Op-Ed

By GERLY ADRIEN

Dear Everett Residents,

My name is Gerly Adrien. I am proud to be your City Councilor At-Large during these challenging times for our city and across the world.

There are a few very important matters I’d like to reflect upon during this past year.

Last week marked one year since a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts due to COVID-19. Over the past year, more than 500,000 residents in the state have contracted the virus, and, sadly, more than 16,000 lives have been lost.

During these extremely difficult moments, we have unfortunately seen a lack of leadership in Everett. In the face of every challenge, we have seen other cities step up where we lacked. Everett residents would ask me, “Gerly, what are city officials doing to help us get through this?”

I remember when I first learned about the pandemic. I created an action plan with recommendations and sent them to our Mayor. I had a phone call with him to ensure that this would be a priority for our city leaders. It was important to me that we stepped up to provide extra support to our residents.

Some of the recommendations I spoke with him about were:

– Suspend all parking fees and fines until April 1, 2020. Create an emergency fund for Everett Residents, and Small Business Owners named the Everett Stands Together Resiliency Fund. Ensure seniors at low-income housing (EHA) receive the assistance they need in terms of receiving food, have their requests prioritized as every other senior in this city, and that if they should call 311, that all City Councilors should be notified so we can provide help.

– City employees, including the city clerk’s office, must answer emails within 48 hours to ensure they assist everyone in this city.

– Council and committee meetings virtually, per the Governor’s emergency orders regarding open meeting laws. (Boston is currently training on technology to do this; we can do the same.)

– Digital Transparency for all meetings and City Hall work for residents to complete.

– Provide Rent and Mortgage assistance to people who have lost their jobs and incomes.

– Ensure that all residents have access to food and all essential necessities.

Unfortunately, many of these recommendations did not come to fruition, which led to many of the exacerbation of many issues that Everett residents have been facing even before the pandemic began.

Now a year later, this pandemic has forced us to rethink normalcy. Now is the time where we need leadership with a strong, community-based vision to lead our city into an equitable recovery. We cannot make the same mistakes we made over this past year. We must reimagine a better future for Everett so that we can have a game plan for moments of crisis. This is why our constituents elected us to our positions.

I have tremendous pride in our city and love all of my residents. I have so much more hope for us, but we need our city’s leadership to meet the urgency this moment demands. As we journey on into what post-pandemic recovery can look like, I’m calling on the Mayor to partner with our residents and city officials like myself to create and execute a vision that puts our most vulnerable community members first to offer a promise for a better future.

Sincerely,
Gerly Adrien
617-835-8267

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