EVERETT (CBS) – It was standing room only at Monday night’s Everett City Council meeting in response to one councilor’s message on Facebook. Neighbors came with a loud clear message of their own.
“We make a lot of contributions in our city and we’re not going to stand for any of that,” one man said.
Proud members of Everett’s Haitian and immigrant communities say they won’t stand for Stephen Simonelli. The city councilor last week responded to a Facebook comment about a “nasty Haitian woman.” He wrote, “learn language stop complaining should be grateful for just being here we Know you nothing but you want every thing.”
Protesters lined the sidewalk outside City Hall Monday night, sharing how they and their children make Everett stronger.
“The Haitian community, they are hardworking people,” Pierre Boisvert said. “My wife is a teacher. I am a real estate agent.”
During the scheduled city council meeting, an apology was shared on behalf of Simonelli, who is unable to speak.
It read in part: “I never said nor would I ever say anything racist, bigoted or hateful. I was simply commenting on a post. Any insinuation that my comments were racist are an attack on me and the work I’ve done for our community.”
Many in attendance refused his apology, promising this is not over.
“I’m going to work hard. Extremely hard, to get him out of office,” resident Guerline Alcy said.
The agenda for the meeting was already established before Simonelli made the Facebook comment. The city council president said they would be discussing it and reviewing their council policies at the next meeting in two weeks.