For resident Stephen Hines, community comes first. It is for this reason that he volunteered to work the election season, giving back to the Town that he loves so dearly. Stepping into the role of Precinct Warden for the State Primary Election on Tuesday, September 1st, Hines took his responsibility seriously. Relying heavily on his team of experienced volunteers, he was able to keep the day running smoothly, ensuring that everyone was executing their proper roles throughout the day. In what he considers a rewarding role, Hines was also responsible for maintaining communication with the Town Clerk’s office in the event that anything out of the ordinary occurred.
In the interview below, Hines shares a bit about his history in Winthrop and what drove his decision to volunteer for the election.
Is this your first time volunteering during the election season?
Yes. I have always considered volunteering, but never pulled the trigger. Right out of university, I actually interviewed with the City of Somerville to manage their elections office. I didn’t get the job, but now’s my chance for redemption!
What made you want to volunteer?
First and foremost, community is the most important thing in my life. The Town of Winthrop has given me so many opportunities, so many friends, and has been home to my family for generations. When COVID hit, and older residents were unable to participate in the same capacity as previous years, I knew now was the time to step up and do my part.
How will this year’s elections be different than in year’s past?
As you can imagine, the entire world is different than it was a few months ago. Extreme sanitation and social distancing measures were implemented to keep everyone safe. Additionally, mail-in voting strategies were tapped nationwide to ensure everyone has a safe voting experience. While this added an enormous administrative burden on our small cities and towns, it is instrumental in protecting and encouraging participation in our democracy.
Are you involved with any other volunteer work/committees in town?
At this moment in time, I am completely focused on growing my real estate sales business, Robert Paul Properties. My team and I work relentlessly to keep our clients satisfied and this puts a huge time crunch on each of us. We do make it a point to give back to the community as often as we can. We hold annual beach clean-ups, raise money for families in need around town, and do our best to support small businesses by shopping and dining locally as often as we can. In the past, I co-founded the Transportation Advisory Committee with my dear friend Julia Wallerce and have been known to frequent town committee meetings like zoning, appeals, and Town Council hearings.
How long have you lived in Winthrop?
My family has been in Winthrop for several generations. My great-grandparents lived on Point Shirley, and all of my grandparents still live here in Town. I was raised here on the weekends with my father and grandparents all my life and moved back full-time right out of my undergraduate studies. You could say that I am a genuine Townie!
What do you love about this town?
Winthrop has always been a special place to me. Living here on the weekends as a child gave me a unique perspective on the town and instilled a great appreciation for its uniqueness. I live on the Beach, and every morning I leave my house and smell briny air, hear crashing waves, and address all my neighbors on a first-name basis. When I grab groceries at the Winthrop Market Place I am stopped with “How’s your mother? How’s your father? How’s Nana doing? How’s business?” When I walk the beach in the morning I’m constantly waving at familiar faces, petting familiar dogs, and admiring impressive architecture. Winthrop has always been “home” for me, and while I have traveled the world, it always feels good to be right here.