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Somerville groups to gather in support of local hiring law

Posted by Matt Byrne  October 4, 2011 05:10 PM

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A coalition of supporters for a city ordinance that would require the hiring of Somerville residents on city-funded construction projects will hold a rally tomorrow night urging the measure's passage.

The rally will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Elizabeth Peabody House at 277 Broadway, where the public is invited to share support and stories about employment woes.

More than 600 residents have signed a petition in support of the measure, according to the Somerville Community Corporation, in a statement. The law is under consideration by the city's Legislative Matters Committee, which will meet Thursday.

If passed in its current form, 30 percent of workers on projects that receive $50,000 of city assistance -- including grants, subsidies, loans, tax breaks, and infrastructure deals -- would have to hail from Somerville.

The law, proposed in June, would impact current and upcoming development projects, including work at the Maxwell's Green site near Davis Square, and the continued work planned at Assembly Square. A similar agreement has been hammered out with Ikea, which plans a store in the city, the Globe reported in June, but aldermen have sought to address the bulk of forthcoming development with a citywide law.

The coalition of supporters include Teen Empowerment, Save our Somerville, Church of God Somerville, Groundwork Somerville, the Jewish Labor Committee, Jobs with Justice, and Sal Querusio Demolition. Also supporting the effort are labor unions SEIU LOcal 888 and local 615, and UNITE HERE Local 26.

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