Citing the issues of education, economic development and quality of life, Everett resident Gerly Adrien has taken out nomination papers to run for state representative, challenging two-term state Rep. Joe McGonagle. It sets up a rematch against McGonagle who narrowly defeated Adrien in the Democratic primary in 2016.
Seen by many as unresponsive and lacking a significant legislative record, McGonagle could be ready for the taking. Adrien is smart, aggressive and has defined some substantive goals. McGonagle defeated Adrien by just more than 600 votes out of nearly 3,000 cast—an impressive showing for a first-time candidate against an incumbent in the Democratic primary in 2016.
“These are different times. We cannot wait for others to act. No more waiting in line. No more asking for permission,” Adrien said. “Candidates should be elected to work for us. Everett needs a stronger voice, who will fight for their issues. After four years of stagnant, non-leadership, now is the time for us. I want to bring fresh ideas and positive solutions for working individuals and families to the State House. Running for this seat is about giving everyone a voice.”
Adrien is the daughter of immigrants who purchased their first home in Everett in 1995. She has learned important life lessons from them. “I witnessed my parents and other lower- and middle-class families working hard and standing up for what is right. At a young age, I was a youth organizer at Teen Empowerment and a high school summer intern at the Somerville Community Corporation, where I was able to create positive, impactful events for the youth and learned about affordable housing.
Accomplished professionally, Adrien works in Boston as a finance and grants manager, helping clinical doctors and researchers figure out how to help peoples’ daily lives in cancer and blood related diseases. “I have dedicated my life to fighting for fairness for individuals and families, ensuring they have the best access to resources in order to build a better life. With my work ethic and commitment to service, whether the issue is large or small, I will always work diligently to find a positive resolution,” she said.
There has been some grumbling about McGonagle’s effectiveness as a representative for Everett over the last few years. It was a change in state education funding formulas that was largely responsible for the $9 million budget deficit that led to the circus of a city council meeting last Monday at which the city pitched-in another $5 million to the schools. Where was McGonagle as this problem mounted?
Adrien no doubt comes in as the underdog with most of Everett’s establishment elected officials likely to close ranks around the incumbent. It’s that sort of insular thinking that leaves Everett without the type of dynamic, fresh and energetic leadership it needs.
Everett’s accomplished state Sen. Sal DiDomenico is largely the vehicle that McGonagle latches on to attempt to appear effective. Adrien would be an outstanding representative for Everett.
It’s time for new leadership for Everett on Beacon Hill.