Judge signs off on city’s call to reject petition signatures
By Andrea Gregory
The November ballot looks like it will not ask residents to decide if Somerville should divest its financial holdings in Israeli bonds. The deadline passed this week without the city recognizing any of the signatures needed to bring the issue to voters.
The Somerville Divestment Project (SDP) began almost two years ago. Its mission - to take action that will have an effect on a far away conflict. The group saw pulling any financial investments tied to Israel as one way of accomplishing its goal. The hope was that local voters would feel the same way, forcing Somerville to yank its investments.
But getting the question on the ballot required 10 percent of the city to agree it was something worth voting on. Collecting almost 4,000 signatures from registered voter was a big task, but Ron Francis, head of SDP, thought his group of activist could pull it off.