Letters to the Editor

Regarding March 10 Article On ‘Revere Teachers Stage Protest’

Dear Editor,

I write today to shed light on inaccurate and misleading information included in the article “Revere Teachers Stage Protest” which ran in the March 10th edition of your newspaper. According to the article, the teachers you spoke to, including Revere Teachers Association President Gina Garro, claimed incorrectly that the administration ordered 51 teachers back to the classroom. In particular, the article quotes Ms. Garro as stating “The administration has refused to grant most of the accommodation requests of working from home for members who have a medically documented heightened health risk”. Accurate information in the article is limited – the administration had in fact provided accommodations for 51 teachers to work from home in accordance with local, state and federal guidance, due to their increased risk of serious illness were they to contract Covid-19, while our students were learning remotely for the last seven months. But that is where the veracity of the account you were given ends.

As we began our return to the classroom in a hybrid model, our needs as a school district and especially those of our students were changing. Our ability to accommodate staff requests for accommodations and job modifications was changing as well. The administration team conducted meetings with each of those teachers, as well as with other employees, to re-assess their individual need for, and our ability to provide, any requested accommodations or job modifications. When we could grant those requests, we did so. At the time this article was published, we had conducted 37 meetings. Twenty-nine teachers’ requests were granted. Eight were not. Twenty of those teachers who were granted requests were allowed to continue working fully remotely until a date after students return or indefinitely. These decisions were all based on supporting documentation provided by employees. When staff members did not provide such documentation or made requests that would significantly interfere with student schedules and other staff schedules, posing an undue burden on a school’s ability to move to the hybrid model, the requests were rightfully denied. Even then, however, these employees – limited in number – were invited to take a leave of absence, with their jobs held for them, until such time as they feel comfortable returning.

I am disappointed that, even though the leadership of the Teachers Association knew all this information before their protest and before they spoke to The Revere Journal, they nonetheless chose to give you this incomplete and misleading version. We intend to continue to be completely transparent about the process of returning to school as it evolves. We invite the Teachers Association to do the same. As always, our administrative team will continue to make decisions based on the best interests of our students.

Dianne Kelly

Looking at the State Representative Primary Election

Dear Editor,

The Special Election Democratic Primary for State Representative on Tuesday, March 2nd produced Jeff Turco as the winner, just as expected by many local people who followed the race.

Much has been written in the Boston media in the week following the race as to how the progressive vote was split between Juan Jaramillo of Revere and Alicia DelVento of Winthrop, as if ideology is the only reason to explain people’s votes, and that the Winthrop-Revere Representative District is progressive.

First of all, people vote for many reasons in local elections, such as which community they are from, what organizations they belong to, what relationships they have with friends and neighbors, not just about policy positions.

Second, Revere and Winthrop are really moderate municipalities.

For instance, in the September 2018 Democratic Primary for Suffolk County District Attorney won by progressive Rachel Rollins, the most conservative candidate, Greg Henning, won in both Revere and Winthrop.

Voter turnout in the District was a key factor in this race, with three candidates from Winthrop and only one candidate from Revere.

The turnout in Winthrop was 3,259 or 69% of the total, while in Revere it was 1,463 or 31%.

By comparison, in the September 2020 Democratic Primary for U. S. Senate between Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy, the turnout in Winthrop was 3,956 or 58% of the total, while in Revere it was 2,874 or 42%.

Winthrop’s total vote decreased by 697 votes or 18% between the two elections held six months apart, while Revere’s total vote decreased by 1,411 votes or 49%.

It is evident that Winthrop voters were much more interested in the race and the candidates than Revere voters.

Part of the reason for the decline in the Revere vote was probably due to the failure of Revere Veterans Service Officer Marc Silvestri to obtain enough valid signatures to make the ballot.

Let’s look at how the candidates did in each community by percentages.

Jeff Turco received 41% of the Winthrop vote and 26% of the Revere vote; Juan Jaramillo received only 15% of the Winthrop vote and a huge 63% of the Revere vote; Alicia DelVento received 34% of the Winthrop vote and only 8% of the Revere vote; and Tino Capobianco received 10% of the Winthrop vote and 3% of the Revere vote.

If Marc Silvestri had made the ballot and an additional nine hundred (900) or so voters turned out to vote for him in Revere, the final result would still have produced Jeff Turco as the winner, but with a good number of the votes cast for Jaramillo, as the only Revere candidate, transferring to Silvestri.

The demise of Capobianco’s campaign, caused by allegations of misconduct, also may have helped Jaramillo gain some votes in Winthrop from voters who did not want to choose DelVento or Turco, although both probably gained some of his votes as well.

Jeff Turco will be heavily favored in the Special General Election on March 30th, where he will face Republican Paul Caruccio and independent candidate Richard Fucillo.

William Schmidt            


Everything in Moderation

 Dear Editor,

Having known Jeff Turco for most of my life, I am certain that he is the right fit as our next elected representation on Beacon Hill. He is a well-respected attorney, a faithful family man and a community pillar. In addition to all of that, Jeff is the Democratic nominee for the Suffolk 16th State Representative race.

In the week’s Democratic Primary, the most votes were cast for Jeff  – the residents of Winthrop and Revere. The people have spoken, or voted, and we want moderation. Jeff is an experienced, reasonable man and he is well-equipped to be the leader that we need during these most trying times. 

For me, it’s important to have a Representative that will ensure our community has a seat at the table. That will fight for working families, and the values they hold dear – like housing stability and a safe place to raise children. Someone that has no qualms advocating for further funding of our failed education system. A supporter of unions that vows to protect our neighborhoods from any irresponsible development or corporate greed that may come our way.

Jeff has truly given his all to our community. Through his work at the Church, his dedication to our youth sports programming, and through his longtime commitment to public service. I know he will always consider the concerns of residents and make sure they are on the forefront of every decision he makes. I trust Jeff Turco to move our District forward and I urge you to join me in voting for him as our next State Representative on March 30.

Stephen Fiore

Unheard Voice

Dear Editor,

The statement “without the right to LIFE, no other rights matter” has proven true recently. Compromise the right to life and other rights will be compromised in the name of health, safety, science, or progressive globalist views! Sometimes rightly. But often not. Views that don’t comply with the progressive left are cancelled.

HR-1 known as “The People’s Act of 2021” codifies this abuse. On a Federal level, it imposes rules regarding voter registration and the voting process, taking this responsibility away from the States. It allows anyone to register: citizen or not, old enough to vote or not, resident in that state or not.  Mail-In-Voting and Ballot Harvesting without any verification or restriction would be allowed! MIT Election Data & Science Lab found election fraud is most prevalent when voting by mail. This fact doesn’t matter to those who wish to water down the vote of American Citizens! States taking steps to ensure accurate and honest elections are accused of “restricting voter access”. It also permits the IRS to review policies/political views of non-profit organizations to determine Tax-Exempt status. Organizations politically opposed by the Party in power can be targeted, muzzling the voice of some groups; similar to what happened in 2012. 

This environment, prevents free exchange of ideas and learning. Our freedom is only one generation away from extinction. We cannot allow the integrity of our vote, our only voice, to be compromised! If we do, we join “unheard cries” with our own “unheard voice”.

Lucia Hunter

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