Making a positive difference
I was reading the paper last week as I normally do, when I happened to come across an editorial by a former city councillor. The small article criticized a colleague of mine, but more importantly he called out the younger members of the elected bodies in Chelsea and questioned their contributions to the City.
I am here to tell you that there are numerous young elected officials in the city who are here to make a positive difference. I myself am a coach for the Little League, the collective bargaining representative for Chelsea Public Schools, and a member of the board of directors for a non-profit here in Chelsea (Y.Y.A.C). Other city councillors and School Committee members (who will not be named) are also coaches, started sports leagues of their own, and are up and coming professionals in the education field. In my opinion, we as young elected officials are committing more to this city than ever before.
I would also like to make another point clear. When an elected official steps into public, they represent their district and the city. If I was not so afraid of flying maybe I would go to Europe and gain Chelsea some recognition. We as young elected officials need to pave the way for those younger than us, and broaden the horizons for our elders. We need to be true leaders, holding the doors of opportunity open for the rest of our community, and I think we are doing that here in Chelsea.
So, in response to the negative rhetoric I have heard. I, your District 5 School Committee member, am here to say that this year let’s keep the elections clean, and issue based. We all work too hard to start slinging mud around so early in the season. We’re all here to serve Chelsea, and we should be focusing on that.
In an April 27 Letter to the Editor, my former opponent for the District 5 council seat made several false allegations about me and my work as a city councilor. Because of this, I’d like to set the record straight for my constituents.
I had the honor to serve as a delegate for the United States on two separate occasions in Taiwan and Brussels. The Taiwan delegation mission was to enhance diplomatic relations, while the Brussels Forum was an invitation by the German Marshall Fund to represent Chelsea and Massachusetts in a public policy best practices exchange with leaders from across the US and Europe. I also took part in a training sponsored by NALEO that was designed to assist government officials with the complex nature of Emergency Management in today’s ever changing world.
All three of these events were at no cost to the City of Chelsea and were fully disclosed to the City Clerk. I was selected to be part of the delegations, and both international programs were funded by reputable entities – The German Marshall Fund and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. NALEO and State Farm covered all the expenses associated with the seminar at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Although not required to attend these programs, I did so on my own time and was proud to be introduced as a Chelsea City Councilor raising our city’s profile on the international stage, expanding Chelsea’s social capital, and bringing home innovative policy approaches that have been applied successfully in other localities. These educational experiences have and will continue to enhance my ability to serve our city.
I am proud of the accomplishments of this council including the passage of the wage theft ordinance, being awarded green community designation, among other progressive legislation. As the District 5 Councilor, you can find me at the Re-imagine Broadway community workshops, teaching an apprenticeship at the Browne Middle School, Council meetings and subcommittee meetings. As an elected official, I would hope that we focus on uniting our community to face the current and future challenges of our residents, rather than stoop to the level of mudslinging with false statements against one’s character.