By Josh Resnk
There was a time many decades ago, when a new family moved onto a street like Jackson Avenue, many neighbors would bring housewarming presents to the new residents of Everett.
These were the days and years when the late great artist Norman Rockwell was painting scenes of Thanksgiving dinners, Easter celebrations and warm homecomings that typified the American scene of that bygone era with oil paintings that remind us all of what came before.
When new residents come to Everett today, there are no such homecomings – at least none like those recalled in the cherished views of American life offered up by Rockwell.
Today, many new residents moving here live anonymous lives, without close friends inside the apartment houses where they reside or even in the three families that still constitute the largest number of standing structures in the city.
Councilor Rosa DeFlorio believes there is basic information that every new resident of the city moving here should receive from the city to make them feel at home and to offer them a way to navigate the brave new world they have come to live in.”It doesn’t have to be big, nothing elaborate, we’re not looking to spend a million dollars,” she told the council recently.
She suggested as well a census form and voter registration.” This should be something easy,” she said.
But who does it and what exactly do they pass out?
Anthony Sousa, the popular director of Planning and Development said that present informational documents for new residents available at city hall are about seven years old and are in need of some updating.
But exactly what to do, what makes sense, in an Internet, computer, Iphone dominated world?
That’s up for grabs – several councilors said.” Information should be sent directly to every new tenant renting an apartment,” said Councilor Peter Napolitano.
This would be a daunting task, according to statistics on file at city hall.During the past five years and up to the present, more than 2,500 new apartments have come on line in Everett – an impossible number of new residents to reach with traditionalmarketing and city hall outreach programs.
One of the new apartment complexes on the Revere Beach Parkway is now renting. There are about 400 units. This translates loosely into 500-700 new residents.
Who among them is going to pay attention to things all about Everett?
Who among them will register and vote?
Hard to say.
The new renters are expected to be out of towners, people who did not grow up here, They are Millennials, most of whom do not own automobiles, who do not join local causes or have ambitions to do anything that has something to do with the city they are living in.
The city is now looking into exactly what should be sent to newcomers as a way of saying hello and putting them in touch with the vital parts of city hall they may need to use.
It is a dated idea, but a nice one at that.