Special to the Journal
Mrs. Loretta LaCentra of Revere has been honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Womenâ€™s 2020 class of Commonwealth Heroines. Mrs. LaCentra has been honored with the other Commonwealth Heroines for her outstanding contributions to her community. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women virtually celebrated the seventeenth-annual Commonwealth Heroines Class of 2020.
Loretta LaCentra is a shining example of a community activist who works tirelessly to make her neighborhood and the City of Revere a healthier and safer place for all to live, work and recreate. As a longtime advocate for herself and her neighbors in the Riverside section of Revere, and a founding member of the Alliance for Health and Environment, Loretta LaCentra has been a fierce advocate in the fight for environmental justice. She is the leading neighborhood voice in standing up against the actions of the company that operates the countryâ€™s oldest incinerator and the Commonwealthâ€™s only unlined ash landfill directly across the river from, and less than a half mile from, her familyâ€™s home. For her advocacy for the environment, Loretta was recently honored by the Saugus River Watershed Council as a â€œRiver Stewardshipâ€ hero.
Always armed with facts, Loretta never shies away from speaking the truth when it comes to protecting her neighbors and the natural resources in the Rumney Marsh and Pines River. Be it issues with ungodly noise or offensive odors emanating from the incinerator or proposals to expand the landfill or allow the incinerator to skirt twenty-first century emissions standards, Loretta is always there to speak up. She finds the time in her busy schedule to attend every neighborhood meeting and every DEP public hearing when the subject of the incinerator or landfill is on the agenda. She has helped in numerous community based-efforts to reduce pollution and promote a cleaner, more sustainable economy. Loretta is engaged, knowledgeable, and persistent â€“ truly a force to be reckoned with.
In addition to her environmental advocacy, Loretta gives of herself to the community in other ways to help make peopleâ€™s lives better. She is a volunteer at North Shore Elder Services, where she works as a money manager helping seniors with their finances and bill paying. She is always ready to lend a helping hand during community playground builds and neighborhood cleanup efforts in Revere. You will also find Loretta volunteering at â€œMy Brotherâ€™s Tableâ€ in Lynn, helping to serve free meals to the most vulnerable of populations.
Perhaps most important to her, Loretta is a family woman, devoted to her husband Ricci, two adult children Ricci and Erica, and the dedicated caretaker of her elderly parents, Louis and Lucille San Miguel.
The Commonwealth Heroines are women who donâ€™t make the news, but make the difference. Thousands of women in every community of the state perform unheralded acts on a daily basis that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities, and towns better places to live. Commonwealth Heroines use their time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others in their community. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators who strive to protect and represent the interests of seniors, victims of violence, children, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. They are the glue that keeps a community together.
â€œHaving worked with Loretta on the Alliance for Health and Environment and on issues impacting the City of Revere, Lorettaâ€™s tenacity and courage to stand by her convictions inspire and amaze me,â€ said State Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere). â€œLoretta is always ready to roll-up her sleeves to get the job done â€“ whether itâ€™s canvassing her neighborhood to turn her neighbors out to a public meeting or volunteering her time to the underserved members of our community, she quietly makes a positive difference in Revere. As someone who knows the incredible woman Loretta is, I am proud to have nominated Loretta to be Revereâ€™s 2020 Unsung Heroine.â€
“Loretta is a shining star in the community. We applaud Loretta’s commitment to environmental justice. Her advocacy stretches far beyond environmental efforts, as Loretta makes time to volunteer across our community and positively engage in so many people’s lives,” said Sen. Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop). “We are grateful for Loretta’s leadership and service. This recognition as an Unsung Heroine is well-deserved.”
â€œLoretta LaCentra is a strong and effective advocate for her neighborhood and her community. Her recognition as an â€œUnsung Heroineâ€ is well-deserved and truly appropriate, for Loretta goes about her work without fanfare and never in search of plaudits,â€ said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. â€œHer scrutiny of the issues that impact the environmental conditions of the Saugus-Pines River area, and her concern for those who lack a voice in the community, are powerful reminders of the benefits that resident advocacy can provide to an entire community. Loretta truly â€œwalks the walkâ€ when it comes to assuring environmental and social justice in our city.â€
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.