Somerville native and long-time community activist Jesse Clingan announced his candidacy for Ward 4 Alderman today. Jesse is running on a platform of responsive and accessible government, affordable and middle income housing and continuing the fight against opiate abuse, among many issues.
“There are many changes coming to Ward 4 and the Winter Hill area in particular,” said Clingan. “I want to guide policy decisions in ways that benefit the entire community, including future Somervillians and current residents struggling to stay in the city.”
Affordability and the increasing cost of living are very personal to Jesse. He grew up in Somerville on Sycamore Street. He was priced out of Somerville for several years and returned as soon as he could. He lives in Ten Hills with his wife, Michele, who he met growing up in Somerville, and his daughter Allie, 10, who attends public school here. As Ward 4 Alderman, Jesse will address the issue of affordable middle-income housing.
“If we don’t address the affordable housing crisis for the middle class, we will become a city with a huge income divide, with only very wealthy people and those struggling to get by,” Clingan said.
Jesse is an outspoken advocate for opiate abuse awareness. He co-founded Somerville Overcoming Addiction, a grassroots organization that now has branches in multiple cities. He currently organizes for the Ryan Harrington Foundation, a charitable foundation responsible for giving thousands of dollars to Somerville youth and to help those seeking treatment for substance use disorder.
“Somerville made progress in substance abuse prevention, but more can be done to prevent children from picking up drugs or alcohol,” Clingan said. “I’m advocating for a multi-pronged approach that covers prevention, treatment and recovery services.”
Jesse is a leader in the 20-year pursuit for justice for Deanna Cremin, who was murdered with no suspects arrested. He organized marches, vigils, and rallies in her memory. Mayor Joe Curtatone announced in 2014 that the city would contribute an additional $50,000 for a reward to find the killer as a result of these efforts. The city also renamed Otis Park in honor of Deanna.
Jesse actively supported local and statewide efforts to address paid earned sick time, wage theft, local hiring, and the use of union labor in Somerville construction projects. Jesse will have his official campaign kickoff on Saturday March 4 at 4:00 at Casey’s Grill 173 Broadway Somerville. The event is open to the public. All are welcome.
To learn more about Jesse you can visit his Facebook page: facebook.com/JesseClinganForWard4 and on Twitter: @jesseforward4