A sit down with Candidate for State Rep, Adrian Madaro!

With Carlo Basile stepping down as East Boston's State Representative, his Chief of Staff, Adrian Madaro has chosen to run for the open seat. Adrian and I sat down and had a pleasant conversation about the upcoming election and more importantly how he wants to work for East Boston. We also went through his resume, too long to repeat here (and quite impressive).

Resume synopsis: Adrian seems to have been involved in the community from birth and if you want a candidate that completes a checklist, I think you’ve got him. Adrian has been on the Board of Directors at the YMCA, East Boston Harborside Community School Council, Neighborhood Of Affordable Housing (NOAH), and so many more. From fire relief funds to coats for kids, Adrian has set up and organized countless community programs and events, but he believes that there is more to be done. Adrian is hoping to help get more arts programming for our youth, recognizing that impassioned kids accomplish more. We need to keep as many doors open for our youth as possible, but supporting these programs is not just good for the kids, they are good for the community, good for employment and often good for small businesses that benefit from all of the above. Places like HarborArts, ZUMIX and VROCC need as much support as possible from lawmakers and the community.

While working with Carlo in the State House as Chief of Staff, Adrian was attending Tufts University to obtain his Masters Degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning. He recalls learning in school one day and applying that knowledge the next day in the office. Another large part of Adrian's job was to take care of our veterans. Adrian tells me that MA is #1 in veteran support, both on the ground and via legislation. Adrian regularly had to monitor every other state to see what could be learned from programs in other states and implementing as many of those good ideas here in Massachusetts as possible. This past April, the Massachusetts Legislature signed the VALOR Act II, a law Adrian helped draft. 


This type of research and work is promising on two grounds. First, Adrian feels he can hit the ground running once elected. Having worked in the State House for several years, having been a part of changing law, Adrian knows his way around what I am sure is a tricky network. Secondly, with the casino out of the picture, my biggest sticking point for this election is housing. We are not the first neighborhood to have growing pains and Adrian believes he has the experience and know-how to help manage it. 

As a NOAH board member, Adrian has seen the need for housing for people of all income levels. He would like the East Boston Master Plan to be revisited before it's too late. With changing demographics and current residents finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, it’s time we take care of our own and make sure they have a place to stay in the town where they do business, where their kids' friends are, where they play sports. One of Adrian's goals will be balanced development. And Adrian does not want to just look at the waterfront. It's time that Eastie's inner neighborhoods receive some attention as well. Developers are more than able to rebuild profitable, attractive triple deckers or other structures where working families can live. Adrian explained that the great thing about Eastie is that we have all the amenities that outsiders and residents want and that's driving prices up. Relatively low crime, two of the best Charters in the state, a second high school on the way, the city's first K-5 Montessori, a co-op for 2.9-K2 students, amazing parks, a salt-water marsh, public transportation and a burgeoning arts scene. As our neighborhood grows and we add housing stock, we have to ensure we are adding school seats of all grades, police officers, firemen and other infrastructure to support the growth.

Moving into small businesses, another area of great importance to me, Adrian would like to increase public spending on programs like EB Main Streets (Taste of Eastie tickets are available) which recently set up the Neighborhood Business Institute to teach and train local residents on how to run their small businesses. Helping our small businesses is part of our job at the State House. We have to make it as easy as possible. Adrian has experience working directly with businesses. He has heard their problems and seen the difficulties. He hopes to continue the effort to keep East Boston small businesses going strong, as he believes our small businesses are the economic backbone of our community.

Finding ways to connect communities and bring them together is something else Adrian feels he can help with. There is some division in the community (my words, not his). Adrian is the son of an immigrant and understands that journey as well as anyone. His mother has deep East Boston roots. He is vested here and hopes to raise his family here, having recently bought a home in Eagle Hill. In a way, he can identify with many East Bostonians and hopefully close up the faults that lie between us. He's going to work as hard as he ever has and from his resume, that's been pretty hard. 

Lastly, Adrian promises an open door if elected. If you have a problem or a question, he wants to help and offer answers. I believe (me, the author) that this was the cornerstone of Carlo's popularity. Carlo was always approachable. Adrian promises the same. 

Good Luck Adrian. 

Full Disclosure: Of all the candidates, Adrian and I have had the closest relationship. Having worked together for the EBHCSC, a 501c3 nonprofit operating in the Paris St. Community Center and the Harborside School, Adrian and I have a personal and professional relationship spanning three years, have worked on many problems together and have discussed many of these issues before this current election.