Townie Tidbits

Story and Photos By Sal Giarratani


I can remember back in 1981 when Boston voters went to the polls to decide the future of the Boston City Council which at that time had been since 1949 a citywide body of nine members. On that ballot that year was the current system with four at large members and nine district councilors.

I was very active in Charlestown for keeping the City Council all at large. I was fearful of Charlestown being swallowed up in a district that included both the North End and East Boston.

The new district representation question won out with voters and Ialearned to live with it and make it work for Charlestown. From the startEast Boston took this elective seat with one exception with a North End councilor. City Councilor Sal LaMattina from the beginning has been a great District 1 councilor and has done well by Charlestown too.

This year with LaMattina retiring from office, there were a number of candidates thinking about making a run for the District 1 seat including a couple of Charlestown candidates but in the end no one from Charlestown ran leaving one North End and two East Boston candidates. If ever there was a time for a Charlestown candidate, this was the year as the results of the preliminary election show. Had someone here run, they most likely would have made it into the final but it wasn’t to be.

With the nail-biter of election where the two top candidates were only 77 votes apart, Charlestown could play a pivotal role. I see this race wide-open and the candidate with the best ground game will be the winner. Charlestown’s demographics have changed mightily in the past 40 plus years.

The second place finish candidate Lydia Edwards topped the ticket in Charlestown becoming the first person of color ever to top the ticket in a Charlestown election.

Steve Passacantilli is also a formidable candidate  and like thepreliminary, the final election should be very close too. Both candidates tell me they feel positive about their campaigns. Both camps are working hard to get out their votes.

If you haven›t registered to vote yet, do it now. Do cry later if your candidate loses without your vote. Forget all the other public offices on the ballot, the government closest to you is the most important. Don’t forget to vote because if you don’t I don’t want to hear you whining about the results.



A new voting constituency is definitely pet owners. They vote. Recently, back in September, Lydia Edwards put on a well attended “Puppies and Politics” get-together at the Bemen Street Dog Park in East Boston. It was quite successful. You can bet that there will be more of these events by both camps. Doggies get their bones and you get the ears of those dog owners trying to choose the right candidates to vote into office.

Don›t forget to bring your poop bags too. As of yet I have not seen any campaign poop bags to date.



My mother had many brothers. You know, Charlestown and Irish. One of my uncles Uncle Joe enlisted into the US Navy following Pearl Harbor. Of course he joined the Navy another Charlestown thing. Well, he was sent to San Juan, P.R. and served there for the ntire length of the war. Not a bad place to be in WWII. He met his future wife Blanca Gonzales there and at the end of the war they married, settled in Rio Piedras outside San Juan and raised a family. Growing up I had four Puerto Rican-Irish first cousins. Three of them came to the states. One stayed there. After Hurricane Maria, I tried reaching out to her to no avail. I keep trying and getting a busy signal. Who would have though Puerto Rico would be whacked so hard.

Hopefully, I will get through to my cousin Eileen Harrington. I am sure with Townie blood in her, she will survive.

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