EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 5, 2013

Devers promises to focus on change, autonomy, education

(Continued)

Devers believes Riley is “doing a good job” restructuring the school system.

“Our children should be our priority which is why one of my main focuses is education, along with sports and the arts for a well-rounded student so they will go on to college and achieve the American dream for them and their children.”

Devers said he will also work with Cambridge College and Northern Essex Community College. The latter is expanding its campus downtown by building a $27.4 million El Hefni Health and Technology Center. It will house the majority of the college’s 18 health care associate degrees and certificates, including respiratory care, sleep technology, and nursing programs.

“I’ll work with all secondary education institutions and provide them with anything they need so they can educate our youth and adults and fortify the city’s labor force,” he said.

Devers said he wants to strengthen the Recreation Department to offer children more after school and summer programs and look for funding for teenagers to get jobs.

Also important, Devers said is changing the city’s image and one way of doing that is by revitalizing the gateway project and streets such as Union, Broadway and Essex.

“I don’t want people to just see Lawrence while driving through 495 or 93, I want them to drive through the city and experience the culture, history and flavor that we have to offer,” he said.

On that same vain, if elected mayor, Devers says neighborhood associations will be vital resources to help point out areas where gang and other illegal activities take place.

“One of my first steps as mayor will be to meet with leaders of the neighborhood associations to work with them in coordinating programs, safety and beautifying the areas.”

One component of his campaign is Youth for Marcos, a group of 300 young adults supporting Devers’ bid for mayor. Susana Veras said many of the members are former students of Devers from his days at Greater Lawrence Technical High School in Andover. Others have been recruited after talking to them about Devers’ plans.

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