By Associated Press - Tuesday, November 10, 2020

EVERETT, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts city councilor criticized by her colleagues for refusing to attend meetings in-person because of coronavirus concerns is receiving an outpouring of support, including from some of the state’s prominent politicians.

U.S. Rep Joseph P. Kennedy III and Boston City Council President Kim Janey were among some 100 people who rallied Monday evening at Everett City Hall in support of City Councilor Gerly Adrien, the Boston Globe reports.

Adrien has been participating in council meetings virtually because she’s concerned about exposing a vulnerable family member to COVID-19. But some councilors at a recent meeting said she should show up in person or simply resign.

Adrien told supporters Monday she has no intention of stepping down. Supporters suggested the criticism was racially-motivated and at times chanted “Black Lives Matter” at the rally.

Adrien, 31, is the city’s first Black female councilor and also one of the youngest and most outspoken on the current panel.

Council President Rosa DiFlorio has said councilors lashed out at Adrien because of technological issues that prevented them from hearing Adrien at a recent meeting.

She said no councilor should be “made to feel that they are derelict in their duties” by choosing to participate remotely, the Globe reports.

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