Everett,  January 5, 2018

Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s 2018 Inaugural Address

[Editor’s Note: The Mayor’s 2018 Inaugural Address, delivered in the EHS Auditorium on Tuesday, January 2, is printed below in its entirety]

Good Evening and Thank You

Mayor Carlo DeMaria delivers his Inaugural Address on Tuesday, January 2. (Advocate photo by Brendan Clogston)

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Clergy, Family, Friends, and invited guests.

Thank you for being here tonight.

I want to start off by recognizing our special guest Governor Charlie Baker, who I am honored to have here with us tonight.

Governor- we are fortunate to have you, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and each of your cabinet secretaries, as true partners in progress as we work to move our city forward. The hard work of you and your administration, your interest in what is happening in our city, and your responsiveness to our priorities and concerns contributes in a very real way to the forward momentum that we see every day, and I want to thank you. (Applause)

I am of course honored to be here with our State Senator Sal DiDomenico, our State Representative Joe McGonagle, incoming Council President Peter Napolitano, outgoing Council President Anthony DiPierro, Superintendent Frederick Foresteire, as well as the members of our City Council and School Committee.

And a special thank you to my family.

To my wife, Stacy, thank you for being a wonderful partner, you not only support me in everything I do, but you are a tremendous supporter of our City. From the beautification of the City, to the rebuilding of the Shute Library, there is nothing you can’t do.

To my children Carlo, Caroline, and Alexandra, thank you for the support and love that you give to me. Being in the public eye can be difficult, especially for children.  I want the three of you to know that every day you make me proud to be your dad. (Applause)

To my parents who are here with me tonight, thank you for your guidance, support and love- all of my successes have been possible because of you.

To the residents of Everett, thank you for voting me in again as your mayor.  I am both honored and truly humbled by the confidence you have in my leadership.  I love this city and its people.  And I am truly excited and energized to continue to serve as your mayor.

I want to thank the City Council for continuing to be a great partner. You have been outstanding thought partners – both enhancing the ideas and initiatives generated from my office, and bringing your own perspectives and representing the unique voices of the people of Everett as well.

I also want to thank Anthony DiPierro for his tireless effort and commitment as council president this past year, your energy, passion and ideas have been an asset to us all.

And to Peter Napolitano, you have long been a dedicated and knowledgeable public servant, and I look forward to your council leadership.

Finally, I want to thank the members of my administration and the hundreds of city employees who make this city run smoothly. Your hard work is what makes our government work and your efforts – often above and beyond what is required of you – do not go unnoticed by me.

I recently created the Office of Organizational Assessment to create job performance standards for employees to ensure the most efficient and effective service to the residents of the City of Everett.  And to make sure that all employees receive the professional development they need to succeed.

Thank you all for ensuring that the wheels of government keep turning to deliver essential services to our residents, businesses and tourists.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this past year we celebrated the 125th anniversary of our great city with bonfires, parades and fireworks.

These celebrations were more than just pageantry; they represented our collective good fortune that we live in a city which, for 125 years, has been able to adapt to an ever changing economy.  From our earliest history when industries grew up along our waterways, to today, when Everett products travel around the world and Amazon delivers them.

Everett has long been able to capitalize on its natural environment, diverse people and cultures, and a strong entrepreneurial citizenry.

Last term, I worked hard to build a foundation so that we could control our own destiny as a city.

That foundation includes the planning work required to set us up for success and transformative development – such as completing the Lower Broadway Master Plan, the Everett Square Master Plan, the Everett Transit Study, the River’s Edge Market Analysis, the Open Space Recreational Plan, and the Malden River Vision Plan – plans that have resulted in action.

Wynn Resorts is now spending over $2 million dollars a day in our city – and once the resort opens we will be receiving $30 million dollars in annual payments to the city. I fought hard to bring the Wynn Resort here. Not only for the $2.4 billion dollar investment in our community, but for the possibilities that the resort brings to us.

Right now, 1,100 design and construction employees are working onsite and eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores each and every day.

Very shortly, these workers will be replaced with 4,500 permanent hospitality employees.

To make sure that our residents are ready for these jobs, we are establishing workforce development and training programs.

We are partnering with the Metro North Regional Employment Board, the Career Resource Center in Chelsea and the New England Center for Arts and Technology.

Starting this month, NECAT will bring its free Culinary Arts Job Training Program to Everett High School. The evening program will help unemployed and under employed adults prepare for a career in the culinary industry. This program provides students with extensive training and helps graduates secure permanent jobs.

Soon, Wynn Resorts will be opening a Career Center at City Hall to ensure residents can take advantage of new job opportunities at the new resort.

It just makes sense that we ensure we have a ready workforce in Everett, and access to these new jobs, given the tremendous opportunities and possibilities the Wynn Resort brings to our community.

Possibilities that I had long hoped would come to Everett, but what many others questioned.

10 years ago, even 5 years ago, if I had said that Everett would have and need a hotel like EnVision, most people would say I was crazy.

Today Envision is just the start of the hotels we will need and have – right here in Everett.

Just off of Route 16, in the Commercial Triangle, where we are soon to begin an urban renewal plan, a new luxury apartment complex is now being built at the old Harley Davidson Building- next door to the EnVision Hotel.

And, right nearby, the owners of Wood Waste are permitted for a 545-unit residential development. This redevelopment of the Wood Waste site will transform a controversial construction demolition facility into high-end housing. These two mixed-use transit oriented developments are located just blocks from new Silver Line station at Market Basket, which will open this year.

My goal is to extend the Silver Line from Chelsea to Sullivan Square- opening up a huge potential for development in Everett Square and lower Broadway.

In the Village neighborhood, we are supporting the breweries and distilleries with celebrations such as Villagefest that draw thousands of residents and visitors alike in the ultimate neighborhood block party. Events like these are fun, not only for our residents, but they attract newcomers and help to make Everett hip with a whole new generation of people. More and more visitors are discovering our emerging hospitality economy – and like us, they like what they see.

In Everett Square, we have attracted businesses like IT consulting firm NBI who selected Everett using an algorithm, or formula considering a number of important factors- which identified our community as the best place for them to locate and grow their business. They know how important a high quality of life is for attracting and retaining employees. Today, NBI is training Everett High students to be their next generation of employees working in the heart of Everett Square

And we are planning more improvements to the Square with new ornamental lighting, sidewalk cafes, parklets, public art and new development.

With the strong foundation that we have put into place – I know that many more NBIs will be knocking on our doors.

We are pleased to be working with the BSC Group on an urban renewal plan targeting blighted and abandoned properties in the heart of our city.  This plan emerges from the Everett Square Master Plan that was completed last year.  And we will implement many of those recommendations.

My goal is a revitalized Everett Square where you will no longer see vacant, blighted or abandoned properties but instead a vibrant, inviting downtown area where people live, work, shop, and enjoy any number of top-shelf urban amenities.

There are many new and exciting investments happening all around us.  But, I do not want to lose sight of what is most important – ensuring that Everett remains a diverse and welcoming city.

A city where young couples just starting out and retired seniors can live in dream homes.

A city where new arrivals can find safe, clean rental units as they start their dream of a better life in Everett.

A city where small and large businesses have a clear path for locating and growing here.

A city where quality of life concerns are a top priority of local government – and city departments work each day to address those concerns.

Every day I am out speaking to residents and business owners throughout the city – and there are three topics that come up in most conversations. Residents and businesses across the city are concerned about transportation issues, the cost and availability of housing, and the opioid crisis.

As Everett continues to grow and prosper, it is imperative that we create a shared vision for our city’s transportation future and provide affordable housing for our seniors.

Since the beginning of time, transportation networks have been the key to economic development and to quality of life.

It began with seaports, rivers and canals then moved onto railways, roads and airports and new technology.

The truth is, when transportation systems are efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities and better access to services, employment and investment opportunities.

However, when transportation systems are deficient or unreliable, they can lower your quality of life and result in missed business opportunities.

That is why we must focus on creating a transportation network that will serve us now and in the future.

I want to take a moment to thank Governor Baker and Transportation Secretary Pollack, for their efforts to help us here in Everett.

Not only did MassDOT pay for and produce the Everett Transit Study which identifies and prioritizes transportation projects in Everett, they also took the time to meet with me personally to discuss opportunities and impacts related to the Transit Study recommendations.

This type of accessibility and care about local issues is something I appreciate greatly.

We are only a couple of miles from downtown Boston, 12 minutes from Logan Airport.  But just try to get into Boston at 8 in the morning- you can literally walk there quicker, and by bike you would beat a car there every time.

Unfortunately, most people, including myself, drive into Boston by themselves spending thousands of dollars in gas, insurance, and car payments.

Despite our incredible growth, as mayor, I am concerned this auto-centric culture is limiting our potential- it is frustrating, expensive, inconvenient, and bad for our environment.

Because we are the only urban core community bordering Boston that is not linked into the transit system by rail, we must become more creative and innovative when it comes to transportation. And, we must do it now.

This past year we saw a sliver of what can be.

The Broadway dedicated bus-lane is successful – it has reduced travel time by 20 percent and it has become a national model for local innovation to improve transit. Boston recently replicated our successful dedicated bus lane.

And- we recently received a competitive grant from the Barr Foundation to install new raised boarding platforms to make it even easier for riders.

Also- we will be installing new state of the art traffic signal technology to prioritize buses at intersections to further reduce travel time.

But we must do more.

We need to expand the successful bus lane within the City of Everett and beyond.

Imagine a dedicated bus lane running from the Square One Mall in Saugus all the way to Sullivan Station in Somerville.

Imagine how much time could be reduced and how many commuter vehicles could be removed from the region with the help of our neighboring communities. This year I want to work with the state and local officials to explore this endeavor.

We can and we will build a local transportation system to augment the current MBTA.

Do you remember the old trolley system that once ran up and down Broadway? It was through a public-private partnership that the trolley system was developed and thrived in places like Everett.

Such partnerships are the key to revitalizing our transportation network.

We are currently working with a transportation planning firm to pool both municipal and private resources to re-establish a modernized trackless trolley transit system that will utilize our bus lanes, moving residents and visitors alike through our city easily and efficiently.

Soon, a local shuttle service could circle around Everett utilizing our express bus lanes to whisk you around the city and to the MBTA subway at Sullivan or Wellington stations.

Or drop you off at the Wynn Resort, where you could easily connect to the Assembly Row T station across a new pedestrian bridge.

By providing this service to our residents, workers and visitors, we will provide greater access to jobs, amenities, and local services.  So many cities with vibrant hospitality economies use these shuttles effectively, and we will too.

I know that change is hard, so we will work with developers to provide incentives for residents to ride transit, ride a bike, and utilize shared car services.

We must also not forget the importance of our transportation network for commerce. This past spring, the City was successful in petitioning the state to designate Beacham Street a Critical Urban Freight Corridor, opening the door to federal funding for reconstruction.

We are working with our neighbors in Chelsea to develop a design that will not only improve the flow of truck traffic down Beacham Street, but add pedestrian and bike lanes to this important corridor.

Looking beyond our borders, we are working with neighboring communities and the MBTA to secure major investments in the transit system to provide the regional connections we so desperately need.

Through our seat at the Lower Mystic Regional Working group, we have worked with the cities of Boston and Somerville to develop several options, including an extension of the MBTA Silver Line from Chelsea to Sullivan Square with potential stops in Everett Square, Commercial Triangle, and the Wynn Resort.

This would provide residents of Everett a fast one-seat ride to jobs in downtown Boston as well as the Seaport District and Kendall Square, and enable further re-development of the Commercial Triangle and Lower Broadway.

It is projected that extending the Silver Line in this manner would attract over 6,000 new riders and remove an equivalent number of vehicle trips from our local streets, reducing traffic congestion and improving our air quality.

We are committed to working together with our neighboring communities to ensure that this project is prioritized at the state and regional level.

We are also studying how a restored Orange Line to Everett could not only serve our residents, but also remove tens of thousands of cars from our regional roadways.

While we must be vigilant and proactive over the long term to realize these larger visions, there are a multitude of smaller transportation projects that are already improving the lives of Everett residents.

The Northern Strand community path is being upgraded to include a completed ramp to the Madeline English School, giving children a safe walkable route to school.

Next spring, construction will start to connect the path to all of the adjoining streets including Norman, Appleton and Parlin Streets, and new lighting and security systems will make the path safe and welcoming at all hours of the day.

Further extension of the path to the Wynn Resort and over the Mystic River to Assembly Row is being designed for construction as we speak, and will transform the regional bicycle and walking network, allowing residents throughout Everett and the North Shore to walk or bike to downtown Boston safely.

We are improving pedestrian safety in our residential neighborhoods and near our schools. Two raised intersections were constructed this past summer to calm traffic near the Maddie English and Webster Schools, with 3 more to be constructed in 2018.

Recently, at a neighborhood meeting, residents expressed a desire to improve and expand traffic calming measures.  I am looking forward to working with the Council on this priority in the coming year and making it a priority.

New flashing pedestrian signals have been installed at 4 main crosswalks down Broadway, with plans for others throughout the City in the coming year.

2018 will also see the launch of a bike-sharing program, giving low cost and convenient local transportation options to residents of all ages and abilities.

I want cars off of our roads, with traffic congestion a thing of the past, and active, healthy transportation like biking and walking prioritized.

The world’s leading urban planners tell us that cars have no future, and I believe them.

I want a smart transit system locally that is so easy and inexpensive to use, and so well integrated across our region, that people will clamor to use it.

Everett can no longer be a cut-through when the Tobin is backed up- unless you are using public transit.

Everett is quickly becoming the place to be.

With our thriving economy, new industries like our breweries, recreational facilities and growing businesses seeking good workers, we need to build housing that is affordable.

Affordable for the hipsters, the young families, new arrivals and as well as our current residents who have already placed a stake in Everett years ago.

As we build a smart transit system we must also build a smart housing system. It is vital that we diversify our housing stock, assess the impact of a changing federal landscape and redefine what the “American Dream” looks like in Everett.

The old development mandate of 2 parking spaces for each bedroom is no longer smart, effficient or affordable.

By reducing the number of parking spots required, we can also reduce the cost of the development and increase open space by removing asphalt.

As we reduce the number of parking spaces required for new developments, we will also need to build in transportation alternatives. Many of these alternatives have been discussed in the Everett Square study that was completed last year. Those alternatives include shared parking facilities- these could be municipal lots or private lots.

For instance, for those who must own cars, they could lease spaces from 6pm to 8am and on the weekends, when those spaces are not occupied. Everett is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, and yet we make more room for parking than we do for people.

As the federal government gets out of the housing business, I am also deeply concerned about the potential loss of affordable housing units due to expiring use.  These units are a vital safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

I am excited to work with our boards and commissions to institute a smart zoning policy. Smart zoning may be the catalyst for building a new wave of affordable housing that would not require a federal subsidy.

This smart zoning includes allowing developers to build smaller “micro-units” without requiring two parking spaces per bedroom. Because these developments are so efficient they are much less costly to build, and can be much more affordable for our residents. These are currently being built across the country.

These “Micro-units” are compact, hyper-efficient and affordable apartments meant for anyone who wants to live in a dense urban neighborhood at an affordable price. These units are built near public transit and residents typically don’t own cars and get around primarily on foot, bike, and public transit.

We will require developers who do not provide parking to have car and bike sharing programs onsite or nearby.  Today city residents can take advantage of Zip Car, Touro, Hubway, Ofo, Zagster and Lime bike.

Other developer requirements could include discounted T-passes for residents, shuttle service, and participation in a transportation management service.

We are fortunate to have piloted some of these ideas already- and we will build upon these early successes.

The Wellington Parkside apartments are conveniently located on the Northern Strand Community trail and they also provide daily commuter shuttle service to Wellington Station.

BNY Mellon Financial provides shuttle service for their employees to Wellington T Station and soon, when the Wood Memorial Bridge is complete, BNY employees will have a 5 minute walk straight to the Station on a new pedestrian footpath.

If we are to become a model city for the state, the region, and the nation, we must unbundle parking from housing.

We must encourage the redevelopment of existing under-utilized properties into smaller residential units to ensure that the residents of Everett can continue to live here, in the community they know and love, even as rents rise here and throughout the greater Boston region.

Today 70% of our residents qualify for these programs and many cannot afford current market rate housing and at any time, could be evicted.

Families who earn between $80,000 and $115,000 annually would be income eligible.

These are our friends, neighbors and relatives.

That means we must actively work to remain an affordable place to live for all of our residents.

That is why I have continued to meet with affordable housing developers and finance agencies to spur the development of affordable housing for our workforce, and for our seniors.

Recently, I was pleased to announce a project with The Neighborhood Developers to develop senior housing at the old St. Therese’s Church on Broadway.

The project, which is currently making its way through the permitting process, will provide up to 77 units of affordable housing for seniors aged 62 and older.

70% of those units will be reserved for qualified Everett residents.

There will also be a new health clinic located on the first floor focused on senior care and operated by the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

Overall, this project will provide our residents with a safe, clean and affordable place to live. It will provide work for local contractors, architects, and businesses, as well as increase the value of the property and neighboring properties.

I can think of no better way for the St Therese’s site to continue to serve the community than by providing affordable housing for our seniors so they can remain in a community that I know they cherish.

I am excited to welcome the Neighborhood Developers to the City of Everett, and my hope is that together we will be able to identify additional underutilized properties to create even more senior housing.

As a city we should make every effort to encourage these types of housing developments. Local officials, boards, and commissions should all work together to ensure that our community’s vision is echoed in the decisions they make every day.

In our efforts we must also preserve affordable housing that already exists.

Many affordable housing units in Everett were built in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.

The affordable use restrictions on these units now face elimination as the owners pay off the subsidized mortgages and opt out of their rental subsidies.

I want you to know that I am working with affordable housing developers to preserve these units.

And I will continue to work with our legislative delegations at the state and federal levels to advocate that these units remain affordable.

I would also like to use this opportunity to thank the council for approving an inclusionary zoning ordinance this past March to encourage the development of affordable housing that is integrated across our community.

This inclusionary zoning policy requires that new housing developments of a certain size include at least 10% of units at rates affordable to low- or moderate-income residents.

Inclusionary zoning is a much-needed tool to help ensure that our community remains a welcoming and accessible place for all of our residents and families.

I will also work closely with our city council this year to enact an ordinance establishing a fair linkage fee on new large-scale commercial developments, which will be used to fund the creation of affordable housing for our residents.

I would like to thank our state legislators for shepherding our home rule petition for this ordinance through the State House this session.

Planning is critical to success, so we are currently working with housing experts from the Washington, DC-based Enterprise Community Partners to create and implement a 5-year affordable housing plan for Everett for our residents and our seniors.

This project is mostly funded by Mass Development, and we appreciate their investment in our community.

As we create and maintain affordable housing, we must also be vigilant in maintaining and preserving our existing housing stock.

That is why I hired a new housing attorney and revamped the Code Enforcement Task Force.

Through our new focused attention on housing code, we have forced banks to register, repair and maintain over 50 foreclosed properties.

We have worked with banks to get these houses back on the market as soon as possible so that they can be sold to responsible owners.

Today we are currently working with over 200 property owners to repair and upgrade their buildings.

These upgrades include the repair of code violations in rental properties that may have posed risks for tenants, and are an important part of public health and safety in our community.

Many owners work with the city to address these code violations; however, for those that don’t we will enforce actions through the recently created North East Housing Court.

Transit and housing are the keys to Everett’s growth and promotion of a quality of life in Everett that is second to none.

But my fiercest passion, and my greatest concern, is the current opioid crisis that our country is facing today.

We know that thousands of people, young and old are dying every day. For the second year in a row, our life expectancy as Americans has dropped- this type of drop was last seen in the 1960s.

And the reason is opioid overdoses. This is unacceptable.

I am disgusted that President Trump nominated a congressman to be the US Drug Czar who shepherded legislation through congress that actually loosened restrictions on improper distribution of legal opioid drugs.

Congress passed this bill while accepting thousands of dollars in contributions from big pharma.

Although President Trump withdrew his nominee, there is no room in this country for lobbyists to control the agenda. Too many children and adults become addicted to opioids simply because they were prescribed them by their doctors.

I applaud Governor Baker’s recently proposed legislation to address opioid addiction in Massachusetts.

The bill includes new steps for making voluntary treatment more accessible and a process for those in crisis that desperately need treatment.

It proposes to regulate after-care treatment for the first time and establishes standards for credentialing treatment providers.

Here in Massachusetts, we need proven treatment options that will be covered by insurance.

Finally, we need to crack down on doctors who ignore state prescribing laws- and this legislation will do just that.

The bottom line is, this is simply a national crisis and we need both federal and state resources to fight it.

I will not sit idly by and watch another person die through no fault of their own.

This year, I hired both the City’s first-ever substance abuse clinician and a program coordinator to prevent youth prescription drug misuse.

We established a Roadmap to Recovery Program, and in partnership with PAARI and AmeriCorps, we hired an outreach coordinator modeled after the City of Gloucester’s successful program to help those in crisis get into a recovery program.

But this is not even close to being enough.

On behalf of our city, I am signing onto a lawsuit against the corporate drug distributors who ignored suspiciously large orders, and funneled millions of pills into small-town “pain clinics” that were merely a front for crime rings- all to increase their profits year over year as the addiction crisis continued to spiral.

It makes me sick, and they should pay for what they have done to our society.

On the other side, I want to thank those non-profits, public agencies and individuals who are out there every day fighting for those who are in crisis.

You are doing God’s work.

I just hope and pray that we as a society will once and for all tackle this crisis as we have so many others in the past.

Here in Everett, we all work hard to give our kids the best opportunity to succeed.

If we can coordinate our efforts on opioids and promote health and wellness, I truly believe all children in our community can meet their full potential.

That is why we continue to expand youth activities, from programs at the Health and Wellness Center to our afterschool basketball programs.

We are providing our children with the best recreational facilities in the state.

We have renovated over 8 parks, most recently the playgrounds at Swan Street Park, Meadows Park and Florence Street Park.

This year, Sacramone Park, Gramstorf Park and Morris Playground will all be fully renovated.

Park renovations and recreational programs provide our children and families the opportunity to participate in team sports and enjoy open play- but these park improvements are only a small down payment to the citizens of Everett.

Now is the time to give our entire waterfront back to our residents.

We recently completed the Malden River Vision Plan, and the first portion of the Malden Riverwalk is being constructed on the Rivergreen site.

We will open up our waterfront from the Malden line all the way to the Boston line.

In addition to the Rivergreen walkway, Wynn Resorts has completed a living shoreline and is constructing a mile-long walkway that will connect to the Malden River walkway.

The foundation is now being built for a ribbon of new green open spaces and paths along our waterfront to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

This passive park system will give our residents an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our waterfront.

But parks need programing and active recreation that draws people to them to reach their full potential.

By combining both passive and active recreation to this area we will enliven this part of our community that has been underutilized.

That is why I am announcing tonight that it is my intention to work with the council to build a new, state-of-the-art stadium at Seven Acre Park to serve our students in the decades to come.

I have spoken with some of you about this already, and I hope that all of you will share in my excitement about what this project could mean for our community.

This new stadium will replace our current stadium, which as we all know is located in a dense residential neighborhood with limited parking-

I have heard, loud and clear, for years how the neighborhood feels about needing to perform elaborate searches for parking spots on game days and graduation.

By moving the stadium to Seven Acre Park, we will be able to partner with the businesses in the area, like Boston Coach and BNY Mellon, whose large lots are not heavily utilized on evenings and weekends.

We will include a regulation high school track, a field house, and facility to highlight and commemorate the strong tradition of our champion athletes- and preserve the WWII honor wall from the old stadium.

The new stadium does not stand alone however; it is part of the much larger transformation of the area along the Malden River that I truly believe is the next great growth area for our city.

This stadium will be part of a larger, top-of-the-line, recreational space made possible in part by our partnership with Wynn Resorts, who are building a new playground in this area in exchange for the opportunity to redevelop the underutilized Lynde playground.

This new play space will include regulation tennis courts to allow our high school to host tournaments, and basketball courts that will be located in a way to buffer any noise from reaching residents.

Soon, there will be a boathouse and a kayak launch on our side of the river- and maybe even a water taxi stop to take you to the Wynn or even into Boston.

The new stadium and play space will be adjacent to the river walk that is under construction by Wynn right now- an unbelievable community amenity that I hope you will all utilize both for exercise and to appreciate the wonder of the natural resources in our backyard that were long forgotten.

Soon, the bike path that runs from Saugus through this area, and currently terminates at West Street, will be extended in partnership with Wynn and others to continue on across Rt. 16, around the Wynn resort, and into Boston- providing cyclists with an excellent opportunity for a safe, scenic commute.

By building all of these new amenities in this area, we will attract a mix of businesses, like hotels and restaurants that will add to the energy and vibrancy of the neighborhood.

More and more people will see what a gem we have- and property values for the homeowners in the area will rise.

To make sure we are primed for success, our planning department is working on an urban renewal plan for the area (and remember, the last time we did an urban renewal plan, it got us the Wynn resort!), and planning for enhanced roadway infrastructure to provide better access.

This will complement the enhanced transit options that we are advocating and planning for, and will soon see.

Imagine biking from the new stadium to the pedestrian footbridge over to the Assembly T station, and then taking the orange line into Boston. Or walking from the new playground down the river walk and getting on the Silver Line at the Wynn and heading to North Station.

I hope that you will all join me in making this vision a reality, to benefit our kids and our community for generations to come. We have more to offer than any of us might have imagined even a few years ago, and I cannot wait to see our potential in this area realized.

125 years ago our forefathers built a strong foundation based on the economic growth and momentum of the industrial revolution.

That community grew in wealth and population to become a proud city.

As we close out our 125th year, let us acknowledge our changing economy and embrace that change.

Smart transportation, smart housing, and smart growth are the keys to forward momentum over the next 125 years.

Let us embrace that change and this pivotal moment much like our forefathers did when they changed from the Town of Everett to the City of Everett, so many years ago.

Thank you and God Bless the City of Everett.

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