Ban recreational marijuana shops
(As presented to the City Council on Monday night, Sept. 11)
Dear Mr. President and Members of the Council:
I am pleased to introduce tonight a proposal to ban recreational marijuana shops in the City of Everett. This ban is consistent with the will of the voters in our city, who last November rejected Ballot Question 4 to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.
Under a new law passed by the state legislature and enacted by Governor Baker in July, a city where voters rejected Ballot Question 4 may now ban recreational marijuana establishments by passing an ordinance through its normal legislative process.
The proposed municipal ban will not prohibit residents from possessing or cultivating recreational marijuana in accordance with the state law, nor will it apply to registered medical marijuana dispensaries. Rather, its sole purpose is to disallow the opening of recreational “pot shops” in our city.
I introduce this proposal tonight for simple reasons. A majority of Everett voters did not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Every day, we are still confronting issues of young people misusing drugs or alcohol, and I am concerned about the risk of diversion if recreational marijuana is sold commercially in our community. Lastly, we have the positive momentum now to attract vibrant businesses that will increase our quality of life and contribute positively to our city, and I do not believe that recreational pot shops would add value for our residents.
I look forward to working together to get this ordinance enacted to promote both community health and appropriate economic development. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria
Clearing up a misunderstanding
A recent story in the Independent incorrectly stated that Pioneer Charter School of Science would be moving from its current Summer Street location to a new building on Plymouth Street. (Pioneer Charter to move to the Village…Aug. 23)
The new building will house our elementary and middle school, while our high school program will remain on Summer Street at the site of the old Immaculate Conception School.
We are hopeful our elementary school students will be able to move into the new building in January.
Pioneer Charter celebrated its 10th year in Everett last year. We are a tuition-free, public charter school open to all students from Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Revere and other area communities. Originally serving Grades 7-12, PCSS received approval from the state in February 2016 to add Grades K-6 to its program. PCSS is in the process of adding those elementary grades to its program. Once fully enrolled, PCSS will serve more than 700 children from area communities. All children are welcome; admission is determined by blind lottery.
The PCSS community speaks 30 languages and has ties to 40 countries. At PCSS I, 59% of the students are African American or Latino, 38% are economically disadvantaged, 34% are English Language Learners, and 8% are students with special needs.
PCSS offers students a rigorous academic curriculum with emphasis on math and science, balanced with a strong foundation in the humanities, a character education program, career-oriented college preparation, and strong student/teacher/parent collaboration. The school has a 195-day school calendar, extended days, after school tutoring and voluntary Saturday classes for students who need extra help. Students must complete 40 hours of community service.
PCSS is one of the highest performing middle and high schools in Massachusetts, and is rated Level 1 according to the state’s accountability system. With a 10th Grade 2016 MCAS proficiency rate of 98 percent in English, 93% in math, and 88% in science, PCSS ranked among the highest performing schools statewide.
We hope this clears up any misunderstanding about our building plans.
Pioneer Charter School of Science Administration