Eastie Dems

Boston Ward 1 Democrats


The Democratic ward committee is the grassroots organizing element of the Democratic party made of Democrats from the ward (i.e. East Boston in our case). It’s responsible for organizing people in the community in order to learn the community’s priorities and visions, and act accordingly in deciding which candidates to endorse, conducting candidate forums, conducting caucuses in order to elect delegates for state party conventions (where the delegates vote on state-level candidates and issues). You have a chance to be one of the delegates if you attend the caucus and nominate yourself as a candidate.

Boston Ward 1 Democratic Committee Members

In total, there are 29 members in East Boston’s ward committee at this time: 21 elected and 8 lifetime.

Elected Members (Term: April 2020 – April 2024)


Victoria Dzindzichashvili (Dilorenzo)


Long-time resident of East Boston, where her family has lived for over 100 years. She is currently a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is a proud political junkie. Before graduate school Vicki attended public schools in Boston and earned her bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston. Vicki serves on the board of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), which advocates for high-quality, debt-free public higher education in Massachusetts.

Brian Gannon

Vice Chair

An East Boston activist, former District 1 City Council Candidate, No Eastie Casino co-Chair and elected member of the Ward 1 East Boston Democratic Ward Committee. Brian lives in Jeffries Point and has 2 daughters 1 who is in Boston Public Schools and another currently enrolled at the East Boston YMCA. His wife Alyssa Vangeli is Co-Director of Policy and Government Relations at Health Care for All and advocates for progressive health care policy in Massachusetts. Brian has been a lifelong Democrat who learned the value of local activism and the support of labor as he walked picket lines with Air Traffic Controllers and PATCO when his father took a labor leadership role in the strike in 1981.

Joann Fitzgerald


Long-time activist for public education. Most recently, Jo Ann worked as the Director of Grassroots Campaigns for the Massachusetts Teachers Association. In that role, she worked to advance the priorities of the MTA through grassroots and legislative advocacy.

Dionyssios Myntzopoulos


Born in Greece. He moved to the US to study and remained here. He currently lives in East Boston with his family. He particularly enjoys East Boston for its diversity and vitality. Dionyssios has a keen interest in politics and registered as a Democratic voter the day he earned his citizenship.

Kannan Thiruvengadam

Affirmative Action & Outreach Advisor

Director of Eastie Farm, an urban farm in East Boston focused on community resiliency, and of JP Green School, a sustainability education program at JP Green House, a passive solar and energy-positive house in Jamaica Plain. He hosts What’s up Eastie? a radio show about local issues in a larger context, at Zumix, a youth organization in East Boston. Kannan is a Climate Ready Boston Leader. He has a technology background, has studied climate science, permaculture, and community engagement, and is passionate about regenerative and sustainable practices in agriculture and urban design. As a Community Preservation Committee member, he supports Historic Preservation, Affordable Housing, and Open Spaces in our city.
Kannan lives with his partner Rudi Seitz in historic Belmont Square in East Boston overlooking the harbor and the
beautiful Boston skyline.

Giordana Mecagni

Head of Special Collections and University Archivist at Northeastern University. Prior to that she held various positions at Associated Grant Makers in Boston, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe/Harvard, and at Harvard Medical School’s Center for the History of Medicine. Giordana has lived in Eagle Hill with her husband Peter Chipman since 2005. She regularly participates in East Boston’s civic life.
Currently she is working on Our Home: a Community Archiving Project and building a library at the BPS school. Her two children Lucy 9 and Chester 7 attend the Dante Alighieri Montessori School. She is a current member of the Democratic Ward Committee and has been elected to attend the state convention twice.

Lydia Edwards

Boston City Councilor

Lydia has spent her entire career as an advocate, activist, and as a voice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable. She served as the deputy director within the Mayor’s Office of Housing Stability where she was responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to fight displacement and brought together all stakeholders: landlords, management companies, housing authorities, and tenants.

Gabriela Coletta

Chief of Staff to Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, where she oversees all major operations and community engagement. Before her role as Chief of Staff, Gabriela was Councilor Edwards’ campaign manager during what POLITICO lauded as “One of the top 15 local races to watch in America in 2017” in. Gabriela was elected as the 1st Suffolk and Middlesex Democratic State Committeewoman on ballot in 2016. She attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston with a Political Science degree and minor in Human Rights. She was born and raised in East Boston and currently resides in Orient Heights.

Gail Miller

A longtime East Boston resident and activist. She has been engaged in environmental issues in East Boston, Winthrop and Revere since the early 1980s, more specifically with the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, the Chelsea Creek Action Group, The Harborkeepers, and Airport Impact Relief, Inc.

Sandra Nijjar

Born in El Salvador. She is married with two children and has lived in East Boston for 22 years. Sandra founded the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen in 2016, with the help of good-hearted neighbors. For about three years she has been helping to organize the East Boston Peace Walk initiative that runs each spring through summer. Sandra served for three years in East Boston High School as a member of the School Site Council, the Hiring Teachers Council and on the Parents Council. She has also served as a board member at the Piers Park Sailing Center, and on the Latino Democratic Caucus. Sandra was also part of the ‘No Eastie Casino’ battle. Sandra does all this because she genuinely cares about the quality of life of all of us in our community.

Matt Cameron

Managing partner of Cameron, Micheroni & Silvia, a full-service East Boston immigration law office specializing in deportation defense and asylum matters. He is also the co-director of East Boston’s Golden Stairs Immigration Center and an adjunct lecturer in immigration policy at Northeastern University and Merrimack College.

Heather O’Brien

A lifelong Democrat and resident of East Boston. She is the Community Planner at Harborkeepers. Heather is a member of the Friends of the Belle Isle Marsh, Women Working for Oceans, Peace Walk East Boston and Massachusetts Marine Educators Association. She has appeared with and on behalf of the community at the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals, the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts Energy Utilities Siting Board.

Ricardo Patron

East Boston liaison for City Councilor Lydia Edwards. Ricardo manages all constituent issues for the neighborhood. He attends neighborhood association meetings and other public meetings on behalf of Councilor Edwards and helps develop relationships between community members and the office. He serves on the boards of Maverick Landing Community Services and the North Suffolk Mental Health Association. Ricardo lives in East Boston with his wife Kathleen.

Zachary Hollopeter

Zach works on behalf of homeless children and families at the Dimock Center, a comprehensive health and human services provider in Roxbury. He studied cultural anthropology at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, as well as human development and race, ethnicity, and migration studies at Mitchell College in Connecticut. Zachary works tirelessly to elect state and local Democratic candidates throughout greater Boston, and regularly volunteers for state ballot initiatives and voting registration drives. He can be found dining at Colombian and Salvadoran restaurants in the Maverick and Central Square area most mornings and evenings, so don’t hesitate to say hi!

Margaret Farmer

Director of Development for North Suffolk Mental Health Association and has been a resident of East Boston for more than a decade. She is current president of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association and a board member for Eastie Farm, a new non-profit. Margaret is Principal of the Maldwyn Group, a development consulting company specializing in assisting small and medium sized non-profits with developing diverse revenue streams. In her spare time Margaret enjoys traveling, reading, maintaining a little free library and messing with her college alumnae magazine by planting false-but weirdly believable-stories.

Ben Downing

Vice President of New Market Development at Nexamp. Prior to joining Nexamp, Ben represented the state’s largest Senate district while serving as State Senator for 52 communities in Western Massachusetts including his hometown of Pittsfield. During his decade-long tenure, he was the leading voice in the legislature on clean energy and climate issues, along with being an advocate for tackling poverty, revitalizing Gateway Cities and expanding civil rights. Ben graduated in 2003 from Providence College with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2008, he received an M.A. from Tufts University, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member. Ben is married to Micaelah B. Morrill and together they are the proud parents of Malcolm, who may never stop growing.

Lisa Jacobson

Born and raised in Massachusetts and has called East Boston home since 2012. In the neighborhood, she currently serves on the PLAN: East Boston advisory committee and volunteers with Mothers Out Front East Boston. She is committed to sustainable transportation and affordable housing, and believes that East Boston can grow and change while still honoring the neighborhood’s history. You can typically find her at one of East Boston’s playgrounds or riding the Greenway with her kids in tow.

Jesse Purvis

A community activist who was active with No Eastie Casino in 2013. He organized his neighborhood in the successful opposition to the Suffolk Downs casino. Jesse is about to to take the bar exam!

James Rosenquist

James has been living in East Boston with his family for most of the past 10 years. He and his wife Anna love East Boston and decided it was the perfect place to raise their two boys, who attend Bradley Elementary and Harbor City School. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, James has seen up close the power community leaders can harness when they listen to the needs of their neighbors and act on their behalf. As a practicing psychiatrist at MGH and MIT, James has been able to see up close the need for (and value of) community resources towards improving public health. Finally, as an economist and entrepreneur, James understands the importance of communicating policy choices to the public and how local innovation can spur critical growth in our local economy.

Aneesh Sahni

Aneesh works in the Massachusetts State Senate as a Legislative Director, where he primarily works on housing policy, including affordable housing, tenant protections, and environmentally-sustainable development. He has spent his entire career in public service, first as a public school teacher followed by various roles in federal and state K12 education policy, including at the U.S. Congress and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Aneesh is passionate about finding equitable housing and education policy solutions facing East Boston and ensuring there is inclusive community engagement throughout the policymaking process. He and his wife live in Jeffries Point.

Liana LaMattina

Liana is an Assistant District Attorney for Suffolk County, placed in Chelsea District Court. Prior to her work as an ADA, Liana was the legislative aide to State Representative Adrian Madaro for three years. Liana has served on the board of directors for the East Boston Social Centers for the past 5 years. She also serves on the city-wide board of directors for Action for Boston Community Development – the city’s largest anti-poverty agency. In addition, Liana is now the chair of the Eastie Pride Day committee, coordinating the unifying family event for another generation. Liana lives in lower-Eagle Hill with her fiance, Angel. 

Tania Del Rio

Tania Del Rio is originally from Mexico City. She is Lael and Ella’s mom, and Andrés’s wife. She is the Executive Director of YWCA Cambridge, where the mission is to empower women and eliminate racism.

Previously, Tania was Executive Director of the Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. She also worked at the Consulate of Mexico in Boston to protect the rights of immigrants in New England.

She loves to play water polo with friends at the Paris St. BCYF and go swimming in Revere and Winthrop Beach. She also loves to jog along the East Boston Mary Ellen Welch Greenway and the Eastie waterfront.

Lisa Melara

Lisa Melara works at the East Boston Social Center as a Parent Partner Leader, where she serves families that have children from birth to age eight years old. She does Welcome Baby Visits, Ages & Stages screenings, playgroups, children’s activities, workshops and help families with referrals. Lisa lives in Orient Height with her husband Daniel and her three sons Daniel, David and Marc. 

Lifetime Members

(After 20 years of being a ward committee member, you become member for life. We have 8 lifetime members in East Boston’s ward committee.)

Karen Butiglieri

Karen is the Executive Assistance to the Commissioner at the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Carol Ann Aloisi

Carol Ann Aloisi is a lifetime member of the Boston Ward 1 Democratic Committee, Member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, Elected Secretary of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, and Co-Chair of the DSC Credentials Committee. She also serves on the Executive Committee, By-Laws, Site Selection and Rules Committee of the DSC. She has been elected delegate to 5 Democratic National Conventions since 1996, and has worked on numerous local, statewide and national campaigns.

Carol is an independent Consultant specializing in Event Planning, fundraising and
development for small to medium sized non-profits and Political Strategy, a property manager, an elder caregiver.

Sal Lamattina

Sal Lamattina was Boston City Councilor for District 1.

Paul Travaglini

Paul Travaglini is the Business Banking Officer at First Priority Credit Union

Michael Grieco

Michael Grieco is a lifelong East Boston resident and is employed by the Massachusetts Port Authority.

John McCarthy

Nancy LoConte

Nancy LoConte is the Constituents Coordinator at House of Representative MA State House

Associate Member

Rita Lara

Rita has over 25 years of local and global nonprofit sector experience. Now in her fifth year as the Director of Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS), Rita has managed MLCS through a pandemic year, pivoting to distributing 50,000 lbs of food per month to East Boston and working with the Boston Housing Support Coalition to pilot the first housing support station in East Boston. She was recognized for her work in 2020 with a Boston Community Champion award from the city of Boston. Prior to coming to MLCS she served as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for Corporate Accountability International, an advocacy organization that safeguards human rights and the environment. Locally, she has worked with several Boston organizations serving Latinx communities. Rita has an Ed.M. in Human Development & Psychology with a concentration in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Tufts University.