Lou Scapicchio, a new face in East Boston Politics
So, you've been networking and looking. Maybe you've met or at least heard of most of the candidates. East Boston, despite being almost 3sq miles is notoriously small. As a kid growing up in East Boston, but not having any real roots, I often envied the "This is my cousin" and "this is my cousin's cousin" mentality that seemed to be unreal. At any rate, after living here for almost 30 years there are still very important people I have not met. Oddly enough, one such person is Lou Schappicchio. Seems that all my friends know him, but somehow the two of us just never crossed paths. In my defense he has been serving our country in the military, in law school and in the JAG for much of the last 10 years. Well, it's time we fixed that.
I sat down with Lou, at one of my favorite gathering holes, Americano Cafe, located at 155 Meridian st. Lou looked like, well a regular guy. From one military gent to another, it seemed that we knew each other all too well. Lou joined the military very young. At 17, Lou joined the Army as an NBC specialist. He worked hard as a reservist and worked himself all the way through law school and into the JAG. He's still a reservist and if elected will continue to be in the reserves.
Now, Lou is working at the Soldier's Home in Chelsea, helping folks on a personal level. Helping them to find housing, obtain benefits and making ends meet. Lou understands that struggle, has seen and worked with countless people who just can't get things to add up. All too often a veteran makes a small mistake and gets dishonorably discharged. (I know factually it doesn't take much). Why should a 10 year veteran not get any benefits for a small mistake. We are all human. As State Rep, Lou could make sure all our deserving warriors get benefits and can change the course of many lives, often traumatized by combat.
Having worked as a safety adviser for the military, Lou believes he can offer advise, on day one to our police and other security agents that can maximize their utility. Get citizens involved and keep them involved. Police and residents should know each other. You should never be afraid to call on the police.
Recently, Boston Public Schools and Mayor Walsh announced an agreement with the teacher's union to expand the school day by 40 minutes. Why not ask Lou what he thinks. Lou is all for it, "Education first". Our kids need to keep up and longer school days is one way to do that. My concern for some time was that after school programs may suffer. Lou's intelligent answer. Places like ZUMIX and Paris St. will adjust and their roles will be just as important as ever. Being involved with those organizations I know he is right. They will adjust.
I was also curious about how a State Rep spends his time. Lou having done his homework mentioned that it's about a 30-70 split. 70% of a State Rep's time is networking and working in East Boston, talking to people, understand needs and concerns, understanding what the community wants. The other 30% of the time is advocating for those needs in the State House. Lou believes he can relate to East Bostonians, that our differences will not slow him down.
Thanks Lou! We appreciate the great conversation