The award presented to the City of Chelsea for being recognized as an All-American City this past weekend in Denver truly represents a milestone in the long history of our community.
Under the direction of our great City Manager, Jay Ash, and with the invaluable assistance of community leaders such as Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson, City Council President Matt Frank, School Committee members Rosemarie Carlisle, Jeannette Velez, and Carlos Rodrigues, Gladys Vega of the Collaborative and Juan Vega of Centro Latino, and Molly Baldwin of ROCA, Chelsea showed what can be accomplished when all facets of a city’s fabric — from the schools to the police to the courts to City Hall to private businesses to civic-minded organizations — are woven together to form a united front to solve the deeply complex problems that are facing so many of our municipalities, both big and small, all across America.
When you read about the community-based programs that impressed the judges and gave Chelsea the winning edge, it is clear that there was no “silver bullet” that made us an All-American city, other than this: It took a lot of people, with a lot of different ideas, who truly care about their city and neighbors, working TOGETHER, that earned us the honor of being declared an All-American City.
In a larger sense, for those of us who have been observers of the city for our entire lives, we always have believed Chelsea to be an All-American city. We mean that comment in this sense: There is probably no place anywhere over the past 125 years that has been more representative of what America is all about than our 1.8 square miles where people from the most diverse and divergent races, nationalities, ethnicities, and religions have melded, lived together, and overcome their common problems for generations. Simply stated, the story of Chelsea is the story of America.
We are immensely proud of Chelsea’s designation as an All-American city and we offer our congratulations and thanks to those whose untiring effort, ingenuity, and compassion for our fellow citizens played a role in winning this prestigious award.