Chelsea Residents Express Outrage Over Funding for City in COVID Relief Package

Residents of Chelsea, Massachusetts, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, protested Tuesday against the $3.9 million in aid the city will receive out of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which is providing larger sums to neighboring cities like Everett and Revere

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In one of the Massachusetts cities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of upset residents gathered on Tuesday to protest the latest federal stimulus package, taking aim at the $3.9 million that Chelsea is slated to receive out of a $1.9 trillion pot.

Neighboring cities like Everett and Revere, which have slightly larger populations, will receive substantially higher sums — $13.5 and $30 million, respectively.

"To the teenagers outside of Chelsea, step outside of your warm bed and step into the shoes of a Chelsea teen who's been evicted by mom and dad because their room is being rented out to catch up on the rent," said one protester.

Demonstrators pointed out that many immigrants don't fill out the census, fearing repercussions from the government. They fear that played a role in the smaller sum allocated to the city.

"I think people are justifiably upset here in Chelsea," said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino. "The most disproportionately impacted community — Chelsea — is getting substantially less money than other communities around us. That really is unconscionable."

Ambrosino said the city's only choice now is to work with state leaders to negotiate a separate stimulus package.

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