Hi, Folks. This is Mayor Mike Cahill with two updates on this Wednesday evening.
The Beverly High School Music Department has been hard at work, and will present their first ever Virtual Spring Concert tomorrow evening, June 11th, at 7 PM on BevCam Channel 22. Chorus, band, string ensemble, and a grand finale performance that features all students will make this an exciting event to watch with the whole family. Please tune in on BevCam Channel 22. I am sure it will be fantastic.
Today, a remarkable and special Black Lives Matter march took place in Beverly. To anyone questioning how this event happened when other large outdoor gatherings are not being allowed, I can share three thoughts with you.
First, I do hear and acknowledge the frustrations many of you have with treasured traditions and rites of passage not happening as you and your loved ones have hoped. With this said, the Governor’s current order on school graduations does not allow a traditional graduation to take place now. His order does hold the hope for something more approximating the graduations we are all accustomed to, but not until after July 18th. Yesterday, I was in a meeting with Lt. Governor Polito and other state officials who reinforced that large outdoor gatherings, 4th of July parades and graduations included, are not possible now; in this meeting, state officials also reinforced that First Amendment Free Speech and Assembly marches, demonstrations, and rallies are a Constitutionally required exception to this prohibition on gatherings.
The Black Lives Matter march that took place today is, as I am sure you understand, an event that comprises United States Constitution First Amendment protected free speech and assembly. Solely on grounds of COVID-19 concerns, I might have preferred this event not happen now. However, I understand and I support the need people have to exercise these Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Third, the young people who organized today’s event approached me last week to express their plan to hold this event and to request the city’s help in doing so safely. I am very grateful they reached out, as working alongside them we were able to emphasize the importance of wearing face coverings and of social distancing during the event, which we and the youth organizers reinforced during the event. In fact, most people were mindful and respectful of these requests and wore face coverings throughout. Further, this cooperative partnership with the youth organizers allowed us to plan a walking route that our police department was able to keep free of car traffic, ensuring safety for all participants.
Our community is a caring one, and we will embrace the hard work moving forward to listen and learn from our neighbors and friends of color. It’s long past time in America that every person feel and be safe in their daily lives and enjoy the opportunities in life that some but not all have enjoyed in our country to date. I want to thank our young community leaders who organized today’s event for setting us on the right course. I look forward to our shared journey together, and I urge you all to join in.
Thank you. Be well and be safe.