Guest Op-Ed: Reflecting on the Anniversary of the Death of George Floyd and the Work That Still Needs to Be Done to Achieve Racial Equity

By Gerly Adrien

One year later, as we reflect on the murder of George Floyd, let us remember that he should be home with his family today.

We need to fight for real changes at every level of government.

We must hold our Federal legislators accountable for passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill would ban chokeholds, end qualified immunity, prohibit discriminatory profiling, stop no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, create a nationwide police misconduct registry, and would also limit the amount of military equipment given to local police. This bill would be a gamechanger nationwide in the fight for racial equity in policing.

Locally, there’s a lot of work that we as a community, and legislators like myself can do.

We need allies to speak up with us, listen to us, and get to work with us.

We need to work together to change to help change policies, institutions or systems that are hurting us due to institutionalized racism, listen.

Racism exists in the school systems, criminal justice system, healthcare, housing, jobs, access to business or home loans, and other areas that many Black and Brown people are not privileged to receive.

Our elected officials must stop defending racist policies and start fighting alongside advocates and activists who are pushing  for the structural changes that  are required to dismantle racism in Everett, in Massachusetts, and our country.

We must start with policing sensitivity and cultural training, but not just  stop there. Housing, healthcare, education, small business development, and more require the reforms Black and Brown people have been demanding for decades.

We must stop dismissing, sabotaging, and putting off the work to actualize  justice and healing in our communities.

Everett can be an example for what justice can look like across the country, but only if we put in the work behind our intentions. It won’t be easy, but it will require leadership that will be bold and move with a sense of urgency to reverse the damage that racial injustice has done. This is what I want to do and will continue doing to benefit everyone of all races.

Together, we can begin the work to  rebuild the most important element of public safety – trust.

Gerly Adrien is an Everett City Councilor-At Large and Mayoral Candidate.

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