By Josh Resnek
The Boston Globe has touted the dramatic changes taking place in the Everett political community with an article noting that the city has elected its first black female councilor, first Vietnamese councilor and first Latina councilor.
With a feature story published last week, the Globe noted the seismic shift in ward and at-large citywide political choices being made by new voters as well as longtime voters.
The article featured Gerly Adrien, who topped the ticket in the at-large contest as well as Stephanie Martins, a Latina who defeated Jason Marcus who was trying a comeback, and Jimmy Tri Le, who is Vietnamese. Le won easily against a write-in candidate backed by the mayor and his crew.
The mayor did not support these three new voices elected to the council.
In fact, he gave no support whatsoever to Adrien, none to Martins and ran a tenant of his against Le.
In addition, the mayor ran his best friend against Councilor Mike McLaughlin, who drubbed the mayor’s candidate.
The Globe piece included a photograph of Adrien and Martins shaking hands at their swearing in and a stand alone of Le at the same event.
“In 127 years that Everett has been a city, its residents had elected four councilors who were not white. This week alone, they added three more people of color,” wrote the Globe reporter.
The Globe piece noted that what has happened in Everett this time around in November, in what was previously an all white council governing a diverse city, was not unique.
Newton inaugurated the state’s first transgender city councilor, Holly Ryan. Cambridge installed City Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui as mayor, making her the first Muslim woman in the state to hold the title. And the Boston City Council welcomed its first gay woman, Liz Breadon, and first Afro-Latina immigrant, Julia Mejia, the Globe piece noted.
Everett’s first black female councilor, Adrien, is a 30-year-old Haitian- American who was unusually concerned with the local news and politics by age 10. When her mother mentioned constituent services one day, it hit her: “I was like, ‘Mom that’s what I want to do. I want to help every-one.’ ”
What follows is how the Globe reporter reported her election victory and swearing in last week.
After Bentley University and stints in New York and Philadelphia, she returned home and set to work. She trained with Emerge, and attempted but lost two campaigns for state representative before prevailing in her council campaign. (Her husband, who ran at the same time, narrowly lost a bid for school committee.)
Adrien is a wave-maker, she realizes, who is “not the favorite” among her new colleagues. But she was gratified by the reception she got both in the election and in the listening tour she held afterward (setting a trend that other local pols followed).
“I honestly think what helped me was there was some people from the traditional Everett that voted for me that wanted change, as well as new people,” Adrien said.
By the night of her inauguration, Everett’s council chambers were packed and 65 people wanted pictures with her.
“The best thing about last night was seeing the room filled to capacity with people who have never gone to a city council meeting or an event,” she said Tuesday. “That was the most inspiring.”