Kiaralis, Mike, and Sara Sandoval attended the 40th Anniversary of Chelsea TND where Mike was awarded as Chelsea member of the year. TND celebrated 40 years as an organization founded in Chelsea, and also celebrated their outgoing Director Ann Houston and their incoming Director Rafael Mares.
As The Neighborhood Developers (TND) celebrates its 40th year in existence, the Chelsea-based organization is poised to announce its new director, Rafael Mares, at a celebration function tonight, May 31.
Rafael Mares, formerly of the Conservation Law Foundation,
will step in as the new executive director of TND in Chelsea, Revere and Everett. He replaces long-time director Ann Houston who has moved over to lead a collaborative organization between TND and Nuestra Communidad in Roxbury.
Mares is a Revere resident and will replace 15-year director Ann Houston – who will be moving on to a new collaboration project between TND and Nuestra Communidad in Roxbury. Houston will also be honored at the event May 31.
Mares has been working at the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) in the fields of housing, environmental justice and transportation – often working in the Chelsea, Revere, Everett area that TND serves.
“My work has always been on the state and regional level,” he said. “From time to time I had the opportunity work with Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in Somerville and Lawrence. I really enjoyed partnering with CDCs…So, I was particularly attracted to running a CDC in my own community of Revere…I always felt particularly excited about working on issues where I live.”
Part of the celebration will be to mark the creation of 400 affordable housing units in four years at TND, but Mares said he wants to do the same in much less time.
“My goal is to continue that good work, but speed it up,” he said. “We need to be working to do what we did in 40 years in a shorter time period. We need to be able to do that same thing in seven years…I think Greater Boston has seen significant growth and there has been pressure on people who have become displaced from housing…I feel in Chelsea, Everett and Revere – unlike downtown Boston – we still have opportunities for affordable housing unlike other areas where it’s rare. It’s extremely important to develop affordable housing before the opportunity is missed.”
Mares moved to Boston in 1996 to attend law school. After that, he worked at the Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain for 10 years. Then he went to CLF. He now lives in Revere with his family, including three young children. Incidentally, his home in Beachmont Revere burnt down last February, and he is living temporarily in Winthrop until the home there is rebuilt.
Houston said Mares is a great follow-up for what she did, and she challenged him to speed up affordable housing development.
“I think maybe he can do even better,” she said. “I’m going to challenge him to do that much development in six years.”
CLF President Bradley Campbell wished Mares well and said he is very capable.
Rafael has been a steadfast advocate for healthy communities across New England,” said Campbell. “His work ensuring equitable access to the MBTA and fighting for environmental justice in places like Lawrence, Massachusetts will have a lasting impact on countless lives. All of us at CLF will certainly miss his energy and the passion he showed for his work over the last nine years.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is looking forward to working with him.
“I’m excited for TND and have a great deal of respect for Rafael,” he said. “He was a tremendous advocate at CLF. I feel he’s capable, straight forward and helpful. I’m looking forward to him taking on this new role.”
For Houston, she will be moving on to head up a new collaboration called OppCo, which offers services to CDCs – with the founding collaborators being TND and Nuestra.
She said there are a lot of things that can be done to scale, such as some services and administration of CDCs. However, she said they are looking to create something that keeps the power local and keeps the local touch in place while also saving money on combining services.
“The challenge we face is our work grows increasingly complex and to be efficient, we need greater scale,” she said. “You see savings, but you can lose that local connection. That connection is our most precious resource and we can’t lose that. TND has always been an organization that didn’t do well having to make a choice…OppCo is the answer to how we can do both.”
She said some of the services could include financial management, real estate development, asset management, residential services, data analysis.
“We hope OppCo becomes something that allows CDCs to increase capacity to serve local communities without sacrificing that local connection,” she said. “We’re encouraged by the excitement it’s received from CDCs so far.”
OppCo was in the planning stages all last year, and was launched officially on April 1.
The TND 40th Anniversary Gala and Annual Meeting will take place tonight, May 31, at 6 p.m. in the Homewood Suites in Chelsea. The guest speaker will be Congressman Michael Capuano, with honorees being Mike Sandoval (partner of the year), Inocencia Perez (volunteer of the year) and Jan Dumas (Revere member of the year).
Alisha Mojica and Rafael Otero show off their best prom attire at the Chelsea High prom in the Cambridge Hyatt Regency on Saturday,May 19. The Class of 2018 was ready to dance the night away.
It was early in the morning on Sunday, around 2:40 a.m., and Officer Ed Marchese was at the front desk when a resident came into the station and requested help.
Quick to the ready, Marchese came out into the lobby to speak with the individual.
As Marchese stood only a few feet from him, the despondent man suddenly took out a serrated knife and began to brandish it threateningly.
“This is for you,” he yelled and came at Marchese.
Marchese immediately drew his weapon, but restrained from shooting. Before the individual could reach him with the knife, he was able to retreat into the locked desk area.
Marchese and Officer Rafael Rijos alerted the station of the attack and secured two tasers for their safety. They entered the lobby to talk with the man and hopefully de-escalate the situation, and were joined by Sgt. Mike Nee.
The individual told them he wanted them to shoot him and planned to attack them so they would kill him – what has become known as ‘Suicide by Cop.’
“During about five minutes of conversation the subject repeatedly stated that he wanted the police to shoot him and that he did not want to live any longer,” read the police report. “He stated that he was a drug abuser and wanted to quit but he could not get any help. Sergeant Nee observed that most of the time he had the knife at his side pointed in a downward position. As he became more adamant and demanding that Officers shoot him, he suddenly repositioned the knife so he was holding it so as to be able to strike downward with it.”
When another attack seemed imminent, Sgt. Nee deployed his taser and hit the individual in the upper torso area, causing him to fall to the ground. When ordered to drop the knife and comply, Jaulin still refused and Nee activated the taser once again, but didn’t need to deploy it.
He finally complied and was handcuffed.
Paramedics from Cataldo Ambulance were summoned to treat him and noted that there were rope marks on his neck.
“He then told the paramedics that he had tried to hang himself earlier that day but the ‘rope broke,’” read the report.
He was issued a Section 12 mental illness examination and will be summoned to Chelsea District Court for Assault by Means of a Deadly Weapon on a Person Over 60.
Chief Brian Kyes praised the work of the officers in de-escalating the situation and not reacting with deadly force. He said officers have to be ready for anything in today’s world, even people who want police to kill them in the dead of night inside the Police Station.
“I want to personally acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and exceptional calm and restraint exhibited by officers Ed Marchese, Rafael Rijos and Sergeant Mike Nee in de-escalating an extremely volatile situation that could have easily resulted in grievous bodily injury or had deadly consequences to either the officers involved or the Emotionally Disturbed Subject had it not been for the actions and the measured response of these brave officers,” said Kyes. “Continuous training for what seems like an endless stream of dangerous scenarios is at the core of our department mission which serves to both keep our community and Officers safe while controlling every critical encounter by utilizing the least amount of force necessary depending on the circumstances that are present. Three of our brother officers and one misguided and extremely troubled individual will go home to their families because of the heroic actions of these fine Chelsea officers.”