Women’s Commission Members Sworn In

The inaugural members of the new Chelsea Women’s Commission were officially sworn in at Monday night’s city council meeting.

Established last March, the Chelsea Women’s Commission represents an intentional, dedicated space for women’s and girls’ advancement. The Commission will respond to women’s and girls’ needs and assess the status of women in our city.

It will also offer recommendations to the City Manager and City Council and suggest policies that address the critical needs of Chelsea’s residents.

Sworn in on Monday night were Jenny Melguizo, Emily A. Chadbourne, Xianna Portillo, Lourdes Alvarez Silva, Deborah Washington, Zaida V. Ismatul Oliva, and Keila Lorbes.

“This marks a significant milestone for females in our community of all ages, young girls and older women that are either seeking support for higher and better opportunities or facing challenging times,” said Council President Norieliz De Jesus. “This commission has been in the works for a long time, and there are sister councilors who are not here right now who worked hard to make sure this dream would come true. We also have our current city manager (Fidel Maltez) who we are deeply grateful to for leading these efforts.”

Maltez noted that he did not start the work to begin the women’s commission, but that it was his honor to see it through.

“This work, as the council president said, was begun over a year ago,” said Maltez.

The city manager said his office received numerous applications from those looking to serve on the commission.

“By far, it is the most applications that we have ever received in the city of Chelsea,” said Maltez. “I believe it shows how important these issues are to our community.”

While not every candidate was chosen to serve on the women’s commission, Maltez said it is open to all who want to attend and participate.

“We need every member of the community to participate in these issues,” he said. “These issues are comprehensive and they are systemic in many ways, and we need all hands on deck.”

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