Councillor Punts on Residency Ordinance, Sent to Committee

Councillor Punts on Residency Ordinance, Sent to Committee

Just when it appeared that Councillor Giovanni Recupero might finally get a version of his long-sought-after residency ordinance passed on Monday, the votes quickly disappeared – causing him to have to pull the measure before the vote and send it to a Committee on Conference.

“Why are these councillors so opposed to it?” he asked. “Everett has it. Boston has it. Revere has it. Everyone has it, but we don’t because some councilors say we’re wasting our energy and wasting our money. In the end, the people want this. Everett is 2.4 sq. miles and they have it. That’s only a little bigger than we are. If it’s good enough for me to live here, it should be good enough for the police…It’s good enough for these councilors to ask for the people’s vote and say they will represent the people, but then they do this and don’t represent the people right. I speak to my constituents all the time. This is what the constituents want.”

Recupero had ordered two weeks ago that the City Solicitor’s Office draft a residency ordinance that would go into effect on April 1 and would be for only new hires of the Police and Fire Departments. Any new hire would have to live in Chelsea for five years after being hired. Currently, any new police officer or firefighter gets preference in hiring if they’ve lived in Chelsea one year before applying.

There is, however, no residency requirement.

Recupero has been pushing some form of a residency requirement for about four or five years. On Monday, he seemed to be at the brink of getting something passed.

With only eight councilors in attendance, the votes seemed like they might line up. However, as discussion went on, he lost some key votes and was going to only end up with three or four in the affirmative.

That’s when he decided to pull his request for a roll call and send the matter to a Committee on Conference.

Part of the problem was that many were confused by what the new ordinance would cost – as it would require the City Manager to collective bargain the new provision with the Police and Fire Unions. That would mean to get the new work condition – meaning the residency requirement for new hires – exisiting police and fire would have to be paid more money contractually.

“I think the situation deserves a little more attention and discussion,” said Councillor Luis Tejada, who has supported the idea in the past.

Councillor Calvin Brown, who filled in as Council president on Monday due to President Damali Vidot being ill, spoke on the matter and said he couldn’t support it.

“I don’t think I’m ready to vote on this or have enough information from the unions,” he said.

Councillor Judith Garcia said she believed that focusing energy and money on residency was a waste of time.

“If our main focus is to have some of our own in the Police Department and Fire Department, the we should focus our attention on recruitment,” she said.

The matter was sent to a Committee on Conference.

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Treasurer Deb Goldberg Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign for State Treasurer

Treasurer Deb Goldberg Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign for State Treasurer

With the crowd overflowing from the room, State Treasurer Deb Goldberg kicked off her re-election campaign last night.  Goldberg, who was introduced by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, spoke of how her principles and values have guided her tenure as State Treasurer.

“Economic stability, economic opportunity, and economic empowerment are the values I was raised with and what guides my work as your State Treasurer,” Goldberg told the crowd. “I am proud of what we have accomplished and am excited to continue to work for the people of Massachusetts as your Treasurer.”

In introducing Goldberg, DeLeo said, “Deb understands that the role of the Treasurer’s office is not just about dollars and cents; it is about making people’s lives better.  The programs she has created have had a positive impact for our children, our families, our veterans and seniors across this Commonwealth. Deb Goldberg has made good on all the promises she made when she ran, and she has truly made a difference in people’s lives.”

DeLeo continued, “Massachusetts is lucky to have Deb Goldberg as our Treasurer. I know she can and she will do even more for our Commonwealth and our residents in the future.”

Since taking office in January of 2015, Deb Goldberg has brought a commonsense business approach to the management of the treasury’s various offices.  Leading on initiatives that include wage equality, increasing diversity, and expanding access to financial education, she has also helped families save for college, protected the state’s pension fund and developed programs for veterans and seniors.  For more information, contact Treasurer Goldberg’s campaign at

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MGC says Wynn Organization Did Not Inform Them of Settlement

MGC says Wynn Organization Did Not Inform Them of Settlement

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Wednesday, Jan. 31, held a special hearing into the allegations against Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn – a Massachusetts gaming licensee – and said they were not told of the 2005 private settlement, while at the same time urging fairness and speed in the investigation.

The one-hour hearing was unique in that it was one of about three government-level hearings now going on internationally, with others now underway in Nevada and Macau (China). Another is going on privately within the Wynn organizations by a Special Committee of the Board of Directors.

Chair Steve Crosby led off the meeting by saying that the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) would not rush to judgment or impugn anyone.

“Before we begin, I’d like to reiterate that we have a shared sense of urgency about this serious matter, but careful diligence must be a top priority,” he said. “The stakes are enormous and many lives are involved— from the lives of the women allegedly abused, to the lives of men and women in Everett now building the project, to the senior executives and board members of Wynn Resorts. We will get this right and we will get it right as quickly as we can.”

He finished the meeting by saying he wants a very open investigation so the people know what happened.

“The people of Massachusetts have the right to know what the hell happened here with no punches pulled,” he said. “Having to hold back things ifs something this Commissioner will not look favorably on.”

The MGC announced last Friday after the allegations surfaced that they would initiate an investigation in their IEB division. On Wednesday, the first volley of that investigation was launched.

Somewhat of a revelation was when IEB Director Karen Wells said Wynn Resorts or Steve Wynn never told anyone in 2013 about the $7.5 million settlement associated with the recent allegation of sexual harassment by a Wynn hotel manicurist in Las Vegas.

“I corroborated that information with counsel for Wynn Resorts who confirmed that there was in-fact a settlement and that it was not disclosed to investigators upon advice of counsel,” said Wells. “She also confirmed that the settlement itself was not part of any court action or litigation and that no lawsuit was filed at any time.  There were no court documents filed that could have been identified in the course of the investigation.  This was a private agreement and steps were taken to keep it from the public domain. The circumstances around this $7.5M settlement and the decision not to disclose it to investigators remain a critical element of this review.”

For the commissioners, there was a sense of seriousness, but also one of attentiveness. No one wanted to engage in something unfair to Wynn or anyone else.

“The single most important thing at this stage is to get control of the facts by figuring them out as quickly as possible,” said Commissioner Lloyd MacDonald. “I urge you to be scrupulously diligent and work with speed, thoroughness and objectivity. That will be key.”

Wells said she had no idea how long the investigation would take as they have just embarked on it.

“It’s hard to give a timeline because once you start conducting interviews, it could lead you in many different directions,” she said.

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Chelsea Black History Month Activities to Start Today, Feb 1

Chelsea Black History Month Activities to Start Today, Feb 1

Several Chelsea organizations are pulling together this year to sponsor an entire month’s-worth of events around Black History Month, and the events will kick off tonight, Feb. 1, at City Hall with a presentation on the Latimer Society.

“It’s a very, very well put together program and it’s put together by a collaborative effort of many folks and organizations,” said Joan Cromwell of the Chelsea Black Community (CBC). “A lot of us came together and we’ve scheduled a great program for February. It went well last year, but this year we wanted it to be even more exciting.”

Those involved include Salma Taylor and Bea Cravatta of the City, the Latimer Society, Bunker Hill Community College, CAPIC, Chelsea Cable, the People’s AME Church, City Manager Tom Ambrosino, the CBC, and many local residents.

Kicking things off will be Ron and Leo Robinson of the Latimer Society.

Other highlights include a Taste of Culture Cook-Off on Feb. 19 at La Luz de Cristo at 738 Broadway.

There will also be an intergenerational open mic night, an art exhibit, and an evening of performing arts.

Cromwell said at the end of the month, they will have a celebration at the Williams School.

Within that, they will present eight Trailblazer Awards. Those receiving awards will be:

  • John Lee, martial arts Hall of Fame
  • Joanne Lee-Nieves, educator
  • Sharon Caulfield, dean Bunker Hill
  • Daniel Cruz, Cruz Construction
  • Shaquor Sandiford, Village Talks
  • Eastern Salt
  • Gerry McCue, Chelsea Public Schools
  • Betty Boyd, Chelsea High retiree

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Plan, Wash Hands and Stay Healthy for the Holidays

Plan, Wash Hands and Stay Healthy for the Holidays

By Seth Daniel

The holidays present a unique month-long time of the year when people often can find themselves in a much different pattern than during the rest of the year. Such changes can often lead to unhealthy behaviors or illnesses – and triggers for those struggling with overeating disorders or substance use disorders.

Going into the holidays with a plan and a watchful eye – from the dinner table to the kids’ toys – is a necessity.

To learn how to stay healthy during this unique time of year, why not ask the best?

Dr. David Roll, a primary care physician for all ages and the medical director at the CHA Revere and CHA Everett Primary Care practices, was recently named on of the region’s Top Doctors in the Boston Magazine December issue. The annual list looks at top doctors in every specialty and in primary care as well.

Roll said he is fortunate to have a good team around him, and that is crucial in medical care delivery.

“I’m very fortunate to have a great team in Cambridge Health Alliance and at our clinics in Everett and Revere, with a great range of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and other staff to help improve the health of our communities,” he said. “Medicine today is a team sport and there are no top doctors without top teams.”

From the area’s Top Doctor, here are some things to watch for on the holidays as it relates to one’s health.

Q: Many people find it hard to stay healthy over the holidays. There are numerous flus, colds and other maladies that are brought into parties and celebrations. What are the best precautions to take over the holidays?

A:  I make sure everyone in my family gets a flu shot and I advise all my patients to do the same. It’s not possible to get the flu from the shots we use today. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the kids and grandparents in your family, who could end up in the hospital if they get the flu from you. Also, cover your cough and wash your hands frequently – simple but important.

 Q:  Food and the holidays are literally tied at the hip. For a lot of people, keeping to a diet or keeping a healthy eating pattern is difficult. What do you recommend?

A:  It’s all about balance. If you’re snacking more during the day, take a small plate for dinner. If you’re planning for a big holiday meal, eat light and drink lots of water throughout the day. If you want to try everything, take a bite or two of each dish.

 Q:  Everyone always talks about post-holiday depression. Is that really a thing? If so, how can people prepare for it and do they need to?

A:  I think it’s real. Sometimes people feel there’s nothing to look forward to after a long-awaited vacation and time with family. One solution is to schedule an event or a long weekend two or three weeks after the holiday – something else to look forward to. As the new year approaches, you might also want to think about scheduling your annual physical for 2018, to talk with your care team or schedule any health screenings that are overdue.

 Q:  Is it an old wives tale that one can get sick by going out in the cold without a hat and coat, or is there some medical soundness to that old claim?

A:  It’s mostly myth. Cold temperatures and dry air make a slightly more hospitable environment for some viruses in your nose and throat.  But colds are caused by viruses and the main reason people get more colds in the winter is spending more time indoors with other people.

 Q:  What are some of the common holiday-associated problems that patients have presented to you and your staff over the years?

A:  This time of year we see a lot of people worried about a persistent cough. Most people aren’t aware that the average duration of a cough is about 18 days. Usually it can be controlled with home remedies or over-the-counter medications, and it rarely requires antibiotics. At the CHA Revere Care Center, we offer sick visits Monday-Friday and Saturdays until 1 p.m., to help people who need to been seen for an illness.

Q:  Are there signs that parents should watch for in their children both before, during and after the holidays?

A:  Aside from the usual respiratory and stomach viruses, this is the time of year when food, fuel, and housing insecurity have their sharpest sting, and disproportionately affect our most vulnerable patients, especially the young and the old. For those who can, it’s a great time to think about donating to local food pantries and supporting the services that are most needed in the winter.

 Q:  Substance abuse can invade the holidays for some people. How do you address that with patients who struggle with substance use disorders?

A:  If you’re in recovery, make a party plan in advance for those high-risk or high-stress occasions:  Go late, leave early, and take a sober friend along. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The assistance you need may be as close as a friend, a coworker, your doctor’s office at Cambridge Health Alliance, or one of our partners in the community.

 Q:  There are a lot of toys and gifts that can be harmful or dangerous to children. Should parents think about toy safety over the holidays, or is that overdoing it?

A:  Well-meaning family and friends often give gifts that are not appropriate to a child’s age. Age limits are on toys for a reason, mostly to prevent younger children from choking on small parts. In the end, there is no substitute for parental supervision, especially with small children and small toys. Also, if you gift a bike or skateboard, buy the protective gear to go with it.

 Q:  What is your favorite holiday treat?

A:  I love date bars, just like my mother used to make. It’s one of those rich treats you have to balance with good eating, especially if you can’t resist a second trip to the dessert tray.

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Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Since I announced my candidacy for District 5 City Councillor, I have had the opportunity to speak and meet with many of you about your vision for the district. Each conversation has reminded me once again that our city’s greatest asset is our people.

Whether you live on Beacon, Ash, Cottage, Chester Avenue, or Lynn Streets, we all share a common commitment to doing everything we can to make our community and district stronger.

For over 20 years, I have lived here in our great city and district as a homeowner, and as a community activist, one that cares deeply in the direction that our city is heading.

As an activist along with other concerned residents, we were able to lower the speed limit in our city to 25 miles per hour. Also we were able to make our streets safer by working with City Hall and others to raise the streets to their highest levels to help combat the safety concerns of our residents. In addition I have been a strong advocate of a healthier and cleaner Chelsea. Having been a member of the Chelsea Enhancement Team, Chelsea Shines, and the Beautification Committee, and a supporter Green Roots,  the city is looking much better. The air quality is getting better, and both the homeowners and business owners are maintaining their properties better, all because of the commitment and hard work of concerned residents and myself.

Yes, there is still much more work to be done in our district. Being a current member for eight years on Planning Board, one of several of my concerns is to make sure that our residents are being forced out of their city that they have called home for many years. I also want to make sure that all new developments have fair and adequate affordable housing both at rental price and percentage of housing units.

With the recent Inclusionary Zoning Ordiance of 30, 50, 80, this will will help to insure housing for our residents. Being involved with the Re-Imaging process of the Downtown Business District, we are in desperate need of housing in this area. I will work hard to make sure that our city does not become an unaffordable city for those who choose to live here.

I will continue to make sure that City Hall and all departments are fiscally sound. I am committed to working with all departments, item by item, prior to and during the budget hearings. I will look to see where we able to save our residents money.

I am running because I want to be your voice at City Hall. As a district, we deserve a leader that is ready to work on Day 1. I am a person that is committed to the district and willing and able to vote with the residents that you are to serve.

District 5 deserves a councillor that wants to help lead our city and district. I believe that our city is on the verge of receiving amazing and wonderful opportunities. We as residents have an opportunity to grab this moment and move forward stronger together. This is why as District 5 city councillor, I will be committed to helping to continue rebuilding our city, preparing and giving our youngest residents the tools they need to succeed in their future goals. I will never stop working for you as a resident and as your city councillor.

If you believe in this vision for our city’s future – one of working together, growth, affordable housing, cleaner and safer neighborhoods, and preparing our future leaders – then I hope you will consider becoming part of our campaign.

Please vote for Henry David Wilson on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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DACA Should be Kept

DACA Should be Kept

By Joana of Citizen Schools

Have you heard anything about DACA and/or DAPA?  DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA is an American immigration policy founded by the Obama administration in June 2012. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents sometimes called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, is a planned American immigration policy to grant deferred action status to certain undocumented immigrants. DAPA and DACA give immigrants opportunities such as employment, but there are some downsides to DACA and DAPA that affect many immigrants. DACA and DAPA programs do too little to protect undocumented immigrants while allowing them to legally stay in the US because their rights can be easily taken away and they don’t know if they can get citizenship. But others, like Republicans think that immigrants get too much support because there is too much spent on the immigrants.

 The first reason that DACA and DAPA programs do too little to protect undocumented immigrants because their rights can be easily taken away. Trump wants to impact immigrant’s lives in a negative way, “…striking Obama’s executive action on immigration are among his top priorities according to Trump’s 10-point plan to put America first,” (Chicago Sun-Times). This shows that at any given moment, Trump might announce that he will remove these programs unexpectedly, impacting many immigrants. The American Immigration council says, “As of December 31, 2015, over 700,000 young people have received DACA, broadening their educational opportunities,” showing that amount of immigrants lives can get impacted if the government takes DACA away. This country uproars with stereotypes against Hispanics that are either documented or not, but some citizen don’t really take in Hispanics opinions due to stereotypes about them not getting information or they are known as illegal and they don’t know what they are saying.

In addition, many citizens think that undocumented immigrants are criminals and many other stereotypes like all immigrants are lazy or they can’t afford a ‘proper home’. According to Pew Research Center, “About eight-in-ten (79%) say immigrants are a burden because they take jobs, housing and health care, while only 14% believe immigrants strengthen the U.S. because of their hard work and talents,” (The Political Typology). Immigrants have a lot of rights thanks to DACA and DAPA, but they are supposedly not using it effectively. Citizens are not willing to expand the programs because citizens think that these programs aren’t used effectively by immigrants. Some citizens opinions is that immigrants are not as hardworking as expected and this connects to the main point because with what the citizens think and when they see immigrants not doing anything, that leads them making assumptions about immigrants. U.S. citizens contribute to the programs helping immigrants. Some immigrants use these rights and financial aid wisely, but some do not. Through DACA and DAPA, immigrants have rights like a permit to work that needs to be renewed every two years, and have protection from deportation. With these programs some citizens think immigrants have more rights than citizens themselves do. CNN reported that, “Texas, the only state whose standing was explicitly recognized by the court, specifically argued that the immigrants’ “lawful presence” would require the state to provide them with “state-subsidized driver’s licenses” and unemployment insurance.” This shows that in a political view, some people think the immigrants abuse what they are given such as driver’s licenses.

         DACA and DAPA also do too little for immigrants because health insurance is not included in the programs of the DACA and DAPA, in which health insurance is a very important benefit. In National Immigration Law Center it shows, “As noted above, DACA and DAPA grantees are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, except for emergency Medicaid services,” (MILC). Not having health insurance is very problematic to immigrants and citizens should be able to get help and understand what’s wrong with them, immigrants should be able to go to the doctor to check what’s wrong with them and prevent major illness. Everyone should be able to get the care they need regardless of who they are. While undocumented immigrants can get help in emergency situations, they should be able to have physicals or be treated for non-life-threatening illnesses like the flu.

Alternatively, some U.S. citizens think DACA and DAPA do too much for undocumented immigrants. These citizens are scared to provide this aid to immigrants because they believe it could potentially taking away aid from programs for citizens. Mark Krikorian,  Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “It’s an illegal program. The president, simply, has no authority to grant benefits to millions of people.” Citizens think that  it’s unfair because they’ve been in the country longer or they were born in the country and because of the hard word they’ve done, their tax money goes to undocumented workers instead of programs for them.

Overall, DACA and DAPA are programs that aim to give undocumented students and parents a better future. DACA and DAPA do too little for immigrants because the health insurance situation, many U.S. citizens stereotype immigrants as criminals, stereotype immigrants as criminals,”, and that immigrants’ rights are not secure under these laws. that immigrants’ rights are not secure under these laws.But some other people that disagree with DACA and DAPA because they do too much to protect the undocumented ones.  Many lives are in danger with this one decision.


DACA and DAPA support immigrants and give them a head start, but in today’s news, DACA is at risk of being terminated. According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, DACA and DAPA can disappear any day now because of the decisions of our government. Immigrants in this country depend on DACA and DAPA and feel miserable because the people who depend on this law feel powerless. If they take away DACA, then there might not be as many immigrants in the United States as there were before. This information worries a lot of families, including my friends’ families because they started a life in the United States and all of sudden it will be taken away like a mother snatching a lollipop from a kid who’s not allowed to have sugar. The potential removal of DACA is devastating because a lot of families are in danger of being separated.     I have friends who are immigrants, people I work with who are immigrants, and parents who are immigrants. We all grew up in Chelsea, a place that we struggle in and a town that we call home.

 I grew up in a small urban city called Chelsea in Massachusetts. Chelsea is a city of immigrants trying to make a great life with what they have.  It is the city “with the highest percentage of immigrants in the state. [Where] many residents hail from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.” (Boston Globe, 2016). DACA and DAPA help these immigrants to have a better homes than they did before they came to the United States and give them job opportunities. They have better electricity, cleaner water, and have better access to healthcare, even though they can’t get health insurance.  Immigrants want to create better homes for their kids and try to give them everything they want. Children of immigrants want to have access to education after high school, they want to go to college and pursue their dreams of being someone important in this world like a surgeon or a lawyer. They just want a better life. People that come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, etc. have struggles in their daily life back then and they want to benefit financially in the future in the U.S.

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Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

By Seth Daniel

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

As the moon began to pass in front of the Sun on Monday, Aug. 21, the line of people who wanted to get in on the Eclipse Party on City Hall Lawn began to grow and grow.

Soon, hundreds had gathered to witness the spectacle, far more than anyone had expected.

But it was a marvel that grabbed the attention of the nation, and Chelsea was no different in that hordes of people gathered to have fun on a beautiful Monday and see something quite unique.

For some of the hundreds that gathered at City Hall, they understood that it might be a once in a lifetime event. Only 63 percent of the Sun was blocked out in Chelsea, and another coast to coast event like Monday’s isn’t going to happen until 2040 – though a total eclipse will occur in New England in 2024.

“This isn’t going to happen again here until 2024 and I might not be alive to see another one,” said Naomi Zabot, who attended with her sister, Devra Zabot. “I’ve been talking about this for a long time. My grandparents came from Chelsea and we have roots in Chelsea. This is the place to see history like this.”

Ivonny Carrillo attends the Pioneer Charter School of Science, and said she is good at science but doesn’t necessarily like it. However, the one exception is astronomy. So it was that she and her entire family came to City Hall to make sure to get special glasses and a prime viewing spot.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” she said. “I don’t really like science, but I am good at it. Astronomy is about the only science I do like.”

Aimmi Velez said she simply enjoyed everyone coming out for a non-traditional event. It wasn’t a community meeting or a block party, but a natural event.

“I didn’t think I would see this in my lifetime,” she said. “I think it’s cool people wanted to come out and be together to look at this very unique natural occurrence. It’s interesting people wanted to be together to see it.”

The event at City Hall was put on by the Chelsea Public Library as part of a grant from NASA, and that partnership helped a lot to get people in the area interested in the eclipse.

Librarian Martha Boksenbaum has been preparing for the event for quite some time and was very excited to see everyone want to attend the Chelsea event. She said it gives some momentum to the other activities that will be included as part of the NASA partnership.

For the better part of 20 minutes, Milena Carvalho used her glasses to watch the movement of the moon across the Sun. She said it was a very patient and slow process.

“This was something I wanted my whole family to see,” she said, noting that her children, husband and mother were there. “It was really interesting to watch. It was like looking at a half moon, but instead it was a half Sun. That was very cool.”

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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Tours EBNHC

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Tours EBNHC

By John Lynds

EBNHC CMO Dr. Jackie Fantes and EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes present U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren with a gift.

EBNHC CMO Dr. Jackie Fantes and EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes present U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren with a gift.

Last week the Democrats had a huge victory as the U.S. Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obama Care. While there was much to celebrate as several Republicans, like Senator John McCain, cast votes against the Senate bill to repeal Obama Care, Senate Democrats like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren say the fight is ongoing and Obama Care is still under attack by many Republicans in the House and Senate.

Warren was back in Massachusetts Monday and toured the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, a place that long before Obama Care offered quality health care to people of all ages, races and backgrounds regardless of their ability to pay.

Warren toured both the Health Center’s Gove Street and Maverick Square facilities and ended her tour with a roundtable discussion where she heard from health care providers, patients and partners of EBNHC.

“I want to thank Senator Warren and her team for visiting the Health Center today,” said EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes. “We are so happy about the work she has done to help the lives of individuals that don’t have a voice but also her work to protect the Affordable Care Act and making sure people living in this country not only have access to coverage but access to high quality health care. On our door it says ‘All Are Welcome’ and we continue to provide service to anybody who walks through our doors regardless of their ability to pay and we have stayed true to that statement.”

Warren heard testimony from EBNHC different departments and programs that have helped improve the lives of countless residents in Eastie and the surrounding communities. Whether its the Health Center’s PACE program that helps seniors live at home independently, EBNHC highly successful pediatrics department and school based health care program to cutting edge metal health and substance abuse programs, Warren said she was beyond impressed with the team at the Health Center and the services they have been able to provide to thousands of low-income residents that would otherwise be left without stable health care.

Warren also heard from patients who have benefitted from EBNHC’s quality care and programs with one patient saying she passed up the chance to purchase a nice house for a good price north of Eastie because she feared her and her family would not get the same quality health care outside of the neighborhood.

For her part, Warren thanked the Health Center staff and board for being on the front lines and being a shinning example of everything that is right with quality affordable health care.

“I just wanted to come by today (Monday) and thank all of you,” said Warren. “An amazing thing happen last week. We were able to save health care for millions of Americans across the country. I just want to be clear that this has been a hard fight and we’ve been in this fight for a very very long time.”

Warren said the fight really began following Obama Care’s passage and then having to defend expanded health care coverage to millions of Americans day after day.

“When this year started we didn’t have the votes to stop the repeal but what we did have is people from all over this country that got into the fight including people like you from our Community Health Center,” said Warren. “You got into the fight in different ways. One of those ways was just by doing what you do every day and showing America that this is the way we can provide high quality health care to all of our people.”

When arguing on the Senate floor, Warren said she points to Community Health Centers as the shining stars of what works in the the health care industry.

“Every time I hear the arguments that costs are rising or things are not working I say ‘take a look at our Community Health Centers’,” said Warren. “EBNHC is one of the best examples of how affordable quality health care can be delivered to thousands of people every day.”

Warren said the Senate Republican’s failure to repeal Obama Care was a triumph for democracy.

“Enough people from across America said ‘health care is a basic human right, and we will stand up and fight for basic human rights’,” said Warren. “This is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue and I think that is powerfully important to realize.”

Over the national debate of whether or not to repeal Obama Care, Warren said something magical happened across America.

“America believes in health care coverage, maybe not everyone, but I think there has been a huge shift and people are seeing health care as a basic human right,” said Warren. “Also, in the first time in its 52 year existence we talked openly about Medicare. We put a human face on Medicare and talk about who gets Medicare and why they get Medicare and why Medicare is so important. People are realizing that Medicare is not about ‘some others’ but about all of us as human beings and it was important to talk about the faces of Medicare and the people that are touched by Medicare. I think now much of America has a better understanding not only of how health insurance affects our health care system but how Medicare and Medicaid are an equally important component of that system.”

In the end Warren said the fight to preserve Obama Care is not over.

“This fight is not over and it can come back at any moment,” said Warren. “There are still those across the country that want to fight to roll back health care coverage. We have to be vigilant and we can not move backwards or lose focus in this fight. People like Manny (Lopes), Senator (Joseph) Boncore and people from across Massachusetts have been in this fight and standing shoulder to shoulder by showing up at rallies, sending emails and texts and making calls. You’ve done everything to say I want my voice heard in this big national health care debate.”

“I came here today to just say it has been an honor to work alongside all of you,” she added.

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Former Councilor Will Not Run in District 7, Cannot Work with Current Council

Former Councilor Will Not Run in District 7, Cannot Work with Current Council

By Seth Daniel

Former District 7 City Councillor Clifford Cunningham announced this week that he will no longer be pursuing the seat he once occupied on the Council.

In an announcement to the Record on Wednesday morning, Cunningham – who had announced his intentions to run last month – said he has a new educational opportunity that will require more of his personal time, and he also doesn’t wish to work with the current Council minus retiring Councillors Dan Cortell and Paul Murphy.

In light of a new and long sought educational opportunity afforded to me, as well as deep concerns over the future of the City Council in light of recent retirement announcements, I am announcing my withdrawal from the race for City Councilor in District 7,” he said. “In my case, I am unable to dedicate the time the job deserves in light of a new career opportunity, nor do I believe I can work effectively with a City Council populated so heavily, with a few exceptions, by gross incompetence, a lack of preparedness, an unacceptable lack of knowledge on city government, and ethics one could best describe as questionable.

“I firmly believe one can not help people who do not want to help themselves,” he continued. “If a majority of the people of Chelsea are willing to settle for the representation they have received over the last two years solely because a majority of the Council is now made up of people who ‘look like them’ – as a racist campaign mailer in the last election argued for – it is deeply disappointing and does not auger well for the city’s future.”

Cunningham served on the Council for several years before losing to incumbent District 7 Councillor Yamir Rodriguez in the last election cycle – a cycle that was tarnished by the efforts of the Chelsea Collaborative’s Gladys Vega in mailings that encouraged voters to “Vote for the Latinos.”

That rubbed a number of the candidates and sitting councillors wrongly, and caused quite a stir – notably by Cunningham who took great exception to the literature circulated in his district, though not endorsed at all by his opponent, Councillor Rodriguez.

He said he has not been encouraged by the “new” Council over the past two years and hopes voters won’t settle for what he said is inexperience and negligence.

“Come January 2017, the City will lose at least 14 years of governmental experience, and I sincerely hope the residents of Chelsea look at the last two years – bickering between rival egos, political grandstanding, massive government borrowing, and a drive towards gentrification – and ask themselves: do we really have to settle for this?” he concluded.

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