There appears to be some misunderstanding about the October 7th monthly meeting of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). We have been criticized for not inviting public input and not providing notice. This was not a public hearing. As required under Open Meeting Laws, our agenda was timely posted, no less than 48 hours prior to the meeting. The agenda included the topic “Columbus Day – Indigenous People’s Day.” Our monthly meeting agendas also routinely include a dedicated ‘public forum’ section where members of the community have the opportunity to address the HRC.
The HRC is not a legislative body. We do not create laws or ordinances. We discussed Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day and voted unanimously to recommend a change in the designation of the first Monday of October to Indigenous People’s Day. These discussions and changes are already happening in other communities across the State and throughout the country.
It also appears that, somehow, the HRC has been implicated about requesting the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue at St Anthony’s church on Revere Street. The HRC never discussed the Columbus statue. The HRC is well aware that this statue resides on private (Archdiocese) property.
No one benefits when some in the public react and respond to mistaken, unreliable or fabricated information. The HRC takes seriously its responsibilities and mission. We welcome and look forward to thoughtful conversations with Revere residents. The HRC and the public can foster a more unified community when we work and act together. The HRC meets the first Thursday of every month at 5:00 pm in the Council Chambers and remotely via Zoom.
Janine Grillo Marra,
Chairperson, Revere Human Rights Commission