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Somerville Stock Exchange Report #9, for Sept. 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 ninth 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?

Community stocks bounced back after slipping recently. They rose 10%, to end at $6.59, but still finished in last place.

This rise was due to a few different things. First, Kat R. told us about her work with Somerville Moms, a parenting list serv. She wrote that “once upon a time, parents had the help of a village to raise their children, and [Somerville Moms] really brings back that sense of community in parenting.”

Charlie D. told us about his work with the LivableStreets Alliance, which is a nonprofit that advocates for “streets that work for everyone, whether they walk, bike, take transit, or drive a car.”

Both Kat and Charlie’s contributions would have caused stocks to rise even higher, but this surge was dampened by news that Creative Union had shut down. Creative Union was a gallery in Union Square that sold works of art made by adults with disabilities, that also served as a social space for its population group. (To read more about Community Stocks, click here.)

Environmental stocks remained in first place, rising $0.35 to finish at $7.73. This change was due to the effort of two people: Galen M. and Suzanne C.

Galen M. told us about his work with Hubway, which is a bike-sharing company. By providing rental bikes, Hubway encourages people to get around town in a more environmentally-friendly way. Suzanne C. told us about her blog (www.locavoreinthecity.com) and upcoming book, “Locavore in the City,” in which she she discussesher experiences urban gardening, canning, cheese making, among other efforts. Suzanne supports local food “because of its positive environmental and economic impact -- that, and it just tastes better.”

In a big upset, Creative stocks took a dip for the first time ever. They  (To read more about Environment Stocks, click here.)dropped a huge $0.76, to finish at $6.61. While this meant they were still technically in second place, it was only by $0.02.

This dive was because of Creative Union closing (see above), and because of concerns about the Armory closing as well. The Armory asked the city's zoning board to let it extend its hours, get a full liquor license, and begin cooking food on-site. It has been struggling financially, and has said that it needs these changes in order to remain open. Neighbors of the Armory are fighting these changes, since the space's longer business hours and increased traffic would negatively affect their lives. The Armory hosts numerous music and art events, and is home to a number of artist studios. (To read more about Creative 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.

And check back on October 1st 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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