A Snapshot of Somerville Conversations

Rats /
Traffic /
(Ward 1)
Traffic(Ward 2)
Affordability /
Environmental Issues /
Business Development & Preservation
(Ward 3)
Affordability /
Decline in
Community Ties
(Ward 4)
Affordability(Ward 5)
Affordability(Ward 6)
Affordability /
(Ward 7)
These word clouds provide a rough sketch of the 1,600 conversations I've had with people across the city as I've been door knocking since February. Of those conversations, about 650 people gave me specific issues in response to the question: "What are your top issues or worries?" A few points to note... My canvassing focused more on municipal voters, so the comments reflect more of their concerns. Also, I made decisions about how to code the comments, and each category includes a wide range of more specific issues. For example, "Decline in Community Ties" includes people who said they are less likely to know their neighbors because of more transience, absentee landlords, people who work long hours, and a decline in the number of kids on a block. The category of "traffic" includes people who did not like cut-through traffic on their block and those who are frustrated with the challenges of getting somewhere in their cars. The category "Development" generally reflects frustration or a sense of powerlessness about development projects near home. It's not a scientific approach, but just a rough impression and conversation starter. Add your view here. We created the word clouds using WordArt.com.