Union United is a coalition of stakeholders, including small business owners, residents, activists, immigrant groups, religious congregations, labor unions, and community-based organizations, working to ensure that the Union Square redevelopment process results in tangible benefits — not displacement — for the Union Square community.
Union Square is already a thriving, diverse neighborhood and if community benefits are not included in the redevelopment low-income businesses and residents will be displaced. Union United is a coalition with a plan to prevent displacement. We believe that we can have development without displacement, but it requires the community to play an active role in the decision-making process, as our lives and livelihoods will be determined by the redevelopment’s outcome. We believe the best way for local stakeholders to engage in the process is through a community benefits agreement.
A community benefits agreement (CBA) is a legal contract between a community coalition and a developer. Our proposed CBA includes specific demands that will ensure affordable housing, local jobs, workers’ rights, small businesses, community resources, open space, arts and culture, public safety, and participatory planning are part of the redevelopment. If we have a seat at the table to ensure that these demands are met, all community members will be able to take advantage of the benefits that the Green Line will bring.
For too long, low-income people and immigrants have been displaced from our neighborhoods, while profit is prioritized over the needs of the community. We envision an equitable development that benefits everyone and keeps Union Square diverse, affordable, and accessible.
For more information about Union United, visit www.unionunitedsomerville.com
Interested in joining? Contact Karen Narefsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-776-5931 x230