Skip to main content

Full text of "HumanServices"

See other formats


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


HEALTH 
& HUMAN 
SERVICES 





The Arlington Department of Health and Human 

Services (HHS) consists of the following divisions: 

¢ Health Department 

¢ Council on Aging 

¢ Veterans Services 

¢ Youth Health and Safety Coalition 

¢ Youth Counseling Center 

¢ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 


The Department also coordinates the activities of 

the following boards and commissions: 

¢ Board of Health 

¢ Council on Aging 

¢ Veterans Council 

¢ Board of Youth Services 

¢ Disability Commission 

¢ Human Rights Commission 

¢ Rainbow Commission 


The mission of the Department of Health and Hu- 
man Services is to protect the health of the public and 
assist residents with accessing services to meet basic 
human needs. In order to accomplish this, the Depart- 
ment relies on many different sources of funding includ- 
ing Town, state and federal funds, grants, foundation 
funding and donations. Additionally, hundreds of volun- 
teers assist. 

In 2019 the Department of Health and Human 
Services continued to promote racial equity work within 
the divisions of the Department. A Diversity, Equity and 
Inclusion Coordinator was hired to coordinate the work 
of the Human Rights Commission, Disability Commis- 
sion and Rainbow Commission as well as coordinate 
the work of the Town related to racial equity. 


BOARD OF HEALTH 


The mission of the Arlington Board of Health is 
to protect the public health of the Town of Arlington 
through enforcement of health codes and regulations 
while promoting a healthy community. The Board of 
Health is a statutory board comprised of three commu- 
nity members at large, one of which must be a physi- 
cian, appointed by the Town Manager for a three year 
terms. The Board holds public meetings and conducts 
public hearings as necessary for health code violations. 
Additionally, the Board adopts regulations that provide 
protections beyond the minimum standards outlined in 
Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) and State Sani- 


50 


tary Code (codified in the Code of Massachusetts Reg- 
ulations, C.M.R) and sets town-wide policy related to 
important health issues. In 202, the Board met ten times 
to conduct hearings and discuss the following topics: 
¢« COVID-19 Pandemic 
¢ Flu vaccination clinics 
¢ Amendments to the Regulations Restricting 
the Sale of Tobacco and Nicotine Delivery 
Products 
¢ Adult-use Recreational Marijuana regulations 
¢ Keeping-of-hens permit applications 
¢ Housing code violations 
¢ Food code violations 


¢ Food code variance requests 





HEALTH DEPARTMENT 


The Health Department is located at 2/7 Maple 
Street in the Arlington Senior Center. The Department 
handles the day-to-day procedural operations and ad- 
ministrative duties associated with the Board of Health. 
The Department is required by State statutes and regu- 
lations to perform many duties relative to the protection 
of public health and safety, the control of disease, the 
promotion of safe and sanitary living conditions, and the 
protection of the environment from damage and pollu- 
tion. These mandated requirements are fulfilled by en- 
vironmental health and public health nursing staff within 
the Health Department. The Department is comprised 
of a Public Health Director, two Health Compliance Offi- 
cers, one Office Manager (which is shared with Human 
Services), a part-time Public Health Nurse, and a part- 
time Sealer of Weights and Measures. 

Calendar year 2020 is hard to put into words, 
as it was unlike any other year in the field of Public 
Health. In January the Department began monitoring 
the global spread of COVID-19 in China. In February 
the Public Health Nurse started monitoring quarantined 
residents returning from Wuhan China for symptoms 
of COVID-19, and shortly thereafter in March Arlington 
had its first positive case of COVID-19, and Governor 
Baker declared a State of Emergency in response to the 
virus. As a result, the Health Department took charge of 
responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Arlington. The 
Department worked closely with Town administration, 
meeting daily, to provide briefings on COVID-19 activity 
in Town and evaluate public health and safety proto- 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


cols in the community. The entire Department shifted 
its focus from routine work to full-time contact tracing, 
disease investigation, and enforcement and education 
as it related to COVID-19. Such duties included the is- 
suance of orders to isolate and/or quarantine, enforce- 
ment of COVID-19 safety standards, guidelines, and 
orders issued by the State, and education to public and 
private businesses, schools, as well as other entities 
and organizations on reopening guidance and develop- 
ing COVID-19 safety plans/protocols. In response to the 
increased demand on the Department, with COVID-19; 
two additional Health Compliance Officers were hired 
over the summer bringing the number of Health Com- 
pliance Officers up to four. Due to the pandemic, the 
number of permits issued and inspections completed by 
the Department will be significantly less than previous 
years. Additionally, the total number of communicable 
disease investigations is significantly higher as a result 
of COVID-19 cases and other communicable disease 
were under reported and/or investigated across the 
State. 


Environmental Health Permitting and Inspections 

Staff annually permits and regularly inspects 
restaurants, tobacco retailers, tanning establishments, 
body art establishments, public and semi-public swim- 
ming pools, chicken coops, camps, one medical and 
recreational marijuana establishment, one BioTech 
facility, and three bathing beaches. Inspectors from 
the Department also investigate numerous resident 
complaints related to any health issue within the com- 
munity, ranging from trash and dumpster complaints to 
housing code violations, pest activity, as well as noise 
and odor concerns. In 2020 the environmental health 
division was comprised of two full-time inspectors, 
until two additional inspectors were hired to assist with 
general environmental health issues and COVID-19 
contact tracing. The Department also contracts with 
two food safety consultants to conduct a portion of 
mandated food establishment inspections. Highlights 
from 2020 include: 


¢ Staff has responded to over 1,000 Covid-19 
calls since the pandemic began. 

¢ Staff investigated thirteen food complaints 

¢ Seven new food establishments opened or 
changed ownership and fifteen establish- 
ments closed. 

¢ Staff conducted 14 housing inspections and 
collaborated with the Attorney General’s 
Abandoned Housing Initiative Program on 
five properties. 

























































































Permits Issued | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 2020 
Food 349 324 368 198 
Tobacco 19 19 19 19 
Waste Hauler 19 20 21 16 
Funeral Director 7 7 7 7 
Tanning 
Establishment 1 1 1 1 
Public Pool 8 8 8 4 
Public Beach 3 3 3 2 
Ice Rink 1 1 1 0 
Keeping of Hens 12 13 14 17 
Camps 6 6 6 4 
Body Art 
Ps cieninent 
Body Art 
cionet 2 2 2 2 
Total 428 405 448 271 
Inspection Type 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 
Food Establishment 
& Temporary Food 
Event* 459 503 484, 254 
Tobacco 
Compliance Check 38 12 20 0 
Housing 160 172 138 14 
Demolition 
Inspection 26 21 16 7 
Nuisance 
Inspection 417 405 408 124 
Keeping of Hens 11 3 10 4 
Bodywork 
Establishment 0 3 0 1 
Total 1,105; 1,119; 1,076) 404 

















“Temporary food event inspections include: Farmer’s 
Market, Feast of the East, Town Day, and other various 


public health events throughout the year. 























Type of Food 

Permits Issued 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 
Food Establishment 

Permits 193 191 193 175 
Mobile Food 

Permits 3 1 3 0 
Residential Kitchen 

Permits 11 12 11 9 
Farmers Market 

Permits 13 9 12 f 
Temporary Event 

Food Permit 126 132 149 7 
Total 346 345 366 198 




















51 








oc 
7.) 
an 
= 
<x 
a 
Ap 


2) 
ae 
g 
Zz 
Lid 
ia) 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


Public Health Nursing Communicable Disease Surveillance 

The primary responsibility of the Public Below is a list of communicable diseases that 
Health Nurse is to prevent the spread of disease in have been investigated and monitored by the public 
our community. The roles and responsibilities of this health nurse over the the years. 


position include health promotion and education, amine ae 8 2018 | 2019 2019 | 2020 2020 2020 
communicable disease surveillance and investigation, — —————— 
and emergency preparedness planning. (a ee 
[Calcivirusinorovius | = | 3 | 1 
Ce cae ei [Campylobactor Enteritis | 10 | 9 | 4 
au ecg acne foreur eeiacn: 
and holds flu vaccination clinics for our residents. Eon Page 2) 2] = 
However, in 2020, the State of Massachusetts [Cyclosporiasis, | | | 
mandated that all school age children be vaccinated COVID-19, si | 1,051 
for influenza. As a result, the Department partnered [DengueFever | ~ | 1 | = 
with the Arlington Public Schools and focused its Giardia ti(<‘<s@t*é~sYC(CCdTC 
efforts on holding flu vaccination clinics for school 
age children. Clinic locations included the Thompson, [GroupAstrep ss | 2 | 2 | 
Stratton, Ottoson and Bishop Schools, public housing 
buildings, other Town departments, and the Arlington [Haemophilus influenza | - | 1 | — | 
Senior Center. This year we relied on over twenty — 
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers to help run HepatiisA | tf 2 fH 
our clinics. While the majority of school age children HepatiisB | 18) 9 | — | 
were vaccinated at Doctor’s office and pharmacies, 
the Department was able to vaccinate almost 600 
residents. This is a much smaller number than oes z S| 4 | 
previous years when we conduct vaccination clinics fHepatiisE | = | | 
for the general public. In 2020, COVID-19 precautions nr |e | | 
and regulations impacted typical flu clinic operations. mosis 
In addition to immunizations, our Public Health Nurse 
lead the charge on COVID-19 disease investigation, Invasive Bacterial Infection | 1 | — | — 
contact tracing, and vaccination planning efforts. 
































‘tyme Disease ——=SS~*d:CS | a | 
ee 














Vaccinated 


Residents | 1,478 2,064 1,564) 594, [Mumps | = | tt 








Penussis —SSC=“<~idCS 
fateverSSOSC—<~sdS SP 
[Samoneia—SSC~=~“~*~‘“dtCS CSC 
[Shigatoxin —SSSC=~iC 
[Shigelosis ———SSSC~—C 
[Strep pneumonia invasve | 3 | 3 | = 
TTicktome i 


Tuberculosis contact, and 
suspected cases in addition to 42 64 
probable and confirmed cases 


Varicella | | 
Ce ee ee 

CS ee 

TY Zika 

Scenes from vaccination clinics. -- Denotes disease not tracked/present in those years 


52 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


Emergency Preparedness 

In 2018 the Arlington Health Department became 
the host agency for the 4B Medical Reserve Corps 
(MRC), now known as the Metro East MRC. The Metro 
East MRC is one of the four federally recognized MRC’s 
in the region and consists of 18 communities, including 
Arlington. The MRC is comprised of local health profes- 
sionals and non-medical laypersons that contribute their 
skills and expertise during times of public health emer- 
gency and non-emergency community events. They as- 
sist existing community emergency medical response 
systems, as well as provide a group of readily trained 
and available resources to help a community deal with 
pressing public health needs and improvements. 

In 2020 the Metro East MRC welcomed an addi- 
tional 310 new volunteers to the unit. This is largely in 
response to the pandemic. Although the MRC was un- 
able to hold in person trainings, they managed to pro- 
vide a multitude of virtual training opportunities such as 
Emerging and Infections Disease and Workplace Safety, 
Overdose Prevention, Narcan & Hands only CPR, Pet 
First Aid, Emergency Dispensing Sites 101, Prepared- 
ness for Seniors, Family Preparedness, and COVID-19 
Facts and Myths. Additionally, Metro East MRC vol- 
unteers were called upon to assist in the COVID-19 
response through backfilling positions at long term 
care facilities, providing assistance at COVID-19 test- 
ing sites, staffing state and local call centers, providing 
translation services, delivering food and medications to 
residents in need, and assisting at various flu clinics. 
In 2020 the Metro East MRC volunteers provided over 
6,000 hours of volunteer service which translates to an 
economic impact value of $189,617.65. 


Weights and Measures 

To ensure compliance with the Consumer and 
Merchant Protection Act, the Sealer of Weights and 
Measures conducts inspections of scales, scanners, 
and dispensing equipment. This includes retail stores, 
gas stations, oil trucks, taxi cabs, and food establish- 
ments. The Sealer responds to all consumer complaints 
to ensure fairness and accuracy. 

As merchants are inspected annually, compliance 
with standards and accuracy of merchant measuring 
devices has increased steadily. The Sealer of Weights 
and Measures determines the amount of savings by 
computing the amount of fuel pumped each year from a 
particular measuring device, such as a gas pump. 

As a result of the pandemic and employee injury 
the Department was only able to conduct 2 vehicle tank 
meter (heating oil truck) inspections. 


COUNCIL ON AGING 


The Council on Aging, a division of the Department 
of Health and Human Services, is a community based 
social services organization that supports residents age 
60 and over in Arlington. 2020 was a year that the COA 
adapted and grew in order to support older adults in 
Arlington through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The year began under the direction of a new Ex- 
ecutive Director, Kristine Shah, who was previously 
the COA Supervisor of Volunteers and Transportation. 
Plans were well underway for the highly anticipated 
$8M renovation of the Senior Center at 27 Maple Street, 
which will transform the building in to the Arlington Com- 
munity Center. A capital campaign continued through 
2020 to raise additional funds to furnish the center and 
make it a more accessible and modern space. 

By January 2019, the COA had created an exten- 
sive plan to continue all programs and activities off site, 
due to the impending construction at 27 Maple Street. 
This plan was implemented seamlessly and until the 
pandemic impacted us in March, older adults were 
adapting well to the temporary, off-site locations for all 
COA programs, activities and services. On March 16, 
the COA shifted extensively and began offering all pro- 
grams and services virtually, remotely or in a socially 
distant manor, in an effort to Keep our older adults safe. 
COA activities expanded exponentially since March and 
grew to include emergency efforts such as distributing 
over 4,000 donated masks to Arlington residents, as- 
sisting as the hotline for the Arlington EATS grocery 
delivery program, launching our Telephone Call Reas- 
surance Program to keep track of our most isolated res- 
idents and founding our Technology Loan Library, pro- 
viding seniors with devices and internet access so they 
can connect with the new virtual world that we all live in. 





Among this shift, construction began at 27 Maple 
Street in the spring and is making significant progress. 
COA offices have temporarily relocated to the 2" floor 
of the building until construction is complete. 


53 


SERVICES 


an 
,) 
aD 
= 
< 
aa 
am 





HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 





Community Center 
Anage-inendly space connecting senion with their neighbors 
2020 Highlights 

Established a weekly Telephone Call Reassur- 
ance Program to connect qualified volunteers with our 
most vulnerable and isolated residents through a week- 
ly check in call. 

Received new $15,000 CDBG Grant to establish 
a Technology Loan Library, allowing us to distribute 60+ 
Chromebooks, hot spots and other devices to older 
adults in Arlington. 

Served as the Arlington EATS grocery delivery ho- 
tline, assisting in over 9,000 food deliveries in Arlington 


through the program. 

Conducted over 140 instructor-led virtual exercise, 
yoga, stretching and other fitness classes on Zoom, 
free of charge to older adults in Arlington. 





ARI ae 
WG PLAIN | AL LS COUN, VAs SM ASA, 


? “Wl 
ia 
F | 
al 
Pe 
fe oo 
| 
| 
| 


Conducted over 60 additional virtual programs in- 
cluding weekly art therapy classes, summer concerts, 
weekly LGBTQ & Friends support groups, Scam Aware- 
ness Events, UCLA Memory Training, Intergenerational 
book club, Shakespeare discussion groups, low-vision 
Support group, movie nights and COVID related infor- 
mational sessions. 

Partnered in a new way with ACMi, to provide con- 
tent of fitness classes and educational programming for 
Arlington Residents who do not have internet access, 
but do have access to cable television. 

The robust COA Transportation program contin- 
ued throughout the pandemic under new guidelines and 
completed over 4,700 rides. There was no charge for 
transportation services from April — June. 

Distributed $14,500 through the Elderly and Dis- 
abled Tax Relief Fund, $25,500 through the Senior 
Property Tax Work off program and $3,000 through the 
Harry Barber program. 

Connected over 100 residents with volunteer 
SHINE Councilors for Medicare enrollment assistance 





54 


and over 50 residents with our volunteer attorney for 
legal assistance. 

Continued as a SNAP outreach provider, assisting 
67 residents with enrollment. 

Continued providing assistance to residents ap- 
plying for LYHEAP Fuel Assistance with both new ap- 
plications and renewals, in a socially distanced manor. 

Served 50 residents monthly through the Greater 
Boston Food Bank CSFP program, moving to a delivery 
only model due to the pandemic. 

Received funding from Lahey Hospital and Medi- 
cal Center to provide 60 residents with local and organic 
produce weekly for 20 weeks in the summer months. 

Over 1,000 one on-one direct social work services 
were provided by COA Social Workers via home visits, 
office appointments or phone consultation. 

Our COA Nurse completed over 120 at home flu 
shots in 2019 which allowed these residents to stay in 
their homes and not risk exposure to COVID. We also 
partnered with Walgreens pharmacy to provide an out- 
door flu clinic as a safer alternative for older adults in 
Arlington who were limiting indoor exposure. 

COA Volunteers assisted with over 500 requests 
for groceries and pharmacy related errands for high risk 
Individuals. 

65 volunteers delivered 140 turkey dinners to iso- 
lated older adults on Thanksgiving Day. 

75 holiday gift bags were distributed by volunteers 
to homebound older adults through our 3° annual Warm 
Wishes program. 

The Arlington for All Ages 5K Race took place 
virtually in September, raising over $3,000 toward the 
Capital Campaign. 

Conducted 3 socially distanced, outdoor podiatry 
clinics in order to meet the need for this service despite 
the pandemic. 

Held various “grab and go’ drive through events 
including ice cream socials, pumpkin patch pick up and 
holiday gift bag distribution in the Maple Street drive- 
way, allowing us to see our older residents in person, at 
a distance, and bring a smile to their day. 





HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


VETERANS SERVICES 


Veterans’ Services is a Division of Health and 

Human Services. The Director of Veterans’ Services 
works with Veterans living in Arlington to assist with 
accessing basic needs. Through Massachusetts 
General Law, Chapter 115, direct financial assistance 
is provided to veterans who qualify. Additionally, the 
Director assists veterans with accessing federal VA 
benefits. 


2020 Veteran Services’ Highlights 

¢ The Director serves as the Chairman of the 
Veterans Council along with six other mem- 
bers. The Council focuses on addressing 
current issues related to veteran memori- 
als, the review and development of policies 
pertaining to Arlington veterans, and new 
projects to promote Arlington and veterans. 
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Director 
and members of the council conducted public 
meetings regarding the development of a 
new Veteran Memorial Park. These meetings 
will continue once current restrictions are 
removed. 

¢ Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the annual 
Memorial Day ceremony was broadcast live 
by ACMi without public participation. The 
ceremony focused on the meaning and his- 
tory of Gold Star families along with recog- 
nizing the 75th anniversary of World War Il. 
The Veterans Day ceremony was broadcast 
by ACMi, highlighting various locations in 
Arlington. 

¢ The Director coordinated efforts to collect 
and distribute personal protective equipment 
and supplies needed by our first responders 
to protect them from COVID-19. Arlington 
residents generously donated masks, gowns, 
face shields, gloves, and disinfectant prod- 
ucts. 

¢ The Director assists local veterans and fami- 
lies in applying for, and receiving, federal VA 
benefits. Arlington veterans and/or depen- 
dents receive nearly $344,167.00 per month 
in tax-free veteran benefits from the VA. 

¢ The monument honoring Lt. Richard Buz- 
zell was unveiled. In addition to the new 
memorial a new flag pole and two benches 
were installed. These improvements greatly 
enhance the memorial and allow residents 
an opportunity to enjoy this new location. 
An official re-dedication ceremony will be 
planned in the future. 

¢ Arlington suffered the loss of two military vet- 
erans this year. Mary Foley, an Air Force vet- 


eran and long-time Arlington resident, was a 
Korean and Vietnam era veteran who passed 
away in April with no living family members. 
While adhering to COVID-19 guidelines resi- 
dents lined Mass Ave to honor Mary and her 
service to our nation. In November CWO2 
Marwan Gahbour was killed while serving 

on active duty overseas. Ihe Director worked 
closely with state and local agencies to coor- 
dinate a fitting tribute, honoring the service of 
CWO2 Marwan Gahbour and his family. 


FY2022 Veteran Services’ Goals 

¢ The re-dedication of the new memorial hon- 
oring Lt. Richard Buzzell. 

¢ The Director will continue to engage local 
residents, in public meetings, regarding the 
development of a new Veteran Memorial 
park. 

¢ The Director will continue to engage the 
community on benefits and services avail- 
able to our veterans and families. The focus 
will include increasing public participation in 
our Memorial Day and Veteran Day ceremo- 
nies. 

¢ The Director will continue to work with other 
agencies and companies in the area to pro- 
mote benefits and services provided on the 
local, state, and federal level. 


AYCC 


Arlington Youth 
Counseling Center 





ARLINGTON YOUTH COUNSELING CENTER 


The Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) is 
a community-based mental health center licensed by 
the Department of Public Health and serving Arlington 
youth (ages 3-21) and their families. AYCC is the leading 
provider of outpatient and school-based child and ado- 
lescent mental health services in Arlington, offering indi- 
vidual, group, and family counseling, psychiatric evalu- 
ation, and medication management. AYCC is committed 
to ensuring that all community youth and families have 
access to culturally sensitive and high quality care. To 
this end, AYCC strives to identify and address systemic 
inequities that create barriers to care, including financial 
barriers. AYCC is one of the only providers in the area 
that accepts youth with public health insurance and 
provides thousands of dollars of free and reduced-fee 
care to families who are uninsured, under-insured, or 
who otherwise cannot afford the cost of deductibles and 
copays. In addition to mental health services, AYCC 


95 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


oversees First Step- a support group for victims and 
survivors of domestic violence, and offers community 
resource support and case management services to Ar- 
lington residents experiencing homelessness, econom- 
ic instability, and other basic resource needs. 

The following list captures some of AYCC’s high- 
lights from 2020: 

Provided mental health services to 367 children, 
teens, and adult caregivers, including 107 new AYCC 
clients in 2020. Conducted a total of 7,750 sessions 
(including psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation, and 
medication treatment). 

Provided an additional 600 hours of clinical con- 
sultation and care coordination to AYCC clients and 
families. 

Implemented telehealth services in March to en- 
sure continued access to care for existing and prospec- 
tive AYCC clients during the pandemic. In total, AYCC 
conducted over 6,000 telehealth sessions with clients 
and their families. 

Between January and March of 2020, provided 
436 school-based counseling sessions to 69 students in 
the Arlington Public School through the Project Success 
program. During the pandemic, AYCC clinicians contin- 
ued to offer counseling services to 75 Project Success 
clients via telehealth. 

Provided weekly therapeutic support to students 
in the Workplace via a combination of in-person and vir- 
tual activities. 

Conducted a nine-week Parenting Support Group 
for parents and caregivers of elementary-aged children 
In Arlington. 

Provided over $30,000 in free and reduced fee 
care to 23 families in need of financial assistance. 

Facilitated weekly therapeutic groups for victims 
and survivors of domestic violence. Support groups 
were suspended in March due to the pandemic, but 
group leaders provided ongoing support to individual 
group members remotely. 

Collaborated with Arlington Public Schools to 
address the impact of racism on the mental health of 


students, and helped coordinate anti-racist and implicit 
bias trainings for school personnel and administrators. 
Provided community resource support and case 
management to 76 Arlington residents experiencing 
economic instability, homelessness, housing instability, 
food insecurity, barriers to healthcare, and other basic 
resource needs. 
¢ Partnered with the Arlington Health and 
Human Services Corporation to establish 
the Arlington COVID19 Relief Fund. To date, 
the fund has raised over $200,000 in com- 
munity donations, sponsorships, and grants 
to support the essential needs of community 
members impacted by the pandemic. 
¢ Administered over $100,000 in emergen- 
cy financial assistance from the Arlington 
COVID19 Relief Fund to 60 community 
members in need. 
¢ Collaborated with the Board of Youth Ser- 
vices and Arlington Public Schools to offer a 
Virtual Forum “Holding Strong During Tough 
Times: Managing Anxiety and Promoting 
Resiliency in the Family.” The presentation 
featured Dr. Nadja Reilly, and was attended 
by over 60 parents and other members of the 
community. 


OX 
ao 


¢ Collaborated with the Board of Youth Ser- 

vices to organize AYCC’s “SOfor50” Fundrais- 
ing Campaign. The campaign sought to raise 
$50,000 in honor of AYCC’s 50" Anniversary. 
Thanks to the generous outpouring of sup- 
port from the community, AYCC far exceeded 
its goal, raising nearly $60,000 to help fund 
future mental health programs and services 
at AYCC. 





56 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION 


In 2019 the Department of Health and Human 
Services hired a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEl) 
Coordinator to serve as the ADA Coordinator, to man- 
age and support the work, initiatives and goals of the 
Disability Commission, Human Rights Commission and 
LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, and lead the racial 
equity work for the Town. In late 2020 the Diversity, Eq- 
uity & Inclusion Division was established and is made 
up of a DEI Director and an Administrative Assistant. 
The DEI Division collaborates and partners with a num- 
ber of departments, boards and commissions across 
the Town, in addition to external organizations, to ad- 
vance equity goals. The DEI Division is heavily involved 
in the planning and executing of many of the programs 
and events put on by the three commissions under the 
division. The following activities and programs are some 
of the highlights that took place during 2020: 


Training & Education 

¢ Arlington joined the Government Alliance 
on Race & Equity (GARE), membership 
includes participation in monthly meetings 
with jurisdictions across the country working 
on various aspects of racial equity, additional 
discussions and topic tailored workshops are 
attended. 

¢ The Town started the Race And Equity Lead- 
ership (REAL) Training Program facilitated 
by the National League of Cities, in which 
approximately 65 Town leaders are partici- 
pating in a multi-level racial equity training, 
expanding knowledge and skills in how to 
operationalize and properly use racial equity 
toolkits in our work. 

¢ ACore Equity Team made up of Town em- 
ployees, representing most departments, has 
been established to work more closely with 
DEI Director to advance initiatives. 

¢ The Town contracted with racial equity 
consultancy Powerful Pathways to facilitate 
community dialogues around race, social 
justice, and equity, and to help foster a 
stronger relationship to build trust within the 
community. 

¢ DEI Director is an active member of bi-week- 
ly Racial Equity Learning Community offered 
through the CHNA 17, and an active member 
on both the Reparations and the Education 
Committees with the NAACP Mystic Valley 
Branch. 


Programs and Projects 


Established a Business Task Working group, 
with members of the Disability, Rainbow, and 
Human Rights Commissions to focus on how 
to engage with businesses to promote and 
support an anti-discriminatory and unbiased 
set of best practices. 
Set up a recurring chairs/co-chairs meeting, 
for the leaders to come together to share 
ideas and work through group challenges. 
Hosted Community Conversations-series of 
race talks in collaboration with the AHRC, 
APD, APS, VISIONS, INC, ACMi and other 
participants; topics included 
¢ Session 1: A Time of Reflection & Action 
¢ Session 2: Racism and Housing 
¢ Session 3: Arlington Public Schools Talk 
about School Discipline 
¢ Session 4: Elevating Suppressed Voices 
¢ Session 5: VISIONS, Inc. Diversity/Equi- 
ty/Inclusion Climate Assessment of APD 
¢ Session 6: Arlington Public Schools 
Listens to Suppressed Voices 
¢ Session 7: Town Session with Richard 
Pedrini: Apology and Acknowledgement 
Co-sponsored Black Lives Matter Vigil and 
Juneteenth Celebration. 
Co-facilitated with Powerful Pathways to 
provide the Community Racial Justice Teach- 
Ins; a five-session pilot program for commu- 
nity members to participate in workshop style 
discussions on racial justice topics over the 
course of three months in early 2021. 
Coordinated commission involvement in Fair 
Housing Action Plan, in collaboration with 
the Department of Planning and Community 
Development (DPCD). 
Pride Banner campaign with Rainbow 
Commission to create Pride banners for 
the center of town to celebrate and spread 
awareness of Pride Month. 
Co-Hosted with the Disability Commission a 
public information session on the ADA Self 
-Evaluation Transition and Implementation 
Plan, presented by the Institute for Human 
Centered Design and DPCD. 
In partnership with DPCD and DPW success- 
fully awarded CDBG funding to continue the 
curb cut ramps program. 
Established the Elevating Arlington’s Voices 
of Color (EAVoC) Archive Project, in partner- 
ship with the Robbins Library and Arlington 
Commission for Arts and Culture (ACAC) in 
early 2021. 


o/ 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


Future Goals 

Establish Municipal Equality Index (MEI) Working 
Group to address areas in need of change to improve 
the Town’s laws, policies, and services affecting the 
LGBTQIA+ community. 

Continue to craft an Equity Action Plan that will 
provide the beginning stages of a roadmap for advanc- 
ing equity across all facets of the Town, that will be a liv- 
ing document to be added to, and changed as seen fit. 

Continue to provide, improve, and build up edu- 
cational programming and opportunities, for employees 
and the community at large. 

Sustain and expand the EAVoC project and sup- 
plemental programming throughout the 2021 year 


COMMISSION ON DISABILITY 


The Arlington Disability Commission (ADC) con- 
tinued to provide information, referral, guidance, and 
technical assistance to Arlington officials, residents, 
public and private agencies, and others to ensure that 
people with physical, sensory, cognitive, mental illness, 
and other disabilities have equal access to Town facili- 
ties, services, and programs. The ADC thanks our new 
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director, Jillian Harvey, 
who was a tremendous support during a difficult year. 

The ADC publicly applauds the work of the De- 
partment of Public Works for the sidewalk replacement 
project in the center of town. Residents’ access to Town 
buildings, shops, and events was vastly improved. With 
an expanded budget, ADC was able to contribute as- 
sistance funds to other projects around Town, including 
renovating flooring in the Town Hall vestibule, and using 
CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) funds 
to continue the curb cut ramps program. 

The ADC continued to meet with Town Officials to 
discuss the rights of people with disabilities in order to 
work towards full community inclusion within the Town 
of Arlington. Therefore, the ADC welcomed presenta- 
tions and dialogues with Special Education Director 
Alison Elmer, Police Chief Julie Flaherty, Department 
of Public Works Director Michael Rademacher, Town 
Counsel Douglas Heim, and several members of the 
Planning and Community Development Department. 

Commissioners continue to volunteer and partici- 
pate on various Town committees and projects to share 
our unique lived experiences. For example, the ADC 
was actively involved with the Arlington High School 
Building Committee, including funding an Institute for 
Human-Centered Design review of the plans. In 2020, 
ADC members were also particularly active on the Elec- 
tion Modernization Committee, the Sustainable Trans- 
portation Advisory Plan Committee, and Arlington Re- 
development Board meetings. 

Communication is crucial to improving accessibil- 
ity in Arlington. 


58 


In 2020 the ADC: 
¢ Debuted a Facebook page. 
¢ Voted to assist funding the Town’s website 
ADA-Redesign project. 
¢ Consulted with Town staff to ensure caption- 
ing for Virtual Town Meeting. 


The ADA Self-Evaluation Transition and Imple- 
mentation Plan, which examined twenty-seven munic- 
pal buildings, was presented to the public during 2020. 
Going forward, this detailed assessment will help prior- 
itize necessary improvements to infrastructure through- 
out the Town. Further, the ADC was able to use this plan 
to apply for a Massachusetts Office of Disability Munic- 
ipal Improvement Grant. 

In March the ADC attended the Town-sponsored 
Volunteer Fair. Dedicated volunteers with disabilities 
are making a difference here in Arlington. The ADC 
notes with sadness the passing of long-time Commis- 
sion member Beverly Bevilacqua, whose kindness was 
legendary as a long-time volunteer with the ADC and 
the Council on Aging. 

The ADC will continue to advocate for and ensure 
the rights of Arlington residents living with disabilities. 
All interested residents are encouraged to attend the 
monthly public meetings, on the third Wednesday of 
each month at 4:00 p.m. 


tat 
HUMAN 
RIGHTS 


COMMISSION 





HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION 


The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 
was created by Town Meeting in 1993 to advance issues 
related to the fair and equal treatment of individuals and 
to create a mechanism for addressing complaints aris- 
ing out of these issues. The mission of the AHRC is to 
work individually and collaboratively with other groups 
in our community to celebrate the ever-changing tapes- 
try of our town, and to emphasize, through educational 

outreach, the danger of intolerance at every level. 
The Town Manager, School Committee, Select Board, 
and the Town Moderator have appointing authority for 
thirteen members of the Commission. 

The AHRC met monthly throughout the year. The 
current co-chairs, Sharon Grossman and Kristen Bauer, 
were elected in August 2019. In January 2021, new co- 
chairs will be elected. 

During 2020 there was continued discussion with- 
in the Town about diversity, racial equity, and inclusion. 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


The Black Lives Matter movement encouraged deeper 
reflection and examination of systemic racism within 
our town. Continuing incidents of racism, homophobia, 
anti-Semitism, and others demonstrated the continued 
need for us all to address these issues. The AHRC took 
many concrete steps to address individual incidents of 
human rights violations, promote discussion and debate 
about critical human rights issues in town, and foster 
activities to make Arlington a more welcoming and in- 
clusive community. 

During 2020 the Communications, Schools and 
Education, Events, and Outreach Working Groups con- 
tinued to engage community members to partner with 
Commissioners, expand the Commission’s work and 
reach, and enable us to develop more programming. 
Working Groups meet monthly and report back to the 
full Commission at regular meetings. 


Education, Training, and Institution Building 

¢ Drafted a Commissioner role description, 
adopted a protocol governing police partic- 
pation in AHRC meetings, and amended 
rules and regulations governing the work of 
the AHRC to reflect current conditions. 

¢ Trained Commission members on biases 
with True Story Theatre. 

¢ Held two retreats for AHRC Commissioners 
to address our governing rules and regula- 
tions, community engagement and top goals 
for the year ahead. 


Community Outreach 

¢ Continued to offer a citizen’s forum during 
each monthly meeting to give residents the 
opportunity to address the Commission on 
matters relating to equality and fairness. This 
year, at least several dozen citizens took ad- 
vantage of this opportunity. Citizens attended 
most Commission meetings. 

¢ Continued monthly agenda item to enable 
Commissioners to discuss issues raised by 
community members at the previous month's 
meeting. 

¢ Continued monthly Commissioners’ Coffee 
Chats to enable members of the community 
to informally meet and share ideas on human 
rights issues with two Commissioners each 
month. 

¢ Regularly received information about and 
participated in Massachusetts Association 
of Human Rights Commission (MAHRC) 
meetings. 

¢ Continued co-sponsorship of the Town’s 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration 
and began working collaboratively to support 
its efforts. 


Celebrated Black History Month in Febru- 
ary 2020 by sponsoring a series of events 
including hanging banners along Massachu- 
setts Avenue highlighting Black Massachu- 
setts citizens and a film series, one of which 
attended by 54th Massachusetts Volunteer 
Infantry Regiment Reenactors. 
Co-Sponsored a series of Community Con- 
versations in 2020 related to racial equity, 
education, housing, and policing. 
Sponsored virtual Black Lives Matter Vigil 
and Juneteenth Celebration. 
Issued statements on the following: 
¢ Protecting Human Rights During the 
COVID-19 Pandemic 
¢ Standing Against Police Brutality and 
Racial Violence 
¢ Vandalism of the Black Lives Matter 
Banner at Arlington High School 
¢ Social Media Misuse 
¢ Black Lives Matter Sign Vandalism 
¢ Ongoing Repression of the Muslim Com- 
munity in India 
¢ Back the Blue Rally 
¢ Upcoming Town Meeting Articles 
¢ Encouraging voter participation 
Proposed a proclamation in support of Black 
Lives Matter that included the hanging of 
a Black Lives Matter banner at Town Hall, 
which the Select Board adopted. 
Hosted a forum on Native Imagery and en- 
couraged celebration of Indigenous People’s 
Day, cosponsored a Native American Heri- 
tage Day social media takeover, and drafted 
a proposed proclamation and warrant article 
for adoption in 2021. 
Joined the Town’s effort to encourage busi- 
nesses to be inclusive and welcoming. 
Hosted panel discussions on COVID-19 in 
Community, Equity and Affordable Housing, 
and Beyond Banners: From Symbolism to 
Substance as the keynote for BLM Day. 
Started a regular e-newsletter that reaches 
over /00 subscribers. 
Posted 180 times on Facebook, with some 
posts reaching nearly 3,000 people. 
Started a Twitter account which currently has 
500 followers. Made 110 tweets, which were 
seen by approximately 52,000 people. 
Started an Instagram account, that current- 
ly has 148 followers, and a YouTube page 
where all of the recorded events are avail- 
able for viewing. 
Continued the internship program with Ar- 
lington High School that included four AHS 
students. 


59 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


¢ Cooperated with, co-sponsored events with, 
or publicized events with a wide range of 
community groups and government entities. 

¢ Reached out to the Arlington School Com- 
mittee to express concerns related to equity 
and disproportionality of discipline issues 
within the Arlington Public Schools in hopes 
of working together. 

¢ Began monthly meetings with a land ac- 
knowledgement statement: “We acknowl- 
edge that the Town of Arlington is located 
on the ancestral lands of the Massachusett 
Tribe, the tribe of Indigenous peoples from 
whom the Colony, Province, and Common- 
wealth have taken their names. We pay our 
respects to the ancestral bloodline of the 
Massachusett Tribe and their descendants 
who still inhabit historic Massachusett territo- 
ries today’. 

¢ Sent a letter to the Arlington School Com- 
mittee related to the recent superintendent 
search process. 

¢ Adopted the following tagline, which is now 
being used by many Town Departments on 
email and other correspondence: Arlington 
values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are 
committed to building a community where 
everyone is heard, respected, and protected. 


Incidents and Complaint Response 

¢ Hate incidents continued, with increasing 
complaints related to BLM signs and pro- 
tests. 

¢ Collected information regarding hate inci- 
dents occurring in Arlington from residents, 
schools, and the APD, as follows: 48 Cases, 
8 of which involved the APS and 29 of which 
were also referred from or handled by the 
APD. 

¢ Continued to work closely with the APD and 
APS to learn of, track and, where necessary, 
address incidents impacting human and civil 
rights. 

¢ Continued to work under a Memorandum of 
Agreement that included the APS, AHRC, 
and APD that set forward Guidelines for 
Responding to Hate Incidents in the Arlington 
Public Schools. 


AHRC Year and Goals Moving Forward 

Our Commission has one new member this year, 
increasingly reflecting the growing diversity of our town. 
Our entire Commission is energized to work together 
with the community to address the challenging human 
rights issues facing those who live, work, pass through, 
and visit Arlington. 


60 


As we move forward, we are ever mindful of the 
damage to our community that has yet to be repaired. 
Regrettably, our town has experienced incidents of 
hate, intolerance, and inflammatory language stemming 
from racism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant sentiment, 
homophobia and systemic discrimination. Hateful inci- 
dents like these have caused widespread fear. Arlington 
can and must do better._ 

We recognize that every person in Arlington de- 
serves to be valued, respected, and protected. Thus, 
even through the COVID-19 pandemic when we needed 
to pivot to virtual meetings and gatherings, we continue 
to increase opportunities to be heard through hosting, 
sponsoring, and partnering with community programs 
and events to welcome and celebrate diversity and par- 
ticipating in town programs. These include community 
activities, discussions with police, and outreach to com- 
munity groups to foster respect, and facilitate training, 
education and incident reporting with the police, the 
town and our schools to increase protection for all in 
Arlington. 

Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. 
We are committed to building a community where ev- 
eryone is heard, respected, and protected 


LGBTQIA+ RAINBOW COMMISSION 


Established by Town Meeting in 2017, the 
LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission is a volunteer group 
of Arlington residents, appointed by the Town govern- 
ment, who promote the inclusion of LGBT QIA+ individu- 
als and groups through affirming policies and programs, 
resources, advocacy, and community-building with the 
vision that the Town of Arlington will fully include the 
LGBTQIA+ community in all aspects of Town life. 

During 2020 the Commission focused efforts in 
these main areas: 


Community-engagement activities hosted by the 
Rainbow Commission 
¢ Community Outreach events to bring the 
community together virtually as the pandemic 
lockdown continued - April & May 
¢ Virtual Pride gathering, attended by repre- 
sentative Dave Rogers 
¢ Created a form for community members to 
submit their needs for support and interest in 
volunteering to help those in need. 


Community events cosponsored by the Rainbow 
Commission 
e Virtual Drag Prom - Robbins Library 
¢ LGBTQ Seniors and Friends Karaoke & Co- 
coa + weekly virtual meetings 
¢ Listening to Black Voices - LexPride 


HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 


Transgender Day of Remembrance — Lex- 
Pride 

Intergenerational SAGE Table — Council on 
Aging 

ABCs of LGBTQIA+ on ACMI 

Queer Book Group (monthly) — Robbins 
Library 

Reel Queer films (bimonthly) — Council on 
Aging and Robbins Library 

Collaborations with Town Government and 
Staff 

We welcomed Jillian Harvey, the Town's Di- 
versity, Equity & Inclusion Director, as a key 
liaison and support resource, who helped 
keep us on track with Town leadership and 
policies, and provided invaluable counsel 
and guidance throughout the year. 

Provided feedback on Arlington Police De- 
partment’s Policy for interacting with Trans- 
gender Citizens. 

Pride Banners - Raised over $3500 to fund 
10+ banners, which were hung in early 
September and plan to reuse for June 2021 
during pride month. 

Recruited new commissioners to further grow 
the commission. 

Worked with Town Manager and Health & 
Human Services to implement changes to 
maintain a Municipal Equality Index Score of 
100 for Arlington for the first time. 

Attended meetings of the Human Rights 
Commission, LexPride, and Select Board. 
Participated in Town Commission chair meet- 
ings, with the Human Rights Commission 
and Disability Commission. 

Attended APS Superintendent Candidate 
interviews and provided feedback. 

Invited journalist to our monthly meeting to 
hear about APS/RC engagement, resulting in 
coverage in yourArlington.com. 


Advocacy & Social Justice 


Black Lives Matter - promoted support for lo- 
cal BLM demonstrations/ activities being held 
in Arlington with our members and social 
media followers, including making a public 
statement. 

Coordinated with Jill Harvey to support and 
amplify her efforts for town programming 
Helped draft the annual Pride Proclama- 

tion from the Select Board, highlighting the 
continued challenges of LGBTQIA+ people 
of color. 

Posted a statement on verbal attack and use 
of a homophobic slur against a town resi- 
dent. 


¢ ACMi interview with commissioner Lisa Krin- 
sky on the LGBTQIA+ community’s reaction 
to #BlackLivesMatter 


Communications 

¢ Maintained Facebook page (335 followers 
- up from 275 in 2019), Twitter (234 follow- 
ers - up from 170), email list (245 contacts 
- up from 195) and website (5473 views - up 
from 2,400, 3,982 visitors - up from 1350) to 
update the community on Commission activ- 
ities, other area events and issues of interest 
or importance to the LGBTQIA+ community. 

¢ Responded to countless emails from individ- 
uals seeking resources and advice regarding 
LGBTQIA+ issues. 

¢ Posted about events, engaged in community 
discussions and shared resources in various 
Arlington Facebook groups. 


The Commission generally meets on the third 
Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom during 
the pandemic. All meetings are open to the public and 
we encourage community members and representa- 
tives from other Town committees and commissions to 
attend. For more information, see https://rainbowarling- 


ton.org/ or email rainbow@town.arlington.ma.us. 





Pride Banners on Mass Ave. 


SJOIAYAS 


ap 
tm 
=: 
= 
an 
© 
ap