The Board of Aldermen met for a regular meeting on Feb. 8, and discussed a number of orders presented by board members.

Here are a few orders put forth by the aldermen:

The board requests the police department provide information about “hate speech literature.”

Alderman At-Large Bill White said he recently received calls from a number of constituents in regards to the circulation of Neo-Nazi and hate speech literature in the city. He commended the Somerville Police Department for investigating these incidents but asked for more direct information.

“I would like ... to have someone from the police come forward with information,” he said. “We can take a look and as a community decide [what to do].”

In the past, White added, there were response teams in place to address such hate speech, and if necessary, he suggested this option.

“I think with new members on the board it makes sense to take a look at this ... and determine any other steps that might be appropriate,” he said.

President and Ward 7 Alderman Katjana Ballantyne moved the order and referred it to the Committee on Public Health and Public Safety.

The board requests free or low cost legal services on immigration and naturalization issues.

Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang and Alderman At-Large Wilfred Mbah put forth this issue and asked the board to discuss the appropriation of funds for community organizations to provide free or low cost services to immigrants.

“This is something that really means a lot to me,” said Mbah. “We keep talking about how much we care about [immigrants], about how much we want to remain a sanctuary city, and yet we cannot demonstrate that. This is an actionable step.”

Niedergang made an amendment to the issue, asking that it specify immigration and naturalization-related issues rather than general legal services.

The board requests code of conducts and policy in regards to sexual harassment and gender equity.

Ballantyne and Aldermen At-Large Mary Jo Rossetti and Stephanie Hirsch co-sponsored a handful of orders relating to reviewing sexual harassment policies and financial policies for gender equity in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“A number of people have asked me, ‘What are the policies?’” said Ballantyne. “[We should be] taking a comprehensive look at all of this. It's very much in the public discussion right now and I think it important for us as elected officials to make sure that everything is out there.”

In terms of youth sports, she continued, 65 percent of teams are for boys under 18 years old. If that’s the case, the same amount of money cannot be spent on the girls, can it?

According to Hirsch, only 3.5 percent of command personnel in the fire and police departments are women, and only 9.5 percent of overall personnel are women. Eleven out of fourteen emergency police operators are women, and they make an average of $55,000 annually, compared to the 10 men fire alarm operators who make an estimated $85,000 annually.

“[The numbers] are incredibly stark and it’s really hard to fix this kind of stuff,” she said. “It’s far beyond Somerville and it’s going to take a really huge amount of determination and hard conversations to get at the root of this. It’s absolutely extraordinary, the differences and gaps in leadership and representation.”

Niedergang echoed her sentiments and suggested taking a look at racial composition in city departments as well.

Ballantyne moved the orders to the Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters and the Finance Committee.

For the full agenda and video, visit: