By Josh Resnek
Mayor Carlo DeMaria not attending the upcoming Everett High School graduation is a sign of the times – mainly his time.
Last week, he was disinvited from attending by a large group of EHS students who protested against racism in front of city hall.
“We don’t want you there. You care nothing for us. If you come, we will protest your presence,” they seemed to tell the mayor.
The mayor got the message loudly and clearly.
At a Kiwanis Club scholarship event held at the high school later on in the week, the mayor announced he would be in Reno, Nevada at a mayor’s conference instead of attending the graduation.
He didn’t sound disappointed.
In fact, he tried to appear upbeat, made brief remarks to the scholarship winners and was then on his way.
Curiously, a photograph showing the mayor and Fed Capone in the same photograph taken at the high school was photo shopped and Capone’s image removed.
“If that is his strategy moving forward then the mayor is in trouble,” said a city official who wished to remain unnamed.
As to not attending the graduation, many wondered what he was really thinking, that is, about being the first mayor in the city’s long history to be disinvited from the high school graduation.
Had he decided to attend, he would likely have been met by protests from many of the graduating seniors.
So instead of fighting, he decided to stay away. The mayor doesn’t like confrontation when it affects him negatively.
This is not good for his public persona. It would not have been worth it for him to be outed at the graduation.
I cannot recall during the past 25 years in Everett a sitting mayor opting to go to Reno, Nevada instead of attending the EHS graduation.
In this instance alone, it reveals the extent to which the mayor’s favorability ratings have tanked.
It is a stark reminder how his fortunes have been falling.
Why the disinvitation to the graduation?
The kids at EHS, mostly Black people and Brown people and Spanish, do not buy into the mayor’s public statements that he is for everyone.
They don’t buy into him trying to paint himself a man for all seasons who loves all people being honest about his intentions when he watched the Haitian Flag be raised in front of Everett City Hall last week in a pre-protest demonstration calculated by the mayor to be an antidote to the protest that was coming.
The mayor has no real compelling interest in the Haitian people, their flag, their nation, or their place in the Everett community.
His participation was perfunctory. It did precious little to stop the onslaught of EHS students crowding in front of city hall chanting for him to resign.
Some believe the EHS kids will be better off without the mayor appearing at graduation.
As for the mayor, whether he cares or not, he will be in Reno at a mayor’s convention talking about God knows what!