René Mardones leads SCC's community organizing team, working alongside SCC members and residents in the community to build leadership and execute campaigns that will achieve equity for Somerville residents of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.René provides organizing strategy for issues such as affordable housing, living wage local jobs for local people, and the adoption of a community benefits agreement around new development coming to Somerville. His work includes recruiting members, facilitating trainings and providing 1-1 support and coaching for members to develop their organizing skills.
Originally from Chile, René has amassed an extensive track record of wins for social justice issues affecting low-income communities, immigrants and communities of color in the Greater Boston Area.
René first got involved in organizing as a student in his home country against the repressive military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. He saw firsthand how organizing can inspire and motivate people to fight against those conditions.
After immigrating to the United States, René joined the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation as an AmeriCorps Organizer. He later worked with Sociedad Latina as a parent organizer, learning from immigrants whose experiences were very different from his own. He has also been a community organizer for Alternatives for Community and Environment and the T Riders Union program.
For René, organizing is more than a job. It is a way of creating a better community and a better life for all people.