Students react to City Council race controversy


Shishir Pokhrel

A view from the other side of Broadway of Everett City Hall, where the City Council holds its regular meetings

Ward 3 City Councilor Anthony DiPierro is under fire after sending messages to city workers containing racist imagery. DiPierro is accused of sending memes with racial slurs to his colleagues as well. 

DiPierro put out a statement apologizing for his actions, saying, “I ask for your understanding and patience as I work to learn from this error, so that I can better serve our residents. For now, I am ashamed, disappointed and embarrassed, but I am committed to improving.” This statement was released in a Twitter post on March 15. 

Superintendent Priya Tahiliani was unsatisfied with his apology, and asked him to resign from his office immediately. She suggested that he take a one-year break and only return when voters can decide they are ready for him to come back.

Many of the Everett residents commenting on the situation on major news websites are saying they aren’t surprised and that he doesn’t seem to actually care. 

“I have never felt it was more important for me to speak out as a member of the Everett community who stands against discriminatory behavior in all forms,” Mayor Carlo DeMaria wrote in a statement about the situation. “That word is entrenched in centuries of hurt and racial oppression in this country. Anyone who uses this word or distributes content that is racially insensitive or promotes any other form of discrimination must be reproached for such behavior.”

Anthony DiPierro is a son of Mayor DeMaria’s cousins. He is a City Councilor in Ward 3. Ward 3 includes the property of the school and behind it. Some people have been calling for Anthony DiPierro to resign but he still holds power.

Most students who were asked to be interviewed and put on record didn’t want to talk. Others didn’t seem to care about the topic. Of the students who were familiar enough with the situation, we found a mix of harsh condemnation and willingness to forgive. 

“I think that this is disgusting behavior because, especially if someone who works for such a diverse community is using stuff like that, it’s not okay,” senior Kaylin Seward says. “I agree with the superintendent that it wasn’t a good enough apology. I feel like it’s not sincere. I don’t think a year off is enough. I get that people can learn from that year, but you are in such a high position that you can’t be doing stuff like that. Obviously, it’s wrong. The fact that he got power in the city makes it even worse. Those are the people representing us. Using words like that and memes like that thinking it’s funny – that’s the people representing us.”

“Yes, I heard all about it, nobody wanted to speak up and say anything about it,”  said senior Dante Masucci. “I watched the school committee meeting with my mom online. Honestly I think he should step down and we shouldn’t have someone like that representing our community,”

“It’s pretty messed up,” said a junior who would like to remain anonymous. “Something like that definitely shouldn’t be happening within our city and I definitely hope they don’t plan on keeping him on the Council. It’s literally 2022. I don’t think anyone decent finds racism funny, especially the fact that he’s an adult, that disgusts me. I don’t know, that’s just what I think.” 

“He should resign from his office,” junior Said Soaib said. “He is a representative of the people. But if he is immature and starts saying racist stuff in a diverse city, and not being a representative of the people, he doesn’t deserve to be in power.

“I think that the whole situation shouldn’t be tolerated,”  senior Nicole Mumbi said. “I’m sure he knows he’s in a very diverse place. For him to be saying stuff like that, I don’t think that he was unaware of his actions. I think that he must have known what he was saying and that he meant it. He needs to know that especially in the place he’s in, he shouldn’t be saying those types of words. I think for the better of this community, it shouldn’t be tolerated and others need to see that what he said wasn’t right and for what was said that there will or should be consequences for his actions. I really think they should fire him or just do whatever to not be in the City Council or have such power as people say he holds. He offended many people and he should see the consequences of such actions.” 

“I never expected such a thing from someone like him,” said junior Jose Santos. “I am an Afro-Latino living in Everett so it actually hurts me a lot to know that. I’m part of a racial group that faces racism all the time, but here in Everett it is different because of the diversity in the city. In my opinion, people should forgive him, but not just forget what he did, because once a racist, always a racist.”

Senior Isaiah Wallace saw DiPierro tweet that he is going to become a better person and that he was working with Human Resources to help him with this error. “People make mistakes. They ain’t perfect as well. As long as he’s actively becoming a better person, he should be forgiven,” Wallace said. 

Senior Brian Pineda also believes that anyone should deserve a second chance. “He made an apology to become a better person. We should see if he lives up to what he says.”

“I mean, it is just a meme, so at the end of the day I laugh at them as well,” said senior Moses Seide. “But the fact that he’s an adult, he should know better than that. It is kinda weird. I mean if he does his job well, I think he should definitely apologize and maybe get on with it, just because times are different. I don’t know though, it is weird.”

DiPierro’s investigation is ongoing.