To the Editor:
During the start of spring I decided to get actively involved in Everett and embrace where I live. From May until September I was presented with the opportunity to volunteer for a candidate I believe in. Through knocking on doors, approaching people on the street I learned valuable lessons about the people of Everett. I was gone from Everett for decades and had no connection with the community I use to call home. That has changed.
I grew up in Everett working poor, my father Eugene was an Irish immigrant and my mother Tessie was first generation French Italian. My parents struggled at the beginning of their marriage and because they had no insurance, my brother James was born at home, in what was formally known as the Line in the shadows of the Mystic Power Station, the Orange Line MBTA Station and the Monsanto Chemical Plant. Over years my parents gave birth to 9 children. Through my father’s hard work and determination he purchased a single family home on Magnolia Ct. During this time, relative who themselves faced hardship lives with us throughout the years.
During my time campaigning I met many struggling families mostly Haitian and Latino. These new immigrants have the same dreams and aspirations for their children, to live an honest life, work hard, get an education so they can have a life better than theirs. What it boils down to is we all strive for the same thing. My siblings and I live that American Dream.
This is where the similarities between then and now end. Though we were working poor, my mother stayed home with the children and my father worked one job. The education that was offered to us was sufficient enough for us to become successful in life and some of us went to prestigious colleges and my brother John earned a PHD in education from Boston College.
I am concerned with the fate of some of the children living in Everett. Many ho uses I saw were bought up by speculators and are run by management companies. These houses are substandard and the rents can range from $1,400 to $2,000 a month. Because of this, some of these parents are in a position where homeownership is out of reach. Some of these children do not have the opportunity to have a parent home full time because both parents work 1, 2, maybe even 3 jobs. Some of these children will not have the stability I took for granted when I was young.
From what I’ve learned, the educational system in Everett does not provide adequate education during these complex and changing times.
It is my hope the city can come together to recognize, evaluate and work toward a solution to solve these problems in this complicated and dynamic time.
This process has been an epiphany for me. I have Gerly Adrian to thank for this learning opportunity and this personal growth.