The Office of Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone

The Mayor's Office is responsible for the creation, execution, and enforcement of City policies, which includes communicating administrative orders and information directly to departments. The Mayor's staff is responsible for keeping the Mayor informed about all intergovernmental issues, and assisting him in representing the City's interests in all matters.

The Mayor's Office performs functions including:

  • Serves as a resource for members of the public seeking assistance in housing, schools, employment, and all governmental services
  • Responds to citizen inquiries and concerns about all city services
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures to be followed by all those in City government
  • Plans and supervises the administration of executive functions including personnel and fiscal operations
  • Participates in the interview and hiring process of applicants at the managerial level
  • Acts as a liaison to other departments, agencies and all governmental entities
  • Aids the Communications Department in public relations duties
  • Assists in promoting economic development in the community
  • Coordinates meetings of municipal boards, committees, commissions and constituents
  • Organizes and sponsors diverse City-wide public events and celebrations throughout the year
  • About Mayor Curtatone

  • Key Accomplishments

  • Mayor's Staff

Mayor Joseph A. CurtatoneJoseph A. Curtatone was first inaugurated in 2004, becoming at age 37 the second-youngest Mayor in Somerville’s history. Now in his ninth term, he is the City’s longest-serving chief executive. Curtatone previously served for eight years as Alderman-at-Large.

A 1984 graduate of Somerville High School, he earned his B.A. from Boston College in 1990, a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994, and a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011. Prior to his election as Mayor, he served as an attorney in private practice and a volunteer assistant football coach at Somerville High School. As a member of the Board of Aldermen (now known as the City Council), Curtatone took the lead on numerous major legislative initiatives, including successful efforts to stem gang violence, eliminate graffiti, prevent drug abuse among teenagers, and promote clean and energy-efficient buildings.

As Mayor, he has implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that have earned both him and the City widespread recognition. A sampling of that recognition includes, early in his administration, the Boston Globe declared Somerville “the best-run city in Massachusetts.” Later, the Dukakis Center “Initiative on Cities” survey of national mayors identified Somerville as one of the 15 most influential cities in the country -- the only smaller city to make the list of municipalities most likely to model new approaches and initiatives adopted by others. The National Civic League named Somerville an “All-America City” twice during this time, bestowing this gold standard of municipal recognition on the city in 2009, and again in 2015. America’s Promise Alliance ranked Somerville among its “100 Best Communities for Youth.” The national Arbor Day Foundation has designated Somerville a “Tree City” for 20 years even though 77% of the city’s surface is impermeable.

Mayor Curtatone is credited with a successful full-scale reform of the Somerville Police Department. As one of his first efforts, he established a policy advisory commission headed by former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger to develop a comprehensive reform agenda for the Somerville Police, including the decision to remove the position of Police Chief from civil service. The Department is now a national leader in compassionate community policing. After inheriting a government in fiscal crisis, he stabilized city finances and began a restoration of lost city services and personnel cuts that occurred before he took office. Mayor Curtatone then shepherded the city through the Great Recession, and Somerville has since thrived allowing it to make historic investments in its schools, parks, mobility infrastructure, affordable housing, social services, immigrant services, sustainability, and more.

With continued expert fiscal management the City now enjoys its highest-ever bond rating, which lowers borrowing costs that have allowed for major reinvestments in the community including the West Branch Library renovation, more than 30 park and playground upgrades, and the construction of the new Somerville High School opening in March 2021. Mayor Curtatone led a successful effort to end years of delay in the development of Assembly Square as a transit-oriented, mixed use, Smart Growth project on the banks of the Mystic River. The neighborhood is now home to a growing life sciences hub, a local jobs engine, and the Assembly Row T-stop, which is the first new MBTA stop built in a quarter-century. Meanwhile, the City's Economic Development efforts have made the City a hub for green tech, makers, and new economy innovation, including the successful recruitment and support of GreenTown Labs, one of the world's largest greentech incubators.

Somerville consistently tops lists of the “Most Walkable” and “Most Bikeable” cities in the United States. Mayor Curtatone worked alongside advocated to successfully spearhead the city’s effort to bring the MBTA’s Green Line Extension through Somerville, which when completed will have 85 percent of the city’s residents within walking distance of mass transit. The first GLX stop is expected to open in Union Square later this year in 2021.

Mayor Curtatone has become a national leader in the system of better management through measurement. Delegations from other Massachusetts communities – and from cities as far away as Ireland and Korea – regularly visit Somerville for briefings on the city’s SomerStat program, a data-driven performance management system modeled on Baltimore’s CitiSTAT initiative. In 2006, Somerville became the first city in America to offer both a 311 constituent service center and Connect CTY mass notification technology. By calling 311 from any phone in the city or by using a mobile phone app, Somerville residents and businesses can now access information and services from any city department and can track progress on service requests through a publicly accessible work-order system.

Under Curtatone’s leadership, Somerville has also earned national recognition for its successful joint effort with Tufts University to implement “Shape Up Somerville,” an effective program to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity among the city’s elementary school children, which was lauded by First Lady Michelle Obama during the launch of her "Let's Move" initiative. His success in Somerville has earned him the presidency of the Massachusetts Mayor’s Association, a position on the Board of Directors for the National League of Cities, and as a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Association.

Mayor Curtatone has been a stalwart supporter of numerous social justice initiatives and causes whether Sanctuary City, Black Lives Matter, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, or other initiatives he has stood by his support despite significant blowback. In 2020, he was among the first Mayors in the nation to declare systemic racism a public health crisis and has marshaled resources to address this public health emergency. 

Mayor Curtatone lives with his wife Nancy and his sons Cosmo, Joseph, Patrick and James in the Ten Hills neighborhood.

City of Somerville: All America City
 
  • Introduced an era of sustainable transportation efforts in Somerville
    • Leading role in establishment of the Assembly Row Orange Line MBTA stop, the first new T stop in a quarter century
    • Advocated tirelessly alongside community voices for the Green Line Extension and engineered a historic investment to secure the project when it was near collapse
    • Introduced mobility shift efforts: installing miles of bike lanes and sharrows, numerous pedestrian improvements, starting the State's first protected bike lane project, and creating dedicated bus lanes
  • Led smart-growth, transit-oriented redevelopment of Assembly Square bringing job growth to the City after decades of stagnation
  • All-America City award in 2009 and again in 2015
  • Balanced budgets through two fiscal downturns
  • Increased efficiency of service delivery: Expanded city services despite having one of state’s lowest per-capita spending
  • Sharply increased Somerville’s commercial tax base generating revenues for reinvestment in City goals and priorities
  • Established community policing model that has led to low crime rates
  • Stepped forward as an early adopter of the carbon reduction efforts:
    • Established Somerville Climat Forward, an action plan to greatly reduce Somerville’s carbon footprint by 2030
    • Championed fossil fuel divestment
    • Indroduced electric fleet vehicles, EV charging stations, solar arrays on municipal structures and systemwide energy use reductions
  • Preserved and enhanced parks and open space to make a greener Somerville
  • Introduced expert fiscal management with Somerville enjoying its highest municipal bond rating in its history
  • Initiated numerous programs to create and maintain affordable housing in Somerville including the establishment of the Office of Housing Stability
  • Established SomerStat, a data-driven program for municipal management
  • Introduced a new era of community engagement:
    • Initiated SomerVision, a long-term planning process led by community members to create a community-driven Comprehensive Plan for the City's future
    • Established intensive engagement efforts via all media and multiple languages: nearly every major initiative is now carried out with deep community input
    • Brought the City into the digital world building up social media, mass communication outreach, improved online services
    • Established the Somerville Office of Immigrant Affairs to ensure language and culture were not a barrier to service access and civic participation
    • Established the new Racial and Social Justice Office currently in development to both better engage Black and brown residents as well as lead a transformation of the City addressing systemic racism
  • Led nationally recognized “Shape Up Somerville” program to curb obesity that inspired Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative and garnered her public recognition of the program
  • Made Somerville the first Massachusetts City to introduce 311 Constituent Services, “one call to City Hall” program for citizens to seek city services