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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PDS Makes Endorsements For Contested Races

The Progressive Democrats of Somerville met on Tuesday at Lowell Street's VNA to meeting with candidates and make endorsements in three contested races: Alderman at Large, Ward 7 and Ward 4 Alderman. The Ward 3 endorsement will be announced at their late September meeting to give challenger, Stephen Delani, an opportunity to complete the organization's questionnaire.

Alderman At Large candidates Dennis Sullivan (incumbant), Bill White (incumbant) and Sean Fitzgerald (challenger) started off the evening reciting their resumes and answering tough questions surrounding important Somerville topics such as the delayed Green Line Extension, the fate of the Powderhouse Community School, job growth/gain for Somerville residents, and use of Somerville-owned property such as the Homan's building. Fitzgerald even gave listeners a glimpse into the Kelly-Gay administration's one-time plan to convert the Homan's building into a new City Hall Annex, leaving the Evergreen location.

Dennis Sullivan admitted that he doesn't like the idea of selling any city-owned property and that, contingent upon resources available, the Powderhouse School would make a great Community and/or Senior Center.

Bill White ended that round of questioning with a suggestion that the city should take inventory of the uses of all property in light of the recent announcement that the Green Line would be delayed until 2018-2020.

After discussion and a vote, PDS endorsed both Dennis Sullivan and Bill White for Alderman At Large.

Katjana Ballantyne was the only Ward 7 candidate that sought the PDS endorsement and vocalized her push for affordability and transparency as two reasons why she should be endorsed and elected. This was enough for present members of PDS as they gave her a stamp of approval for Alderman in Ward 7.

Closing out the night was candidate for Ward 4 Alderman, Christine Barber, who came across polished and well spoken, touting her community activism and knowledge of public policy as her strengths and complimenting her campaign for its recent fundraising efforts. The Thurston Street resident spoke of her desire to see local businesses in open storefronts, as well as, a food-selling source at the Star Market site on Broadway. It should come as no surprise that PDS voted unanimously to endorse her.

At their September meeting, PDS will be inviting all candidates from uncontested races, as well as, make their endorsement for Ward 3 Alderman.

Agree or disagree? Here is the biggest issue facing Somerville, according to the candidates...
Sean Fitzgerald: Green Line Extension Announcement
Dennis Sullivan: Developing Assembly Square
Bill White: Green Line Extension Announcement
Katjana Ballantyne: Affordability
Christine Barber: Affordability

Comment your thoughts below...

Official Press Release

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF SOMERVILLE ENDORSE CANDIDATES FOR THE 2011 MUNICIPAL RACES Aldermen at Large Bill White and Dennis Sullivan endorsed for re-election. Katjana Ballantyne endorsed for Ward 7Alderman and Christine Barber endorsed for Ward 4 Alderman.

Somerville, MA: The Progressive Democrats of Somerville (PDS) has made endorsements in the contested Alderman-at-Large race, and in the races for Ward 4 and 7 Alderman. PDS will consider an endorsement for Ward 3 Alderman at their next meeting in September.

PDS is proud to endorse incumbents Bill White and Dennis Sullivan for reelection for Alderman at Large. Each candidate brings something different to this race and the PDS membership overwhelmingly voted to support those perspectives. “Aldermen at Large Bill White and Dennis Sullivan continue to be strong voices for open, accessible, and accountable government and we know that we have strong progressive leaders on the Board of Aldermen with them present." said PDS Chair Marty Martinez. “We are proud to endorse both of these candidates."

PDS is proud to endorse Christine Barber for Ward 4 Alderman. The PDS members were unanimous in their support for Christine and were impressed with her credentials and grassroots campaign. “Ward 4 needs a strong and energetic leader and that leader is Christine,” said PDS Chair Marty Martinez. “As a health policy expert, Christine understands the complex issues that the city faces and we are excited to work with her on her campaign for Ward 4 Alderman.”
PDS is proud to endorse challenger Katjana Ballantyne for Ward 7 Alderman. As the former President of Somerville Community Corporation, Katjana cares about keeping Somerville affordable for all residents and families. PDS members were excited about her focus on an open and inclusive government. “Katjana would bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Alderman,” said PDS Vice-Chair Judy Neufeld. “PDS is proud to endorse Katjana for Ward 7 Alderman.”
PDS invited all candidates in a contested race to submit a written response detailing their positions on a variety of issues, except for the candidates in Ward 3. Candidates were asked to respond to important issues facing this district including thoughts on local issues including the Green Line Extension, the proposed Wal-Mart store, and ways to engage community in local government. Nearly 35 community members attended the PDS Endorsement Meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 and asked the candidates thoughtful questions. Their responses to the questionnaires are posted on the PDS website at

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