Greetings Friends, Colleagues and Neighbors;
I want to start by saying Thank You. I am extremely proud of our campaign efforts. The Hobbs Everett Committee did an outstanding job reaching out to volunteers, asking for donations and showing up in force for door-knocking, phone banking, and a robust youth outreach effort. I love that my team was eclectic, organic and grassroots. Truly a homegrown effort with kindergarten classmates to high school friends, folks from every aspect of all that is good in Haverhill showed their support in some way, and for that I am eternally grateful. As a kid who grew up here feeling more like an outsider, this show of support city-wide is proof that community is what you make it. Or rather that WE make community. My vision for this city remains intact and as I have done over the past 10 years, I will continue to stay rooted in creating a sense of community here in this city. The efforts to see Haverhill move forward did not start with this campaign and they don’t end here. We will continue to mobilize, to have the hard conversations, to connect with more residents, to cultivate more critically thinking youth, to disrupt the average and strive towards excellence, and I know you will all be there with me.
We ran an honest and clean campaign and I want to commend each and every supporter and volunteer for taking the high road despite signs being stolen, being flipped-off and the threat of violence. We showed up, we smiled, we did the hard work and we did it with grit and grace. Folks of all ages, racial backgrounds, ability status, education levels, and socio-economic backgrounds rolled up their sleeves and worked side by side with a shared vision and passion for progress. I could not be prouder! As I type this I am overwhelmed by how blessed I am to have such wonderful people supporting me and our shared goals for this city. Throughout this entire campaign I felt strong. I know the strength I felt was not just my own, but it was our collective strength, the strength of community. I hope you too felt that strength in the moment. The air of hope, of possibility, of change. Let us hold on to that as we move forward. The outcome was not what we had hoped for and I know that many of you are feeling defeated, sad, numb, or maybe even angry. I can feel that too. We share in hope and in sorrow, collectively. This is our superpower. That we are not so fragmented, or so disconnected that we can not “feel”. So right now we may feel as they say “some kind of way” and that is OK.
“But still like air, we rise” - Maya Angelou
Friends, we have work to do. We have many in this city who do not feel represented, who still feel disconnected, who have been silenced and intimidated. We have some folks who feel overlooked, pushed out or forgotten. Our elders and our youth, our marginalized and our multi-abled, our neighbors struggling with addictions and homelessness. We have a human rights issue in this city, there are folks that still need to have their voices heard and we must continue to advocate with and for each other despite the odds. My hope is that you will join me, and I can promise you I will continue to fight. I want to leave you with two quotes from Martin Luther King that best reflect my thoughts on today:
“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up.”
“I still believe that we shall overcome.” - MLK
In Solidarity, Kat
Katrina”Kat” Hobbs Everett, M. Ed., Community Enthusiast