Dearing in Cognoscenti: Menino’s Work Was A ‘Labor of Love’

Mayor Tom Menino with Professor Tiziana Dearing, and Dearing's daughter Simone Seiner

Mayor Tom Menino with Professor Tiziana Dearing, and Dearing’s daughter Simone Seiner

BC Social Work Associate Professor Tiziana Dearing first got to know Boston Mayor Tom Menino back in 2007, when she served as president of Catholic Charities. When she learned of the Mayor’s death yesterday following a bout with cancer, she was shocked at how “deeply, deeply sad I was.”

This morning, Dearing remembers getting to know Mayor Menino and working alongside him on issues critical to the city of Boston, in an article for WBUR’s online opinion and ideas page Cognoscenti.

She writes:

[Menino] loved being mayor, and he took his responsibilities as a guardian of the city’s interests seriously. If he thought you were wrong, he’d give you hell. Out of love for the job.

One memory in particular stays close to Dearing: Not long after she accepted her position at Catholic Charities, she decided to close a program that was important to the mayor. She recalls that her team of advisors insisted she tell him before anyone else about her decision. When she did, he was angry. “But he also listened, and I heard his genuine concern for what such a closing would take away from the city.”

Menino was a man who loved people, “all people,” and who above all was passionate about his life’s work. He was, in short, an extraordinary leader. Dearing writes:

A light went out in the world this morning. It’s up to the rest of us now to warm Boston with the layers of love Tom Menino gave it for so many years.

We encourage you to read all of Dearing’s tribute at Cognoscenti.

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