Elected in May 2015 to a 3rd term as Brookline Town Meeting Member, Merelice's background includes these highlights:
• Founding member, White Place Neighborhood Association and Brookline Neighborhood Alliance
• 40-year Brookline resident
• Board-member, Brookline Improvement Coalition (for developing/managing affordable housing)
• Board-member, Brookline GreenSpace Alliance
• Member, Selectmen’s Zoning Bylaw Committee, Bountiful Brookline, Gateway East Committee
• Participant in neighborhood eco-team, as a member of Climate Change Action
• Statewide Secretary, Green-Rainbow Party
• Steering Committee Member, Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending
Merelice is an active supporter of
• livable neighborhoods
• a sustainable environment
• excellent town services
• quality educational opportunity
• fiscal responsibility
• appropriate development
Merelice is currently working on Article 18:
WHEREAS, this resolution reinforces Brookline’s commitment to racial diversity in the workforce as reflected in the provisions of the Commonwealth Compact of Massachusetts which Brookline joined in 2010;
WHEREAS, among Town residents, there is growing interest in the Town's progress toward hiring a more diverse workforce, particularly in management and supervisory level positions;
WHEREAS, the Town is striving to identify, recruit, hire, promote, and retain workers from diverse backgrounds;
WHEREAS, the Town understands that the benefits of diverse perspectives include, among other benefits, better decision-making and creative approaches to problems;
WHEREAS, the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations (the Commission) has been tasked with studying the Town's employment practices as they relate to achieving and maintaining a diverse workforce;
WHEREAS, the DICR Office in conjunction with the Commission is proceeding to revise the Town’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy and is working with the Town’s Human Resources Office to produce meaningful and clear historical data concerning the level of diversity in the Town’s workforce;
WHEREAS, despite the Town’s efforts, the racial makeup of the Town’s workforce, particularly employees who are Black, Hispanic-Latino/a, Asian, American Indian, and other people of color, does not reflect the racial make-up and availability of workers in the metropolitan Boston region, comprised, for purposes of this Resolution, of the Counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Middlesex (“Metro Boston.”), from which the Brookline workforce would naturally be drawn.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Brookline is committed to seeking a diverse pool of available workers as it moves toward the goal of having all Town Departments, at all employment grade levels, reasonably reflect the racial diversity of Metro Boston;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town of Brookline, through its Commission for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations and the DICR Office, the Town’s Human Resources Department, and Town Department heads, shall continue to improve annual data reports and establish methods of measurement to enable the Commission and Office to evaluate progress toward that goal, as desired by Town residents.
Or act on anything relative thereto.
Having a job can keep employees out of poverty, motivate their children toward acquiring education and training, provide their families with basic human needs (food, shelter, clothing), avoid the prison pipeline, and correct centuries-long inequality in American society. Statistically, Massachusetts has a relatively low rate of people of color and they suffer the greatest level of discriminatory practices, as explained in the Massachusetts Compact which Brookline joined in 2010 in an effort to make the Commonwealth more welcoming.
This Resolution is timely in that it acknowledges Brookline has been embarking on a more conscious effort to address such discriminatory practices. The Resolution can help expand the public conversation and commitment toward making progress — especially highlighting the ongoing need to track and evaluate results of the Town’s efforts and respond appropriately. The Resolution has been carefully crafted to avoid the legal pitfalls of 1) setting quotas instead of aspirational goals, and 2) using race as a qualification for hiring instead of an effort to greatly diversify the pool of candidates for jobs at all levels.
We see our Town, the largest employer in Town, and surrounded by a “majority/minority” city, as able to prepare for a future that can enhance the quality of life for all of us, producing a win-win not only for employees, but also for everyone who depends on a healthy economy to provide life-span human services.