Communications & Community Engagement

City of Somerville FY22 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

Personal Services Changes

Personal Services are projected down 33% for FY22.

Starting in FY22, the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs (SOIA) is now a division withing Communications & Community Engagement with a dedicated budget. As such, 5.25 FT positions and approximately $23,000 in part-time temporary wages have been moved out of the core Communications Budget into the new SOIA Division budget.

Changes in salaries are due to negotiated collective bargaining agreements and merit increases based on annual performance reviews

Ordinary Maintenance Changes

Ordinary Maintenance costs are projected up 16% for FY22.

Changes to OM reflect the shift of SOIA-related OM to the new SOIA Division budget, an addition of approximately $65,000 in needed website expenses in the P&T and online subscription lines including for the Phase II development costs for the required website Drupal updgrade. An additional $31,000 in line item increases throughout reflects a return to pre-pandemic service levels.

FY22 Goals & Measures of Progress

Goal 1: Continue to keep the community informed of all relevant COVID-19, vaccine, and recovery-related information including service and support access channels to aid in the protection of public safety, public health, and both individual and community pandemic recovery.

  • Issuance of timely and informative multilingual information. Coordination and production of needed materials, meetings, webinars, programs, videos, etc. Maintenance and coordination support for two-way community-city communication channels to support a responsive and equitable recovery.

Goal 2: Continue to build the reach and efficacy of the SomerViva Office of Immigrant Affairs (SOIA) by transitioning from a program to a division and from 100% emergency pandemic status to recovery status allowing for advancements in services and initiatives disrupted by the pandemic including leadership development, expansion of immigration services, and establishment of a formal language access 5-year plan.

  • Hire SOIA Director. Maintain pandemic staffing supports to create capacity for regular programming and service activity. Delivery of formal 5-year Language Access Plan and proposal of Language Access ordinance. Enhance immigration and related services including rebooting legal clinics.

Goal 3: Enhance both website and video services accessibility via video closed captioning and ADA-compliant website upgrades.

  • Complete full Drupal upgrade of City website including updating and upgrading ADA compliance to incorporate newer guidelines. Establish closed captioning services for CityTV programming.

Goal 4: Support the equitable integration of hybrid virtual-onsite participation tools and approaches into all City and City Council meetings by both developing and providing needed technology as well as supporting Digital Bridge Initiative efforts to remove barriers to Internet access, devices, and training for the under-connected.

  • Establish hybrid systems for City Council, School Committee, and committee meetings as well as mobile kits for additional public meetings and train staff citywide on usage. Continue to build out systems as needed. Participate in strategic planning for the Digital Bridge Initiative and support all DBI efforts with needed communications and engagement supports. Assist in hiring of and collaboration with proposed DBI Coordinator.

FY22 Budget

Personnel Listing