Top 20 Priorities:

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1. Arts & Culture


Exposing arts and culture is very important in today’s worlds. We need to support our artists as they use their creative talents to share their gifts. 

I will be committed to bringing:

Annual Arts & Culture Appreciation - highlighting arts, music and other cultures with their contributions.

Funding art organizations and artists.

Senior Legacy Program- an annual program for the community that allows seniors to pass our history to future generations.

More support to arts into the curriculum for our students.

2. Civic Engagement

Citizens should be empowered to participate in our democracy. Gerly believes in increasing civic education. In addition, voter turnout in Everett is low.

It is our duty to cultivate an informed educated public. Civic engagement can be defined as any activity that involves elements of service-learning, community engagement, community-based research, civic education, democratic practice or philanthropy.  Civic education for K-12 students increases high school graduation rates, college enrollment, and college graduation rates.   These outcomes improve even more dramatically among student populations that traditionally are underserved, such as students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. We must eliminate barriers to voting.

I will fight for:

  1. Automatic voter registration at 18.

  2. Designating Election Day as a state holiday.

  3. Support expanding early voting.

3. Criminal Justice

Gerly will work in Everett and with members of the community to address the drug and crime issues that have plagued the District for the past few years and threaten the safety and quality of life of its residents. It is my goal to ensure that there are enough highly trained law enforcement personnel that are in touch with the needs of the District neighborhoods. Working together helps the whole community. Despite attempts at reform, the criminal justice system still perpetuates systemic racism, sexism, and generational poverty.

I will fight to:

  1. Improve in-prison and post-release support, including appropriate health care, for drug and alcohol addiction.

  2. Increase GED passage rate and provide funding for classes and fees.

  3. Improve mental health care upon release.

  4. Invest in job training and interview skill programs for former offenders.

  5. Establish faith-based programs, which can reduce recidivism.

  6. Getting rid of excessive fees.

  7. Support mandatory training concerning unconscious bias and mental health first aid training for police officers, and other public servants.

  8. Support transformative justice legislation and incarceration reform by addressing racial and income inequalities.

4. Economic Growth

Gerly believes that confronting systemic poverty and raising wages for working people is the most important moral and economic issue of our time. A quality work environment can decrease crime and violence, as well as boost tax revenue that can be reinvested into to benefit all Massachusetts residents. Gerly believes the necessary fix is the implementation of a living wage for all workers.

 

This campaign is devoted to promoting sustainable, inclusive neighborhood economic growth.

In her discussions with small business owners, Gerly learned that moral support from the state can be just as crucial to success as financial support.  Especially for startup companies whose employees may be sacrificing a higher salary, interaction with city leaders goes far to develop a bond between businesses and the city.  For these reasons, Gerly would devote time each week to connecting with Everett businesses.

I will support to:

  1. Strengthen Everett’s Chamber of Commerce Small Business Workshops, roundtables and collaboration.

  2. Raising the minimum wage to $15 and build in cost of living increases.

  3. Secure and sustainable employment is essential for strengthening Massachusetts communities. By providing opportunity for workers and business owners alike, we can create an economy that serves the entire community.

  4. Protecting unions.

  5. Restore funding to small businesses, which provides grants to community groups to support local businesses in opening, growing or stabilizing their businesses.

  6. Partner with local businesses to implement job training programs that are effective and accessible, especially for single parents.

  7. Work to expand small business lending, funded by opposing big corporate tax breaks.

5. Education

Gerly believes in a fair school funding formula that carefully takes the needs of every school district into account. It’s time for the state to step up and provide the education funding our students deserve. Finally, Gerly supports making it easier for students to consolidate their debt and increasing funding for debt forgiveness programs. This campaign supports students at every level of development.

I will fight for:

  1. More funding for our schools.

  2. Creating innovation hubs.

  3. From daycare to college, making it more affordable.

  4. Support universal kindergarten and early education.

  5. Support more bilingual education.

6. Emergency Response Plan

With the landscape, we need to ensure everyone understands what’s the emergency response plan, within our schools and the community. Many do not know what the plan is and how to access resources that the state and city can provide.

I will support to:

  1. Ensure that all citizens have access to the City’s Emergency Response Plan.

  2. Conduct a series of workshops to provide critical information of how residents can access critical services during an emergency.

7. Environment

Let’s start with the basics. We can advocate for positive environmental changes and help our communities. Gerly will promote initiatives to reduce trash, increase recycling, and improve the appearance of our communities.  She believes we need to encourage local initiatives to change the culture of neighborhoods with respect to trash and graffiti. Supporting environmental policy can create jobs and support economic growth.

I will:

  1. Support beautification, not gentrification.

  2. Support legislation to transition to 100% renewable energy, with a supporting energy infrastructure.

  3. Support rewarding creative cooperatives that promote and generate solar energy in urban areas.

  4. Support structural engineering changes required to face the challenges of climate change.

8. Healthcare


Healthcare
Gerly believes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege and that all Massachusetts should have access to quality, affordable healthcare. Addressing the social determinants of health will unleash greater quality of life. Comprehensive health care is a right. The coverage we have covers less and less. The rapidly rising cost of health care is consuming the state budget, reducing our already limited ability to fund other critical public goods like education, the environment, human services, infrastructure, and public safety. To leave our health care system as is would be unjust and economically unsustainable.

I will:

  1. support a single payer, Medicare-for-All system for Massachusetts that will guarantee health care as a right for all residents.

  2. Support guarantee coverage of essential health care services.

  3. Reduce the cost of care of drug prices and eliminating wasteful administrative costs.

  4. Expand safety net programs for the uninsured and underinsured.

  5. Supporting expansion of behavioral health and addiction treatment services.

9. Healthy MA Initiative

As a lover for equal food access and staying healthy, Gerly wants Everett to see more of healthy initiatives. Gerly would love to see healthy food collaboratives for a Farmer’s Market, and an Organic Food Co-op.

I will support:

  1. Annual Health Challenge with prizes for participants to encourage healthy weight loss, exercise, healthy awareness and an Annual Health Expo.

  2. War Against Childhood Obesity:  Partner to provide health education to parents and kids on healthy food preparation at low cost, ways to incorporate activity into family time, and the importance of living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

  3. Everett schools can also take advantage of private funding for the establishment of community gardens and cooking education at schools. 

10. Housing


Housing
Constantly rising real estate prices in our district and across the Commonwealth are a key driver of growing wealth inequality. Our current housing policy enables and encourages these rising prices, makes rents out of reach for the average resident, and shuts out an ever-growing portion of residents from the home ownership, a key source of wealth creation. These effects most dramatically hurt people of color, young professionals, and lower-to-middle-income families, and exacerbate economic injustice in the system.

 

We must maintain and expand affordable housing options for low- and very low-income residents in our district, and recognize that “affordable housing” as defined by the State is now too expensive, even for many middle-income families.

I will:

  1. Work to increase public housing funding, as well as investment in CDCs and nonprofits that build affordable housing.

  2. Create pathways to homeownership and creating paths towards cooperative ownership.

  3. Work to ensure that new developments and public housing renovations do not displace low-income residents.

  4. Work with advocates who are fighting to prevent and end individual / family homelessness.

11. Immigration

Gerly’s parents came from Haiti around the 1980’s in search of the American Dream. She understands how immigrants contribute to our society.

I will:

  1. Support pathways to jobs, health care, education and citizenship.

  2. Support providing drivers licenses for immigrants.

  3. Support in-state tuition for all Massachusetts high school graduates.

  4. Support the Safe Communities Act, which protects Massachusetts law enforcement agencies from federal overreach into local decisions regarding community safety and stops the diversion of scarce state and local tax dollars to federal responsibilities.

12. Improve Efficiency

Efficiency is important. Solving problems, whether big or small, is the purpose and priority for Gerly. One of the fundamental realities often forgotten by our elected leaders is that they are, first and foremost, public servants. Being open and accessible is important. 

I will:

 

  1. Connecting constituents to vital public services

  2. Helping with government paperwork

  3. Providing assistance to help navigate unemployment, veteran’s assistance, and other services

  4. Listening to concerns about legislation and more

  5. Quarterly robo-calls to distribute critical information updates and upcoming meetings.

13. Improve Our Streets

Gerly wants us to have safe streets and sidewalks.

I will:

Look how we can improve our roadways and the traffic. Also, to work with the city to decrease speeding on local streets.

14. Improve Transparency

The government can only be effective when it has the trust of its people, and that trust must be earned. Gerly will work hard for the people instead of working around them. We need to make sure that policy-making decisions are made transparent, with easy and direct online access to budgets, meeting minutes and voting records.

 

I will implement:

  1. Quarterly Newsletter to update residents of Everett on what is going on at the State House.

  2. Quarterly State Representative Roundtables with citizens to provide residents an opportunity to meet with their State Rep. on specific issues and provide a “State of the State House” update. 

  3. Quarterly Civic Training on Relevant State Issues and Matters that citizens should be involved in the issues and governance of our city.

15. Increase Tech Savviness & Digital Brand

We can always better brand and position ourselves as a tech-savvy, digital state to increase industry and tourism.

I will:

  1. Pursue technology and digital media partnerships with local universities and hospitals, create a dedicated district for these companies, and establish a board comprised of the city’s top technology and digital media professionals.  This board will establish a direct line of communication between the tech community and government.

  2. Increase the average resident’s technological competency by supporting adult education classes, in addition to computer literacy classes for youth, both in and outside the classroom.

16. Public Safety

Our residents and police must have mutual trust to work together to keep communities safe. All Massachusetts residents, regardless of birthplace or document status, need to know they can rely on police to protect them. Police gain credibility and effectiveness in the community when they partner with people living peaceful and productive lives in the Commonwealth.

I will:

  1. Support community policing initiatives led by officers from the communities they serve.

  2. Support increased resources for officer training on unconscious bias.

  3. Support the decriminalization of mental illness.

  4. Fight against gun violence.

17. Seniors

Seniors often face difficult financial decisions after they reach the age of retirement. From working to protect social security to fighting for quality health care, prescription drug coverage and housing for the elderly, Gerly is committed to making sure that seniors have the financial and medical resources to enjoy their golden years.

I will:

  1. Working to make Everett senior housing a priority.

  2. Decrease property taxes for Seniors.

  3. Strengthen vital programs, as well as free transportation shuttles and other services to ensure that older people have the resources they need to stay healthy and active.

18. Transportation

As someone who takes the MBTA daily, we need to invest in our transportation system. Everyone deserves excellent modes of transportation, whether it’s biking, walking, driving, or public transit. We need investment that will serve all our people and must intentionally meet the needs of communities of color, youth, elders, and people with different disabilities.

I will support:

  1. Investing in MBTA infrastructure.

  2. Creating more protected bike lanes.

  3. Ensuring all modes of transportation are physically accessible to everyone.

19. Women

Women need an advocate to stand behind them for fairness and equality. As a pro-choice supporter, Gerly has seen firsthand what it means to be treated differently. At this moment, we need to stand strong and speak out on measures that hurt us. Women should be able to thrive.

 

I will:

  1. Take action that ensures the safety of individual women, while creating systemic change that guarantees opportunity and prosperity for all women.

  2. Stand behind initiatives and programs who are fighting domestic violence.

  3. Support comprehensive health care for women.

  4. Enforce the new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act while effectively advocating for comprehensive paid family leave legislation.

20. Youth Agenda

We can provide hope to our youth through education and youth programs. With the strong foundation, education and youth programs, such as Teen Empowerment, combined with leadership gave Gerly the opportunity to witness and participate in an array of life-changing and shaping experiences. We need to push for high educational standards in the classrooms and schools. Gerly is committed to ensuring that every child receives a quality education and can pursue a college degree. We need to ensure that our schools are equipped to meet the needs of every student. It will, also, be her duty to fight for more funding for after-school and summer programs.

 

I will:

  1. Support youth and young adults have access to technology training at recreation and computer centers to better prepare them for the workforce. 

  2. Increase the opportunities offered to students to assure every young person gets the chance to participate in the positive athletic activity.

  3. Support organizations that expand the number of summer jobs offered to Everett teens. Employment for teenagers also can make a large difference in the professional success of students. 

  4. increase funding for the safety net for at-risk youth through increased housing and employment support for youth. 

  5. Youth Enrichment Saturday Programs to include Science, Business, Arts, and Music.

  6. Implement a Youth Workforce Development Program that specializes in high growth industries and provides certificates.

  7. Vocational training should be included in our high schools, and it should focus on technology. For example, some schools are reinventing “shop” class to revolve around 3D printing, a new type of production that enables anyone to make nearly any size or shape part one can imagine.  

  8. To promote civic engagement, students should work with their community leaders and businesses to research solutions to a local problem or issue, volunteer in a service organization for a few months, and have class discussions about topics that require respect for different viewpoints. 

  9. Intervention Schools: Many young people on the edge of dropping out begin to display behavior and academic problems in middle school and the first years of high school.  Identifying and supporting these students could dramatically increase their graduation rates, give them the skills to succeed in the job force, and enable them to avoid incarceration. This type of program should involve committees of teachers and administrators who identify kids in danger and develop strategies to save them.