Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Congressman Stephen Lynch...

Talking about Old Colony

When asked to sum up his childhood in Old Colony in just a few words, Congressman Lynch paused for a moment, then made his list: “Love, family, intergenerational families, pride…some hardship, and the American Dream. Those words embodied a lot of what went on in Old Colony every day.”

“Living in Old Colony was a wonderful experience,” said Lynch, who moved here as a young boy. “Like many others, we had six kids in our family--some had even more. There was never a problem getting up a baseball game, but my best memories were over at Carson Beach in summer. Some of the greatest friendships I have come from here as well. Old Colony really did shape me.”

How? “Growing up with so many kids around and having the hierarchy of the neighborhood based on age, you had to learn to get along. To deal with the push and shove of daily life.

“You know, we got the “welly” cheese and lived in subsidized housing, but I never really realized we were struggling until I ran for public office and listened to people talk about their issues” he said. “Sure, growing up I knew there were a lot of problems for a lot of reasons, from poverty to alcohol, and later the drugs.

“But I've come to understand that for many of the families living there today, much of that tension was driven by substandard housing--fifty years later, the development was showing its age. When Old Colony was built, we didn't know about the hazards of lead paint or asbestos. Old Colony was originally built for workers during the war (World War II). It wasn’t designed for the needs of children or families. So the tension was made worse by this environment. It’s got to get to you when you’re packed in like sardines.

“I take pride that the new design recognizes the needs of kids and senior citizens and people with disabilities. I’m proud that we’re making better use of the beautiful location near the beach. I think families will realize that they are important and haven’t been forgotten. And, that resources are being put into place that will improve the quality of life for them and their children. There is going to be a real tangible difference in Old Colony."