By John Lynds
On Saturday morning at the Mario Umana Academy, the Ward I Democratic Committee held a caucus to elect delegates to the state convention. The caucus included Eastie registered Democrats as well as a special visit by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. The convention will be held on Saturday, June 3 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
The delegates elected Saturday will be sent to the 2017 convention to adopt a new party platform for the state Democratic Party.
Elected Saturday were ten female delegates, nine male delegates and three alternates.
The female delegates elected were Lydia Edwards, Fi Nguyễn, Vicki Dzinzidashvili, Jane O’Reilly, Celeste Ribeiro Myers, Susanna Starrett, Magdalena Ayed, Margaret Farmer,Sandra Aleman-Nijjar and Claudia Y. Correa.
The male delegates elected Saturday were Joe Ruggiero, David Halbert, Adrian Velazquez, Anthony Gesualdi, Zachary Hollopeter, John Ribeiro, Phil Brangiforte, Stephen Mazzarella and Richard Carvalho.
There were also three alternates elected and they were Claudia Sierra, Richard Carvalho and Liana LaMattina.
Rep. Adrian Madaro, Treasurer for the Democratic State Party Carol Aloisi, State Committeewoman Gabriela Coletta and Chairman of the Ward 1 Democratic Committee Michael Sulprizio will also serve as ex-officio delegates to the convention with full voting privileges.
“I was very pleased with the turnout at this years caucus,” said Sulprizio. “It was exciting to see how engaged and passionate the attendees were. It was also great to have Mayor Walsh join us to kickoff off our caucus, we really appreciate his support. I would like to thank all those who took the time to participate in this important event for the Democratic Party.”
Before the elections Mayor Walsh addressed the room full of Eastie Democrats and talked about Democratic values and ideals.
“It’s time for a party to come together and get beyond the fights,” said Walsh. “Here in Boston and Massachusetts we have a strong Democratic base. This year and next year when we have elections support your state and city elected officials that are Democrats. If you look at areas of Massachusetts we are starting to lose some ground in places like Southeast Massachusetts. We are the party of working class people and the party of inclusion and we have to stay that way.”
Walsh said he recently attended the bipartisan National Mayors Conference. Walsh said his Democratic counterparts as well as many Republican mayors are concerned about climate change and ensuring that city mayors continue to fight for progressive energy policies that lessens our carbon footprint.
He also said that the mayors discussed the Affordable Care Act and the plan to ‘repeal and replace’.
“Many republicans talk about repeal and replace,” said Walsh. “There are 20 million Americans covered under the ACA and the issues that concern me are cutting coverage for preexisting conditions. We need to make sure we keep that as well as other components like screenings, like breast cancer screenings, colon screenings and prostate screening.”
He also touched upon perhaps the biggest issue in the U.S. today and that is the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.
“I met with mayors from all over the U.S. and I talked with a Republican Mayor from Mesa, Arizona who said he was against deporting 11 million immigrants because if that happens his city will be out of business. In Boston I took a very strong stance, I didn’t take the brave stance, I took the right stance because labeling all undocumented immigrants as criminals is wrong or that all Muslims are terrorist is wrong.”
Walsh said one of the biggest issues in Boston is the technology industry keeps growing and relies on workers from across the globe.
“We need to find a way to allow for visas for workers who want to come here, work here legally, live here, raise a family here,” said Walsh. “Many of our companies in Boston hire people from all over the world and there is a way to do this properly.”
In the spirit of inclusion, youth, minorities, and people with disabilities who are not elected as delegates or alternates may apply to be add-on delegates online at www.massdems.org
For more information on the caucus or the committee please contact Michael Sulprizio at [email protected] / 617-438-0952 or check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ward1dems/ or follow them on Twitter @ward1demsEB