Sunday, October 30, 2011

Evaluation 2 of letter by FORMER Cambridge Women’s Commission Leader

The reality behind this letter is that two incumbent city councilors with terrible records are being praised for being pro civil rights with regard to the fight over the destruction of the life of the former head of the Cambridge Police Review Board in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The two people praised in her letter voted to fund the outrageous appeal to the Massachusetts Appeals Court which was treated with disgust by the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

The two people praised in her letter would not dream of implementing the court decisions and firing the Cambridge City Manager.

Cambridge is a city in which there is an awful lot of very pious proclamations of sainthood.

Cambridge has self proclaimed “environmentalists” associated with Team Healy who brag of a level of ethics with regard to heartless animal abuse which would embarrass Michael Vick.

Frankly, I do not see a great deal of reason to praise people who will not fire Healy for destroying that woman’s life, any more than I feel need to praise heartless animal abusers for their claims of environmentalism simultaneous with their bragging of those ethics which would embarrass Michael Vick.

I know of exactly one candidate for Cambridge City Council who would implement the court decisions and fire the Cambridge City Manager.

Jamake Pascual.

Cambridge politics are owned by Team Healy. Cambridge Politics is a world well worthy of the contempt of decent human beings.

Evaluation of letter by former Women’s Commission head

On looking at the Ryan letter I posted, I was surprised to see that she commented that two city councilors had been reported in the Chronicle to have questioned the appeal. My memory is that the Chronicle reported that THEY stated they had questioned the appeal.

My understanding is that the only member of the council to express a wish that the City Council seek independent council is Kelley. These other self serving, after the fact comments could be behind the Chronicle’s attempt to get the official record. The Chronicle very clearly wants to know what really happened behind closed doors. This would allow the Chronicle to make certain, among other things, that these self serving comments after the fact are in fact true.

Exactly ZERO incumbents or candidates, OTHER THAN JAMAKE PASCUAL, would accept the court opinion and fire Healy for destroying the life on Malvina Monteiro in retaliation for the filing the civil rights complaint.

I am still waiting for somebody to correct me on this last statement, or for that matter to provide exact citations to the validity of Ryan’s report that the two incumbents’ self serving statements were instead reports of the Chronicle. In any case, such statements, if true, would be far overshadowed by the failure to support getting independent council.

Then again, the current total lack of interest OTHER THAN BY JAMAKE PASCUAL, in firing the City Manager for Monteiro says everything.

Monteiro: Unexpurgated letter from the former head of the Cambridge, MA, Women’s Commission

I am very hesitant about using names if I can avoid it. Under the current situation, there seems no alternative and, taking her communication in context, it would appear that the source would find it acceptable to use her name.

The following letter was posted on the Cambridgeport listserve as part of a series of communications on the Monteiro / Cambridge City Manager situation.

Laura Blackwell is passing a letter from Nancy Ryan, the former head of the Women’s Commission which corresponds to the oped published by the Cambridge Chronicle on line which I have digested. I have not checked to ensure the two communications are identical. I have omitted Laura and Nancy’s email addresses and Nancy’s phone number.


Got this letter from a person I really respect. Laura


Dear Cambridge Friends—

I am deeply disturbed by the remarks of most Cambridge City Councilors that the issues raised in the Malvina Monteiro case are not serious enough to merit their concern. Most of the non-incumbents seem to share this dismissive attitude toward a case of racial discrimination that led to a jury’s verdict of retaliation at the highest levels of the city’s administration. The retaliation occurred after Monteiro filed a formal discrimination complaint. Councilors’ recent comments impel me to offer a very different perspective – one informed by my values and by my own experiences during the 13-year effort to bring these issues to the attention of City officials.

We must ask ourselves --do we expect City government officials -- both elected and appointed -- to stand up for the right of employees to get a fair hearing when they complain of discrimination? Can we allow retaliation to silence the diverse experiences and points of view in our city’s workforce? Are these not serious issues for our City Council to act on?

The treatment of Malvina Monteiro, according to Superior Court Judge Bonnie MacLeod Mancuso, involved “a deliberate, systematic campaign to punish the plaintiff as a reprisal for her effrontery in lodging a discrimination claim.” The judge’s “Memorandum of Decision,” issued in April, 2009, affirms the jury’s unprecedented award of $4.5 million for back pay, emotional distress and punitive damages; it states: “The jury, proceeding on the collective sum of their experiences, appear to have worked their way to dollar amounts that reflect the jurors’ assessment of the reprehensibility of Healy’s conduct, and what it will take to deter like conduct in the future.” [I will provide the judge’s complete Memorandum to anyone who requests it.]

It is important to note that City Council members had this document in hand in the Spring, 2009. Yet according to the Cambridge Chronicle, only two Councilors (Decker and Reeves) urged the City Manager not to appeal and to look seriously at the implications of the jury’s and the judge’s decision regarding the treatment of this Cape Verdean woman, the Executive Secretary of the Police Review and Advisory Board. In August, 2011, the Massachusetts Appeals Court rejected the City’s appeal, and the final award ballooned to $8.3 million. And now the City has reached a settlement with two other employees of color involved in the original discrimination suit.

But it’s not even about the money – for me, it’s about the values by which we live and work in Cambridge. Councilor Davis stated in a recent candidates’ debate that these concerns about discrimination and retaliation are not serious; Councilor Toomey brushed them aside with the claim that there are secret truths about Monteiro yet to be revealed; Councilor Seidel admitted that he hadn’t read the judge’s commentary when he supported the city’s appeal; Councilor Simmons, Mayor at the time of the jury’s decision and issuance of the judge’s Memorandum, has maintained silence regarding her role in closed-door meetings. Please ask all the Councilors where they stood when they might have made a difference. And ask every candidate about the real issues of this case – the chilling effects of retaliation and the outright or tacit rejection of any responsibility for the City’s actions.

Nancy Ryan (Executive Director, Cambridge Women’s Commission, 1981-2006)

(Please feel free to share this with others who might care about these issues)

Nancy Ryan