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 tobring 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.\
When it comes to going public on the great issues of the day, Councilor Gerly Adrien leads her colleagues on the city council and goes to places where most of them do not wish to venture.
In what she refers to as her end of September Update to residents, Adrien decried racism, highlighting the Breonna Taylor murder during a mistaken police drug raid, asked for the advance of police reform and equity “even though I get backlash because it is crucial to have uncomfortable conversations to change what we have going in Everett.”
In public and private conversations, the mayor and some of her council colleagues, have complained that Adrien is not suitable as an Everett voice because she doesn’t carry the party line.
As the first woman of color to serve on the Everett City Council, Adrien has been blazing a trail all of her own during her first nine months in office.
Her conversations about racism in the public forum have not sat well with her colleagues, or the mayor, who has distanced himself from her and who basically excludes her from city debates, celebration and announcements he tries to manipulate and control.