To the editor:
The wise and compassionate have said there is some good in everyone. They have also said gratitude is a mark of true humanity. To start, I would like to mention that many years ago, while serving on the Ways and Means Committee, the current mayor was helpful in protecting needed funds for various community projects. For this, he deserves our thanks. However, the wise also exhort us to give credit where it is due.
I am happy to see the progress near one of the city’s main gateways - the North Canal section. The landscaping is beautiful, as are the light fixtures. These, along with the paved streets, are good. However, much of this was in the works for years and is not the work of one individual. Rather, it is the culmination of united efforts from diverse sources (state and federal).
Hard work, respect for others, unity in diversity. This is what is needed to move communities forward. And I have seen a shining example of this in Daniel Rivera, candidate for mayor. Several years ago, before the financial crisis, a polite voice on the phone asked if I were Rebecca Jani. I answered, “That depends. Are you trying to refinance my house or sell me stuff I don’t need?” It was Dan. We spoke for nearly 20 minutes. I was impressed with his commitment, his vision for the city, his work ethic. I still am.
Any one can read the campaign literature and see Dan’s background and many accomplishments. His service on various boards helping the community and his education truly qualify him for the challenges facing us. Recently, a letter appeared saying “Lawrence needs a new CEO.” I think an MBA from Suffolk University, along with experience in business, qualifies Dan to be that CEO. Dan has also served in the military, where working as a team in adverse conditions is an absolute necessity. What better combination of talent, ability, intelligence, and temperament could one ask for?
Yes, anyone could read the campaign literature, but there is more to Mr. Rivera than these facts. During Mayor Dowling’s administration, he was active in the search for a new police chief, and played a great part in bringing John Romero to our city. No one can deny the great improvement Chief Romero has made. And despite the chief’s contributions, when the city was maligned in Boston Magazine as being damned, Dan wrote an excellent rebuttal.
In less than one week, the Great City of Lawrence will choose its next mayor. Perhaps the beautiful light fixtures along Marston Street will be illuminated and many will drive over the newly paved streets to their polling places, excited to be voting for the man who made it all possible. Perhaps others will be reminded of pre-war Italy, where the man who held power there made trains run on time and kept government offices lit well into the night so people would know how hard their officials were working on their behalf. Sadly, this historical tale was nothing but propaganda, ending tragically.
Voters of Lawrence, please take a good look and see past the surface of pleasant appearances to what truly endures. Good character, education, ability to work with others (be they Anglo or Hispanic, young or old), and being proactive is what our city truly needs in its leaders. Please join me and many other citizens in making Dan Rivera our new mayor.
Rebecca J. Jani