Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

As Everett’s first person of color to serve as Personnel Director for current Mayor DeMaria, former Mayor Hanlon, and former Mayor Ragucci between 2005 and 2009, I applaud the 3/25/21 Leader Herald’s Editorial promoting racial diversity in the Everett workforce. During this post-George Floyd racial reckoning era, it is important to highlight the need for more racial diversity. That stated I disagree with the editorial’s premise that “ Everett must integrate its workforce” (which the editorial mischaracterizes as “nearly all-white”) and that there are “ pretend efforts to bring diversity into City government.” Everett’s workforce is already integrated and it’s on a trajectory for an even more diverse and inclusive workforce than currently exists.\

With the support of Mayor DeMaria, I left Everett to become an HR Manager at MassDOT. There, I received two certifications as “a Diversity Trainer(one certification for the MBTA and the other for the Commonwealth). First, both certification trainings taught me that diversity discussions are most fulfilling and effective when they begin with the presumption that we all (regardless of our background and viewpoint) have good intentions, even when we have different views on diversity. Second, diversity and inclusion are about, race, gender, age, LGBTQ, English as a second language, different generations in the workplace (Gen Z, millennials, Baby boomers, & Traditionalists), diversity of opinions, etc. Third, diversity is not an “either/or proposition.” It’s a “both/and proposition” because true diversity and inclusion in the workplace are fostering support for all of us, and hopefully not to the exclusion of anyone.

This my 26th year as an Everett resident living on Hospital Hill. With Mayor DeMaria’s blessings, I currently serve as Everett’s representative on the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Board of Trustees. This brings me to my final criticism of the 3/25/21 editorial. It treats Everett’s work- force as “a cup half empty” rather than “a cup that is half full.” Yes, Everett’s workforce could be more diverse. This is true of most workforces in the public and private sectors. That stated, Everett should be also commended for the progress it has made on the diversity front during the past twenty years while the City has undergone numerous demographic changes.

Jim Henderson 857-363-0637

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