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~ Election 2023 ~ Morabito’s run for mayor has roots in customer service

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By Barbara Taormina


Councillor-at-Large Steve Morabito chose not to seek a sixth term on the City Council and instead he joined the four-way mayoral race with fellow Councillors Dan Rizzo, Gerry Visconti and Acting Mayor Patrick Keefe.

“I’ve done things that impact people,” said Morabito of his decade of service on the council. While he intends to continue making an impact as mayor, he has broader ambitions. Morabito said he wants to create a sense of belonging among all of Revere.

“I’m vested in this community; I grew up here. I’m a people person. I have a genuine desire to serve the community,” said Morabito in an interview with The Advocate.

Many people who know Morabito know him from his days as the manager of Johnny’s Food Master, a job that demands a keen understanding of customer service. And Morabito sees residents and voters as customers of local government who deserve the best service possible. “At the end of the day, people want someone to be out there on the front line of the customer experience,” he said.

Morabito’s personal, door-to-door campaign is a frontline approach to connecting with voters. “I’ve knocked on 3,000 doors – it’s very important – people want to talk to the candidate, not the team,” he said, adding that residents are very engaged in the election.

And as Morabito sees it, this is a very different election. “Residents are fed up with development,” he said.

With that in mind, during the Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Debate last week, Morabito pledged not to accept any financial contributions from developers, and he challenged his fellow candidates to do the same. He acknowledges that all candidates in Revere have accepted past contributions from developers. But this year is different. “It’s important to show residents there’s no outside influence,” he said.

While on the council, Morabito served as chairman of the Economic Development Committee, which strived to create businesses and job opportunities and generate revenue for the city. “But now we need to put a hold on it,” he said. “I want to guide the city’s growth and development.”

Morabito has made an affordable Revere a cornerstone of his campaign. He points out that he was the only member of the council to vote in favor of inclusionary zoning, which would have required residential developers to set aside a certain percent of units in a project as affordable for lower and moderate-income families. As mayor, he intends to support more senior housing, the expansion of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, property tax relief for seniors and more rental assistance programs in the city.

Morabito sees Revere, and its wealth of natural resources, as perfectly positioned to become a leader in environmental sustainability for Massachusetts. He has called for investments in green infrastructure and climate resilience measures that will protect neighborhoods from storm surges and flooding. He plans a citywide audit to discover ways to reduce Revere’s carbon footprint and save taxpayer dollars.

Like other candidates, Morabito said expanding the police force to increase public safety is a priority. He also favors establishing a Revere Beach Task Force that could proactively prepare for and prevent any problems, such as the shootings that occurred Memorial Day weekend.

He regrets the new high school has become a political issue and feels residents just want to see a new school built. He believes Revere will make it work in any location. Morabito’s plans for education also include launching a universal pre-K program, a significant benefit for working families struggling with the crushing cost of early childhood care and education.

In addition to specific issues, Morabito notes that his candidacy is the first time in Revere’s political history that an openly gay candidate has run for mayor. He feels it’s important not just because of what it signals to the gay community, but because it represents the distance covered in the effort to make Revere a diverse and inclusive city. “When you hear people say they want a change in representation, that’s equivalent to electing the first gay mayor,” he said, adding that all marginalized groups will be bolstered by seeing him succeed.

And for Morabito, it’s another step toward creating a community of belonging for all residents of Revere.

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