BY JOSH RESNEK
Monday’s Zoom city council meeting produced a rising star who is absolutely unafraid to express herself, but more importantly, who is adamant about her place on a city council that seems to do the mayor’s bidding no matter what it is.
Councilor Gerly Adrien’s righteous anger to her colleagues about her questions remaining unanswered about public school education produced an explosion of fury and resentment from the first term councilor who topped the ticket.
Her performance, derided by some, but noticed by all, signals a seminal moment in the modern history of the council.
She says what she wants to come what may.
Frankly, if you watch these meetings, her fearlessness and her remaining on point, are spectacular additions to the endlessness and nothingness of so many council meetings.
She took on the council in masse for its do-nothing intransigence in the face of powerful new external forces taking over life in the Everett caused by the Coronavirus and new leadership at the School Department.
“I wanted to have answers to my questions about education and they refused to step up to the plate to aid in getting answers that affects each and every school student and the parents of school children in this city. If I’m supposed to remain quiet about public education because I’m a councilor – well – where is that written,” she told the Leader Herald.
Adrien is met by a sturdy, seemingly unshakable wall of disinterest and dissonance by most of her colleagues on the council.
What comes from this, is the appearance that she is the only voice speaking up and unafraid.
At Monday’s Zoom meeting she asked pointed questions about The Police Department, about the School Department. At the meeting two weeks ago, she did the same.
“We have the opportunity to meet the challenge right now of police violence and racism. Four people have reached out to me about incidents with the Everett Police, “she said. “I’d like some answers and some cooperation. My colleagues should all be on board with this,” she told the Leader Herald.
Adrien questioned the passing out of Chrome Books by the School Department. She wanted to know how many students there are and how many had received. She said she was responding to an Everett school teacher’s lament that out of 50 students, only 14 showed up online for Internet classrooms with her.
“If our students are being left behind, I need to know about this and to do some- thing about it, at the very least, to speak up about it,” she said.
She said the quiet of her colleagues was disturbing, and that the efforts of some to say she should be minding her business because there is so much to do just as councilor were empty comments not worthy of elected public officials.
Adrien is facing a quiet but sturdy wall of city councilors who do the mayor’s bidding, or who pass important questions onto an endless series of committee hearings that is like going from nowhere to nothing.
While Capone is said to be considering a run for mayor, it is Adrien who is who is spitting the fire to reach a new place with colleagues who rarely, if ever, challenge the mayor.
This is something to watch, and it is something to behold.
The old-timers grumble that she should keep her mouth shut. That she is way out of bounds.
She is will not keep her mouth shut and she is not way out of bounds.
The younger people and a wide array of voters in this city admire her courage. That is why she topped the ticket.
Right now, she is the mayor’s main adversary, and the adversary as well of the city’s intransigence to confront serious questions about racism, police brutality and training, public school education and where it is heading.
“There should be no secrets in the city government,” she said.