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Monday, January 23, 2023

Honoring our Core Values: Supporting MAPS and the Somerville Media Center


As a 42-year resident of Somerville, I am excited for the future of this City and watching it reach its fullest potential through smart legislation and a modernized charter. As a member of “old school Somerville (Yikes!),” I also long for the continuation of those ingredients that have been deeply embedded in the soul of this City for decades. I realize the Goldilocks / perfect porridge expectation, but in this case, I truly believe it is possible.  

Recently, I was disheartened to learn that the home of MAPS and the Somerville Media Center a.k.a SCATV is currently in jeopardy. SCATV has led the way bringing Somerville-based television content into our living rooms and the thought that there is even the slightest delay in assisting them is just gross. From teaching children video editing skills to being there for every other nonprofit and business through their Community Lense series and other documentation this studio has provided – mostly for free – we owe them a hell of a lot more than this blatant arrogance surrounding their housing. The Somerville Media Center would never and has never let us down…why are we letting them down? Similarly, MAPS has been the eyes, ears and voices of our Portuguese speakers in Somerville and surrounding cities. How dare we not assist them and connect them to resources that guarantee their sustained success - precisely what they have been doing since they opened their doors.

Legislation was submitted through our City Council and was initially sponsored by Ward 2 City Councilor JT Scott, Ward 3 City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, and Ward 1 City Councilor Matt McLaughlin at their Thursday January 12th meeting of the whole. The resolution would eventually be sponsored by the entire City Council - they get it. 

With so many changes happening around us, we need a historical perspective now more than ever to ensure we don't repeat mistakes we made yesteryear. Abandoning the Somerville Media Center and MAPS is like abandoning our core values of maintaining the best City to work, play and raise a family. 

I encourage the administration to work with both of these nonprofits and find a home - expeditiously and thoughtfully - that best suits their needs and the needs of their constituents. 

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