The visit by Congressman Joseph Kennedy to Everett over the weekend, coupled with the visit to Everett of Senator Edward Markey two weeks ago, proves the importance of Everett’s diverse voter base.
Markey and Kennedy are on a collision course. Actually, they’ve already collided.
Also on a collision course is the mayor and his nearly all white city government about 700 strong with the city’s residents largely non-white at this point, yearning for the mayor’s nod to evening the make-up of the city government into something much more diverse and representative of the city.
Both Markey and Kennedy noticed the imbalance in racial equality here.
Both the congressman and the senator noticed that very few of the city’s elected officials chose to attend meetings with them.
Those who did not attend, refused to attend, or just shrugged off attending did so because Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien was the driving force for both the senator and the congressman coming here during Black History month to meet with members of the minority community.
Most noticeably absent, but not necessarily missed very much, was the mayor of Everett.
Why was he absent?
Did the mayor intentionally snub Markey and Kennedy or was it the minority community or was it Adrien, or all of them or one or the other? Maybe the mayor felt he should be paid to appear, that him appearing at such events is out of his realm because he is doing so much more for the people of the city or that showing respect to the city’s minority community and its leading minority politician is not part of his salary requirements.
Maybe he couldn’t find a ride to the events and maybe that was because he hasn’t yet rented an automobile or bought one for himself as he said he was going to do with the $12,000 stipend the city council gave him?
Perhaps Kennedy and Markey mean nothing to him.
Some of the mayor’s closest associates say he doesn’t care about anything anymore – just picking up his salary and anything else that comes along the way and doing as he pleases.
What comes mostly to mind after Kennedy’s visit are his comments expressing amazement that there are only eight black owned businesses in Everett.
“Is that number for real?” he asked.
“Something must be done about this,” he added. The mayor knows better than all of us how his exclusion of minorities from the city government is a policy he supports and a policy he steadfastly maintains.
It is a doomed policy that has kept the black community from flourishing in small business – an unwritten policy the city government under his leadership is allowed to prevail.
He will not be able to do this forever, the same way he will not be the mayor forever.
Nothing last forever.