City Council Honors Community Change-makers at City Hall

Around 20 members of the local community gathered at City Hall on Monday, Feb. 25, for the meeting of the Chelsea City Council.

On the agenda for Monday night’s meeting was a ceremony to honor individuals in the Chelsea who have made a difference to their community.

The first to be recognized Dr. Alfred Donatelli, the chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass/Lowell. The City Council chose to honor Dr. Donatelli for “his many contributions in the world of Science and Engineering.”

Dr. Donatelli is a proponent of STEM education, which focuses on educating students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. He was  featured in the Record earlier in the week for a STEM education demonstration he gave at the Chelsea Public Library.

A group of six individuals were also given the Chelsea Trailblazer 2019 Award: Bruce Mauch, Grace Muwina, Saritin Rizzuto, Lisa Santagate, Record Editor Cary Shuman and Leroy Tyler. In celebration of Black History Month, the annual Chelsea Trailblazer award is bestowed on individuals who have made positive contributions to their local community through demonstrated commitment and service. Shuman was out of town, but the remaining five recipients received awards from City Council and also posed for photos with family and City Council members.

City Council Clerk Paul Casino called award recipients “a beacon of light for all those who want to follow in their footsteps.”

When the floor was opened to members of the public to speak, Joan Cromwell, the President of Chelsea Black Community (CBC), shared her thoughts about Black History Month.

“Black History is not only for Blacks. It’s American history and it’s a part of our history right here in the city,” said Cromwell. “We’re all dealing with the same issues every day, so it’s a shared month that we should all be celebrating together as a community.”

Longtime Chelsea resident Beverly Martin Ross spoke next, adding, “We really appreciate our City Manager as well as our newly appointed [Representative] Ayanna Pressley, who came out to serve the homeless in honor of Black History Month.”

“I just want to give all the praise to the Chelsea Black Community for the work they put in every year creating events all month long,” said City Council President Damali. “There’s a lot of history here in the community that’s rich and I appreciate all the work that goes into keeping the black history alive here in the community. You guys are the real heros.”

A final Black History Month event was hosted on Thursday, February 28, at the Williams Middle School, where keynote speaker Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins honored the Chelsea Trailblazers.

The next City Council meetings will be held at Chelsea City Hall on March 11 and March 25 at 7pm.

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