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Former State Rep. L’Italien Seeks Return to House

Andover Democrat will take on State Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, in newly constructed 18th Essex District.

(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by state representative candidate Barbara L'Italien. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the 18th Essex District will include Precincts 3 and 3A of Tewksbury.)

Stating she will be a “better representative,” Barbara L’Italien announced her campaign to represent the new 18th Essex District. 

“When I served in the MA House of Representatives I made it my priority to help my constituents—not grandstand for political points,” said L’Italien. “My neighbors in this district deserve better than what they have today.

L’Italien represented several Merrimack Valley communities for 8 years in the legislator, earning a reputation as a responsive legislator who worked with members of both Parties to deliver results locally and state-wide.

“This is my home. I was born here, attended Merrimack College and am fortunate enough to have raised my four children here,” explained L’Italien. “I understand the local issues that people in this community care about—jobs, schools, and family.

L’Italien expressed disappointment in current representative, Jim Lyons.

“For the past two years we’ve had nothing but a representative who is only interested in partisanship and pushing an extreme Tea Party agenda,” said L’Italien.  “He has no credibility, no authority, and has delivered no results.  My neighbors in this district deserve better than what they have today.”

L’Italien kicked off her campaign in June to a packed room at the Chateau Restaurant in Andover.

“If we want results, then we need to roll up our sleeves and work together,” said L’Italien, who worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans as a State Representative. “We don’t need a loudmouth – we need a strong and reasoned voice that gets results. As a State Representative I built a reputation as someone who worked with both political parties to get things done – and I delivered.”

“My neighbors are tired of the political bickering that causes government gridlock,” L’Italien declared to loud applause. “If we want better government then we need to elect better representatives. That is why I am running – because we deserve better.”

From 2003 to 2011, L’Italien represented Andover, Boxford and North Andover in the Legislature.  L’Italien also represented Georgetown, Haverhill and Methuen – three communities that are no longer included in the district.

“Every community is unique in their needs, and I was honored to serve six great towns and cities,” said L’Italien.  “I look forward to the opportunity to continue my work with Andover, Boxford and North Andover once more, and to bring my hands-on style to the great town of Tewksbury.”

L’Italien pointed to how closely she worked with Andover parents, volunteers and the School Building Authority to get Andover’s Bancroft School construction project off the ground.

“Democrat, Republican, we all want our children educated in top-notch facilities,” said L’Italien.  “You don’t move projects like this by being divisive and partisan.”

L’Italien mentioned the satisfaction she felt when she was able to get the state to act on and address Boxford’s well water contamination.

“For years these residents were forced to live with wells that were contaminated by large amounts of salt from a near-by salt shed,” explained L’Italien. “With degraded water and corroding plumbing, this entire Boxford neighborhood was in desperate need of help – and I am proud of the role I played in getting the state to take responsibility for moving their salt shed.”

L’Italien pointed to the irony that this Boxford neighborhood – though now in this district – wasn’t at the time.

“I think this neighborhood, more than any, can attest to my commitment to serving the entire community, even if I only have one or two precincts in my district.”

L’Italien emphasized that Boxford’s problems never would have been addressed if partisan politics were a factor.

“While I worked closely with Boxford’s two other legislators – both Republicans – party affiliation was never even part of the conversation,” said L’Italien. “At the end of the day, it is all about the people who we serve.”

L’Italien pointed to larger accomplishments, like maintaining North Andover’s local aid and fighting for improvements to route 93 that will benefit Tewksbury.

L’Italien also underscored that many times a legislator helps facilitate conversations to move projects along – like when North Andover wanted Verizon to remove the telephone poles from around the Common.

“These projects and policies are not ideological battles.  These are things that are important to our residents and communities,” said L’Italien.  “How are we supposed to get anything done with Jim Lyons refusing to work with individuals just because of their Party?”

In the last eighteen months L’Italien has worked as the Director of Government Affairs at the office of the State Treasurer, Steven Grossman.  L’Italien was part of the professional team that created funding opportunities for local small businesses through the Small Business Banking Partnership (SBBP).  The SBBP placed almost $250,000,000 of state funds into local, community banks to make small business loans – a program that has been remarkably successful at spurring innovation and job growth at the local level. 

“For the past two years I’ve been a leader in creating jobs, economic development and pension reform.  I can do even better as a state representative,” explained L’Italien.  “I know how to work collaboratively to produce real results and am, simply, a better representative.   My record proves it.”

L’Italien lives on Harper Circle in Andover with her husband of 26 years, Kevin Hall. They have four children: Rudy, 22; Allie, 20; Sam, 18; and Andrew, 14.   L’Italien’s mother Claire also lives with the family.

“My parents taught me to strive to improve – to become better. I learned much in the past two years and know that it will make me a better representative for all my neighbors than the one we currently have.  I always believed that you had to stand up and help your community.  I’ve done that all my life as an active citizen, and I plan to continue to do so in the State House.  I will be the better representative,” declared L’Italien.

BobDemers July 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM
As a resident of North Tewksbury, I am so happy that we have a clear choice in the upcoming election for State Representative in November. On the one hand we have a proven leader in Barbara L’Italien, a former representative and also a former vice chairwoman of the House Ways & Means Committee who has a proven record of working with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done. Barbara’s record includes: a bill on Autism Insurance supported by then State Senator Scott Brown; co-chairing the elder caucus with Republican Senator Richard Ross; working with Republican Senator Bruce Tarr on issues affecting their joint communities of North Andover and Boxford; working with Representative Brag Hill on special education funding issues and on every issue affecting Boxford. The list goes on. (More)
BobDemers July 03, 2012 at 07:49 PM
(Continued) Back in 2009, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was faced with a deficit of 5.1 Billion dollars in the midst of a world-wide recession. Barbara, as vice chairwoman of the House Ways & Means Committee supported a reasonable, balanced budget which provided much-need monies for the cities and towns in the commonwealth. Part of what she supported included the local option meals tax which was supported by the Mass Municipal Association which gave each local city/town the option of imposing a meal tax in their community. When she voted for the budget in 2009, included in that budget was an alcohol tax added by the state senate – Barbara voted to repeal that tax in 2010. Her opponent in November – well, he has voted against the last two state budgets and in effect, voting against the state aide to the Town of Tewksbury. He was elected with much hope & promise but his record is such that he is considered one of the most partisan members of the legislature to the point that he has isolated himself from most members of his own party. He has lived up to his comment at the 2010 League of Women Voters that he would not support any idea generated by a Democrat. (More)
BobDemers July 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
(Continued) So for me and my neighbors in North Tewksbury, the choice is clear. Do we vote for a proven leader in Barbara L’Italien with a track record of working across the aisle for her constituents and tackling the big problems? Or do we vote for a gadfly and obstructionist with no record of successfully working across the aisle for the best interest of his constituents?
Michael Quinlan July 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM
"The SBBP placed almost $250,000,000 of state funds into local, community banks to make small business loans – a program that has been remarkably successful at spurring innovation and job growth at the local level. " Is this a unattributed quote from L'Italien's press release? If not, how about reporting some facts rather than the opinion that SBBP is '... remarkably successful at spurring innovation...'
Michael Quinlan July 05, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Hack defending hack... Robert Demers – Tewksbury I have been active in Democratic politics in the Greater Lowell/Lawrence areas for the past 25 years. For the past four years, I have been the elected Treasurer of the Tewksbury Town Democratic Committee. I currently am a member of the Massachusetts Stonewall Democrats. In 2008, I was an elected delegate to the National Democratic Convention in Denver. http://www.massdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/FINAL3.pdf

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