Last month I had the great honor of being introduced at the Democratic State Convention along with my classmates from Emerge Massachusetts. If you are a Democratic woman who might be considering running for public office, I highly recommend the Emerge training program as an effective way to learn the nuts and bolts of running for office, and gain from the experiences of some of the dynamic and progressive women and men who currently serve as elected officials in our Commonwealth.
Also last month, in an attempt to close the city’s $8.1 million budget gap, the Mayor proposed outsourcing custodial services in our schools. I strongly oppose this proposal. In the short term, it undermines the city’s relationship to its rank and file employees, and puts the jobs of hard working Somerville residents at risk. In the long term, moving civil service jobs into the private sector, exacerbates the growing gap between rich and poor in our country. I had the opportunity to voice opposition to this plan before the Board of Aldermen, Committee on Finance on June 22. Unfortunately, the Mayor’s proposal was approved by the Board of Aldermen by a vote of 6 to 4 on Thursday, June 24. All signs indicate that the union which represents the custodians will pursue legal action, which will require the city to respond. Is it wise to spend time and tax payers’ money on anti-labor litigation? Is it wise to take such a blunt position with organized labor when the city’s financial future depends on concessions on health care coverage from the 17 unions that represent the city’s employees? These are worrisome developments.