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.
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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.