As the son and grandson of an immigrants, and as a first generation American, I know how fortunate I am to have been born in the United States. I also know how hard it was for my paternal grandparents to move from Albania to the US and start over with my father and an aunt as small children. They worked hard to pull themselves up from having nothing to eventually raising my father and three aunts, owning their own home, and providing a loving family.
I have also seen the challenges that Hispanics have faced. My grandmother was born in Mexico and she too has had to work extremely hard to accomplish all that she has and to have raised my mother and my two aunts. She has also helped my mother and aunts raise my brothers, cousins, and I. When my grandfather, whose family has been here since the Spanish discovered the Americas, passed away at an early age, my grandmother worked extremely hard to provide her family with a strong family unit. She and my mother and aunts have all worked hard to succeed, and succeed they have.
Between the family stories on both sides of my family, I know how important immigrants are to this country. Not only economically, but socially and culturally as well. That is why I want to work hard for all Somervillians, including our large immigrant population, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to thrive and succeed.