Mayor Ballantyne Announces Inclusive, Equity-Focused 100-Day ‘Somerville Progress for All’ Agenda
In her inaugural address on Monday, January 3, newly elected Mayor Katjana Ballantyne laid out her vision for an administration that is inclusive and transparent, examines every issue through an equity lens, and strives to ensure progress made in the city positively affects all residents and businesses. She also promised to announce her 100-day work plan, and today she delivers on that promise with the release of the 100-Day Somerville ‘Progress for All’ Agenda. The agenda can be viewed at somervillema.gov/100days.
“My vision for Somerville is an inclusive, equitable city where we can all thrive together, and I know that’s the vision this community shares." ―Mayor Katjana Ballantyne
Mayor Ballantyne’s comprehensive 100-day policy agenda is designed to:
- take on the most pressing issues facing the City of Somerville starting first and foremost with COVID response and recovery,
- deliver on community priorities,
- strengthen basic services that impact daily quality of life, and
- establish the practice of applying an equity lens to all City actions.
“My vision for Somerville is an inclusive, equitable city where we can all thrive together, and I know that’s the vision this community shares. This 100-day agenda is my commitment to our city to get to work on that mission from day one,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “We face many challenges and our community has many needs and that starts with our intensive focus on COVID response and recovery. But right now, we also have so much opportunity for broader progress. This agenda is how we get our running start. This is how we seize opportunities and move forward our efforts to address the current crisis while also seeking longer-term progress for all.”
While many priorities such as climate change, housing, and racial and social justice will require long-term work, Mayor Ballantyne’s 100-Day Progress for All Agenda is designed to make quick, meaningful, and actionable progress on our greatest challenges and our community members’ most urgent needs.
Comprehensive work in numerous other areas will also be assessed and advanced during this period. The 100-Day Progress for All Agenda represents focused efforts among this broader work. The agenda was developed with a citizen Advisory Committee made up of residents, advocates, and community leaders prior to Mayor Ballantyne’s swearing-in, and then workshopped with City staff in her first week in office.
Mayor Ballantyne will move her 100-Day Progress for All Agenda focused on seven key areas:
- Urgent COVID Response and Ongoing Recovery
- Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
- Affordability for All
- Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change
- Access, Transparency, and Accountability
- Quality of Life
- Strengthening and Supporting the City’s Workforce
A sampling of specific priority items outlined for quick action includes
- Undertake swift action to increase access to COVID testing and vaccines
- Launch efforts to shore up the City’s health structures to support the COVID response and long-term public health and wellness goals
- Create a Somerville Families Task Force
- Advance racial and social justice work including pressing forward on a path to reimagine policing
- Invest $2 million in ARPA funds for initiatives to help close the wealth gap for women, specifically for women of color
- Kick off research into rent-to-own homeownership initiatives
- Explore options for a municipal voucher program to fund long-term housing subsidies for vulnerable families
- Raise City carbon-reduction goalposts to target a Net-Zero Carbon-Negative Somerville by 2050
- Establish Mayor Ballantyne’s Climate Justice Summer Youth Jobs Program
- Set a goal to create the most ecologically restorative City landscape in the region
- Move to create an Office of Accountability, Transparency, and Access
- Pursue effective rodent control solutions, including the launch of the SMART system pilot
- Invest in flood control and expand community engagement on solutions
- Move forward actions to create Safer Streets in Somerville
- Launch a Work Better Task Force to develop insights into how to best meet the needs of our residents and those who serve them
- Conduct a Voice of Somerville Survey to hear from residents about their priorities
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