Remembering Two East Boston Community Leaders

The opening of the new state-of-the-art soccer field at Sen. Michael LoPresti Sr. Park and the re-dedication of the Anna DeFronzo Sr. Center are a reaffirmation of their legendary status in the East Boston community.

Michael LoPresti Sr. was a well-known political figure who had a distinguished career in the Mass. State Senate. He was an old-school politician whose word was his bond and truly enjoyed being in a position to help his constituents on a daily basis. In the early 1950s, Mr. LoPresti ran for a Congress in a race that featured Tip O’Neil Jr., who would go on to serve as Speaker of the House. Our wish is that we could have witnessed some of the rallies and debates of that exciting campaign which must have been an old-fashioned political donnybrook.

Mr. LoPresti was well respected by his colleagues and it was so fitting that his son, the late Michael LoPresti, would have the honor of serving as a State Senator, continuing the family’s tradition of public service.

Anna DeFronzo was so very well known as an activist for our community, always reaching out to residents to protect their best interests and being a wonderful neighbor to her friends and fellow residents. Mrs. DeFronzo joined with Mary Ellen Welsh, another hard-working, lifelong resident to found the Maverick Street Mothers, who worked to limit Massport’s expansion of the airport.

At the recent re-dedication ceremony, no less a giant in Massachusetts politics than former Governor and 1988 Democratic candidate for President, Michael S. Dukakis, talked about the tremendous impact and valuable contribution that Mrs. DeFronzo made to the quality of life in East Boston.

City Councillor Sal LaMattina and Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, two outstanding representatives for East Boston, said that DeFronzo’s activism and speaking from the heart for what she believed was right for her neighborhood set a foundation from which community leaders today carry on with similar spirit and inner toughness.

We can only imagine how proud Anna DeFronzo’s family is of the contribution that she made in her life to our community and what a great example she set for future community activists.

We thank those individuals who made these fitting and well-deserved tributes possible to Sen. Michael LoPresti Sr. and. Mrs. Anna DeFronzo possible so their legacies will be carried forth and their commitment to East Boston remembered by our community forever.

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