Council Honors Retiring Rep. RoseLee Vincent

The City Council honored one of the city’s most beloved public officials, State Rep. RoseLee Vincent, during the Council meeting Monday night.

The meeting was held remotely, so Rep. Vincent and her husband, Richard Vincent, watched the award presentation in her honor together at their Revere residence.

Richard Serino, aide to Rep. Vincent and the Ward 6 city councillor, delivered the opening remarks praising Vincent for her decades of outstanding service to the city.

Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino, who will succeed Vincent as state representative in January, said, “Rep. Vincent, you have done so much for our community. You have been a leader for environmental issues. You have been a voice for those who felt left out of the conversation and you’ve had your boots on the ground. You’ve been working every day long before you got elected to the seat. You have left me with incredibly large shoes to fill and I just want to thank you for being such a wonderful role model for young women in the city and I’m so proud of you as a city councillor and also to call you family.”

Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo, who works in the health profession as a nurse, praised Vincent’s support of frontline responders.

“One must recognize Rep. Vincent’s unwavering support for frontline workers, nurses in particular,” said Rotondo. “Any issue that I would come to her with regarding nursing, she was there 100 percent, unwavering, no question. And she dignified her office with poise and great intelligence and I appreciate the work that’s she has done for our community as well as for the state.”

Ward 2 Council Ira Novoselsky praised his long-time friend and colleague for her outstanding record of public service. He also noted that he and Rep. Vincent share the same birthday, March 2.

The two co-deans of the City Council, Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso and Councilor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto also hailed Rep. Vincent’s dedication to her job and the excellent work she did for all residents of the city. Zambuto said while he and Rep. Vincent had different viewpoints on some issues, Vincent was always working hard to better the lives of Revere residents and her support of CAPIC – a agency in which he [Zambuto] is a board member – was appreciated.

Councilor-at-Large Gerry Visconti wished Rep. Vincent well in her retirement. Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna said she considered Vincent both a friend and a colleague in government. Councilor-at-Large Steven Morabito said he hoped that he would continue to see Rep. Vincent attending local events and in his travels in Revere.

Following are the texts of the remarks from Councilor Richard of Serino and Rep. Vincent from Monday’s award ceremony:

Councilor Richard Serino

 RoseLee Vincent was sworn-in to the Massachusetts House of Representatives on April 16, 2014 to represent the communities of Revere, Chelsea and Saugus.  She is currently the Vice-Chair of the House Bonding Committee, and in the past, she served as Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.  Additionally, Rep. Vincent wears the hat of House Chair of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission.

Before her election to the House, RoseLee worked on Beacon Hill for 25 years as the legislative aide and then chief-of-staff to her two immediate predecessors.  She is a proud, 4th generation, lifelong Revere resident.  Ro has been married for 53 years to her high school sweetheart, Richie Vincent, and is the loving mother of two daughters – Wendy and Robin.  Of all the titles she has, the one she takes most pride in is “Mimi” to her five talented grandchildren – Hallie, Max, Ben, Sam and Zachary.

For nearly fifty years, RoseLee has selflessly served to improve Revere and has treated our residents with a genuine compassion.  Throughout her daughters’ childhoods, she was very involved the PTA in the Revere Public Schools, as a member and eventual president, where she pioneered women’s athletics, creating opportunities for female athletes that never previously existed in the city.  She was also a Bluebird Mom who led Wendy, Robin and their friends through Girl Scouts. 

As the girls got older, RoseLee volunteered her time to the community in other ways.  She was a founding board member of RevereTV, as well as a part of the charette that gave way to the Revere Beach Partnership.  Along with Rose Napolitano and Rose’s girls, she was an active member of Revere 1st.  Before becoming our state representative, she was also a member of the Revere Beautification Committee.  Her work in the community as a private citizen led to RoseLee being named a 2012 Unsung Heroine by the Mass Commission on the Status of Women. 

Anyone who knows Rep. Vincent knows her passion lies within her advocacy for America’s First Public Beach.  Prior to being named a commissioner on the Metropolitan Beaches Commission upon her election in 2014, RoseLee had worked closely with the commission since its inception in 2007 to restore and preserve Greater Boston’s urban beaches – including Revere Beach. 

Rep. Vincent is also a staunch environmental advocate, and is a founding member of the “Alliance for Health and Environment,” a coalition of local officials and respected regional environmental groups focused on raising awareness about the public health and environmental impacts of waste incineration and ash disposal, as well as promoting environmental justice for communities impacted by these issues. 

She has been tenacious in her quest to advocate for a closure plan for the Saugus incinerator and ash landfill.  Bear in mind when she took office, there had been no real organized effort in opposition to the Saugus facility in recent memory.  There really was no group or elected official that was sounding the alarm on the issue.  The first time she ran for office in 2014, a common theme among the concerns of people who live in the Riverside, Point of Pines and in East Saugus was the public health and environmental hazards that came with hosting a trash incinerator.  It became clear to her that a voice was needed in this fight.  

As she reflects on her time in office, she is most proud of the strides that have been made in fighting Wheelabrator Saugus.  During her tenure, for the first time in many years, the Mass DEP held public hearings and sought public input when it came to actions pertaining to Wheelabrator.   Although there is still a lot of work to be done, because of her efforts, we have moved the needle on this issue…. Don’t let the naysayers say otherwise because the alternative would have been nothing.  If not for the ferocity of Rep. Vincent’s commitment to fighting, the Wheelabrator issue would not have become as mainstream as it is today.  It is why both Clean Water Action and the Saugus River Watershed Council honored her for her resolute commitment to this issue.

Legislatively, with the support of Speaker DeLeo, Rep. Vincent has championed CAPIC’s Emergency Services Program, securing funds in the state budget each year that help many needy families in Revere and Chelsea.  She has been an advocate on Beacon Hill for our seniors, our veterans, and for the blue-collar working men and women of the Sixteenth Suffolk District who are trying to make ends meet.  This summer, when the House passed landmark legislation to combat climate change, her name was attached to the provision which would codify the concept of ‘Environmental Justice’ into our general laws.  If enacted before the end of this legislative session, the language will provide stronger protections from pollution, and a greater public process for communities like Revere, Chelsea and Saugus that are overburdened by polluters. 

On a personal note, I would be remiss if I did not express my gratitude and appreciation to a mentor.  RoseLee has taught me the importance of fighting for what you believe in and for standing up for what’s right, even in the face of criticism or political backlash.  She has taught me that elected officials should always follow their heart and conscience, and that integrity matters.  She has taught me that “politician” is a dirty word, and that those of us in elected office are public servants and we are here to try to help make people’s lives better.  I will always cherish my time on Team Vincent.

As she winds down her time in public life, she has assured me multiple times that she is not going anywhere when it comes to issues she is passionate about.  With the advent of Zoom, I say to my colleagues don’t be surprised if she attends a Council meeting while on vacation in Marco Island next winter if Wheelabrator is on the agenda.

Rep. Vincent, we wish you the very best for a long and healthy retirement.  You’ve earned it and you deserve it.  Your mother taught you that if you’re going to dance, you dance.  For almost fifty years, you have danced every day in service to the people of Revere.  It’s time to tune out the noise to focus your attention on what’s truly important in your life – Richie, the girls and the grandkids. 

State Rep. Roselee Vincent

Thank you everyone!  I am so deeply touched by your kind words. I have known most of you for many years, and consider you all not only my colleagues, but my friends!

And although we may not have agreed on everything throughout the years, the one thing we have always agreed upon was wanting the very best for the City of Revere and the amazing people who live here.

These last 30 years I have been blessed to have been surrounded by my wonderful family, friends, colleagues, and my many amazing supporters… too many to name, but please know that I am forever grateful to you all for your unwavering support and friendship.

To my daughters Wendy and Robin, who 6 years ago encouraged me to run for elected office for the first time ever! So, at the tender age of 67, an age when most people are retiring, not starting a new career, you both gave me the courage to get out of my comfort zone and take a chance.  Thank you for that.

Also, to my wonder husband Richie, who is also known as the saint! Thank you for your love and patience.  I know for sure that no one is happier about my retirement than you.

Councillor Serino, thank you for being the right arm of Team Vincent. Thank you for being the best coworker, and office-mate ever! Together we proved that being nice is actually a good thing, and that kindness is not a sign of weakness! Together, we got the job done- our way! Character and integrity counts!  Revere is lucky to have you as a city councillor, and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you for the last 6 years. Thank you!

I was also blessed to have been part of the best state delegation! Thank you, Speaker DeLeo and Senator Boncore for your friendship, guidance and assistance throughout my time as State Representative.

And finally, to our new State Representative-Elect Jessica Giannino – I wish you great success, and I know that the 16th Suffolk District is in good hands! I will watch with great pride as you get sworn into office on January 6, 2021! (And probably, like tonight it will be on Zoom!)

In closing, thank you all again for this great honor.  I wish you all a blessed holiday season and I pray that 2021 will be a year of healing. 

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