There is a new force on the Revere schools’ scene and he is 23-year-old Yale graduate Anthony D’Ambrosio.
Making his first bid for office, D’Ambrosio stunned longtime political observers with his first-place finish in the nine-candidate School Committee election on Nov. 5. D’Ambrosio topped the ticket with 5,243 votes, finishing ahead of biennial ticket-topper Carol Tye by 245 votes, along with incumbents Mike Ferrante, Stacey Rizzo, Susan Gravellese and Fred Sannella, who were also re-elected.
D’Ambrosio’s impressive total drew comparisons to Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino, who received 5,684 votes in her re-election to office. That’s impressive company for a first-time officer seeker.
And D’Ambrosio’s well-organized campaign and lofty results were noticed by city officials.
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe, who was re-elected to office, said, “Anthony’s vote tally certainly impressed me. I knew that Anthony had run a really nice campaign and he has a long of strong family support. I knew he was going to get on the board, but I wasn’t sure how he was going to finish.
“I couldn’t believe he was able to top Carol Tye, who has topped the ticket for several years,” continued Keefe. “It just goes to show you that there is a new generation coming up in Revere and I think they were really impressed with what Anthony’s going to bring to the table.”
D’Ambrosio, who is the son of prominent local attorney and former School Committee member Gerry D’Ambrosio and Michelle D’Ambrosio, accepted his new status as a prolific votegetter in stride.
“I’m just so blessed and so lucky and grateful to be elected to the School Committee,” said D’Ambrosio.
Asked about his campaign strategy that produced more than 5,300 votes, including hundreds from newcomers to the election process, D’Ambrosio responded, “My campaign was unique in that we came at it from sort of an innovative angle.
“We tied the older strategies that have proven to be successful and some newer, more innovative strategies. The older strategies: we knocked on thousands of doors and we held signs almost every single morning for months. We spent so many dozens of hours stuffing envelopes for mailers and we made phone calls and went to every event we could to meet as many people as possible.”
D’Ambrosio also advertised in local newspapers and his efforts in publicizing a major endorsement from former Mayor Tom Ambrosino gave his surging campaign a boost in the final weeks. D’Ambrosio had an internship in D’Ambrosio’s Chelsea City Manager’s Office while he was a student at Yale.
But D’Ambrosio also went new-age in his campaign, embracing an online presence, and reaching out on Facebook, “where we connected to younger voters, soliciting their support and spreading our message.”
The campaign also put together a series of short videos online. “We loved doing the videos that outlined the goals of our campaign and policy points,” said D’Ambrosio.
The campaign videos resonated online, with each drawing more than 5,000 viewers.
“The tying of the old and new methods of campaigning really did end up being successful for us,” said D’Ambrosio. “I believe we struck a happy medium between the two.”
D’Ambrosio also benefited from an excellent performance in the School Committee candidates’ forum where he looked poised and confident as he articulated well his message to the voters.
D’Ambrosio said his family, including his parents, his siblings, and his grandparents, were instrumental in his campaign. He also credited the assistance of friends Josh Verrengia and Justin Pioppi, whose family owns the popular Luigi’s Restaurant in Beachmont.
“I had the most dedicated campaign team I could have possibly imagined,” said D’Ambrosio. “I owe the world to them and I’m so excited they bought in to the message that I was pushing. And they really believed in it and that’s why they were out there.”
Younger voters, including high school students and newcomers to the city, also supported the D’Ambosio campaign.
He has been receiving congratulatory calls – including one from Sen. Edward J. Markey – along with emails, and texts from residents, elected officials, former Yale classmates, and friends. D’Ambrosio said one of his platforms was that he will continue to advocate for the construction of a new Revere High School.
“We need a high school and a school system in general that is going to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century with the skills necessary to get those jobs and to succeed in those jobs,” said D’Ambrosio. “During my campaign, I talked about the tech jobs and STEM-oriented jobs that just dominate the Greater Boston job market. In the construction of a new high school, we have a tremendous social and community opportunity to shape the ways in which our students build their skills for the job force and for life after school.”
D’Ambrosio, who received his Master’s degree from Cambridge University in England earlier this year, said he made his decision to run for School Committee after discussing it with his parents, and his girlfriend, Caitlin Walsh.
They encouraged him to go for it, and just a few months later, Anthony D’Ambrosio, is a newly elected member of the Revere School Committee.
“I have this opportunity right now to really make a positive difference and I can’t wait to pour all my energy into that,” said D’Ambrosio, who intends to meet with Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly to talk about the successes in the school system and the goals ahead. “I want to be fully prepared to be the best advocate and leader I can when I assume office on January 1.”