Featured

Malden Makes Language Access a Priority at the Polls

By Martha Bezzat To serve Malden’s growing number of non-native English speakers, the city administration  is implementing new technology that will impact voting and language access for voters this November for the midterm state and federal elections. A new campaign called “I Speak” was initiated during the Sept. 6 primary election and was an opportunity to do a trial run of new Pocketalk devices that support voters speaking other language backgrounds to access, read, and understand the ballots. Poll workers were trained prior to the election and were specifically trained to recognize when voters may be having difficulty with language accessibility and to practice cultural sensitivity. The process works like this: 1) voters can point to a picture on language recognition cards to indicate what language they speak, 2) then a poll worker plugs that language into the Pocketalk device, which contains 72 languages, and 3) then they will be able to have a conversation with the poll worker, in English with translation back and forth, about their needs or questions. Susan Ecker, a Malden resident and […]

Featured

Malden’s housing crisis reaches far and wide

By Shannon A. Garrido Berges As more people—students and families alike—occupy Malden’s newly vibrant downtown, looming housing instability threatens to stall the city’s economic progress. As the region recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are dealing with both a growing economy and a housing crisis. Many citizens in Malden are finding it harder to keep up with the housing cost burden, leading many to rely on a faulty, sometimes exploitative rental market. Neighborhood View interviewed Amanda Linehan, city council representative for Ward 3, about the landscape of housing in Malden today and what the future might hold.  “Over the last few decades, we have not produced enough entry-level housing that’s affordable to working families and working households. And on the other side of that coin, there isn’t anywhere for retiring folks to downsize into,” said Linehan. “So a lot of the larger homes, even apartments that in another generation would have cycled over to a younger demographic [don’t, and] those folks have nowhere to go.” Alex Pratt, Malden Community Development Director, also […]

Events

Malden hosts Brazilian election site: Ex-pat voters weigh in on candidates

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I heard several warnings not to drive on Salem Street on Sunday, Oct. 2, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Malden was hosting a polling site – one of only two sites in Massachusetts – for Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election for the country’s expats in the area. According to WBUR, many of the more than 37,000 Brazilian citizens who live in New England were preparing to cast their ballots in the presidential election at these two Massachusetts voting locations. On a whim, I rode my bike down to do a story for Neighborhood View. The outside of the Salemwood School was abuzz with energy.  Lots of bright yellow and Brazilian flags waved in the breeze. Voters were checking the polling information outdoors before heading inside to cast their ballots.  A woman stood atop a safety block in front of the school, using it as a podium, holding the head of a Trump doll and shouting excitedly in support of Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, the current rightist Brazilian president, is being challenged by […]

Education

Malden students walk out amid faculty changes, cite communication problems

By Taylor Lee Earlier this month, hundreds of Malden High School students walked out of classes midday to protest layoffs in the Malden public schools. The next day they held a vigil in downtown Malden attended by Malden residents and faculty. Protestors were concerned that 105 education faculty members did not have their contracts renewed.  “I will continue to march and protest in honor of this,” said Juliana Davidson, a senior at Malden High School. “I will not be silenced until resolutions are solved.” “We have 105 flameless candles, representative of the 105 educational relationships extinguished by the office of the superintendent,” said Malden Education Association President Deborah Gesualdo at the vigil. “We’re leaving them here to continue to represent every single one of those people. Every single one of those educators. As an acknowledgment of what will be lost in our district.” Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy released a statement on May 13 saying 63 “non-renewal letters” were sent out. She listed a variety of reasons, including performance-based cuts, low enrollment in classes and some faculty being temporary hires […]

Events

Malden residents join protests against reported human rights atrocities in China 

By Nikita Sampath  Two days after the Olympic Games began in Beijing, Chris Choi, a Malden nursing student originally from Hong Kong, was standing in the bitter cold in Copley Square  with a group of protesters calling for a boycott of the games to draw attention to reports of human rights violations in China.  “Any kind of participation in the games is equivalent to being complicit in the atrocities China is committing,” said Choi who has been organizing for No Beijing 2022  in the last few years. Choi’s family left Hong Kong following the Anti-Extradition Law protests in 2019-2020.   A few miles away in Medford, a group of protesters, including some from Malden, have been gathering every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., in front of the Colonial Volkswagen dealership on Mystic Avenue. The protests started in reaction to the allegations that Volkswagen has been using forced laborers of Uyghur descent, an ethnic minority in China, in the company’s factory located in Urumqi, Xinjian, built in 2013.  Organized by Maya Mitalipova, the president of the Boston Uyghur Association, the weekly demonstration […]

Featured

Incident sparks racial equity measures and further discourse in Malden

By Saliha Bayrak   A series of recent events in Malden have deepened the city’s ongoing social discourse about racial equity, particularly as it relates to the Asian-American community, and have led to new initiatives by the City Council. On Dec. 11, 2021, roughly 100 Malden residents gathered outside the Malden City Hall Plaza, in a city home to over 13,000 Asian residents, for what they called a standout. The demonstrators held up signs reading “Stop Asian Hate,” led chants and created noise with drums and cymbals. The standout was part of an ongoing effort to address issues of race and representation in Malden, this time sparked by a social media post. In November 2021, images of City Councilor Jadeane Sica wearing a Halloween costume, which were deemed racist by organizations such as the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC), were re-surfaced after being first posted on Facebook in 2019. Sica and her husband were portraying an Asian sex worker and Patriots owner Bob Kraft, a reference to Kraft’s arrest for soliciting prostitution at the […]

Events

Campaign season over: A look at the 2021 municipal election in Malden

By Saliha Bayrak. Photos by Keren He. On Nov 2, residents of Malden headed to the polls to vote for councilors-at-large, city councilors, and school committee members. Excitement was high as candidates and Malden residents stood outside voting locations with signs in support. Incumbent Craig Spadafora and two newcomers, Karen Colón Hayes and Carey McDonald, won seats for councilor-at-large.  “We ran a very serious, competitive campaign from the beginning, and that was a campaign built on reaching out to all parts of the community,” said McDonald on an Urban Media Arts livestream during election night. His campaign focused on knocking on doors, working across neighborhoods, and ensuring that citizens had access to information in their own language, McDonald said.  Peg Crowe (Ward 1), Amanda Linehan (Ward 3), Ryan O’Malley (Ward 4), Barbara Murphy (Ward 5), and Jadeane Sica (Ward 8) were re-elected for city council in their respective wards. Chris Simonelli joined Ward 7’s city council after a hiatus from city government, while Stephen Winslow, formerly councilor-at-large, was elected to the Ward 6 seat. The […]