Here are the steps the City is taking to improve access to affordable housing in Somerville.
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
About Mayor Curtatone
Joseph A. Curtatone was first inaugurated in 2004, becoming at age 37 the second-youngest Mayor in Somerville’s history. Now in his seventh term, he is the City’s longest-serving chief executive. Curtatone had 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, 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. Boston Globe Magazine declared Somerville “the best-run city in Massachusetts.” The national Arbor Day Foundation has designated Somerville a “Tree City” for 20 years even though 77% of the city’s surface is impermeable. America’s Promise Alliance ranked it among its “100 Best Communities for Youth.” An “Initiative on Cities” survey of mayors found Somerville to be one of the 15 most influential cities in the country -- and the only one with a population under 100,000. The National Civic League named it an “All-America City” in 2009 and again in 2015.
Mayor Curtatone 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. He created Neighborhood Impact Teams that combine fire, health and building inspectors – along with representatives of the Council on Aging and the city's environmental office – in a coordinated effort to monitor and improve the health, safety and appearance of Somerville’s businesses and residential neighborhoods. After inheriting a government in fiscal crisis, he has stabilized city finances and begun a restoration of lost city services and personnel cuts that occurred before he took office. Mayor Curtatone shepherded the city through the Great Recession, and Somerville now enjoys its highest-ever bond rating. He 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.
Somerville consistently tops lists of the “Most Walkable” and “Most Bikeable” cities in the United States. Mayor Curtatone is spearheading 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.
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 lives with his wife Nancy and his sons Cosmo, Joseph, Patrick and James in the Ten Hills neighborhood.
- All-America City award in 2009 and again in 2015
- Balanced budgets through two fiscal downturns
- Expanded city services despite having one of state’s lowest per-capita spending
- Sharply increased Somerville’s commercial tax base
- Established community policing model that has led to low crime rates
- Somerville enjoying highest municipal bond rating in its history
- Led smart-growth, transit-oriented redevelopment of Assembly Square
- Leading role in bringing Green Line Extension into Somerville
- Initiated programs to create and maintain affordable housing in Somerville
- Established SomerStat, a data-driven program for municipal management
- Initiated SomerVision, a long-term planning process led by community members
- Led nationally recognized “Shape Up Somerville” program to curb obesity
- Began 311, “one call to City Hall” program for citizens to seek city services
- Developed action plan to greatly reduce Somerville’s carbon footprint by 2030
- Preserved and enhanced parks and open space to make a greener Somerville
- Joseph A Curtatone, Mayor
- Skye Stewart, Chief of Staff
- Tim Snyder, Intergovernmental Affairs Director
- Annie Connor, Legislative Liaison
- Nancy Aylward, Administrative Aide
- Veronica Gee, Administrative Aide
- Denise Taylor, Director of Communications
- Jackie Rossetti, Press Contact: Deputy Director of Communications