I hope the summer has found you well so far. It has been such a pleasure to see you in person, and I am excited to connect face-to-face more over the coming months! Although the City Council has just begun summer recess until mid-August, the work to build an equitable post-pandemic economic recovery continues. As we continue the collaborative process of building back our community post-pandemic, hearing your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas are crucial in my work as your City Councilor.
Next Steps in Economic Recovery
Back in April, I introduced a resolution that called on Somerville to declare a Proclamation on the Economic Status of Women. Through this pandemic, women have lost decades worth of progress in the labor force within the span of a year, which means women will also be disproportionately behind in our economic recovery if our policy does not match this reality. We need more accessible child care — especially for early morning and third shifts — to make sure women get back to work.
Right now, I am exploring the creation of a committee to transform my Women’s Proclamation from April into action steps, and we are currently in the data collection phase. This data collection is essential for us to pinpoint best solutions for working women as we exit the pandemic. Some potential solutions include:
- Expanding accessible childcare, in the form of out-of-school programs through the public schools and universal pre-K, and pursuing state and federal grants to fund these goals
- Forming committees to place women in new trade jobs in industries that need support, with emphasis on green jobs or affordable housing maintenance.
- Creating mentorship programs to transition women into these trade jobs, ensuring that these positions are filled.
Playground and Park Accessibility: Communication Boards Order
On March 31st, I introduced an Order that the Director of Parks and Recreation appear before the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development to discuss installing playground communication boards in all of our parks to expand park accessibility for children who are nonverbal or who have other communication challenges (Agenda Item 210891).
On July 7th, the Housing and Community Development committee was informed that 15 communication boards have been ordered and should be delivered within 4 to 6 weeks. I am thrilled that this project is moving along and I want to make sure my constituents are involved in this process. We have yet to determine placement locations for these signs in the park and would love to hear your suggestions. Please share your placement suggestions via email to Ms. Olivera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Cultural Plan for Somerville
It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Somerville Arts Council’s ArtBeat festival this past weekend in Davis Square. To continue on their work, the Somerville Arts Council — along with the City of Somerville — is now launching a Cultural Plan for the community. At this stage, we are seeking input from constituents!
The Somerville Arts Council has launched a survey to clarify constituents’ priorities of the cultural plan and to find out who wants to support Council in the planning process.
Please take the survey below by July 18th. It will only take 5 to 10 minutes to complete! The Somerville Arts Council will host a public meeting on the outcomes of the survey in early September.
Volunteer with Us!
I hope that you’ll join me in the community as I fight to continue this work. Sign up to volunteer for our next canvass:
Sign-up for a Yard sign
Show your support for #StrezoforSomerville from your home or business, and sign-up for a yard sign here!
Thank you for being a partner in this work as we enter a critical time in our city’s history. How we choose to move forward post-pandemic matters immensely, and I want to hear from you throughout that process. Please keep in touch — I want to hear from you!
Councilor Kristen Strezo
City Councilor at-Large