By Valentino Capobianco
Consider this my introduction if you don’t know me already: my name is Tino Capobianco, and I’m running to succeed Speaker DeLeo as your next State Representative.
Just as I worked to deliver results for families in Winthrop on its School Committee, I will fight hard for you in the State House. Working to make sure our communities thrive, and all of our residents’ voices are heard, is my life’s work.
My focus will be making sure everybody in this district has access to opportunity — opportunity to make a good living; opportunity to start, restart, or grow a business; opportunity for our families to lead happy healthy lives; opportunity to give our children the education they deserve.
In short, our work at the State House must be focused on giving people the opportunity to have the American Dream.
I learned about what it means to make the most of the opportunities, because it’s the story of my family.
My grandfather Ralph Capobianco was a first-generation immigrant from Italy and settled on Falcon Street in the Eagle Hill section of East Boston. He was a victim of child labor and was not able to attend school. “Noni”, as I knew him, went on to serve his country in WWII and when he returned became a small business owner and worked as a custodian until he was 85 years old. My grandfather instilled a set of values in me that made me the man I am today.
The communities of the 19th Suffolk District — including all of Winthrop and Revere — embody what it means to pursue and achieve the American Dream. That Dream has been achieved by so many of us and our neighbors, and we need to honor the sacrifices they made to get where they are while making sure the Dream is available to our neighbors for whom it is sadly out of reach.
The priorities of your next State Representative should be laser focused on how we create those opportunities for the people of the district.
From my time as Chief of Staff for State Senator Paul Feeney, a proud labor Democrat who I am honored to have supporting my candidacy, I saw up close what concrete steps the State House can take to continue that work.
I believe that every child deserves access to the best public education possible. As a Commonwealth, we can work together to meet that goal by fully implementing the recently passed Student Opportunity Act, investing in vocational education, making college more affordable, and supporting students with disabilities.
We need to support working families by increasing our minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, hazard pay for essential workers, and reinstating time-and-a-half on Sundays for retail workers.
The mental health crisis in our communities is one we have to tackle head on. We have to address the critical issues that are facing our veterans including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health Issues, and working to eliminate homelessness for all Veterans. Once and for all we need to address the opioid epidemic and reform our justice system to treat addiction as an illness, not a criminal offense.
Above all, policy platform aside, I fundamentally believe that the most important duty of a State Representative is constituent service — to be responsive and active when they ask for help. To me, that means whenever a constituent calls it’s my job to take the call, listen to the concern, and then do everything I can to resolve the issue.
So my most important commitment is that I will be an open, honest, and accessible State Representative just as I was a Legislative Aide, Chief of Staff, and School Committee Member for the past five years.
We are proud of our community but right now we also know that trust in elected officials to do the hard work is at an all-time low. We were incredibly privileged to have Speaker Robert DeLeo’s service to our district for so long. Picking up that mantle will not be easy.
I am promising you now that nobody will outwork me, and I hope to talk with you in the coming weeks and prove it.
Valentino Capobianco is a Winthrop resident and Candidate for State Representative of the 19th Suffolk District.