As we were reading through the list of appropriations that are earmarked for specific projects and programs for Winthrop and Revere in the new state budget proposed by the Mass. House for Fiscal Year 2018, it once again occurred to us how incredibly fortunate we are to have our own State Representative, House Speaker Bob DeLeo, representing us.
For more than a decade, first as Ways and Means Chairman and then as Speaker of the House, Bob has been one of the most powerful legislators on Beacon Hill. Not only has he been in a position to influence legislation that directly benefits our district, but he also has been sure to do so.
Some elected officials go off to take big posts at the state or federal level and forget about their home districts — but Bob DeLeo never has forgotten his roots and where he came from. As a former selectmen, Bob knows how important state funding can be for needs in a community that cannot be achieved by local taxpayers alone.
Moreover, as has been the case throughout his legislative career, Bob’s dedication to his home communities has not been trivial. Rather, what he has done for us has had a huge impact on his Winthrop-Revere district.
The appropriations for FY 2008 include these meaningful priorities for our district:
$250,000 for CAPIC’s Emergency Services Program;
$1 million for a Winthrop boat ramp;
$900,000 for the Metropolitan Beaches Commission;
$1,030,000 for directed State Police patrols, including patrols on Revere Beach;
$250,000 for a Child Safety grant for the town of Winthrop;
$250,000 for a Child Safety grant for the town of Revere; and
$50,000 grant for Revere’s Substance Use Disorder initiatives.
These appropriations are only the latest in what can be labeled as an amazing run for our communities during Bob’s tenure on Beacon Hill. It occurred to us how lucky we are to be living in a period of such unprecedented benefits for our district.
Perhaps the most-apt analogy to consider is the streak of success that fans of the New England Patriots are enjoying in the Bill Belichick era. Younger Pats’ fans take for granted their team’s five Super Bowl titles in this century, but those of us with a sense of perspective, who remember the team’s lean times, know that the winning we enjoy now will be only a fond memory when Bill Belichick moves on.
So too, some day Bob DeLeo will not be our State Representative and the benefits to our district that we expect every year will not be there.
So if you see Bob around town, we suggest that you offer him a simple, “Thank you” for what he has done — and continues to do — for our community, year-in and year-out. (After all, as our grandmother, Zita Quigley, the long-time Business Manager of the Sun-Transcript, was fond of saying, “Even a dog likes a pat on the head every once in a while.”)
And when you do so, maybe also say to Bob, “..and please don’t retire anytime soon!”