Joanne Pomodoro announces candidacy for state representative. The following is her statement:
My name is Joanne Pomodoro and I am a candidate for the State Representative Position in East Boston. As a lifelong resident of East Boston, one whose family settled here from Italy and who continues to live here in East Boston. I know that I am the best candidate to represent the community, my community, our community. The community that I have lived in all of my 6 2 years. All my family grew up here and a number of them serve as an EMT, a Boston Police officer, a District Attorney and myself, a Social Worker. My parents are deceased and they both gave us so many wonderful opportunities and gifts. I know they are looking down on my today and rooting me on.
A dear friend, a past State Senate President, asked me why the heck am I running? I responded, because I love my community and because I am tired of not being heard as a resident, especially at this age in my life. We need someone to be assertive, empowered, a voice for all people. That me, it’s a part of my profession as a Social Worker. I know how to work hard, I know how to dedicate my life to servicing and helping others, I know how to work for a humble wage. Social Workers are agents for change every day. We effect change in someone’s life, we heal, we help, we empower. Social Workers are more aware of what is needed and how to help make changes in lives and in public policy.
I went to graduate school at 45 years old, I graduated at 50 years old from Boston University School of Social Work. Ready to embark on my new career, my parents became ill. At the end of my parent’s lives, I was their caregiver. I worked two jobs and then I took time off to help them. I used my retirement so that I could get them to appointments and treatment. I was honored and blessed to have had them in my life, they thanked me all the time, but I was the lucky one for sure.
As a therapist, my rate is affordable to those in need. Therapy today is limited and expensive. Either a therapist is private pay or the copayments are high. I believed that good therapy should be affordable therapy and my rate was minimal as compared to my colleagues in the field.
As a social worker at MGH and in private practice, I hear the problems, I see the challenges, I witness the pain and the suffering. I know the issues, I know the needs and I know where the resources are and I know what we need from our local government. I help people victims of violent crime get justice, I help people who have trauma, depression, anxiety, serious illness, dementia – no barriers to my work.. when in need, we are here to help; when in pain, we are here to comfort, when a victim of violence we are here to help heal; when homeless, we are here to find resources and shelter; when life seems unbearable, we are here to bring stability, hope and empowerment; when there are differences, addiction, mental health Dx, racism, age-ism, homophobia, human trafficking, homelessness, poverty, illness, dementia. Getting through the hardest of times, the depths of despair, the flashbacks of war, trauma, violence; we help everyone heal, to live a better life, to feel good about themselves and their families. To know that there are better times ahead, there are services and resources.
I love my profession and the people I work with. To make a difference in someone’s life is the reward. Social Workers are change agents and as someone who does this every day, I believe it is time to put this Social Worker into the political. I am sick and I am tired of the status quo, of the same ole, same ole message, the same suit, the same gender, the same smiles, the same promises. As a lifetime resident of Eastie, I have watch our community change and grow. Change is good for a community, I support that. However, while we change, we need to remember those residents who are not represented in the plans. They are overlooked.
Our elders, our children, mental health services in our community keep having their services and resources cut. Gentrification needs to take into account the middle class, as I see it the lost class.
Our property taxes are increasing and yet, here in East Boston, many have not seen where the money is going. There are developments going up at a fast rate, luxury and affordable. This is the time for accountability in our own government, the fraud and abuse of services, pension reform, health care that is equal and fair, same copays and services that are fair to everyone, not a chosen few. The problems in our community are no different than the problems and the issues that I deal with everyday as a Social Worker. Social Workers are change agents, doing this work every day, makes me more than qualified and experienced to be a change agent for the community, my community, your community, our East Boston. We need a better process for awarding contracts to solely profit making developers, house flippers that seek profit over well-being. They are not here for our benefit and if you believe that, then you should vote for the same people who are allowing this to happen in our community. Let’s be open and honest, I hear the word transparency being used as the new buzz word in political circles.
I am not a professional politician;
I am a professional social worker. I am new to this arena but not to the calling or to the field of helping others. I am not an observer, I am a change agent, I am proactive, I am an advocate, a voice for those who need one the most.
It’s time for a change and the time is now and the change is with me. I ask for your vote on March 31st…