At my desk in City Hall. As a City Councilor, I await having a meeting sitting in it since all Somerville city meetings are virtual until further notice while the COVID pandemic rages on.

I’m proud of my hard work. The Board Orders, Resolutions and Ordinances I put forward as a City Councilor display my value system and the work I dedicate to put into my role. Here’s just some of the Board Orders and Resolutions that I’ve put forward since stepping into my role as City Councilor in 2020 (all this done in less than a year!):
 
RESOLUTION: That the Administration commits to setting goals for the city contracting with minority and women-owned businesses.

ORDER: That the SPD report the number of rape kits administered in the past 5 years in writing and how many of these rape kits were included in cases that went to court in these past 5 years.

ORDER:  That the Director of Personnel provide a demographic breakdown of employees in the E-911, Fire Alarm, and Constituent Services Departments.

FORWARDING MY PROMISE to ensure the right that every Somerville resident can stay in Somerville if they choose…

 ORDER: That this Council discuss the need for Rent Control measures in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as illustrated by certain dramatic rent increases currently displacing Somerville residents.

ORDER: That representatives of the Community Land Trust discuss with this Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee how the Council can help implement the Trust’s goals.
 
ORDER: That the Director of Inspectional Services report to the Housing and Community Development Committee its implementation plans for the 2019 Tenant Notification Act.
 
ORDER: That the Directors of SPCD, Housing Stability, and Inspectional Services discuss with the Housing and Community Development Committee the anticipated impact and possible responses when the MA Eviction Moratorium expires on August 18.

Ensuring resident confidence and connection for municipal transparency…

ORDER: That the Director of Inspectional Services communicate with the community via mail, email and/or other means, its 2020 plan for combating rat infestations, including monthly updates during peak infestation periods and quarterly updates otherwise. 
 
ORDER: That the Director of Communications create signage to post citywide reminding the public of the penalties and public health risks associated with COVID-19 for littering used masks, gloves and wipes.

ORDER: That this Council undergo diversity, gender, racial and cultural sensitivities training, once per term, beginning in January 2021, which may be administered by the Personnel Department or a consultant.

RESOLUTION: That the Administration update this council on the hiring process for the soon-to-be vacated position of Chief of Police.

ORDER: (co-sponsor) – That the Director of Engineering and the Director of Infrastructure and Asset Management urge Eversource to fix gas leaks at 721 Somerville Avenue and nearby, as identified by HEET, and appear with Eversource staff at the next meeting of the Council’s Committee on Public Utilities and Public Works to discuss this matter.

A copy of this was sent to our regional Postmaster, and he validated a plan…

RESOLUTION: That the Postmaster provide any contingency plans to be implemented in the event of a forced shut-down or suspension of service due to a lack of funding or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: our Election Commissioner presented his plan for the Fall 2020 election cycle… ORDER: That the Election Commissioner and the Chief of Police inform this Council what precautions are being taken to address possible voter intimidation at the polls and any extenuating circumstances presented as a consequence of the month-long election process for the November 2020 election.

Advancing more support to those struggling in our community…

ORDER: That the Director of Health and Human Services advise this Council as to what services are made available when responding to requests to reach out to our neighbors experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and addiction and, further, where additional funding could make those services more effective or enable new services not currently available.

CONTINUING ON my commitment for a more walkable , bikeable and safer Somerville…

ORDER: That the Director of Health and Human Services appear before this Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development to discuss the Teen Snow Shoveling Program for the 2020-2021 winter season.

ORDER: (co-sponsor) – That the Director of Engineering appear before this Council’s Committee on Public Utilities and Public Works to discuss the Medford Street sidewalk repaving “book job” and the subsequent usage conditions left as a result of bringing the sidewalks to ADA compliance.

ORDER (co-sponsor): That the Director of SPCD replace the NO BICYCLES ON SIDEWALK decals in the city’s business districts and work with Pedestrian and Transit Advocacy Committee to reduce conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks.

ORDER:  That the Chief of Police increase traffic monitoring of the Ward 4 bus lanes on Broadway for the next 6 weeks, especially at high traffic times, to educate the public on the purpose and extra use of these lanes.

SUPPORTING a woman’s ability to control her own body, a luxury American women still do not possess…

RESOLUTION: Supporting passage of the ROE Act (S. 1209/H. 3320) and committing to the protection of abortion rights, access to reproductive health care, and an individual’s right to make reproductive decisions about one’s own body.

INCLUSION means RECOGNIZING children with communication and nonverbal needs so that they’re free to be children on the playground..

ORDER: That the Director of Parks and Recreation appear before the Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development to discuss installing playground communication boards in all parks to expand park accessibility for children who are nonverbal or have other communication challenges.

A copy of the below RESOLUTION was sent to Gov. Baker stating that I’m not okay with disenfranchising the poor and/or those who exclusively utilize public transportation…

RESOLUTION: That the Somerville City Council opposes the planned reduction and/or elimination of MBTA bus routes in Somerville, as it could damage the residents most in need of public transportation, and orders the City Clerk to forward this Resolution to the Governor and the General Manager of the MBTA.

ADVANCING EQUITY NOW–validating that for some, a $50 ticket means making difficult financial decisions or prioritizing one necessity over another…

ORDER: That the Director of Parking discuss with the appropriate committee, implementing income-based parking ticket fines for residents, as well as “day-fine” scales to set ticket penalties according to an individual’s daily income.

2020 was year of peril for many Somerville parents and families. I offer not words but ACTION to support our parents, families and guardians…

RESOLUTION: That the Director of the Somerville Media Center appear before this Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development to consider out-of-school programming and funding to help address the lack of accessible childcare options during this pandemic.

CONTINUING my promise of standing with our local business community and supporting its needs…

ORDER: That the Director of SPCD update this Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development on the Encore Casino’s efforts to support Somerville small businesses per their Community Agreement.

ORDER: That the Directors of the Arts Council and Economic Development meet to discuss in Committee a plan to adapt how the city celebrates and connects with the community this winter 2020 holiday season, with the goal on neighborhood connection and community, and emphasis on boosting morale while supporting local Somerville businesses. 


 
HERE ARE SOME OF THE ORDERS and RESOLUTIONS I’VE SIGNED ONTO (JUST SOME OF THE OTHER POLICIES I SUPPORTED BY CO-SPONSORING):
 
ORDER: Supporting House Resolution 702, The People’s Justice Guarantee.
 
RESOLUTION: That this Council supports the Just Us Somerville organization of local residents of color and considers their demands regarding policing.

RESOLUTION: (sign on) Supporting the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act (H.4878/S.2831), to prevent a wave of evictions in Massachusetts in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
RESOLUTION: That the Administration work collaboratively with this Council on substantial reforms to law enforcement including a Civilian Review Board and an approach to policing that involves civilian responses to matters that are currently addressed by the Police.
 
RESOLUTION: That this City support the “Stop The Money Pipeline” movement by calling on the insurance industry to end its insurance for and investments in fossil fuels.

RESOLUTION (sign on): Proclaiming the 12th day of November 2020 to be a day to celebrate the 30th anniversary if the Americans with Disabilities Act, and rededicating ourselves to make Somerville accessible and inclusive for all who live here.

RESOLUTION (sign on): Calling on Governor Baker to implement a streamlined process for MassHealth applicants to simultaneously file for SNAP benefits.
 
RESOLUTION: Supporting Somerville restaurants by capping fees charged by third party delivery services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

RESOLUTION (sign on): Supporting Tufts University students and Tufts Labor Coalition (TLC) in their advocacy efforts promoting a healthy and supportive working environment for Tufts Dining workers during COVID19 Pandemic.

ORDINANCE (sign on): That the provisions of Sec 8-3 (1) be amended by changing “for not less than a 12 month period” to “not less than a 1 month period”.

ORDER (sign on): That the Director of Inspectional Services review Zoning Ordinance 1.7 and act accordingly.

ORDER (co-sponsor): The the Director of Finance and the Director of the Arts Council discuss with this Council’s Finance Committee several suggestions for assistance proposed by a group of Somerville arts and cultural organizations.

ORDER (co-sponsor): That the City Solicitor draft language to prohibit the use of prison labor of any kind for city projects, including the Middlesex Sheriff’s Community Work Program

ORDER (sign on): That the Director of Finance and the Budget Director provide funding equity for girls in the FY21 budget with respect to Parks and Recreation Department sports and activities as well as High School varsity sports and activities.


“Our fourth choice for endorsement for Councilor At-Large is Kristen Strezo, who we feel will bring a fresh and vital energy to the office. Strezo has served as co-chair of the Somerville Commission for Women, and is known as a social justice activist and a well-respected journalist. We think that Kristen Strezo will bring much welcome vitality and enthusiasm to the City Council and we urge you to cast one of your At-Large votes for her.” -endorsement of the Somerville Times, 2019 election cycle