In This Issue
SCC's 45th Annual Meeting, February 15th
First Time Homebuyer Class
SCC's Leadership Development Institute 2015
SCC Calendar of Events
CITC and The Social Equity Campaign: Success in Year 1!
First Source Program Kicks Off 2015 with Exciting New Events
AHOC Digs in on Zoning, other Affordable Housing Strategies
Progress Being Made at 181 Washington Street
Neighborhood Planning | Community Benefits | CAC Expansion

SCC's 45th Annual Meeting

February 15th

Join us for our 45th Annual Meeting 
& Dinner Celebration as we push for "Development without Displacement" in Somerville:

Wednesday February 11, 2015
6:00 to 8:30 PM

Arts of the Armony
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143

Dinner | Dancing | Entertainment

Music provided by Opposite People

At the meeting, we will also elect new members for our board of directors and recognize community members with
 our two award categories: Hazel 
Hughes Award and Norris Weston Award. 

We hope you can join us and celebrate our accomplishments for this past year!

RSVP by February 4th
Register Online
First Time Homebuyer Class
Starting Feb. 18th

Sign up NOW for SCC's First-Time Homebuyer Class in February 2015! The four-session, 12-hour class will feature presentations by a real estate agent, a lender, a home inspector, a real estate attorney, and an insurance agent, in addition to SCC staff, and it will teach you everything you need to know before you start the process of buying your first home.


Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate that enables them to access products geared specifically towards first-time homebuyers, such as the ONE Mortgage.


Participants must:

  • Pre-register
  • Attend all 4 sessions


For a full 2015 calendar, visit our website:  


Financial Literacy


First-Time Homebuyers 

For more information about any of our classes please contact Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 x238 or


SCC's Leadership
Development Institute 2015
Applications are currently being accepted for the 8th Annual SCC Leadership Development Institute!

Beginning March 7th, this four-session program includes an established core curriculum and several supplementary workshops designed to develop strong leaders in our community.

We look forward to convening another committed group of leaders ready to learn new skills and make positive changes in Somerville and beyond.

Find out more here
To request an application, please contact Rene Mardones 
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Our many groups and committees meet regularly and are open to newcomers! 


2/11: Annual Meeting


2/18: Affordable Housing Organizing Committee Meeting


2/18-2/26: First Time Homebuyers Class


2/25-2/27: First Source Nanny Training (more details to come!)


Click on the calendar below to learn more about meetings and events coming up: 
calendar icon

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We hope that 2015 is getting off to a great start for you. It's certainly been an exciting and eventful one for us at SCC. As you'll see below, we are keeping busy by providing new trainings and workshops, working with dedicated community members to host special events that promote our mission, preparing to break ground on a new affordable housing development at 181 Washington Street, pushing for equitable policy and development around Union Square and across Somerville, and much more.


Please read on for updates on SCC's latest activities.


Our Annual Appeal is alive and well. Donate now to join us in our mission to keep Somerville diverse and affordable. #SupportSCC


And Join us for Annual Meeting on February 11th!


From all of us at SCC, thank you for your support 

CITC and The Social Equity Campaign: Success in Year 1!

On December 31st, 2014, SCC reached its Social Equity Campaign goal for year 1 of raising $80,000 through the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program, with additional CITC dedicated funds through United Way. We are grateful to the generous donors whose contributions help move SCC's ambitious agenda forward.


2015: New Challenges Ahead!  

In response to our organizational goals and first year success, the Department of Housing and Community Development has issued SCC with $150,000 new tax credits through CITC, which means we need to raise $300,000 over the next 12 months!  


CITC donors can be anyone: individuals, institutions, organizations, in-state or out. Contributors who give at least $1,000 are eligible for a tax credit 50% the value of their donation. Launched by the state last spring, the program is off to a great start as more and more people discover what a great opportunity this is to invest in the economic health of low-income areas, while getting a substantial return. See the Boston Globe article discussing the CITC campaign.


To celebrate the success of our Social Equity Campaign in 2014 while launching our goals for 2015, SCC hosted a lively event on January 13th at Greentown Labs.


Guests mingle at Jan 13 CITC Campaign Event held at Greentown Labs
Richard Davy & Stephanie Pollack with Danny LeBlanc


This was a great opportunity to thank our 2014 donors and start sharing our enthusiasm and commitment to SCC's work in 2015. Mayor Curtatone set the tone for a great line up of speakers, and gave a nod to the importance of the work the City and SCC are aiming to accomplish in upcoming years.


Kelvin Mejia sharing his testimony
with the guests


Our keynote speakers included former Secr

etary of Transportation, Richard Davey, and newly announced Secretary of Transportation, Stephanie Pollack, (photo above) who has also served on our Campaign Advisory Team. Pollack's appointment was announced only a few hours before our event, which made the evening particularly exciting. We also heard powerful testimonies from SCC members: Kelvin Mejia, Neil Connolly, and Maria Salmeron, as well as a hearty address from Rockland Trust CEO, and Campaign Advisory Team member, Christopher Oddleifson 



We are eager to step up the pace for the Social Equity Campaign  through the CITC  program this year in order to take big strides in our work. 


If you would like to be part of this campaign, either through being a part of the planning or advisory team, or by making a tax refundable contribution this year, please contact Meridith Levy at or 617-776-5931 x242.


First Source Program Kicks Off 2015 with Exciting New Events 

Our First Source Program is starting the New Year with a complete set of soft skills and hard skills workshops, and job seeker group.
January First Source Workshop
The new workshops, provided by our partner The Career Place, have been created to help Somerville residents be more prepared for a job interview and become more independent at the time of applying for a job.  Some of the workshops that will be offered during this new cycle are "How to identify your skills", "How to communicate at work", "How to create a draft of a job application", among others. 
Also, starting in February, the First Source participants will have the opportunity of participating in a job seekers group.  This group will be a space for participants to share their experiences during the job search process and also a forum for them to practice their communications skills in English.

Nanny Training
Finally, on February 25th, 26th and 27th, the First Source Program will offer its first Nanny Training.  In collaboration with the Matahari Eye of the Day, an organization based in Boston, SCC created a training that will prepare community members who are interested in a career as a nanny.  The training includes workshops on childhood development, how to create a work contract, and CPR and First Aid certification.
For those interested in getting more information about either the workshops, job seeker group or Nanny Training, please call Jorge Col�n 617-776-5931 x232 or Barbara Louis 617-776-5931 x233.

AHOC Digs in on Zoning, other Affordable Housing Strategies

2015 is shaping up to be a very busy year for affordable housing! Between the new zoning, the mayor's Sustainable Neighborhoods initiative, and SCC's work to highlight the impacts of displacement and combat it at a grassroots level, AHOC has a lot on its plate in the coming months. Here are some issues to watch out for:


Zoning Reform

A draft of the proposed new zoning code  has finally been released! Thanks to the diligent work of AHOC members, it incorporates many of AHOC's priorities for affordable housing, including 20% inclusionary housing in TOD zones, incentives for family-sized units in large developments, and lower parking requirements. Income eligibility has been expanded at both ends of the spectrum, and inclusionary zoning will no longer be tied to special permits as more development will be permitted as of right. The City hosted a public meeting on January 20 to explain the new code, and there will be a public hearing at City Hall on February 10.


AHOC members will meet with Planning Director George Proakis before the hearing to make sure we understand the affordable housing provisions in the code and explore the possibilities for creating even more affordable units and strengthening tenant protections. We know that not everything can be accomplished through zoning, but we are hopeful that we can continue a positive dialogue with the City and use zoning as part of our anti-displacement toolkit.


Sustainable Neighborhoods

Last fall, the mayor released his "Sustainable Neighborhoods" affordable housing initiative and invited people to apply for a working group to implement the initiative. 10 AHOC members applied to the working group, and we recently heard that four AHOC members were appointed! The first meeting of the working group will be Thursday, January 29 at City Hall.  


AHOC meets the third Thursday of every month at SCC. If you want to get involved, contact Ren� at 617-776-5931 x226 or

Progress Being Made at 181 Washington Street

You may have noticed that Cathartes Private Investments (CPI) has begun construction on their 30 unit residential condominium project. Initial steps have included the demolition of the former Cota Funeral Home and with shoring up the retaining wall at the back and west side of their site. 


Proposed Housing Project at 181 Washington Street

SCC's neighboring project is right behind them. The redevelopment of the former Boys & Girls Club site with 35 new affordable rental units is slated to begin in March with a construction period of 12 months. When completed, CPI and SCC projects will share a common driveway and parking area behind the two new buildings. Other shared features of the two, four-story buildings include a wider sidewalk for Washington Street pedestrians, covered bicycle storage and racks, ground floor commercial space, roof decks and possibly a car sharing service such as Zipcar. Additionally, SCC's building will include a community room for residents, and is designed to be LEED and Energy Star certified.


More updates to come this spring!

Neighborhood Planning | Community Benefits | CAC Expansion

Union United at the January CAC Meeting
More than 15 Union United members attended the January CAC meeting. After hearing about smart growth zoning districts coalition members asked questions about community input in City-led planning processes. The City and the developer (US2) stated that there are no set plans for any of the development blocks and that residents can and should influence the process by participating at the Somerville by Design and Civic Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings. The next CAC meeting in February will focus on jobs and commercial development.


CAC Seeks New Members 

Thanks in large part to Union United's push, the CAC is seeking new members. This is a real opportunity to influence the planning process and make sure equity is part of the conversation. We hope many of you apply. Union United will host an open house to help people with their letter of interest and resume on Tuesday, January 27 from 12-1:30pm and 5:00-6:30 pm at SCC. If you're interested in applying to be on this committee, you need to must submit a letter of interest and a resume by Thursday, February 5. You can find out more here.


Somerville By Design

The Somerville by Design team will be hosting a visioning sessions for the Union Square neighborhood on Saturday, January 31 at 10:00 am. The session will be held at the old Union Square post office on 237 Washington Street. This is an opportunity community members to share their ideas, values, and vision for Union Square with the City's design team.


Make sure to check out our awesome Op-Ed in last week's Somerville Journal

For more information on Union United, contact Mashael at 617-776-5931 x228 or

As always, we appreciate feedback.  Be sure to join us on Facebook & Twitter for the most current info on what we're up to and how to get involved. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon! 

Daniel LeBlanc
Somerville Community Corporation