Katjana Withdraws From Our Revolution Somerville Candidates' Forum
Today I write to state that I withdraw my application for the endorsement of Our Revolution Somerville respecting my candidacy for Mayor of Somerville, and to join others in our community in asking ORS to discontinue its political activities for the time required to address and to remedy harm caused by transgressions of ORS, recently brought to light.
l’ve learned that a duly qualified candidate for City Council was barred from participating in an ORS candidates’ forum after having timely submitted the appropriate, completed questionnaire. The candidate, who was denied access to the forum by ORS leadership, is Stephenson Aman. Stephenson is from a family of Haitian immigrants. He is known for overcoming several challenges including disability and he is known for his volunteer work as a youth mentor, coach and as a vocal advocate for his community.
These actions taken by ORS leadership, to silence Stephenson, can not be reconciled with my own vision of Somerville as an inclusive, equitable city where we can all thrive together, without exception. For nearly three decades in Somerville I have worked as a volunteer, in business and as a city councilor for this vision of Somerville. These are my values, these are the values of my campaign and I believe that these are our shared values in Somerville, to be inclusive, transparent and to hear and value all of our voices.
In light of the transgressions of ORS, to deny forum participation to a qualified candidate and thereby to silence his voice and to exclude him, I join with other candidates in calling for ORS to suspend their activities immediately, namely, Tracey Leah Pratt, Beatriz Gomez Mouakad and Judy Pineda Neufeld, who have released a joint statement together with Stephenson.
Additionally, I call upon all candidates for office in Somerville to withdraw from all of their own involvement with Our Revolution Somerville. I believe that it is appropriate to request that ORS undertake a transparent process, to review their systems and structures to ensure that they are consistent with the stated mission of ORS and that they are consistent with our shared values. I believe also that it is reasonable to expect ORS to make the changes necessary, to ensure that they will not cause such harm in the future, and to report the findings of the review to all of us in Somerville.