Happy new year to all my fellow Everett residents.
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2 year later and we continue to have to change our celebrations due to COVID. I’m sorry that we didn’t have a chance to celebrate this occasion together as a community, but I hope that we will have that chance in the near future.
I would like to thank State Senator Sal DiDomenico and State Representative Joe McGonagle for joining our inaugural celebration.
Thank you to our clergy who asked that those of us who being sworn-in have the grace and the guidance to lead our community with strength, wisdom and compassion.
Thank you to my fellow elected officials for your willingness to embark upon this next chapter of service to our City and for your commitment to doing what is in the best interest of all our residents.
And most importantly, thank you to all of our residents for the faith and support you have shown all of us who you have chosen to represent you. The confidence and trust you have placed in us is truly humbling.
I don’t know if there is anyone who is more humbled by the honor to serve than I am. It is not lost on me how significant and historic it is that I am embarking on an unprecedented 6th term as Mayor of the great City of Everett. I think it is important for you to know that I have been reflecting on what it means to have this incredible opportunity.
When I think of how fortunate I have been to serve as an elected official in my hometown for over 30 years, and when I think back to how I got here- my thoughts always start with my family.
The most important lessons I have learned in my life started with the values and principles instilled in me by my parents. I would like to thank my father and mother for continuing to inspire me every day and for being living examples of what it means to work hard, to build a strong family and to care about others in your community by thinking about your neighbors as you would members of your own family. Thank you for your love and support.
I have tried to follow the wonderful example set by my parents as I have raised my own children-Carlo, Caroline and Alexandra. Being your father is the most important job that I will ever have. You have spent most of your lives-and in the case of my youngest daughter, Alex, your whole life-as members of a very public family.
Growing up in these times is hard enough for young people, let alone when you do it with the added complication of having a father who is in a high-profile position. I am inspired by the maturity and poise each of you continue to show at such young ages. I am grateful for the understanding that you have shown by allowing me to continue to be in public service and for the sacrifices that you have made along the way. I am so proud of the individuals you have become and I will always show you the same unwavering support you have given me that has allowed me to serve.
The biggest debt of gratitude that I owe is to my wonderful wife, Stacy. I know that on the night we met, you probably didn’t imagine every step that we have taken on our journey together.
There are aspects of the job that elected officials have come to expect. We know that we will be questioned and we will face public scrutiny-that comes with the territory. What many people don’t understand is the job that our spouses and our families assume when you are a public official. No matter what we have had to face-you have been by my side as my wife, my partner and my best friend. I am proud and grateful for the strength that you have shown and my love for you has grown with each passing year. Thank you for your love, your support and everything that you have done for me, our children and to help improve the lives of families throughout Everett.
And- I would like to thank the rest of my family for all they have done. Your support means so much to me.
As I join you today, there are certain things that remain unchanged from my first inauguration as Mayor 14 years ago.
I am a life-long resident of Everett who leads with both my head and my heart, which has a deep love for our City. I continue to have great hope for our future. I know that many of you share my passion for making our city stronger and an even better place to live and call home. And what was true then, what has been true every day since and what will remain true for these next 4 years is that I will fulfill my public duty as Mayor by being thoughtful, deliberate and by making sound, strategic decisions on how we can best move our City forward in ways that will benefit everyone in Everett.
You have placed in me your faith and trust to serve as the Chief Executive for our community. I will continue to execute plans to make our vision for the future of Everett a reality. We will continue to improve our City infrastructure by investing in road repairs and sidewalks, water and sewer main replacements, renovating our parks, building a new police station and renovating the Connolly Center. We will continue to pursue a new high school to reduce crowding across our school system. These investments are part of the reason why families have chosen to make Everett their life-long home and are reasons why new people are choosing to make our City their home. Everett is our home because of our infrastructure, parks, schools and our low crime rate which help create a positive community environment.
We’ll also keep working to improve our public transportation options. We were the first to introduce bus rapid transit lanes, but now we must continue our push to have the best BRT option in the Commonwealth. Our residents deserve a one seat trip to Boston. Our residents that can’t rely on public transportation also deserve for us to find more ways to reduce traffic congestion.
We also must continue to work with our federal delegation to take advantage of the infrastructure dollars that will be made available to states to support transportation that also will increase economic development. The future development of the Exxon parcel has the ability to bring thousands of jobs into our City. Expanding our rail options, including the electrification of the commuter rail, has incredible potential to magnify the benefits that will come to our City and to our residents when we replace dirty, outdated industrial properties with clean industries that rely upon 21st century technology. Investing in our infrastructure will bring better jobs to our residents and increase commercial tax revenues that will support the services that our residents deserve.
While it is important for me as Mayor to have longer term strategic plans for capital investments, for transportation planning and for economic development, what we must always remember is the fundamental principal of public service and that is that government is meant to serve the people.
The best part of being a public servant is the ability to make a difference in the life of someone else. We are so fortunate to have the chance to help others. When our residents talk about the importance of City Hall being accessible, I think what they mean is that they want to know that we will be there for them when they need help.
I am reminded of a speech that President Obama gave in which he described the character of America as “our ability to stand in other people’s shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together, and when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand.” I believe that our City government should be the hand that is there for our residents.
We are fortunate for the progress that we have made in Everett, which has laid the foundation for our continued growth. But there are still serious challenges that our families face every day and more work to be done.
• We will keep increasing the availability of affordable housing units so residents will be able to afford to continue to call Everett their home.
• We will coordinate with all our public and private social and human service partners to make sure that residents have access to the medical, mental health, housing and workforce development opportunities they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
• We need to continue to find ways to help our residents to overcome the stressors that the pandemic has brought into our lives, including those who are struggling from the loss of loved ones, those who are dealing with depression and anxiety, and especially our young people who have had parts of their childhood and adolescence stolen from them by COVID.
• We need to continue to find additional supports for those among us who suffer from drug addiction. For as many lives as COVID has taken from us, drug addiction continues to be one of the most serious threats to the well-being of our residents. My greatest wish is to never have to console another parent, spouse, sister, brother or child of a resident who is struggling with substance abuse. And for those of you among us who know what that struggle is like, I want you to know that you are not alone.
• And, while I am grateful that I am able to call Everett my home, I know that there are there are those in our community who don’t have a place to call home. Some of them struggle with mental illness; some of them struggle with drug addiction; some of them struggle with both. Some of them have just experienced really difficult circumstances and have fallen on hard times. Whatever the reason, I want us to be there to give them a helping hand if they are willing to work with us to make a better life for themselves.
The desire to build a better life for ourselves and our families is what unites us. We are so fortunate to live in a community that reflects so much diversity. People from all over the world have chosen to make Everett their home and to bring with them their culture, their heritage, and their faith. And it is that desire to create a community and to have a place to call home that unites all of us. So, we will continue to find ways to recognize and embrace the diversity within our community and to celebrate the differences that make us amazingly unique.
As we celebrate our diversity, I ask that you also remember the strength of our shared commitment to our community. If you believe in Everett, if you believe in the progress that you have seen, if you believe in our future-then I ask that you spend the next four years working with me so that Everett will always be the place we know and love to call our home.
And it is with my love for Everett, with my love for the City I am so proud to call my home, with my love for my family and all families that choose to call Everett their home as well, that I will faithfully fulfill my duties as your mayor. I will be here to overcome the challenges that try to keep us from realizing all the potential that our future holds. I will be here to help you celebrate your successes and make sure that City government is there for you if you fall down. I will be here, beside all of you, as we continue on this wonderful journey that is the future of Everett for everyone.
Thank you. God bless each and every one of you and God bless the City of Everett.