Communications & Community Engagement

City of Somerville FY21 Budget

Mission Statement

The Communications and Community Engagement (CCE) Department’s overarching mission is to maintain robust two-way communication between the city and the community. Using a broad range of communication tools and outreach initiatives, CCE strives to provide both vital outgoing information on emergencies, preparedness, services, programs, civic processes, public meetings, initiatives, events and other important needs as well as facilitate opportunities for comment, feedback, requests, suggestions, and discussion. In this role, CCE aims to ensure access for all residents to all City functions and services and also facilitates and encourages resident participation in City government and community activities. In its efforts to inform, serve, and engage the community, the CCE Department aims to provide quality constituent service, enhance the quality of life within the city, and help city government be responsive to community needs.


The Department encompasses the Constituent Services Office (311), the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs, and six additional core service areas:

  • Public Information/Emergency Communications/Media Relations
  • City Website and Departmental Online Communications
  • City & Educational Cable TV/Video: Government, Education, and Emergency content
  • Civic Engagement/ResiStat Neighborhood Outreach
  • City & Departmental Social Media/New Media Communications
  • Intergovernmental and Civic Communications and Event Management

Changes from FY20

The overall 4.1% proposed decrease reflects a 2.3% decrease in personal services and an 11% cut to ordinary maintenance.


The proposed Personal Services decrease reflects a partial cut to 2020 U.S. Census Complete Count staffing. Due to COVID-19 economic impacts, remaining Census tasks will be absorbed by existing staff.


The proposed 11% cut to Ordinary Maintenance ($25,700) reflects funds trimmed from across multiple lines of otherwise needed spending. These cuts were made to address COVID-19 economic impacts as well as to allow the cost of an essential, non-optional website upgrade to be covered while still decreasing OM. Cuts to support for interdepartmental projects, software services, event funding, professional and technical, printing, office supplies, employee training, etc., were made.


During FY21 budget deliberation, two changes were made to the communications budget. The existing Nepali Community Engagement Specialist position was increased from 10 hours a week to full time, and a new 10 hour a week Spanish language Community Engagement Specialist position was created. Combined, these additions increased the Salaries budget by $46,670 and $15,478 respectively.

FY21 Budget Proposal

Departmental Organization

FY21 Positions Listing