It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Winthrop/Revere State Representative Bob DeLeo was elected the Speaker of the House by his colleagues. (Yes, time flies.)
We wish to make note of the 10th anniversary of Speaker DeLeo’s ascension to that post because it was marked by two significant events that occurred in January, 2009.
First, Bob was chosen by his colleagues after a succession of House Speakers had been forced to resign because of various scandals, the last having been Sal DiMasi, who was indicted on corruption charges by federal prosecutors for which DiMasi eventually was convicted and sentenced to time in federal prison.
The second was that Bob assumed the Speakership amidst the greatest economic downturn to face not only Massachusetts, but the entire country (and the world) since the Great Depression.
Needless to say, January of 2009 was a difficult period for anyone to become Speaker of the House, given the history of the House during the previous decade and the enormity of the challenges that the state was facing.
However, from the perspective of looking back over the past 10 years, it is fair to say that Bob DeLeo has been more responsible both for restoring the people’s faith in our legislature and for guiding our state through an incredibly-difficult fiscal period than any other person in state government.
Governors have come and gone, as have State Senate presidents, but the one constant has been the steady hand of Bob DeLeo at the helm of the House of Representatives.
Not only has Bob DeLeo been the principal architect of a state budget process that has been both prudent and forward-looking, but he, more than any other person on Beacon Hill, has been able to bring together disparate groups and has worked with both the Senate and Republican administrations to create an atmosphere of collegiality that is unparalleled in our nation today.
The achievements in our state over the past decade under the Speakership of Bob DeLeo are a testament to the ability of one person to have a profound effect upon the lives of the people he serves — and Massachusetts unquestionably is a better place thanks to Bob DeLeo’s tenure as Speaker of the House for the past 10 years.