STOP THE PRESSES!
Dear Charlestown Neighbors:
I am supporting our Congressman Mike Capuano for re-election on September 4. Mike Capuano’s record as a fighter for the most vulnerable in our society is everything Congress and the Democratic Party needs at this most crucial time. He has built a record of achievement in Washington without losing touch with his working-class roots in the streets of Somerville.
In 1998, while working at a local Charlestown non-profit and living in my parents first-floor apartment, I received a call from the then Mayor of Somerville. He said he would like to meet me to talk about his Congressional race. At the time, although involved in the neighborhood, I was only marginally involved in politics. I met with Mike Capuano a few days later. I appreciated his straightforward style then. I’ve have grown to love and appreciate it more every day. I jumped on Mike’s long-shot campaign, as a volunteer, immediately. Little did I know, the next three months would change my life. I ended up with a front seat to watch history in the making as a Congressional Aide.
In 2001, while giving a Capitol tour to a family visiting Washington D.C. from Boston, that family and I were sitting in the House gallery when Mike voted against the “No Child Left Behind Act.” This was one of the many times he shocked his staff, as well as other political onlookers, by voting his instincts over the conventional wisdom of the day. As more often than not, his instincts proved correct. The Bush White House did not keep their promise to fully fund this bi-partisan grand compromise.
Mike doesn’t come to these decisions easily. After 9/11, with war looming in Iraq and our nation already with boots on the ground in Afghanistan, Mike took to the streets in campaign fashion. As Congressional staff, he had us stand with him, at train stations and bus stops, holding signs that read, “Talk to me about The War in Iraq”. When asked by an onlooker if this was a little over the top, Mike replied, “there is nothing I take more seriously than voting to send soemeone else’s child to war.” As everyone now knows, Mike voted against that war; and it was done with the consent of the governed. He has stood up to each President that has usurped that power from Congress, regardless of party.
This passion for his work translates to delivering locally also. After years of deferred maintenance, the over- passes in Sullivan Square was ordered demolished by state inspectors. Mike immediately went to work securing over $16 million in funding for the Rutherford Avenue Corridor and North Washington Street Bridge. Mike is a driving force nationally for health center funding, middle-class home ownership and environmental clean-up. His work on these issues sometimes go unnoticed, but are all around us in Charlestown, his district and even in the Boston Harbor and Islands. He has also delivered funding for our historic treasures, such as new illumination for the Bunker Hill Monument.
Mike has delivered for this district. For decades, he has been a leader nationally and locally on many of the issues that are only now getting headlines. Mike knows our neighborhood and our values. I have had the honor and privilege of working for him, and with him, over the years. My opinion is most certainly biased; however, I truly believe there is no one better at what he does! We need him in the fight! Now more than ever! This is why I’m proud to support our Congressman, Mike Capuano on September 4th. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Old Charlestown Schoolboys Association and the Saint Florian Society of the Boston Fire Department for giving me this very generous scholarship. I also wish to thank Father Daniel Mahoney for being instrumental in the creation of this scholarship. The scholarship will be very helpful to me as I begin my junior year at UMass-Amherst. Having this scholarship is a tremendous help in meeting my school expenses since I have to stop working in early August to attending pre-season training camp as a member of the UMass-Amherst men’s soccer team and am unable to work while at school.