Tim RossTim Ross

Teresa MarzilliTeresa Marzilli

Arlington Town Hall had no clear ongoing diversity effort in October 2018, when a town police officer published harsh, racially infused comments in an official, statewide police journal.

Lt. Richard Pedrini was placed on leave, and, in 2019, then-Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine addressed the matter with restorative justice, a process requiring the officer to deal with representatives of those affected by his comments. Pedrini later returned to active duty with the police and, months after that, publicly apologized. 

The controversy that followed spurred the birth of a citizen group, Arlington Fights Racism, whose leaders wanted the officer fired and viewed the restorative-justice process as ineffective. At the same time, the town manager instituted diversity training for all town employees.

Those educational efforts to address institutional bigotry are to continue this fall, Jillian Harvey told local public television station ACMi in an update (see ACMi video here >>). Harvey was appointed the town's first coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2020. Later, she was elevated to director.

Town Hall efforts to address inclusion are expanding. Harvey now supervises two employees whose roles represent firsts for Arlington.

Tim Ross began work Sept. 6 as the coordinator for disability issues. Teresa Marzilli started work as community-outreach and engagement coordinator in June.

Here are summaries of their background, provided by the town:

Ross's title is ADA coordinator, referring to the Americans With Disabilities Act, the 1990 federal law supporting the disabled. Ross works in Harvey's department in health-and-human services to collaborate with the Disability Commission and to ensure accessible practices in the town’s capital projects, events, programs and policies.

I am especially excited to work in a town that makes great efforts to become ADA-compliant.”

-- Tim Ross

Among the position’s many duties, the coordinator provides technical assistance regarding ADA compliance/accessibility initiatives and grants. The ADA coordinator also provides guidance to department heads on accessing resources to support public requests for accommodations, and to monitor and track ADA complaints. 

“We are very excited about this new role and the opportunities it is creating to reach our ADA goals,” Harvey said in a news release. “Tim’s public-facing experience with patients at Boston Children’s Hospital [BCH] and project-management skills made him an ideal fit for the ADA coordinator position.”

Ross has worked as a program coordinator for BCH, managing clinic templates, advocating for transgender patients and proposing development strategies for programs. Before that, he coordinated schedules at BCH, where he worked with patients and staff to schedule MRIs and radiology exams.

Ross holds a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in economics from the UMass./Amherst.

“I am happy to continue my passion of advocating for others in this ADA coordinator role in Arlington. I am especially excited to work in a town that makes great efforts to become ADA-compliant,” Ross said in the town release.

We have a great opportunity to make key changes that will break down barriers to engagement, uplift important and needed voices and impact all our residents in really positive ways.”

-- Teresa Marzilli

Marzilli, who uses she/they pronouns, began June 13 as the town’s first community-outreach and community-engagement coordinator. Also a part of the DEI division of health-and-human services, this position works with Harvey and other partners across the town to design and institute comprehensive ways to include the community, particularly historically under-represented groups. 

“This new role is quite innovative for the DEI division, now having a face to be present within the Arlington community, and serving and building relationships with residents in-person,” Harvey said in the town release. “Teresa’s background in social work and social justice will be an asset.”

Marzilli said: “Joining Arlington’s DEI team and working with such a welcoming community has been nothing short of rewarding; we have a great opportunity to make key changes that will break down barriers to engagement, uplift important and needed voices, and impact all our residents in really positive ways.”

Previously, Marzilli attended Boston College’s School of Social Work , focusing on macro practice -- which is explained here >>  – was a part of the student leadership team as the social-justice coordinator and received a leadership award for work assisting the macro professors in curriculum redesign.

Marzilli's experience includes working with returning citizens, refugees, immigrants and youth.

Marzilli holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Vermont. Beyond work, Marzilli enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with their dog and their wife.

Marzilli is not related to the former elected state official who represented Arlington until 2008.

Caryn Malloy, town personnel director, reported that Ross is paid $61,938 annually and Marzilli $60,763.

About Arlington’s DEI division

The division works to advance the town’s commitment to valuing equity, diversity and inclusion, and building a community where everyone is heard, respected and protected. Diversity is rooted in building a culture of belonging. Inclusion uplifts voices that have been historically silenced. Equity is about collaborative decision-making, ensuring that all people have an equal say in informing the policies, practices and culture that shape their lives.  

The division coordinates and supports the work of the Human Rights Commission, LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission and Disability Commission; facilitates training and educational opportunities for employees; provides guidance in advancing equitable policy changes; collaborates with town departments to promote access and equitable engagement; and delivers community programs focused in racial and social justice.

For more information about the department, go to arlingtonma.gov/dei.

Jan 7, 2020: Town's first diversity coordinator introduced to public

This news summary was published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, based on information from YourArlington's files and from town news releases.