With the latest polls showing U.S. Senator Scott Brown in a virtual dead-heat against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, Brown in now getting local help from an unlikely ally.
Last Wednesday, former Senate President Robert Travaglini, a staunch democrat who oversaw the passage of gay marriage and universal health care in the Commonwealth during his tenure as senate president showed Brown around Eastie.
The tour of Eastie included stops at the YMCA, the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, the East Boston District Court, Meridian Market and Santarpio’s Pizza.
“I’m with Scott (Brown) because when he served with me in the Massachusetts Senate he was a man with integrity that always stayed true to himself and his beliefs,” said Travaglini. “He has continued that tradition as a U.S. Senator and at the end of the day he fighting for what he believes is good for all the people of Massachusetts despite their political affiliations.”
At his first campaign stop, Brown toured the YMCA facility on Bremen Street. There Brown saw first hand how public funding has provided an oasis for working parents and their children in a clean and safe environment.
Brown’s own mother struggled during Brown’s childhood and received welfare benefits as a working mother and relied on places like the Y for her children.
Children in the Y’s preschool presented Brown with a card and he lead the children in the singing of the A,B,C song and high-fived all the children in the room.
Next Brown toured the EBNHC and met with President Jack Cradock, Vice President Manny Lopes and Dr. James Taylor. At EBNHC Brown toured the clinic’s emergency room and was impressed at the level of care patients receive. He also toured the clinic’s award winning radiology department that was built with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“My position on ARRA spending has always supported funds being spent on projects like the Health Center’s radiology department instead of being used to backfill municipal budgets due to poor spending habits.”
Next, Brown visited the East Boston District Court and its staff. There, in front of Judge Roberto Ronquillo and his staff a teary-eyed Brown thanked the court officials of the work they do helping offenders get back on the straight and narrow. Brown told a touching story of his own experience with the court system.
“Many of you already know that I had a difficult childhood and was arrested when I was 13 for stealing records,” said Brown. “But for some reason Judge Samuel Zoll saw something positive in me and rather throwing the book at me asked if I was good basketball played. I said I was. He then asked if I had any younger brothers or sisters. I said yes I was the oldest.”
Brown said Zoll then asked him how he thought his younger siblings would feel if he had to play basketball in jail for a few years and asked Brown to right a 1,500-word essay on the question as his punishment for stealing.
“It was that sort of compassion that I see here at East Boston District Court because each case and each individual is different,” an emotional Brown said.
Brown then visited Meridian Market where he shook hands with the Noviello family and their customers and was treated to some of the market’s specialty sandwiches.
“I might have to hit the gym a little harder today after this trip to East Boston,” joked Brown about the fact there was good food at ever stop.
Brown and his supporters ended the day at Santarpio’s with a luncheon. There Brown thanked Travaglini and Eastie democrats that are willing to support him.
“Today was a real exciting day for me to be able to connect with people here,” said Brown.