Everett United has a problem with the mayor.
The mayor of Boston that is, and today, Oct. 7, they are travelling to Boston City Hall Plaza to make some noise and let Boston Mayor Martin Walsh know that Everett is tired of getting pushed around in the casino debate.
On Monday night, members of Everett United gathered at the Village Villa Co-op community room to make signs that, in one example, read ‘Hey Mayor Walsh, Keep Your Nose Out of Everett Business!’
Leader Vinnie Ragucci said that the Wynn folks had nothing to do with the protest, and that it was many Everett and Charlestown residents who had decided it was time to stop sitting by quietly as Walsh controlled conversation on the casino issue.
By all measures, everyone in the room said what pushed them out of their quietness was the new lawsuit filed against Wynn last week, while at the same time proclaiming that meetings with Wynn were productive.
“We’re going down to City Hall Plaza in Boston to voice our opinion,” he said. “It is the protest to say we’re fed up protest. We haven’t said anything since the election; we’ve been very quiet, but we’re losing time and we’re losing jobs…We’re fed up with all the barking coming from the Mayor of Boston.”
Ragucci said he had no idea how many would be going down, but he said he expected a minimum of 75 sign holders to be front and center on City Hall Plaza. It’s a move that the casino supporters haven’t yet made, but felt it was time.
“I think this is long overdue and time to make some waves,” said Terry Baldwin-Williams, who will be going to the protest. “We’ve sat back with our tongues in our hip pocket and now it’s time to speak up.”
Council candidate Anthony DiPierro, while making homemade signs, said the estimated $1.5 million in legal costs for Boston to fight the two lawsuits could be used more productively.
“If Everett had $1.5 million kicking around, we would use it for better things I’m sure,” he said. “There’s such a problem with homelessness and opiate addiction and that $1.5 million could do wonders for that. I’m disappointed he hasn’t been a man of his word so far. He said he would back off and the next day he turns around and does something completely different.”
Councillor Mike Mangan said it’s time to be more vocal for Everett.
“I honestly believe that we’ve been very, very laid back, but enough is enough,” he said. “This project is going forward and the voters spoke statewide last year. I don’t know why he’s been a roadblock, but we have to do what we have to do now.”
Chris Ragucci said everything has been against Everett, and it’s time to change the narrative.
“We’re not going to be disrespectful, but we’re going to make a point because everything has been against Everett,” she said. “He is being greedy and he is being a baby…You have to say enough is enough. We’re just going to make a little noise in town.”
Richard Eliseo said he is tired with Everett being dumped on by the Mayor of Boston.
“I think it’s a great cause and we have the right idea and the right support,” he said. “I think Mayor Walsh is being selfish and very stubborn. He needs to understand that Everett is trying to do what is right for its citizens and the surrounding communities – including Boston. He needs to step back and say ‘They’re right’ and let Everett do something great.”
Council candidate Michael McLaughlin said he believes that it’s time to stop standing in the way of thousands of jobs that people need.
“I think Mayor Walsh is a good person, but is being led down the wrong path by certain advisors,” he said. “Boston was the recipient of as much in mitigation monies as the City of Everett. If that wasn’t a generous enough offer, I don’t know if there is any number they will agree with. We’re going to have the mayor hear us in a respectful way…We want him to know it’s time to stop the rhetoric and nonsense going forward. We need to work together to make a better Massachusetts and a better region. We need to put people to work and he’s holding up 7,600 jobs.”