Everett Education Coalition Statement on Proposed City Charter Change
To the Editor,
As members of the Everett Education Coalition, we are appalled at an attempt to change the Everett City Charter through a Home Rule Petition, rather than through a ballot initiative. One of the proposed changes would add the Mayor of the City of Everett as a voting member of the elected School Committee.
We share resident disgust and anger regarding the method of this change, which excludes the voice of our voters. As families, students, educators, and advocates we are also alarmed that failure to explore the potential for political influence without an open and transparent conversation could have negative consequences for our students. We represent a diverse coalition that has consistently been under-represented in our City and School government. We are concerned that once again, the voice of a large and diverse constituency is being excluded.
Our school district has been making great progress despite the challenges of Covid-19 and failure to implement the Student Opportunity Act. We have witnessed the implementation of improved hiring practices, increased checks and balances, and a commitment to inclusive, transparent and accessible communication. The work is not done, but as we increase the opportunities for our students and their families, we will continue to elevate their voices.
Proud to Stand With Councilor Gerly Adrien
The recently formed Massachusetts Black and LatinX Municipal Caucus, which represents close to 40 Black and LatinX City Councilors across the Commonwealth is proud to stand with Everett’s Councilor Gerly Adrien. Since first elected to office, Councilor Adrien has faced constant criticism from her colleagues, most recently for not risking her health by attending Council meetings in person. Her colleagues have now asked her to resign. Elected officials are accountable to the people. Councilor Adrien was duly elected by the voters of Everett and came in first in her race for City Council. The will of the people will and will not be overridden. In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Baker issued an Executive Order exempting public bodies from holding meetings in person. City Councils and public bodies open to the public meeting laws have been holding meetings remotely and are encouraged to continue doing so to protect the health of the general public and the health of public servants. These attacks against Councilor Adrien are not unlike other attacks against women in leadership. Attempts at silencing a Black woman who challenges the status quo are rooted in racism and will not be tolerated. The people of Everett deserve better. Councilor Adrien deserves to be treated with dignity and respect as a duly elected public servant. We are proud to stand with her.
Black and LatinX
Chelsea Councilor Damali Vidot
President Kim Janey