Activist state

Robinson officially launches campaign for state rep – Chelsea Record

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Longtime Chelsea councilor and community activist Leo Robinson officially launched his campaign for state representative in front of a crowd of supporters this week. Fans new and old joined in to hear Leo’s vision for this newly created district. Among the crowd were current Chelsea State Representatives Jessica Giannino and Dan Ryan, former State Representative Gene O’Flaherty, Sheriff Steve Tompkins, Everett School Committee Member Mike McLaughlin and many others.

The Robinson family, Leo with wife Linda, daughter Lucia Griggs, husband Mike Griggs and Leo’s grandchildren Kaia and Kellan.

Below are remarks that have been prepared for delivery by Councilor Robinson:

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Leo Robinson. I am Chelsea’s longest serving councilor and am announcing my candidacy for the position of State Representative in the newly formed seat which has united all of Chelsea, as well as parts of Everett.

It is with great pride and honor that I participate in this race seeking to represent Chelsea, my forever hometown. I have dedicated my entire life to service and community, and I believe this unique opportunity will allow me to continue giving back to the place I love to call home. Our next state representative must know the unique challenges facing this district and have the experience and connections to deliver the results we desperately need.

For those of you who don’t know me or my story, I’ve been a lifelong Chelsea resident. After graduating from Chelsea High School in 1968, I attended Burdett College. I also served in the US Army during the Vietnam War and when I returned to the US I launched my career as a civil servant. I started coaching basketball in the Chelsea Youth League and prior to the reorganization of Chelsea Town Government I was elected to serve two terms as an At-Large Alderman. I then served on the board of Chelsea Community Development as Commissioner of the Chelsea Housing Authority.

I am currently a general councilor and have served five terms as president of the municipal council. I am co-founder and director, with my brother Ronald, of the Lewis H. Latimer Society. I serve on the board of directors and treasurer of the Chelsea Restoration Corporation and have served as chair of the Community Action Programs Inter-City Real Estate Board.

Proudly, I coached the girls basketball team at Pope John XXXIII High School for thirteen years. I was assistant sports director and a member of the board of Pope John. I served on the Boston Harbor Association as a director and received the prestigious Paul Harris Award from the International and Chelsea Rotary Clubs. I also received the 2017 Chelsea Trailblazer Award, Resident of the Year, All Chelsea Awards in 2002, and the George Washington Medal of Honor by the Boy Scouts of America.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea and Everett have had to fight harder and harder to receive the resources needed to protect our friends and neighbors. These battles continue to this day regarding the availability of vaccines and testing. As a state representative, I will be the tireless advocate we need to finally break this cycle and begin to put this pandemic behind us.

My priorities will also include expanding affordable and workforce housing and addressing sea level rise and climate change. These were my issues when I served on the Council, and I look forward to making this plea to the State House. One of my greatest accomplishments as a city councilor was the adoption of the Inclusive Zoning Policy which creates affordable housing in our community. We need more advocates for reforms like this, and that’s exactly what I will do as a state representative. Finally, Chelsea and Everett are largely impacted by our history of industrial activities, as well as Logan airport. This, combined with rising sea levels, puts large swaths of Chelsea and Everett at risk. Once elected, I will join my colleagues from Beacon Hill in supporting the investments needed to protect our coastal communities and fight climate change for future generations.