This month, in the run-up to the preliminary elections on September 12th, the Quincy Dems blog is featuring a series of profiles of the Democratic candidates for the Councilor At-Large positions. To give voters a better sense of who the candidates are and what their visions are for the city of Quincy, we sent a questionnaire to each candidate in which we asked them to help us craft a portrait of who they are as both candidates and residents of Quincy. We will be publishing these profiles as we receive responses from each of the candidates.
Noel DiBona is one of the incumbent Quincy at-large councilors running for re-election. A product of the Quincy public schools and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts—Boston, DiBona is running for reelection “to continue to give back to my community that I grew up in.” DiBona credits his coaches, teachers, and mentors from Quincy for instilling in him the importance of giving back to his community, and he has drawn on these lessons throughout his life, whether through his work coaching youth football or in his position as a Junior Vice-Commander for the Sons of the American Legion Morrisette Post 294. Veterans' rights is very important to DiBona: “I continue to be a veterans activist in tribute and honor of my dad, Russ DiBona and my grandfather, Thomas DiBona, as well as other veterans that served in the U.S. military.”
For the last four years, DiBona’s work as an elected official (as both Councilor At-Large and a member of the Quincy School Committee) has showcased his strong voice for education, public safety, and infrastructure improvements. His success as a city councilor, he believes, is due in large part to his openness and engagement with his constituents. “I call people back and respond to emails, as well as meet people face-to-face. I knock on doors and get feedback from citizens, as well as hold office hours at City Hall to allow folks the opportunity to answer questions they have.” He looks forward to continuing to be a voice for the people of Quincy if reelected this fall.
As he looks forward to a second term as Councilor At-Large, DiBona sees a number of challenges facing the city of Quincy, and he has a vision for meeting these challenges head-on. “The most important issue we face today,” he says, “is the opioid epidemic.” As a city councilor, DiBona has put forward a resolution asking for more education about this issue and seeking help from a broad coalition of interested parties, including the mayor’s substance use task force, the Quincy Police Department, the Quincy Fire Department, and Brewster Ambulance. In June, he held a public meeting to start dialogue about this issue, and he will be holding two additional open meetings this month and next. “This is a group effort from all levels,” he says, “and education is the key to combating this opioid epidemic.”
DiBona also recognizes the challenges facing a growing city. One of the issues he knows Quincy is facing is striking a balance between “striving for economic growth while keeping the aesthetics of the neighborhoods intact.” As the city grows, DiBona wants to keep up with redevelopment with smart development. “We need to scale back building apartments with commercial real estate,” he says. “There are areas of the city that businesses can strive and contribute to our residents.” One of DiBona’s wishes is for the city to see more retail and mini-supermarkets that Quincy residents can enjoy.
At the same time, DiBona recognizes that growth can lead to growing pains, and one of these growing pains is traffic, which DiBona says is “a major issue that needs attention.” He wants to move forward with a comprehensive, city-wide traffic study, and in the meantime hire a junior traffic engineer who can make immediate efforts at traffic mitigation. DiBona hopes to harness the power of Quincy’s economic growth to address this issue. “We need other source of funding for our roads,” he says. “I envision the new commercial real estate contributing to the funding for repaving roads.” He also would like to see more enforcement of parking statutes, particularly for unlawful overnight parking on city streets.
As a Democrat, DiBona is proud of both his party and his city, and he sees his involvement with the Democratic Party as central to his service to his city. “I am a happy Democrat in Quincy who is engaged in serving the people of the city of Quincy,” he notes. “I am proud to be a part of the Democratic Party and being involved with the party’s events and issues throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
As voters consider their options before heading to the polls, DiBona wants to make clear how much he cares for the residents of Quincy. “I’m totally invested in the city and continuing to make Quincy a safe place to live and where people can strive.” It is his investment in his city and his neighbors, he notes, that fuels his service, whether as a community activist for children and veterans, a city councilor, or a good neighbor. DiBona believes that there is no problem that cannot be solved and that, at its core, Quincy is a city filled with good people. “I’m an optimistic person that sees good in every person,” he says.
In our surveys, we asked each candidate how we, as Democrats, can help them in their candidacy. To conclude these profiles, we’ll end with each candidate’s response to that question. Here is Noel DiBona’s:
All I ask from the Democrats is to back one of their candidates running for office. I have been a loyal Democrat that participated in two state conventions, as well as being involved with Democratic breakfasts, caucuses, and other various events over the years. I ask for one of three votes for Councilor-At-Large in this election.