The Lowell City Council’s last meeting was held on June 23. The minutes of this meeting are available here:

Big, big, big meeting coming up Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30 PM! Last month, Solidarity Lowell joined numerous other organizations and individuals in Lowell in signing the following letter to the City Council, calling on them to declare racism a public health crisis and commit Lowell to taking steps to improve racial justice and equal opportunity in our city:

On Tuesday, the Council will consider two motions by Mayor John Leahy to implement the letter’s recommendations. Other related motions, including an apparent alternate motion that does not declare a public health crisis and does not commit the City to taking any action, will also be considered.

Solidarity Lowell members are urged to contact their councilors to urge them to adopt the Mayor Leahy’s motions, or to sign up to speak via telephone to the City Council meeting.

Lowell’s DEI Consortium (DEI), the prime movers behind the letter, is hosting a rally in support on JFK Plaza at 4:30 on Tueday:

Pursuant to Governor Baker’s Emergency Order modifying the State’s Open Meeting Law issued March 12, 2020, this meeting is being held by remote participation. Members of the public wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending email to City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that you may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Tuesday’s meeting will once again be held over Zoom. Meetings are available for viewing on LTC channel 99, or on demand through the LTC website: https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/city-council-on-demand/

The complete agenda for the meeting is available here:

Racial Justice

Mayor John Leahy is sponsoring the two major motions, which have the public support of Councilors Drinkwater and Nuon:
11.11 M. Leahy – Req. City Council Vote To Assert That Racism Is A Public Health Crisis Affecting The Health, Safety And Well-Being Of Residents In The City Of Lowell, And To Affirm Our Commitment To Efforts Aimed At Understanding, Addressing, And Dismantling Racism In All Its Forms; And To Further Request That The City Manager Direct The Law Department To Draft A Resolution Formally Declaring Racism To Be A Public Health Crisis In The City Of Lowell.

11.12 M. Leahy – Req. City Council Vote To Establish A Mayor’s Task Force On Diversity, Equity And Inclusion That Will Conduct A Thorough Review Of City Policies And Inequities In Community Systems; Will Solicit Input From Experts And The General Public; And Will Report To The City Manager And City Council With Initial Policy Recommendations, Including Ways In Which Success Is Measured, No Later Than Six Months From The Date Of The First Task Force Meeting; Said Task Force Shall Be Chaired By A Lowell Resident Who Is A Person Of Color, And The Majority Of The Task Force Should Be Comprised Of People Of Color Who Reside In Lowell.

The following motion was apparently drawn up in response to letter and the motions above:

11.5 C. Elliott/C. Conway/C. Mercier/C. Rourke/C. Samaras/C. Chau – Req. City Council Adopt Resolution Regarding Inclusiveness, Equity And Racism In The City.
The following motions are in response to the recent passage of a motion to conduct a Human Resources audit in the City and School Department, and to seek grant funding to hire the necessary professionals:
11.3 C. Elliott – Req. City Council Vote To Set Up Lowell Equity And Inclusion Fund To Raise Money From Private Donations To Address Racism, Inclusiveness And Equity In City.
11.4 C. Elliott – Req. City Council Discuss Reallocating State And Federal Grant Resources For HR Audit Or Other Programs To Address Equity And Inclusiveness.

Councilor Chau filed the following motion. Its implications in light of the motion passed by the Council on June 9 to call a joint meeting of the Commission on Race Relations and relevant agencies are unclear:

C. Chau – Req. City Mgr. Create A City Commission To Investigate And Identify Systemic Inequities And Racism In The Following Areas: Housing, Education, Hiring, Health Care, Social Services, Mental Health And Transportation; Members Will Include, But Not To, Representatives From The Following Organizations; Mayor Or Appointee, City Manager Or Appointee, Lowell Housing Authority, CBA, Lowell General Hospital, Lowell Community Health Center, Community Team Work, Trinity Ambulance, PrideStar Ambulance, Lowell Regional Transit Authority, UMass Lowell, Lowell School Administration, Middlesex Community College, Lowell Career Center, UTEC And Lowell Transitional Center.Department Draft An Ordinance To Establish A Citizens Advisory Committee To Help Provide Public Input And Recommendations To The Lowell Police Department.


Councilor Rourke submitted the following motion to promote the Lowell Police Department’s community outreach efforts:
11.7 C. Rourke – Req. City Mgr. Provide The Council With A Comprehensive Report Regarding Lowell Police Department’s Collaboration With Community Partners Including Lowell Public Schools, Non-Profit Organizations And Other City Departments Through Funding And Active Participation.

Housing and Homelessness

Councilor Nuon keeps his eye on affordable housing:
11.2 C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. Work With Department Of Planning & Development To Compile A List Of HUD Projects With Affordable Housing Restrictions That Expire In Near Future.

To see the full agenda for the City Council meeting, click here: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_07142020-1628?html=true&fbclid=IwAR2kEucN2O303qRS7d0lYavFTkcJvxN6k-cceQ-3tfgBrLOd7P94SWerywo.