Somerville Stock Exchange "Stock Report #3" for June 15th, 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 third Somerville Stock report.

Twice a month, I’ve be 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. All of these things 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 continued their meteoric rise, and shot up $1.43 (+35%) to finish at $5.47. This put them in first place for the first time—which was a nice surprise for some of us around the Exchange, since Community stocks had been in last place for the first month we were open.

This huge gain was because of all of the amazing things people shared with us. Dvora J. told us about her work as the president of the Friends of the Somerville Public Library. Warren G. let us know about his work with immigrant families through the Welcome Project; he does this  in order to help build the voice and power of immigrants to shape community decisions and institutions (such as schools, housing, and transportation). Kristin P. donated money to the Somerville Homeless Coalition in honor of the "Pilgrim," which is a monthly collection of writings by Boston's homeless community. Finally, Ron N. filled us in on all of the things he’s doing for Somerville—including helping moderate the Davis Square Live Journal (which is an online forum where Somerville community members discuss issues that affect the city), and leading bike tours for the Somerville Bicycle Committee and the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission.

In other Community news, the city reopened two playgrounds that it renovated, and held the first SomerStreets carnival of the year. Finally, the Somerville Public Library hosted their free New Moms Support Group, which is a regularly scheduled meet-up that is cosponsored by the Somerville Public Schools and Jewish Children's and Family Services. (To read more about Community Stocks, click here.)

Environment stocks were also pretty strong this period. They rose $0.96 (+26%), to close at $4.59. This means that they are in last place—but very close behind second-place Creative stocks.

What was the reason for this leap? A number of things. First, Jessie B. filled us in on her work as director of Somerville’s Green City Growers, which installs raised-bed gardens. These gardens let people grow vegetable in nontraditional spaces-- as well as in yards that have lead contamination, which is common in urban areas. Mark W. told us about his company, Recover Green Roofs. They build and maintain green roofs and walls on residential and commercial buildings, which create more green space in urban environments and help minimize the environmental impact of buildings. Last, we heard about The Growing Center’s many workshops, including one on how to compost food scraps (which is a way to recycle unused food, so that it doesn't end up in a landfill). (To read more about Environment Stocks, click here.)

Creative stocks had started so strong back in April, only to lag lately. They were up $0.24 (+5%) this period, to finish at $4.67. This put them in second place, but only $0.08 above third-place Environmental stocks, which have been rising quickly lately. Some traders here at the Exchange were surprised by this situation, given how creative Somerville’s residents are.

But these Creative stocks still did go up. Ron N., for instance, told us how he has volunteered for a number of years at Somerville Arts Council events, including ArtBeat and the Illuminations Trolley Tour. We also heard from Mihai D., who is member of Artisan’s Asylum--which is a large, shared warehouse that serves as the studio and workspace of artists, tinkerers, and various other creative Somerville people. At the Asylum, Mihai makes movies, and is part of CEMMI (the Collaborative Electronic Mixed Media Institute), which “inspires, enables, and promotes technological creativity by providing education, shared resources, and events for members, students, and the public at large.” SomerStreets, which had a number of bands and a parade, also helped Creative stocks a bit. (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.

And check back on July 1 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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