Somerville Stock Exchange Report #14, for Dec. 15, 2012

The Somerville Stock Exchange, or "SSE" for short, is a community forum. It's also a fundraiser—and a different take on what a stock market can be!

Hi there. Welcome to the 14th Somerville Stock report.

Twice a month, I’ve been writing about my community art project, the Somerville Stock Exchange (SSE). The project involves giving people “Somerville Stocks” based on what they’re doing to make Somerville’s community, creative life, and   environment better. The idea is to document all of the wonderful things our neighbors are doing—and to get people talking about being involved in their community.

All of the things people tell us are included in the project’s printed and online forum. And all of these things affect the “worth” of the different types of Somerville Stocks.

Just like a regular stock market. And just like with a regular stock market, someone writes about why the stocks have changed in value. And that’s what this column is about.

“Somerville Stocks”

So how did “Somerville stocks” do recently?

Creative stocks stayed level at $9.29, as there was no reported activity. Since Community stocks shot up so high, this means Creative stocks are now in last place again. (To read more about Creative Stocks, click here.)

Environment stocks went up $0.14 to $9.64. This was a nice increase, but didn’t keep up with Community’s gains; this meant that Environmental stocks slipped out of first place for the first time since August.

The Environment’s gain was due to the fact that the city received national recognition for its cleanup of the Kiley Barrel brownfield site near Union Square. (Brownfields are heavily-polluted places that the national government has scheduled for clean up.) The city's senior planner, Steven Azar, was named "Person of the Year" by the "Brownfield Renewal Magazine."

(To read more about Environment Stocks, click here.)

Community stocks were the winner this time around, and their win was huge: they went up $2.81 (39%), to finish in first place at $9.94. They had been in last place since August, and hadn’t been in first since July. This was a very unexpected and welcome win.

And it was due to a whole slew of positive things that people told us happened in Somerville’s community. First an anonymous person told us that she donated money to the Somerville Homeless Coalition. She also said that she bought WD40 and oiled swing sets around Somerville with a friend because they were too squeaky.

Another anonymous resident reported that he had participated in The Learning Circle's food drive. He did this because he believes in the power of helping others, and was happy to support his daughter's preschool food drive.

We also heard from Michael and Elizabeth G., who have lived in town since the 1960s. They have been active in progressive politics, raised two terrific children and are now helping them and their spouses raise their four grandkids. They pick up trash in their neighborhood when they go out to walk their dog. "Oh yes," they told us, "we also do our best to greet everyone who we cross paths with. A beautiful smile can make our day."

Steph Z. filled us in on a community event she created (Herbstalk) that is devotied to educating the public about herbalism and holstic health. And Evelyn Y. let us know that she helped organize the East Somerville main streets foodie crawl, and had donated over 150 bags of non-perishable food to SHC and Project soup at the 2nd annual holiday food drive in Spring Hill.

In other news, the city's Shape Up Somerville won national recognition recently. According to its website, "Shape Up Somerville is a city wide campaign to increase daily physical activity and healthy eating through programming, physical infrastructure improvements, and policy work." We also learned about two new websites that opened their doors: Yerdle ( www.yerdle.com ) and FreecyclePlus ( www.freecycleplus.com ). Both websites let you borrow items from people who live nearby, and list your own items that you don't mind sharing. These sites help you build community while saving money at the same time.

Last, there were two ground-breakings. The first was for a new, 29-unit veterans housing project in West Somerville. The second was for the Green Line Extension.

All in all, it was an incredibly strong period for Somerville’s community.

(To read more about Community Stocks, click here.)

To read more about why Somerville Stocks are “worth” what they’re “worth,” take a look at our online forum.

Get invested in your community!

If you’d like to earn yourself some Stocks, get in touch! You can    earn stocks by making a donation to one of our partner nonprofits (Somerville Homeless Coalition; Somerville Arts Council; Somerville Climate Action) and then letting us know about it. Or by sharing something that you’ve done for Somerville in our forum.

Hope to hear from you! To contact us, click here. We're also on Facebook.


We're going to take a break for the holidays, but check back on January 15th for the next Somerville Stock Report.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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