November 3, 2011
Contact: Kevin Gilnack, Communications Director, 617.506.9670


SOMERVILLE, MA – The Young Democrats of Massachusetts (YDM) and Greater Boston Young Democrats (GBYD) have endorsed Katjana Ballantyne and Christine Barber in their races for Somerville Alderman seats. Ballantyne, a Teele Square resident and business consultant, is challenging incumbent Robert Trane for the Ward 7 seat. Barber, a Winter Hill resident and policy analyst for a national health care organization, is vying for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by incumbent Walter Pero.

YDM and GBYD are working to create more progressive representation on Somerville’s most local level of government and reminding residents to get out to the polls next Tuesday.

“YDM is proud to endorse these candidates for their commitment to addressing the issues our members care about such as job creation, healthy communities and constituent engagement. They’ve also taken an active approach to empowering young people in the political process.” said YDM Chair Elaine Almquist. “I hope that everyone gets out and votes in their local elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and helps elect these great leaders.” 

Ballantyne came within seven votes of Trane in the preliminary election in Ward 7. Barber will face businessman Tony LaFuente in Ward 4. Both have been building a strong grassroots base of community support.

Christine Barber is a Thurston Street resident and has been a committed advocate for working people in the Winter Hill and Ten Hills community for years.. She has spent the last eight months speaking with hundreds of voters in the ward about their ideas for the neighborhood. Barber has secured endorsements from state Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Medford), the Progressive Democrats of Somerville, SEIU Local 615 and Board of Alderman President, Rebekah Gewirtz.

“I am running for Alderman in Ward 4 because I love our community and believe we deserve a hard-working advocate who will bring people together to address our shared concerns.” said Barber, a HealthCare policy advocate, former State House aide and leader of the Marshal Street Neighborhood Group.

Katjana Ballantyne is a long time Somerville resident and mother of two. She has worked in business and community development for over 20 years with a focus on job creation and small business start-up. She has volunteered in public schools, served as a board member and President of the Board of Somerville Community Corporation, and co-founded a local business, Nilsson Associates. 

Ballantyne has over a decade of experience working with Boston area companies in international marketing and consumer product manufacturing. Her experience in the community includes workforce development, small business start-up and job creation. Katjana holds a B.A. in Political Science and German from St. Michael’s College of Vermont and an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Suffolk University.

Ballantyne, her husband Richard along with their two daughters, Iliana (14) and Sophia (3) have livedthe Teele Square neighborhood of Ward 7 for nearly 20 years.

Municipal elections are being held at Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Somerville and 52 other Massachusetts communities. Polls will be open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

The Young Democrats of Massachusetts is a partisan political organization with over 3,000 members mobilized to create positive change across the Commonwealth.  Our members are the leaders of today: Democrats under the age of 36 committed to getting Democrats elected and promoting progressive legislation.  We are the future: now.