Somerville to Host Town Hall Discussion and Small Group Listening Sessions as Part of Ongoing Conversations on Systemic Racism
Town Hall on Race and Equity in Policing Scheduled for June 27
As part of a continuing conversation on systemic racism in Somerville, the City of Somerville is holding a virtual Town Hall Discussion on Race and Equity in Policing and launching a series of small group listening sessions for residents. Tackling systemic racism in Somerville requires input from diverse voices in our community, and both the Town Hall and listening sessions are meant to be ways for the City to get feedback, ideas, and suggestions from the community on how we move forward as well as to answer related questions.
Town Hall Discussion on Race and Equity in Policing
On Saturday, June 27, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone will be joined by Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Somerville Police Chief David Fallon, and Patricia Contete from the City’s Community Outreach, Help, and Recovery office for a virtual Town Hall Discussion on Race and Equity in Policing. The discussion will provide an opportunity for community members to pose questions and share feedback about their experiences with policing, and will provide an update on the City’s ongoing work to develop a public safety model that ensures safety and equity for all. The discussion will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. If you would like to submit a question before the meeting, please use the form on somervillema.gov/VirtualTownHall. Visit somervillema.gov/VirtualTownHall just before the meeting to join live online or get call-in information to listen by phone. You can also call 311 the morning of the meeting for call-in information. View simultaneous live streaming or later recordings on youtube.com/SomervilleCity and Somerville City Cable TV (RCN 613 and 13, Comcast 22).
Invitation to Participate in Small Group Listening Sessions
Mayor Curtatone will also be hosting virtual small-group listening sessions with residents to hear about their experiences and gather ideas on what the community would like to see for the next steps in this continuing process. Listening sessions will be jointly facilitated by the Mayor and interested members of the community. City staff will also help document the conversations so that anonymized ideas and comments can be shared with the community. These conversations will be free-form and residents are encouraged to share their ideas and questions about systemic racism in Somerville and how we can work to dismantle it.
Residents interested in participating in a listening session can sign up online at www.somervillema.gov/ListeningSessions or call (781)-797-0748 to register. Residents can sign up with a group of up to 10 people or register as an individual to be matched with a group. Participants can also volunteer to serve as a community liaison for their group, which could include helping with facilitation, note taking, and reviewing write-ups of the meeting. Interpretation can be provided in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Nepali, and American Sign Language.
Watching the 6/23 Panel Discussion on Structural Racism
On June 23, the City of Somerville hosted a panel discussion on structural racism facilitated by Byron Barnett of WHDH TV 7 News with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, D.A. Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Somerville City Councilor At-Large Will Mbah, Ward 4 School Committee Member Andre Green, and Somerville High School Black Student Union President Floriesha Bastien. You can watch a recording of the discussion on the City’s YouTube Channel or on Somerville City Cable TV (RCN 613 and 13, Comcast 22).
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services foritten materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected].