Somerville Stock report #5, for July 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 fifth Somerville Stock report.

Twice a month, I’ll 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 to soar, finishing up 16% at $6.78. This put them more than $0.80 higher than second-place environment stocks, and almost $1.40 over last-place creative stocks.

This rise was because of the long list of things people told us they’ve been doing for Somerville’s community. An anonymous person, for instance, donated money to our partner nonprofit, the Somerville Homeless Coalition—while another anonymous person donated money to Somerville Local First. A third anonymous person told us about her work with Community Cooks--which is an organization that provides homemade meals for different agencies, including St Patricks' Women's Shelter. Maureen M. filled us in on all of the volunteer work she does: as a lay minister (for Sunday services) at Hale House; as part of the National Board-MBA nonprofit connection; and as a college counselor at high schools who don't have counselors available. Rounding this group out, we had Cheryl C., who occasionally picks up dog poop their owners have left behind; and Mr. Scott, who actively uses the Somerville Public Library.

There were several news items that helped boost community stocks’ value, too. First, the Somerville School Committee approved the plan to convert the Winter Hill school to an innovation school. This new model lets teachers and principals have more flexibility in their curriculums and policies. Second, the Somerville Community Corporation and Union Square Rising are going to begin meeting with a mediator, to help resolve their dispute over a proposed low-income housing development in Union Square. And, lastly, the Green Line extension got full environmental approval from the federal government. This means that the extension is now one step closer to beginning construction.

Environment stocks rose $0.40, to end at $5.93 this period. First, we had LuQ, who visits the Union Square farmers market at least twice a month, with average visit expense of $50. LuQ also went to Armory farmer's market once a month in winter. All of this helps the environment by supporting local growers, and reducing emissions from trucks transporting food from other states. Then there was Mr. Scott, who bikes instead of using a car, and bring his compost to Whole Foods. And Christopher R., who depaved his property on Bigelow St., and turned it into a garde. Finally, we found out about Mycitygardens.com, which lets homeowners with extra yard space connect with others in their community who want to have space to garden; the website has members in Somerville.

Creative stocks finished last again, at $5.40, which was $0.42 higher than last period. This was more than environmental stocks rose, but not enough to retake
second place.

This gain was because of a number of things. First, an anonymous person told us that he donated money to another one of our nonprofit partners, the Somerville Arts Council. Second, Robert S. shared that he is a volunteer member of the Somerville Arts Council board, and is a member of Armory Arts Center neighborhood advisor committee.

Finally, there was the work that Thomas D. has been doing. He is the founding editor of an online and print-on-demand arts and letters magazine, Printer's Devil Review, which he just launched recently. He is also working with other editors in New England to produce an anthology of the best work being published by independent literary journals in the region. He’s been doing all of this to provide emerging writers and artists with access to publication, and readers with new voices and visions.

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 August 1st for the next Somerville Stock Report.


We put together our first Quarterly Report, which summarizes everything we’ve found in our first 90 days! It’s chock full of charts and graphs—and all of the wonderful things people have told us that they’re doing to make Somerville a better place.

Here’s the PDF. Get in touch ( somerville.stock.exchange@gmail.com ) if you want a printed copy.

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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