July 1, 2016
On May 31st, members of the Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea city councilors, workers rights activists and Chelsea Community members gathered for the unveiling of the Chelsea Collaborative’s new workers rights mural.
The mural creator, artist Nancy Guevara met with members of the Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee an Environmental Chelsea Organizers a several times over the past few months to create the design for the mural. The mural is part of a statewide education campaign to bring more awareness to the worker’s rights violations that immigrant workers face throughout Massachusetts. Organizations like the Collaborative, have long been fighting issues of wage theft, especially in industries with a high level of subcontracting, where cleaning, construction and painting workers often see their wages and overtime stolen by predatory subcontractors.
April 29, 2016
Jonathan Perez and Jose Rodriguez relax at the PORT Park after a hard morning of cleaning up Chelsea. The annual Earth Day Community Clean Up took place on Saturday, April 23, despite rainy conditions. Several volunteers showed up at multiple sites to spruce up the city for spring.
April 29, 2016
It was an historic occasion on Monday night when the Chelsea City Council voted unanimously to enact a Wage Theft Ordinance – the first Council in the state to do so. The City’s wage theft ordinance, brought to the floor by nine councillors earlier this month, would seek to make a statement about the prevalence of wage theft from employees, but in particular from vulnerable immigrant communities in the city. Practically speaking, the ordinance states that no contractor (or any subcontractor) or vendor hired by the City can have a federal or state criminal or civil judgment, administrative citation, final administrative determination, order or debarment resulting from a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other federal or state laws regulating the payment of wages within three year prior to the date of any contract with the City. It also calls for any violation of the above laws during a contract period be reported to the City within five days.It also includes a provision that allows the License Commission to deny any permit or license if violations of the law have been made within three years of any application. If any violation of the above law occurs during a licensed period, the Commission can also take action on a license for the violations.
March 24, 2016
There wasn’t enough space in the City Council Chambers Tuesday night nor enough time on the clock to accommodate all of the people who had packed the Hall to participate in a meeting looking for solutions to street violence – a meeting that was spurred by the murder of a 19-year-old Chelsea youth allegedly by a 16-year-old Chelsea youth, as well as the injury by gunshot of six other teens during the 3 a.m. party at a vacant apartment on March 6.
More than 100 people turned out to listen to City officials and non-profit providers, but more importantly, to make comments to City leaders and ask questions. It was one of the first meetings in which youth attended in large numbers and suggested solutions to the violence that plagues their age bracket the most.
March 9, 2016
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 9, 2016....A plan to expand the Massachusetts Housing Court system has the support of at least 49 House lawmakers, who signed on to a letter urging budget writers to include funding for the initiative.
Gov. Charlie Baker's fiscal 2017 budget proposal appropriates $1 million in new funding for Housing Court expansion, and outside sections of the budget detail the restructuring of the court into six divisions that would serve all parts of the state.
Under current law, the court has five divisions and does not have jurisdiction to hear cases from Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties or portions of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties.
About one-third of the state's residents do not have access to the Housing Court under this setup, according to Rep. Chris Walsh, who delivered a letter signed by 48 other representatives to the House Ways and Means Committee asking its members to include the $1 million in their version of the budget.
The letter says that the court, which hears cases including evictions, code enforcement, certain zoning appeals, small claims and civil actions, can help prevent homelessness and give municipalities the ability to "address serious housing and health code violations efficiently and effectively."
"This is an investment that makes fiscal and policy sense," the letter reads.
The $1 million for expansion of the Housing Court is separate from the court's $8.1 million budget, which Baker funded at the same level as in 2016.
February 18, 2016
Nueva Inglaterra, (Entravision) - Miles de jovenes para abogar por fondos que ayuden a crear trabajos de verano.
January 7, 2016
When the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Obama Administration suddenly announced on Dec. 23 that they would start conducting raids to take into custody Central Americans who were here illegally and missed critical court dates, it didn’t take long for panic to set in around Chelsea.
With a huge population of Central American migrants who have arrived over the last two years seeking economic opportunity in the U.S. and fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, the news travelled fast and that large population went into panic mode.
Social media would light up with erroneous reports of ICE being in Chelsea or Eastie every time a black sedan drove down a street.
October 22, 2015
The Chelsea Record and the Chelsea Collaborative have agreed this week to sponsor a candidates’ forum at the Burke Complex auditorium on Monday, Oct. 26, for City Council and School Committee candidates.
The forum will seek to include all candidates and to ask questions of candidates in contested races. The goal is to familiarize the public with the candidates and their stances in one of the most hotly contested elections in some time.
The forum is open to the public and will be broadcast on Chelsea Cable TV as well. Parking is available in the school parking lot.
“We are pleased to co-sponsor this forum with the Chelsea Collaborative so that the voters in Chelsea can learn more about the candidates and their positions on the issues,” said Stephen Quigley, president of the Independent Newspaper Group. “Civic engagement is necessary as Chelsea moves forward under new leadership.”
October 16, 2015
Hundreds of disgruntled former investors in the TelexFree scam from Chelsea packed into the Burke School Complex last Wednesday, Oct. 7, and heard some rather disappointing news.
The disappointing news came in that no one should plan to get all their money back that was invested, and recovering what they do get will take a long time.
A representative from the Secretary of State’s office was at the meeting, coordinated by the Chelsea Collaborative.
The meeting came to explain a recent payment made to some victims of the scam, which was uncovered in 2014 and number more than 500 victims in Chelsea. Many victims lost thousands of dollars and were recruited into a phone service that had a legitimate bank from Massachusetts backing it. It spread like wildfire in the Latino and Brazilian communities, with the company recruiting influential community leaders and religious leaders to promote the program.
October 8, 2015
Long before a flood inundated several floors of the Broadway Glen low-income high rise apartment building on Sept. 12, tenants said owners had allegedly sat on reoccurring problems that plagued the building, and tenants who are now displaced from the building are worried about what their apartments will look like when they return later this month.
Police are still looking for a suspect who is pictured on surveillance video opening a Fire Department standpipe in the stairwell of the sixth floor, unleashing thousands of gallons of water on the residents below and causing more than $500,000 in damages. Yet, as the police continue their investigation, tenants who have been displaced have been on a mission of their own to get the attention of a landlord they say has been unresponsive and hasn’t answered their questions.
“We heard the alarms go off, but we didn’t go out because the alarm goes off all the time,” said Jamie Vasquez, who has lived in the building for six years with her three young children. “We thought something was just wrong with the fire alarm again. Then I looked up and the water was coming out of the ceiling. I opened my door and water was everywhere. My closets were full of water. All of my kids’ clothes were ruined and had to be thrown away. We lost almost everything and we’ve been in a hotel every since. We were evacuating the building when we realized that a handicapped man was trapped inside. Nobody was here to help. The owners weren’t here. We went in and helped bring the handicapped man out. There wasn’t anyone else. I want some answers about all of this, but I don’t even get an apology. No one says they’re sorry.”
Tenants are now dealing with what to do with October’s rent payments, and an attorney has been brought in by the Chelsea Collaborative to advise tenants about what to do with rent and damages.