By Neil Zolot
Over 200 people attended a Hawaiian-themed buffet for Councillor-at-Large, former Mayor and current Mayoral candidate Dan Rizzo at Casa Lucia, Friday, September 8. “I’m looking around the room seeing many familiar faces and I feel blessed,” he said. “Some of you are childhood friends. Some are friends I’ve met through politics or business, and you should be proud of the work you’ve done. When I become Mayor again, I’ll work as hard as I can to achieve a feeling of community. We’ll work for the people of Revere – not the outsiders – and take back the city we know and love. Being responsible to the people we serve is what government is all about.”
He was introduced by State Representative Jeff Turco. “We all know Dan and what he stands for, which is why we are all here,” he said. “Over the next four years things will be tough. Tax revenues will be tight. We need someone with experience and he’s shown himself capable of managing a budget. We are in a position to win because of the work you’ve done, but we’re not at the finish line yet. The critical thing is to get out and vote. Vote early. It’s a ballot in the bank for Dan. We can’t go into Election Day without something in the bank. Let’s finish strong and go on to November,” a reference to the September 19 primary.
Rizzo’s wife Jane thinks “it’s going great. We have a ton of support and volunteers. We’re excited to get Danny’s message out. People are looking for a change from the previous administration, especially in regard to development, traffic and safety.”
Many politicians past and present and friends of Rizzo showed up to see and be seen. Former State Representative RoseLee Vincent recalled that she started that job in 2014 around the same time Rizzo became Mayor. “Revere was hit with tornados and he called me about getting our legislative delegation together,” she said. “I saw leadership in an unexpected situation. He took charge. I was in awe how he handled the situation and brought Revere together. When he was Mayor, he also was the only elected official to testify on my bill opposing RESCO, the Wheelabrator trash incinerator and came to testify on other bills.”
She feels Rizzo “has strong support. I’m confident he’ll be one of the two in the final election,” but still knows “Revere politics are hard to predict.”
Other politicians at the luau, as it was called, included City Council President Pro Tempore/Ward 1 City Councillor Joanne McKenna, School Committee member Aisha Milbury-Ellis, City Council candidates Paul Argenzio, Brian Averback, Steve Damiano, Angela Guarino-Sawaya, Bob Haas, Greg Murray, Anthony Parziale and Wayne Rose and School Committee candidates Anthony Caggiano, who is also a member of the Northeast Metro Tech School Committee, and John Kingston.
Among friends was Jannine Ellis, mother-in-law of Milbury-Ellis and former head of the Department of Consumer Affairs. “When Dan was Mayor, it was wonderful,” she said. “It was like a family and we need that unity now.”
She also feels Rizzo “will get through the primary. I have the feeling he’ll go all the way. I’ve been holding signs and we’ve gotten a tremendous response.”
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