Rep. Carlo Basile, Man of the Year

Rep. Carlo Basile during a recent ribbon cutting in East Boston.

Rep. Carlo Basile during a recent ribbon cutting in East Boston.

He came from a single parent household where his mother, Teresa, raised him and his three brothers.

Life for State Representative Carlo Basile, who will leave office in January to become Chief Secretary to incoming Governor Charlie Baker, was not an easy one. Somehow he overcame the obstacles like losing his father at an early age and growing up on the working class streets of Eastie to become one of the neighborhood’s foremost political figures.

For this, Representative Carlo Basile is the East Boston Times 2014 Man of the Year.

Basile was reelected to his state rep seat in November by an overwhelming margin of 77 percent to 23 percent against challenger Celeste Myers. The election was a mandate that showed that Basile could have held the seat for as long as he wanted.

However, Basile elevated himself like he did throughout his life and accepted the position with the Baker Administration in December.

As chief Secretary, Basile will help oversee intergovernmental affairs and assist the governor in selecting applicants for boards and commissions for the upcoming administration.

Basile was first elected during a special election in 2007 after Senator Anthony Petruccelli vacated his state rep seat to become state senator. Basile topped the ticket in a four-way race that summer.

While in office Basile served as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services with Petruccelli before being appointed chair of Veterans Affairs by Speaker Robert DeLeo.

As Veterans Affairs chair, Basile co-authored the Valor Act, which was signed into law be Gov. Deval Patrick. The law calls for state money to be granted to wounded veterans returning home from overseas conflicts that require home modifications to accommodate handicaps.

Basile also cofounded the annual Wounded Vet Ride in Eastie along with former U.S. Marine Andrew Biggio that raises money for wounded veterans. The fundraiser has since become a national model.

Since being elected Basile hosted an annual Thanksgiving Day dinner for low-income, homeless and elderly residents here. The annual tradition showcased Basile’s softer, non-political side. Basile would spend the entire morning and afternoon greeting guests, serving them a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings and getting their information so he could help them in the future.

 However, his care and compassion did not end there. During his time as Eastie’s state rep Basile was an advocate for the elderly and children.

He helped support public schools and education programs, came up with new and innovative ways to put teens to work during the summer as well as ensuring Eastie’s senior citizens were not pushed or priced out of the neighborhood they call home.

Basile was born and raised in Eastie and has spent his life giving back to his community. Basile attended East Boston public schools and later St. Dominic Savio High School. He then took his studies to Suffolk University where he pursued a degree in criminal justice.

After attending Suffolk University, Basile sought opportunities to improve the quality of life in his community.  While on the Governor’s Warrant Task Force, he worked closely with local law enforcement officers to locate and arraign individuals that were issued warrants. In 2002, he became Chief of Staff at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, where he addressed the agency’s personnel, labor and employment issues and served as liaison to the Governor’s office and other state agencies.

Throughout his life Basile has been active in many community and athletic activities throughout his life, whether it was basketball at the Salesian Boys Club or street hockey with the local teams.

Recently, he turned to coaching basketball and soccer so the community’s children could have the experiences he was lucky enough to have as a youth.  He has also been active in the local Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the local Kiwanis Club, and sits on the board of the Salesian Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA of East Boston.

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