As the City of Somerville prepares for a zoning overhaul that will enable new development in Union Square, Union United – a community coalition supported by SCC – continues to bring community members together around the goal of development without displacement. After celebrating our two-year anniversary in May, we are using the summer for extensive outreach, planning and coalition building from door knocking to making our voices heard at citywide meetings.
There is an emerging consensus building about the need for a real community voice in the negotiations between US2 (or Union Square Station Associates) and the City of Somerville, to set a precedent for the developments that will come afterwards. This consensus is partly reflected in the final LOCUS report – intended to look at balancing economic growth and social equity in Union Square.
But the need for community input into the future of Union Square is also reflected in the outcry against displacement at community meetings, in the faces of Union United members in portraits hanging in local businesses, and the hundreds of residents who have signed postcards in support of a true, inclusive community benefits agreement.
We are planning for two events in August. We will have a social gathering and new member orientation that will replace our monthly meeting. And we are planning a candidates’ forum with the candidates and incumbents of our state legislative delegation. Stay tuned for exact dates and times.