Joseph Boncore, an attorney and lifelong Winthrop resident, has announced that he will be a candidate for the State Senate in the First Suffolk and Middlesex District.
Boncore is well known to Winthrop voters who have benefited from his exceptional leadership on the Winthrop Housing Authority and the town’s Ordinance Review Committee. His father, attorney Philip Boncore, is a popular councilor-at-large and was named the Sun-Transcript Man of the Year for 2015.
Joseph Boncore has been active in other candidates’ successful campaigns for elective office such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Katherine Clark and he is a strong supporter of Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo. But Boncore is now setting out on his own run for the Senate seat that was held by Anthony Petruccelli.
His campaigning has been vigorous already across the senatorial district that includes Revere, Winthrop, Beacon Hill, the North End, Chinatown, and Cambridge. He will host a major campaign kickoff event on Feb. 19 at the Beachmont VFW Post in Revere.
“I’m getting a great response,” Boncore said in an interview Monday. “It seems like people want a fresh face and people want someone who is Beacon Hill outsider.”
Boncore was first elected to the Winthrop Housing Authority in 2009 and currently serves as chairman. He was instrumental in the state’s housing reform legislation, delivering testimony before the Joint Committee on Housing at the Statehouse
“I spoke up against Governor Patrick’s plan to regional the housing authorities,” said Boncore. “I got the fire in my belly from that experience and realized that Beacon Hill is a place where you can effect change on a great level and have a positive impact on people. I think safe and affordable housing is one of the most important issues in this diverse district.”
A graduate of St. John’s Prep, Providence College, and the Massachusetts School of Law, he has been an attorney for 10 years, working at the Boncore Law Practice.
For the past three years, he has been involved in the Suffolk Lawyers for Justice Bar Advocate Program that provides legal counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford attorneys. He has aided the program at the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court and the Chelsea District Court.
Boncore said one of his first initiatives as a state senator would be to “make more resources available to identify opioid issues and make sure opioid treatment is available through health insurance.
“We have to force health care companies to pay the same for opioid addiction as they do for opioid prevention. Treatment needs to be included healthcare.”
He prides himself on being an activist for public housing.
“I think it so important they eradicate the homelessness issue,” said Boncore. “Massachusetts is the leader in this country in education and innovation but unfortunately we’re also the leader in homelessness. I think Gov. Patrick’s emergency housing bill was a good short-term solution but it’s putting people in hotels and motels and the only people that benefit are the hotel and motel owners. We need to start putting people in to affordable housing units like the Winthrop and Boston Housing Authorities.”
Boncore has visited each neighborhood in the district and received some key endorsements from groups.
“But I’m not going to rely on individual endorsements to get me elected. I’m going to rely on the people, the people of this town who see my passion and my ability to lead this district. Those are the endorsements I want – the endorsements at the ballot box.”