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Support local businesses, a plan for more inclusive City boards and commissions, and bicycle network planning workshops



The search for a new facility is on


The restaurant brings the flavors of Egypt to Somerville Avenue


Local business crowdfunding campaigns

Two local businesses, La Brasa and LP Market, are trying to raise funds for very much needed new equipment.  La Brasa is an authentic Mexican restaurant in East Somerville, and they are trying to replace their refrigerator, stove top, and ice machine. LP Market is an immigrant owned small business that serves up pizza, wings, and baklava. They are trying to purchase a new ice cream chest and a new heating system. Donate to their crowdfunding campaigns and see some of their amazing rewards.

Click here for information for La Brasa

Click here for information on LP Market

Mayor Ballantyne plans to make City boards and commissions more inclusive

Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne announced that she has plans to address barriers to serving on boards and commissions, as a way of expanding diversity in government. There will be a comprehensive reevaluation process, resulting in amended and new standard processes.

“There are so many ways for residents to get involved and help shape the future of Somerville, but for some, the process to join a board or commission or the logistics of serving creates barriers that keep them from participating,” said Ballantyne. “If we want to live up to our values of equity and inclusivity, we need to break down those barriers so that our boards and commissions are representative of the wonderful diversity in our community.”

The first phase of the plan will be “focused on initial steps to standardize inclusion best practices in the recruitment process for new appointments.” Calls for new board and commission members will be distributed through public digital and traditional, non-digital methods. Openings will be publicized for a minimum four-week application period and will be extended if necessary. Lived experience will be important. Membership calls will be available in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Nepali, and eventually Mandarin.

Residents can find open positions listed at the following places:

  • City-owned bulletin boards, Somerville Public Library branches, and flyers posted in other locations around the community
  • The Be Somerville website,,
  • The City home page and social media channels,
  • City GovTV and EdTV local access TV,
  • The City’s newsletter (subscribe at,
  • Announcements sent to local media.

Somerville bicycle network planning workshop

The City of Somerville Mobility Division, together with Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, is holding a virtual workshop to inform a citywide bicycle network plan.

“The City is developing its first bicycle network plan to establish a comprehensive network of streets where people of all abilities will feel comfortable and safe riding their bikes throughout Somerville,” reads a press release. “At these small-group workshops, attendees will take part in an interactive mapping exercise to draw potential routes and brainstorm ways to build a connective network across the entire city.”

To participate in a workshop, please register in advance at Spaces are limited. Please register for only one workshop. Current sessions include:

  • Tuesday, February 22, 6-7:30 p.m.,
  • Wednesday, February 23, 6-7:30 p.m. (Held in Spanish),
  • Thursday, February 24, 12-1:30 p.m.,
  • Saturday, February 26, 10:30 a.m.-noon,
  • Monday, February 28, 6-7:30 p.m. ,
  • Wednesday, March 2, 4-5:30 p.m. (For residents age 24 or younger).

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

All Somerville Wire articles may be republished by community news outlets free of charge with permission and by larger commercial news outlets for a fee. Republication requests and all other inquiries should be directed to Somerville Wire articles are also syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire state news service at


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Shira Laucharoen is assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and assistant editor and staff reporter of the Somerville Wire.

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