Born and raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, Joe Curtatone, now 47, has managed to turn his beloved hometown into a national success story. Since becoming Mayor in 2004, Joe has embraced a philosophy of innovation that has led to the revitalization of Somerville’s economy. Somerville now ranks as the most efficient city in the Commonwealth in terms of stretching its municipal tax dollars and has become a beehive of development, which ultimately will translate to tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars a year pumping through the Massachusetts economy.
As part of his development plan, Joe teamed up with state and federal officials to reintroduce mass transit to Somerville, which is the most densely populated city in New England and shares borders with Boston and Cambridge. The Assembly Square Orange Line station will open within the next year, making it the first new MBTA rail station since 1987. The long-awaited extension of the Green Line is also underway. The expansion of these two new stations has kicked off a wave of transit-oriented development.
Along the way Joe also instituted a 24/7/365 constituent services information line, overhauled the city budget process, implemented a data-driven analyst team, created an Office of Sustainability and the Environment, adopted community policing and blazed the trail on creating healthier communities with Shape Up Somerville, a program which served as a template for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.
Thanks to these type of initiatives, Somerville has been named the Healthiest City in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Health Council, one of the top 100 communities in America for Young People by the America’s Promise Alliance and an All America City by the National Civic League. Joe has also seen 78 net new businesses come to Somervile since taking office as a result of his continued focus on local small business development.
Joe is the youngest child of Italian immigrants Cosmo and Maria Curtatone. His father worked as a hairdresser and used to operate a snowplow in the winter. After graduating from Somerville High, Joe earned a degree in political science from Boston College, a JD from the New England School of Law and a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Prior to becoming Mayor, Joe served for eight years on Somerville’s Board of Aldermen. During those years, he also ran his own law practice. Joe has served on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, as the President of the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association and as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Now the father of four sons who attend Somerville public schools, Joe (a former Somerville High football player) has served as a youth coach in baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer. He’s also served as an assistant high school football and softball coach.