Election nights are always exciting. People put in hard work, and we reaped the fruits of that effort today with a great turnout and a big win.
I don’t make a secret of how much I love Somerville. This is the greatest city on the planet and it’s the best job in the world to be able to work on your behalf. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
So enjoy tonight. Voters came out today and made a statement not just about the direction of our city, but of who we are. We’re a proud city that believes in the virtues of civility, optimism and our commitment to one another. And it’s in that spirit we need to move forward together.
Somerville is a city that gets an enormous number of things done because we’ve figured out how to work with one another. And we need that now more than ever, because we’ve got a lot to do.
As far as I’m concerned, my 8th term starts tomorrow morning when I walk through the doors of City Hall. Affordability has been the major issue we’ve talked about in this campaign and for good reason. People are frustrated and I understand we’ve got to work together – both the people who supported me and those who didn’t – to address this crisis.
Greater Boston is hundreds of thousands of housing units behind demand, and we feel that crunch acutely in an in-demand community like Somerville. We’ve been doing more than anyone else to combat this, but we’re going to ramp that up even further, stand as a beacon for this entire region, and light the way forward for all our neighbors to follow.
We need a transfer charge on real estate speculation. It will put millions of dollars in our pocket to go into our neighborhoods and buy up units to convert into affordable housing.
We also need to overhaul our regressive zoning. This regional housing shortage is the result of well-intentioned but exclusive zoning in every city and town.
In Somerville it’s easier to build luxury condos than it is to fix your home, and that needs to end. We’ve got a zoning proposal that envisions a diversity of new housing types, supports our artist community and ties open space to new development.
We also need to make sure we get the Green Line extension as promised. We’ve paid $50 million dollars for this project and I can promise you’ve got a mayor who’s going to be watching like a hawk to make sure we get what we paid for.
So enjoy the party tonight, because tomorrow it’s all business. And I look forward to working with everybody in our community to address the challenges ahead.
We’re going to get this done the Somerville way: together.