phi (totient) wrote,


This year's Aldermanic and School committee elections are coming up, and there are more contested seats than usual. Partly this is due to the retirement of several School Committee members, but also the old-school vs. progressive politics in Somerville have come to a tipping point, attracting both candidates and funding to the races.

For alderman-at-large, my favorite candidate and most wholehearted endorsement continues to be Denise Provost. I don't have room here to list all the reasons why she's great, but if I only had one vote instead of four, it would go to her.

Six years ago I voted for Bill White because I thought he had a chance to beat Bruce Desmond for the number 4 spot in the at-large alderman race. He did, by one vote. Since then I have become more familiar with and fond of Bill's positions on local politics, and I can now endorse him as one of the leading voices of reason in City Hall.

That's the end of my list of aldermanic candidates who get my positive endorsement. Bruce Desmond continues to get my anti-endorsement, and in hopes of getting rid of him I recommend that you vote for the two other candidates who you think are most likely to poll ahead of Bruce. My gut feeling on this is that those candidates are Dennis Sullivan and Marty Martinez.

In Ward 6, I plan to vote for Rebekah Gewirtz, not so much because of her position on the Assembly Square development (I'm a moderate here, so I disagree with both candidates) but because of her willingness to articulate it. Though I'm not going to add to them here, I will point out that Rebekah does have a lot of endorsements from the kinds of organizations I think my readers want to pay attention to.

For school committee, I endorse Paul Bockelman in Ward 6, and if you live in Ward 5 I recommend voting for Mark Niedergang. These were the guys who as citizen activists really drove the recent Superintendent of Schools selection process in a useful and productive direction. I met Paul when he came to knock on my door and was impressed with his grasp of the big picture in Somerville right now, something that's generally missing in the progressive vs. old-school debate.

It may not look it, but this is an important, watershed election. Many races are going to be close. Please go and vote even if you don't vote for a full slate.
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