Thank you all so much for coming tonight. As Caitlyn and I were greeting many of you earlier, we saw just about every Revere elected official with us as well. Please join us in thanking them all for being here. (Clap)
Before I go any further, I want to take a minute to give a special thanks to Councilor Steve Morabito, a whose friendship I truly appreciate. Councilor Morabito – your support means the world to me.
Many of you already know me and my family. My grandparents are all immigrants to this country and have lived and worked most of their lives in this community. My paternal grandparents, Antonietta & Antonio D’Ambrosio, immigrated to East Boston in 1972 and later started a successful landscaping business in Revere. My maternal grandparents, Antonietta & Gino Cardello came to the US in 1968 and have lived in Winthrop. My mother, Michelle, is a proud Winthrop High School graduate- (Class of 1988, Sorry Mom!!!). My father, Gerry, also an immigrant to this great country, attended both East Boston and Revere public schools. Today, he operates a community law office in Revere. I have spent the better part of my adult life in this community.
To say the least, tonight I stand before you on the shoulders of my parents and grandparents. They came to this country with literally the clothes on their backs and have given me the privilege to stand before you today. I love them very much.
Importance of this Election
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no secret that current Senator Joe Boncore is likely to be the next head of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. And, if that plays out the way it seems to be heading, I will absolutely be running in the special Senate election to succeed him.
In the meantime, I know that Joe and his wife are dealing with a personal matter pertaining to the health of a child. I know you all join me in sending them all our very best.
This will be a crucial election this fall because of these unpresented times. COVID has changed everything. Our community has been ravaged with some of the highest infection and death rates in the Commonwealth. Many of our children have lost family members or seen severe illness in their homes. Schools have shuttered.
Students have been left with significant learning gaps.
Parents have been forced to decide between earning a living or staying home to care for family members. Communities of color have been even more disproportionately harmed and students of color have lost significant ground compared to their more affluent peers. And, while the Amazons of the world have been allowed to flourish through this deadly crisis, many small businesses and jobs have simply disappeared, extinguished by unfair laws that favor big business over small business and organized labor.
Make no mistake about it, we are at an inflection point – nationally, in Massachusetts, and right here in our own Community.
The question is a simple one: Do we proceed “with business as usual,” the same “business as usual approach” that has exposed how woefully unprepared we were – and still are – for a widescale crisis such as COVID?
OR, do we change course and seek new, innovative ways of preparing for and solving our problems?
Unfortunately, we still live in a world in which many of our nationally elected politicians, both Republican and Democratic, are more concerned with “back door politics” and their re-electability rather than truly solving problems. The pattern of delay and outright incompetence is startling.
The examples are many:
Did you know that:
- Massachusetts government spent nearly 20 years and millions of dollars refining its pandemic vaccination plan. We should have been ready in December of this year to mobilize our local public health departments in the distribution of the COVID vaccines to our elderly and vulnerable populations, BUT we were not ready. 20 years of planning and millions of dollars went right out the window and after more delay, more illness and more death, another plan was created and implemented.
- Today, we have billions of dollars in federal aid to distribute in Massachusetts. Dollars that can remediate learning gaps for students, spur workforce development, and help address our housing shortages. On Beacon Hill, however, there seems to be little urgency. Beacon Hill lawmakers routinely pass their budget late and treat deadlines as only simple reminders. While relatively minimal amounts have been distributed, the vast majority of relief funds sit, unused, awaiting backroom, political wrangling to determine how they will be spent. So, despite the immediate need for increased student services, affordable housing, and aid to small businesses and workers, some predict that it may take years for Beacon Hill to fully distribute the funds.
I am an outsider and admittedly I will be an underdog against the government insiders that I will likely be facing in this race. But, I do not apologize for this – in fact, I am proud of it. I promise you that I will never fail to call out bad government. In my political life, I will take with me the same conviction and steely resolve that brought my grandparents to this country nearly 50 years ago.
And, if you are against “business as usual” and believe in a new way of looking and solving problems, then please join me! I promise that the next couple of months will be one thrilling, refreshing ride.
Thank you for your support tonight! Thank you for being here.