfares
Install concrete curb barriers and signage to create pedestrian islands at major thoroughfares (such as Broadway Ave, Elm St, Washington St, Boston Ave
Outdoor Living Rooms in Parks
Install furniture such as chairs, benches, tables, and picnic tables – so folks of all ages have comfortable ways to enjoy our parks.
Faster BigBelly Trash Bin Adoption for Rat Abatement.
Place additional BigBelly trash can units through the city to improve cleanliness and decrease the rat population
Additional Bike Racks & Fix-it Stations
Add fifty (50) bike racks across the city in high traffic corridors, and 5 bike fix-it stations
Play for All in the ’Ville
Make play accessible in Somerville by adding play equipment for kids of all abilities.
Library of Things Expansion
Expand “Library of Thing” program to include additional household tools such as cooking utensils, appliances, and power tools
Bus Stop Improvement
Improve access and condition of areas around bus stops in most heavily used corridors in Somerville
STEM Programming in Libraries
Create informal STEM programming through Somerville Library; providing unique hands-on experiences to people of all ages
Get Ripped in the ’Ville
Add fixed workout equipment, such as pull up and dip bars, throughout Somerville parks and facilities
Improve Pedestrian Safety near GLX Stops
Install crosswalks, lighting, speedbumps, or daylighting at intersections adjoining or nearby new Green Line Extension (GLX) stops
Support Direct Community Food Access
Contract with a nonprofit to strengthen direct community food access programs in Somerville
Accelerate Bike Lane Installation
Install one – two miles of Quick-Build bike lanes divided by flexible delineators.
Somerville Safe Crossings
Add 15 crosswalks in Somerville with curb cut ramps on either side to increase safety and accessibility
Summer Music in the Park Series
Create a series of outdoor concerts featuring local musicians in a variety of genres, with a focus on highlighting different cultures.
Residential Street Speed Bumps & Daylighting
Create fund to support speed bumps and daylighting of intersections on primarily residential streets
Beating the Heat! Misting & Water Fountains
Add combined water fountains and misting stations to high traffic pedestrian areas
Light Up the ’Ville
Engage with local artists to design lively lighting for Somerville squares
Pedestrian Safety at Community Path Intersections
Add additional raised crosswalks, speedbumps, pedestrian islands, and concrete daylighting to intersections.
Keep It Cool in the ’Ville
Install shade structures for parks and public squares.

How to Vote
Residents will be able to rank their five favorite ideas when casting their ballot. Ideas with the most votes will be funded until the $1 million runs out. The funded ideas will be announced this fall.

Participatory Budget votes can be cast online, over the phone, or in person. Respect your neighbors: vote only once to give everyone an equal voice.
Go to or scan the QR code on Participatory Budgeting advertisements
Call 311 (dial 311 or 617-666-3311) or call 617-863-6622
Complete a paper ballot at Somerville Public Libraries or City Hall.

The funded ideas will be announced soon after the voting and the City will begin implementing them later this fall.

More complicated projects will take longer to realize, but the work to deliver on these community priorities will begin right away.

One thought on “Community Members Ages 12 and Older Can Now Vote on How to Invest $1 Million in City Improvement Projects”

  1. Just maybe the 12 years plus can direct the clueless people managing this city. Let’s see, start with a three year building plan. Take all the revenue coming in and repair existing buildings so they are safe for our children, firefighters and police.
    Assess all the city streets and take the worse ones and begin infrastructure upgrades along with sidewalk and road replacement.
    Hire staff to perform the much needed work to maintain the city that looks in its worse condition in many years.
    If all goes well we can lower the voting age and elect them to serve in a more meaningful way and give them a free college plan.

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