The community is mourning the loss of former Senate President Tom Birmingham, who died on Jan. 20, 2023, at the age of 73.
Mr. Birmingham represented Revere in the Senate following his election to the seat in 1990. He succeeded Sen. Fran Doris as Revereâ€™s senator and was elected Senate president in 1996 and served as the leader of the esteemed body until stepping down in 2003.
Current Revere officials spoke fondly of Mr. Birmingham, who grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and was a Rhodes Scholar.
â€œI was saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Birmingham, the former Massachusetts Senate President,â€ said Mayor Brian Arrigo. â€œHis passing is a loss for Massachusetts, and he will be missed by many.â€
Councilors-at-Large Dan Rizzo and Anthony Zambuto were members of the City Council during Birminghamâ€™s senate presidency.
â€œTom Birmingham was a trailblazer,â€ said Rizzo. â€œHe introduced Education Reform that dramatically transformed education in Massachusetts. He ensured that the school departments were going to get adequate funding that allowed them to provide a first-class education to children. He was passionate about that, and itâ€™s a legacy that has made a positive impact on countless children, families, and educators.â€
Rizzo admired how Mr. Birmingham could connect with people from all walks of life. â€œTom was an extremely bright guy His formal education, probably to this day, was unmatched, but he was a regular guy. He was a street guy. He could really communicate in a way that made everything he talked about understandable. He cared about district. He was always in Revere. Itâ€™s good to see your state senator periodically, and we would see a lot of Tom Birmingham in the City of Revere. Iâ€™m grateful for his service. Tom Birmingham will be long remembered in a very positive way,â€ concluded Rizzo, former mayor of Revere.
Zambuto said, â€œTom Birmingham was just a great guy. He was very smart and genuinely just a decent human being. He was a real public servant. I was shocked to hear the news of his passing. I extend my condolences to his family. He will be missed.â€
State Reps. Jessica Giannino and Jeff Turco praised Mr. Birminghamâ€™s legislative accomplishments and his commitment to education and students in Massachusetts.
â€œTom Birmingham served the citizens of Revere, Chelsea, and other communities with distinction,â€ said Giannino. â€œThis, coupled with his unrelenting commitment to the education of children across the Commonwealth, is something that will be remembered forever. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.â€
Turco said he was â€œsaddenedâ€ the news of Mr. Birmingham passing.
â€œSenate President Tom Birminghamâ€™s legacy in the field of education is unparalleled in the history of the Commonwealth,â€ said Turco, who was chief of staff to former Sen. Guy Glodis during Mr. Birminghamâ€™s reign as senate president. â€œIt truly is a loss for Massachusetts, and I send my condolences to his family.â€
Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who was elected in 2010 to the Senate seat previously held by Mr. Birmingham, lauded Mr. Birminghamâ€™s contributions to the communities throughout the district. â€œServing as a member of the Everett City Council, I know how instrumental Sen. Birmingham was in the construction of the new high school in Everett and how responsive he was to the needs of our community. â€œWhen he ran for governor in 2002, I supported his candidacy.â€
Former State Rep. Kathi Reinstein represented Revere and Chelsea in the House of Representative while Mr. Birmingham served in the State Senate.
Said Reinstein, â€œTom Birmingham held many titles in his political life, but I know the ones he treasured most were father, husband, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his district, and to the children across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; who will continue to benefit in perpetuity from his advocacy on their behalf. It was an honor to serve with him and share a district with him. May his memory be a blessing.â€