Friday, May 24, 2024

My name is Anthony D’Ambrosio, and I ask for your vote in the special election of Dec. 14 to represent you and the First Suffolk and Middlesex District in the Massachusetts Senate.

Encompassing parts of Cambridge, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, the North End and Chinatown, our Senate district is one of the largest and most diverse in the state. Whether we’ve lived here all our lives or arrived just yesterday, all 188,000 of us were drawn to the many opportunities this district provides. For me and my family, these opportunities have included life-changing education, good jobs and a welcoming place to call home.

I have deep roots in our community. My paternal grandparents immigrated to East Boston in 1972 and later started a successful landscaping business, Revere Gardens Co. My maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States in 1968 and have lived in Winthrop. My mother, aunt and uncle are all proud Winthrop High School graduates. My father, also an immigrant to the United States, attended East Boston and Revere public schools. Today, he operates a community law office in Revere. I have spent years in the district, living primarily in Revere but visiting family frequently in Winthrop, East Boston and the North End. I stand on the shoulders of my grandparents and parents, who came to this country from Southern Italy with literally the clothes on their backs and have given me the privilege to run for Senate today.

As an adult, after graduating from Yale University and the University of Cambridge in England, I returned to Revere and began working as a financial analyst in the technology industry. My job gave me a front-row view of the ways technology is radically transforming our economy. With a job at the intersection of finance and technology, I wanted to ensure that future generations of students are likewise prepared for the 21st century economy. That is why I ran for the Revere School Committee and why I am now running for state Senate. I hope to give back to my community and bring a new, outsider’s perspective to the State House.

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our community in virtually every way imaginable. It laid bare our society’s vulnerabilities and inequities, as well as the ways in which our leaders fail in their obligations to Massachusetts residents. Like so many others, I watched loved ones be hospitalized with Covid-19. One of the most painful periods of my life was watching my father struggle to breathe while hospitalized despite supplemental oxygen and incredible medical care. Even with the progress Massachusetts has made in containing the virus, the fear and pain of losing loved ones or seeing them suffer has not dissipated for my family and countless other families in our community.

As a member of the Revere School Committee, I took calls over the past 18 months from dozens of Revere parents who had to make the extraordinarily difficult decision to quit their jobs to provide care and educational support to their suddenly homebound children. This decision meant sacrificing half or even the entirety of their household incomes.

I similarly heard students describe falling months behind in their schoolwork because they did not have access to consistent, reliable Internet, despite living just a few miles from some of the top research universities in the world. This inequity, among others, inspired me to lead the creation of an Equity Advisory Board in Revere that will work to eliminate educational disparities.

Additionally, I pushed for increased mental health services for children in Revere Public Schools. Through my research and conversations with city leaders across the district, I know that similar numbers of students in Cambridge, Boston and Winthrop public schools have struggled with mental health issues over the past year.

These situations are unacceptable. We need to allocate federal relief funds to help our children today, not in two or three years when the damage cannot be repaired. While the old ways of Beacon Hill are still prevalent, we need new, modern ways of examining our problems and planning for the future.

We are at a pivotal moment when we can not only recover to a prepandemic normal, but also rebuild in a way that prepares our residents – and especially our children – for the challenges and promises of the 21st century. I am running for state Senate because I want to help ensure that the district that has given so much to me and my family can continue to do so for generations of families to come.

Join me. I again ask for your vote.

Anthony A. D’Ambrosio is a Revere School Committee member and financial analyst running to fill the First Suffolk and Middlesex District seat after the September departure of Joseph A. Boncore to become chief executive of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.