News from Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters

Local officials advocate for affordable housing

IMG_1514.JPGThe Somerville Times, 10/18/17

Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Representative Denise Provost and Alderman Bob Mcwatters testified on October 17, 2017 before a joint Committee on Housing before Chairman Honan and Boncore on House Bill 3017, an act to preserve affordable housing through a local option tenants right to purchase.

Somerville Labor Coalition endorses McWatters

Screen_Shot_2017-08-13_at_11.08.09_AM.pngOn June 27, the Somerville Labor Coalition held its third Political Candidates Night and endorsed Bob McWatters for Ward 3 Alderman. The Somerville City Club was filled with Union members, supporters and political hopefuls, in anticipation of a question-and-answer forum that included most candidates running for office in Somerville. Former Mayor Gene Brune kicked off the night with a speech and the forum was moderated by the Somerville Media Center's Joe Lynch, who asked the candidates questions on relevant issues. There was plenty of discussion regarding, not only civil service and union issues, but also on affordable housing, jobs and the future of Assembly Row and Union Square development. 

Bob kicks off his campaign at Sally O'Brien's pub

By Donald Norton, The Somerville Times

mcwatters_2_web-300x219.jpgOn Tuesday night well over a 100 friends and supporters jammed into Sally O’Brien’s Pub on Somerville Avenue for Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters’ campaign kickoff/fundraiser. At one point the crowd was so large it was out the door and onto the sidewalk, with no room to move around.

Alderman McWatters – also known as the constituent’s alderman – was so pleased that in spite of other events taking place in the city last night, it seemed like everyone wanted to make sure they came for this one.

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McWatters and Board of Aldermen unanimously approve new affordable housing requirements

Screen_Shot_2017-08-20_at_8.25.20_AM.pngAfter more than 500 people put forward a new plan to deal with Somerville’s “housing crisis” last year, aldermen have approved changes to increase the amount of affordable housing new developers are required to build.

The new law, which aldermen approved unanimously at a May 9 meeting, requires residential developers to build more affordable units for large projects and decreases the minimum project size that triggers an affordable housing requirement.

The ordinance requires 20 percent of developments with 18 or more residential units to be affordable and 17.5 percent of projects between eight and 17 units to be affordable.

Previously, only 12.5 percent of all developments of eight or more units had to be affordable. So a 12-unit project in the past would have to build 1.5 affordable units, but is now required to build 2.1 affordable units.

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Where There’s a Neighbor, There’s a Way

BY Emily Cassel, Somerville Scout

Willoughby-St-Painting-Aug-2015-1029-777x437.jpgOn a balmy afternoon last August, Mark Chase, Simon Fowler and a few friends gathered at Gerry Cronin’s home on Willoughby Street to toast their success. Chase, a transportation planning expert and lecturer at Tufts, along with Fowler, Cronin and other Willoughby residents, had spent months galvanizing the community around a mural project, and they and their neighbors recently took a Saturday afternoon to paint their road with colorful, welcoming designs—blue and green birds, vibrant flower patterns, a crosswalk at the head of the street reading “Hello.”

This was more than just a public art project; this was a Neighborway, the first in Somerville. The idea behind the initiative is to use community-based activism to beautify roadways, eventually creating a network of low-volume, low-speed streets where vulnerable users, like cyclists and pedestrians, are given priority. If enough Neighborways are built, those traveling by foot or bike will be able to make their way across the city using streets that are intended for them and are often just a block or two away from more car-heavy thoroughfares.

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Bob presents anonymous donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor

BMW_Sisters_of_poor_Picture1.pngIn March, Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters presented a check for $10,000 on behalf of an anonymous donor and admirer of the work that the Little Sisters of the Poor do here in Somerville. ​Bob has served on the Advisory Committee for the Little Sisters of the Poor for over 20 years. The Little Sisters of the Poor has been serving the needy here in Somerville and local area for over a 100 years. This donation is very generous and was well received by everyone associated with the home.

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