Leader Herald Staff
2023 will be the year of the continued uprising of public speakers and protesters.
2022 served as a seminal moment in both movements.
City meetings won’t ever be the same with these convergent groups attempting to have their say against the administration.
First, in 2022, vocal, articulate, informed public speakers changed the face and the tenor of nearly all city council and school committee meetings.
In 2023, look for the situation to coalesce.
Never in the city’s modern history have so many come out to public meetings to say so much and to defy the potential for retaliation.
With folks like former Everett businessman Jon Puopolo, number cruncher and administration enemy Paula Sterite, realtor Sandy Juliano, city employee Maria Bussle, resident and father, Shane McNally, former Councilor Fred Capone, noted businessman and former councilor Sal Sachetta, bus driver Tony Raymond, Wendy Poste, members of the NAACP, Eliot Vasquez, Peggy Serino, Beverly Leonard, veteran David Fortin, builder Steven Iannaco and on and on and on.
Then there are the crowds of protesters that squeeze into the city council chamber: Everett high school kids, neighborhood residents like from the area of Pope John, residents appalled by racism and the refusal of the city to comment or to take action over months of heated discussions.
Participating in government here has entered a new time and a brave new world.
Nothing is like what it used to be pre pandemic.Many people, from many different groups, men, women, veterans, businesspeople, taxpayers all, city employees, Blacks, Browns, Hispanics and white folks all want to have their say.
Just going along doesn’t work anymore with a phalanx of public speakers prepared to make comments and understanding the lay of the land.
The mayor has attempted to label the public speakers as disenchanted trouble makers.
The speakers themselves reject this notion.
They come, and will come in 2023, not out of hate or vengeance.
They come out of frustration wanting to have their say, to let government know they will no longer sit quietly as the city takes twists and turns they do not approve of.
The public speakers don’t just speak and leave.
They stay and listen.
Many of them heckle the mayor and the councilors.
No one in city government is used to this type of reception.
This was so in 2022.
It will remain so in 2023.
The rising up of the public speaking voice is big medicine considering what those people face after making those statements.