We taught the people
The news is punctuated by mass shootings.
We have taught people:
- You can be anything you want to be (“Be all you can be!”) and
- There is no right and wrong.
And we have devalued human life – over 50 million abortions since the US Supreme Court legalized abortion (Jan. 22, 1973). What were we expecting?
Ideas have consequences.
(The following is a Letter to the Boston Globe in response to the Article “As Chelsea begins to Blossom, struggles remain” by Katie Johnston, on The Sunday Globe January 17, 2016.)
The Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, through its collective membership, voices its concern to the article written on Sunday January 17, 2016 and is saddened yet remains hopeful in Chelsea’s future. The article writes about the social problems we face and with it the perception of a community in disarray and people are moving out or not partaking of the civic life while residing here.
While we do not argue that the social problems inherent in our city are not real, we do argue we are not alone in this, and that we, as a community, are thoroughly committed and involved in the solution to this very complex problem.
The first element in responding to a crisis is the recognition of the problem, and we are very cognizant that our City is at a crossroads, in transition, and the atmosphere is filled with optimism at new leadership arising from the ashes of a long maligned past, and while we recognize that for every three steps forward there will invariably be two steps backwards.
The Globe does a less than fair treatment of the efforts past and present made by the civic leaders of our city, Jay Ash, former City manager and now the State’s Secretary for Housing and Economic Development under the Baker Administration; and now City Manager Tom Ambrosino currently implementing new programs and continuing the work started by Mr. Ash. Mr. Ambrosino is working alongside business leaders and its unifying voice, the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the new leadership at City Hall with the election of new Council members, The Chelsea Police Department, Emergency Management Services, local religious leaders such as San Lucas Episcopal Church, and vested social service members such as the Lewis Latimer Society, Chelsea Collaborative, The Neighborhood Developers, CAPIC, MGH, ROCA, Bunker Hill Community College, and many others have already put together our collective diligence and efforts in order to affect the kind of change that will maintain the current growth and vitality that Chelsea citizens deserve. Chelsea exhibits vibrancy in its downtown area, which creates energy in commerce, education and civic life not seen elsewhere. This energy, along with the collaborative efforts of the community partners, will bring a new future to Chelsea.
Mr. Ambrosino correctly indicates that the importance in investing significantly in the aesthetic, infrastructure and traffic components of civic life is essential notwithstanding existing social problems. Ambrosino has certainly achieved this in his former position as Mayor of the City of Revere. We continue to support him and applaud his efforts.
Chelsea is a City that has faced its share of adversity: two conflagrations that destroyed significant portions of the City; bankruptcy, State receivership and a new City charter; and now the drug epidemic, which is affecting many communities across the state and the nation. But there is one constant that we’ve held throughout our history: Chelsea always bounces back!! The high level of social capital held by city residents and its institutions is what strengthens this community. Diversity and tolerance evidenced in the City schools, in the neighborhoods, in the local businesses, our churches, the collaboration of community-based organizations and by the City government is why we received the “All America City” awards both in 1998 and 2014.
There are numerous success stories here that could be included to provide an accurate balance to the story. Your article, uneven in your focus on our challenges and leaving out our achievements, serve as the collective kick in the behind to get us all community partners on the same page, with a sense of having been let down by your story, but unified in a common purpose of tackling the social and civic problems of a city we call our home. More importantly, we are always open to ideas.
Sergio M. Jaramillo, president
Chelsea Chamber of Commerce
Help Us End Litter: Join the Great Massachusetts Cleanup
So far, the amount of snowfall this winter is nowhere near the levels we experienced last year. While this is good news for municipal snow removal budgets across Massachusetts, the lack of snow is bad news for anyone who enjoys a break from seeing the litter that has piled up along our roadsides.
Unfortunately, litter has become a serious problem all over our state. Trash along our major highways, suburban streets, in small wooded areas, and along secluded country roads is not only ugly, but it sends the message that Massachusetts doesn’t care much about its appearance. For a state that relies on tourist dollars to fuel a large portion of its economy, this makes little sense.
Rather than simply accepting the dreadful appearance of the state’s roadsides and public lands, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is urging residents, government leaders, and business owners to take action by participating in the Great Massachusetts Cleanup this spring.
We’re seeking local Cleanup Coordinators who will step up and help organize community litter cleanups on April 23 (the day after Earth Day). Our goal is to mobilize 10,000 volunteers across the entire state. We are also seeking business owners who are interested in becoming financial sponsors for the Great Massachusetts Cleanup.
The Great Massachusetts Cleanup provides an opportunity for people to get out with their neighbors, friends, family, or co-workers and improve their community’s appearance. It’s also a chance for students and others to earn community service hours. I urge anyone who would like to make our state a more beautiful place to live or visit to get involved.
While April may seem like a long way off, now is the time to get organized and start planning. For more information about the Great Massachusetts Cleanup, please visit www.keepmassbeautiful.org, email [email protected], or call 508-320-8621.
Stonehill College Student & Intern
Keep Massachusetts Beautiful