There Is a Lack of Political Leadership

Comments by Fred Capone at City Hall Protest

What you have seen here and heard here today is the real Everett, a diverse but united community – not the Everett that you are reading about in the papers, watching on TV and following via social media. The negative reflections are the actions of a few. Sadly, they originate from our elected officials – those whose primary function is to make our city a safer and better place for all of us. The recent disclosure of the disturbing city video demonstrates that racism has been rampant throughout the current administration. The fact that racism and corruption have not even been mentioned let alone go unpunished by the majority of our elected officials, underscores the lack of political leadership that has been allowed to continue for far too long.

Everett High School students marched today in solidarity, they were amazing, and the Everett High School Class of 2022 has taken a bold stand and they have done us proud. I commend them for using their collective voice in a mature, responsible, and thoughtful manner to say what our elected officials will not – “Racism in any form is wrong and will not be tolerated.” Their action shows me that the future of our city is in good hands, but we must address the current void in leadership.

When leadership is lacking, WE THE PEOPLE must step forth to be the voice of reason and guide the way. Many individuals, myself included, have attended city council meetings over the past five months demanding that our elected officials ad- dress acts of public corruption and the racism that has been displayed by those in positions of public trust. Today one councilor resigned as did one member of the administration – that is a good start and it is because of you. But to date, our elected officials have been silent on both accounts. That is unacceptable.

WE THE PEOPLE, refuse to be silenced or ignored. We embrace our obligation to hold our elected officials accountable and that is why we are gathered here at City Hall – the people’s building – to make our collective voices heard. Look around you, see how many of us are here banding together – your voice matters, your opinions matter, your presence here tonight matters. There is great strength in our unity and power in our convictions. And united, we will continue to speak out against injustices and demand better from our elected officials until the stench of racism, corruption, and complacency are eradicated from this building and throughout our entire community.

Only then, will we truly be able to heal, and move forward as a cohesive, inclusive community where every resident is treated with equal respect dedicated to the common goal of improving every resident’s quality of life. Thank you to everyone for their contributions today and those leading up to today. We have already made a difference.

This peaceful demonstration and the one earlier by the students serve as examples to others that violence is not necessary to obtain change: that Compassion and Reason will eventually prevail over hatred and coercion, and that the principles of fairness with Justice and Equality for all will ultimately vanquish discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, and corruption.

Keep making your voices heard.

Fred Capone is an attorney, and a former councilor. He lost the mayoral election by 210 votes in November.

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