Backs Former Councilor Adrien’s Claims She Was Targeted By Leadership Because of Racism
By Josh Resnek
An Instagram post, believed to be one of a number of racist messages sent to a colleague in municipal government here by Councilor Anthony DiPierro, calls into question the city council’s effort to force the city’s first Black councilor to resign in 2020.
DiPierro’s messaging of racist memes magnifies Everett’s unwillingness to hire more Blacks and minorities in its city work force, and colors the mayor’s protest that “I am not a racist.”
DiPierro was DeMaria’s campaign chief. He is the mayor’s cousin.
DiPierro did not return a call left for him by the Leader Herald Tuesday.
Less than 5% of the city’s 900 person workforce is Black or multi-racial. The coming to light of DiPierro’s racist memes gives credence to former city councilor Gerly Adrien’s belief that DiPierro, former councilor Rosa DeFlorio, present assistant city clerk Peter Napolitano, Mayor Carlo DeMaria and others wanted her to resign or to force her out from her seat on the city council.
During an October, 2020 city council meeting, DeFlorio, and Napolitano led a contentious hearing where they made clear that if Adrien did not appear at the meeting in person, maybe she should resign or consider other employment.
The city of Everett video from that meeting was erased, misplaced or lost. An investigation termed by the mayor’s chief of staff as “thorough” failed to reveal a culprit.
“I was told by councilors to make you inaudible,” the city’s IT Kevin Dorgan told Adrien at the time. The audio for that meeting was an incoherent electronic mish mush – as described in detail by the Leader Herald.
Adrien chose Zoom meetings over personal attendance because of her family’s fears of COVID-19.
“I will never resign,” she told a huge crowd of protesters that marched in front of city hall in the days following the council meeting to rally against the city’s perceived racism.
Adrien contended at the time she believed that those who asked her to resign and who complained the loudest about her presence on the council, as well as those who remained silent, believed that she was unsuitable to serve because she is Black.
Adrien declined to comment.
Everett is about 70% non-white. It is an ethnically mixed race, majority-minority city.
The appearance of the racist memes in a DiPierro e-mail also conflates with Adrien’s experience that of Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani.
At the end of January, Tahiliani filed a 31-page complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination alleging the mayor’s racism and sexism.
The MCAD has not been forthcoming about any action to be taken, if any. Three weeks ago, surveillance equipment was found buried inside Tahiliani’s Vine Street school office.
The FBI retrieved the equipment and took it away.
The FBI has declined to comment on the matter.
DeMaria has confided he wanted Tahiliani gone since she was appointed. His sham appointment as a voting member of the school committee with- out a charter change by the city council revealed his control of the council in achieving his wish for Tahiliani’s demise without due process.
He was apparently miffed that Tahiliani appointed people of color to high administrative positions in the School Department, rather than to appoint white people to administrative positions, as alleged by Tahiliani in the MCAD complaint.
The mayor has apparently been disturbed that Tahiliani would not do his bidding for him. She would not do whatever he asked, according to those familiar with their troubled relationship.
The Leader Herald requested comments from the city’s chief equity officer, Cathy Drain.
She declined to comment, as did the mayor.
The school department’s chief equity
officer, Cory McCarthy told the Leader Herald DiPierro’s anti-Black racist meme is out of bounds.
“Anyone who is passing this around and sharing racist memes targeting their black colleagues should immediately resign. And he should seek a reevaluation his moral consciousness,” McCarthy said.
DiPierro is touted as the heir apparent to DeMaria. He used several popular white supremacist memes in the lnstagram message sent to a colleague who wished to remain unnamed.
The Leader Herald is in possession of the racist meme, which was sent from DiPierro’s account, it has been confirmed.
“There are others,” a source told the Leader Herald.
“If the photos I have seen are indeed accurate it further reinforces the need for us to consistently interrogate the practices, the climate and the sense of belonging that we say we want for our children, and for all the residents of the city,”McCarthy added.
“If these memes were done by a sitting member of the Everett city council, they are indeed out of the playbook of racism and white supremacist culture. This should be condemned by every elected public official in the city. It is an outrage.”