Letters to the Editor

Thank You Charlestown,

To the Editor,

For the past three months or so I have spent time chatting with folks on the phone, visiting your parks, attending some events and getting to know the 02129 more intimately. Thank you.

As a City Councilor At-Large in my hometown of Chelsea, I’ve only ever campaigned in Chelsea.  Though at first it was awkward to attempt to earn support in a community that wasn’t mine, things soon changed. Your willingness to open up and discuss with me in depth about the future we hoped to foster for our children was reassuring. Though we shared different zip codes, the desire for safe communities, investments in our schools, access to pre-K, holding environmental polluters accountable and ensuring that Rutherford Avenue is properly developed to complement the existing investments into Charlestown were just some of the things that brought us to a middle ground.

Due to COVID-19, our campaign made a decision not to go door-to-door to meet with voters. Though we recognize the decision to not engage with voters at the doors may have adversely affected our campaign success, it was a decision I made to ensure the public safety of all. As much as it would be my honor to represent the Second Suffolk District, it would hold less value if it meant risking the health of my beloved neighbors.

Charlestown, I frequented your farmers market and met with folks at food distribution sites at BHA and beyond. I visited your parks and I engaged in deep dialogue with your youth and community members surrounding race and police, and the judgements we humans share. I am increasingly impressed with the work that you all do as a community and, though it would be my honor to serve as your representative, it wasn’t in the stars for us.

Still, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have made friends along the way. Unlike traditional politicians, I do not believe in transactional relationships and will still be in touch with many of you as we continue to co-create the future we hope to pass on to our children.

It has been the joy of my life to get to know many of you and am looking forward to seeing many of you around. Thank you everyone who came out and donated time, treasure, or talent to my campaign for State Rep. We started a movement that transcended beyond my hometown’s city line, and that will not be contained by the results of an election.  In these uncertain times, it’s important we stay in touch to continue to build on our shared values. If you’d like to stay in touch, please sign up for my newsletter at www.VoteDamali.org to remain abreast of local initiatives and continue to grow this movement together.

Damali Vidot

Charlestown Compassionate Fund

To the Editor,

We are all painfully aware of the severe financial strains being place on Charlestown individuals and families by the coronnavirus pandemic.

In an effort to begin some small measure of relief, The Charlestown Trust Fund, A Donor Advised Fund at The American Baptist Churches Of Massachusetts is partnering with the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center, Inc. to establish the II Charlestown Compassionate Fund II to provide emergency financial assistance to those in the Charlestown Community who may be especially affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

1. So that this fund can be used to help as many as possible, typical awards are expected to be $500 or less per family or individual, but awards up to $1,000 may be made in exceptional circumstances. All will be grants, not loans.

2. In order to facilitate the review process, all requests for assistance

will need to be made to either Thomas S. Cunha, Vice President of the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center at 23A Moulton Street, Charlestown, MA. 02129, Tom Mac Donald, Director of Harvest On Vine, at 49 Vine Street, Charlestown, MA 02129 or Joseph McGonagle, CEO of Anthony’s Dream. Each of these individuals is highly experienced in reviewing, prioritizing and recommending grants.

3. All requests will be kept strictly confidential.

4. Since we believe the need to be great and will only continue to grow as the pandemic continues, it is our strong desire to add to the size of this Compassionate Fund. We are asking those who are more fortunate to consider making a donation to the Charlestown Compassion Fund.

5. Anyone wishing to support this fund is encouraged to send a check made out to Charlestown Compassionate Fund and addressed to Mr. Thomas S. Cunha at the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center, 23A Moulton Street, Charlestown, MA. 02129., The check should state on the memo line that it is intended for the Charlestown Compassionate Fund.

John Jack Alves

Charlestown Trust Fund

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