Dear Mayor Curtatone,
Thank you for the attention your administration has given to the Tufts Partnership Agreement. Unlike many other issues before the City, there is a unified, citywide call for a significantly improved PILOT agreement with Tufts. While acknowledging that there are benefits that some residents receive from having a large, wealthy and growing university in our community, Tufts can and should do much more.
Over the past eight months a group of residents and students from Somerville and Medford galvanized by Our Revolution, has been regularly meeting to discuss the next partnership agreement. All along our goal and the City’s goal has been the same—to achieve a better partnership agreement with Tufts.
Our organizing has led to several community meetings and a public hearing at the Board, all with the same conclusion: we need a better agreement. But you don’t have to just take our word for it. The consultant you hired to survey and interview residents has reached the same conclusion. An improved partnership agreement is a good opportunity to address some of the most pressing challenges facing our city without creating division among residents.
What the report did not mention, however, were the commitments you made to include residents, school officials, and members of the school committee and Board of Aldermen in the negotiations with Tufts. The expiration of the current agreement has come and gone without any update on negotiations and without your commitments being fulfilled.
We ask that you fulfill your commitment to include residents and other leaders at the bargaining table, to provide our community with regular updates and negotiate a new agreement where Tufts becomes a partner in addressing our city’s challenges instead of just a benefactor of rapid gentrification.
Our Revolution Somerville PILOT Committee