The City Council approved seven of Mayor Brian Arrigo’s appointments to the newly established Revere Human Rights Commission (HRC), but once again denied Dimple Rana an appointment to the board.
The seven appointments to the HRC, all of whom received praise from the city councillors, included Police Chief David Callahan, Fire Chief Christopher Bright, Assistant Supt. of Schools Dr. Lourenco Garcia, Rachid Moukhabir, Lynn Alexis, Timothy Bogertman, and Kourou Pich.
However, the Council voted 8-3 against Arrigo’s appointment of Rana to the Commission. At its July 27 meeting, the Council had rejected Arrigo’s appointment of Rana as executive director of the Commission.
During the Appointments Sub-Committee meeting that preceded the Council meeting, Rana again listed the many positions she holds in the city, along with her outstanding academic credentials that include a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Hofstra University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Tufts University.
A lifelong Revere resident, Rana is the city’s director of outreach, chair of the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 U.S. Census, and co-leader of Revere on the Move.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” Rana told the Council via Zoom. “I have over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector locally and also internationally and I look forward to bringing all my years of expertise and experience and skills and network to the Human Rights Commission.”
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers told Rana that he would be supporting Rana for a seat on the Human Rights Commission.
“I will be supporting you as a member of the Appointments Sub-Committee as well before the full Council,” said Powers. “I’m well aware of your work ethic and the many functions that you have performed in the City of Revere which were beneficial to the City of Revere.”
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino said that she was against Rana’s appointment as executive director at the July 27 meeting but had stated that she would support Rana’s candidacy as a member of the Commission.
“However, I must say that over the last few weeks, she has made it very, very clear of her inability to be an impartial person in this committee,” said Giannino. “I think something that is so crucial for this committee is that it is an impartial body and I think the actions of these people that we appoint, need to be shown every day, not just sometimes, not just in session, but we need people that are truly impartial. And because I feel that she has proven that she cannot be impartial, I cannot support her this evening.”
Sub-Committee Chair Arthur Guinasso also spoke against Rana’s appointment.
“I did read your resume and I did read the transmittal that Mayor Arrigo sent over on your behalf and it says that Ms. Rana has distinguished herself as a community director of the Healthy Community Initiatives and Revere on the Move,” said Guinasso.
“It was my observation that in the last preliminary election that Revere on the Move got a little bit politically involved,” continued Guinasso. “So if you’re the director of that very distinguished body – which does a lot of good things for our city – I still see the flavor of politics in it, which is supposed to be removed because that’s an agency of the city of Revere. Its members should not dictate or express their views on a political candidacy from that particular position. It lasted 12 days. That, to me, expresses poor judgment.”
Rana explained that on the dates that Guinasso mentioned the political nature of the remarks, she was not working in the office at that time.
“It wasn’t done to cause any harm or cause any conflict or show any political sides, but it was due to human error and with the management of multiple people on that Facebook page,” said Rana. “It won’t happen again.”
But Guinasso was unconvinced by Rana’s explanation, saying, “The director calls the shots and it shouldn’t have taken 12 days to come down. It’s as simple as that. It adds to the listing of different things why I was objecting to your appointment in the first place.”
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo said, “I would hope in the future this type of discourse wouldn’t take place, however minor it is. Frankly, there should be a complete separation of the government and their political activities.”
In the full City Council’s vote on the matter, Councillors Jessica Giannino, Joanne McKenna, Arthur Guinasso, George Rotondo, Gerry Visconti, Richard Serino, Anthony Zambuto, and Patrick Keefe voted against Rana’s appointment, while Councillors Steven Morabito, John Powers, and Ira Novoselsky voted in favor of the appointment.
Rana said in statement following the meeting, “I want to congratulate the seven appointees to the Human Rights Commission and I look forward to the formation of the full Commission because this Commission is something that the city really needs.”