Commentaries Community People

ABCD Center Layoff Hits Mary Romano (Commentary)

Mary Romano with State Rep. Michlewitz

Mary Romano got laid off at ABCD in the North End last week. She has worked there tiredlessly for around 20 years or more.

She worked to help many seniors with Fuel Assistance, food stamps cooked lunches for them, ran trips and held parties at each holiday. She had special parties for those turning 90 years old and made it special for them.

It is very unfair that she was let go. She was a very hard worker and helped many people in need. She was given only a couple days notice, pretty lousy for someone who gave her heart and sole to the agency, neighborhood and seniors.

If people want to express their unhappiness they can call John Drew at ABCD on Tremont Street at (617) 348-6000 and Lia Tota the Director at ABCD on Michelangelo Street in the North End at (617) 523-8125.

21 Replies to “ABCD Center Layoff Hits Mary Romano (Commentary)

  1. Dear Mary, I am heart-broken for you. You are a wonderful women and your presence will be missed at the ABCD location. Chris B

  2. So unfair.Mary’s dedication to the seniors and the North End population is outstanding. .Something should be done about this! A disgrace…

  3. This is too bad but I am not surprised it is hitting home, given the sad state of the economy.

    1. Actually, Wall Street, big corporations and the rich are doing great. It’s the rest of the nation that’s struggling because of the top 20 percent who now own most of the country and most of the wealth.

      1. Actually, my company has laid off many, many people-starting with members of the executive team and going right through the organization. No level was spared.

  4. It’s so sad about Mary. She deserved better. I’m sure there were other options on the table other than laying off Mary. Sad

  5. It’s like the Sequester, they lay off people who don’t have power. They aren’t laying off generals or anyone with real power.

  6. .Mary has made a great difference in the lives of many seniors I speak as a daugher and niece of two seniors who have benifited from the well run program Mary has headed for many years. Her kindness and compassion in making every senior feel special (which they are) is an added plus in the program. she has always gone above and beyound not because she has to but because she cares. We need her.Please bring her back.

    1. Thank you all who have written and called about the unfortunate lay-off of Mary Romano. The ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center has always prided its dedication to provide vital social and educational services to the elderly of the North End, West End, and Beacon Hill communities. Budget cuts have hit us especially hard in the past 15 years, forcing us to close not one but two sites in the West End and eliminating 10 full and part-time staff positions.

      The recent round of sequestration cuts, which are slated to continue for the next 10 years, have forced us to eliminate the community services specialist positon, held by Mary Romano. We are now reduced to two full-time staff and one part-time staff to provide services to the elderly of our three communities. We also make extensive use of volunteers and in-kind donations and have expanded our fundraising efforts to include special events and grants from local foundations and corporations.

      We cannot do this alone and invite you to join in our fundraising efforts…with donations from the surrounding communities, including the Waterfront, we can no doubt bring back eliminated positions and add critical ones to support the increasing number of elderly and families in need in the North End, West End, and Beacon Hill. For more information, please call Lia Tota, Director, at 617-523-8125, or reach out to via email at Thank you!

      1. It is gracious of you to respond Lia and explain the situation. It is of course, very difficult in today’s world of budget cuts especiall when it hits home to someone from the nieghborhood. People always react negatively when things are cut, but those are the people that rarely understand the realities of running a nonprofit amid declining government support. ABCD does a great service to the elderly in the community and it is a shame this is not more respected.

  7. So sorry to hear this about Mary she is a wonderful person and does her job 110% hope we can get her back asap xo ReRe

  8. I think that the person who wrote this article is very IRRESPONSIBLE because they wrote it without getting the facts and they also make Mary look like a victim, a characterization that I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate. Mary is a classy woman who is well liked. She has been an asset to ABCD which is something that we can all agree on including the staff, management and volunteers of this vital program for the community. If we have to point fingers then we should point them to the politicians that we have voted in office starting with the local politicians who have the ears of the governor and mayor. It’s unfortunate that our government in general can not resolve the budget crisis that we are in. It’s unfortunate that our current president has done nothing but spend and spend without regard for the future of this country and our governor is on the same track – have you read about his current transportation proposal? It’s unfortunate that the democrats and republicans can not come to a bipartisan agreement on how we can get our country back on track fiscally. It’s unfortunate that Human Services is always among one of the agencies that has to endure cuts. These cuts not only affect the staff of the human services agencies but they also affect the people they serve. I’m sure Mary is always welcome back with open arms because she is loved by all at ABCD. We need to all agree that as more of these cuts come down the line they will affect us all in some way. I think it’s shameful how some people are so comfortable with playing the role of a victim instead of taking a more proactive role in electing politicians that could make a difference in all of our lives. Enough is enough!

    1. Excuse me but the person you are calling IRRESPONSIBLE and who does not know the facts HAPPENS TO BE MARY ROMANO’S SON. She is a victim in this and both Mary AND JR and their entire family have been very active in getting people elected FOR DECADES. You seem to be the one who is clueless about the facts. BTW this is not the appropriate place for your political rant.

      1. Listen JES – yet again you have marked the family as victims – everyone affiliated with ABCD has been or will be affected by the cuts thanks to our government. Guess I hit a nerve and this is indeed the appropriate place for what you call a “political rant” . JR may have written the commentary in defense of his mother which is clearly understandable but as I mentioned before the fingers need to be pointed that those in office who have made the decision to cut services to those in need….let’s start at the top. Our government has perpetuated a welfare mentality and it’s time that we as a nation become fiscally responsible and bring back jobs into this great country of ours. It’s really ashame that we can’t have a third political party that could hoepfully make a difference. Have a nice day!

  9. Now you listen Donna. I marked the family as victims yet again? Why because I said I would not donate to Lea unless Mary was rehired? Or because I told you that you should get your facts straight especially about the person who wrote the article. Like it or not Mary Romano was indeed a victim in this case. Your comments just prove how little you know or understand about why people are upset about this yet you feel a need to shoot your mouth off. If you want to blame the politicians try starting with the “lets block everything” Republicans in Congress who do not care about people who are in need of services at all. All they want is to cut programs for the poor and elderly and cut taxes to the rich.

    1. JES, JES, JES….I regretfully voted for Obama again thinking that he would stop the spending and he hasn’t. You’re missing the point. We all want Mary back and the only way that we can help ABCD is by helping them with fundraising and possible volunteer efforts. My mom has had her social security cut. Don’t tell me that you don’t know anyone that hasn’t seen a drop in their benefits because of our country’s fiscal efforts. Stating that you would not donate to Lea (she spells her name LIA) sounds like blackmail or at best bullying.You also make it sound that Lia let Mary go for personal reasons and not business reasons. I don’t think Lia took pleasure in letting Mary go – it was quite the opposite. If you want to make a positive difference for Mary’s sake then I suggest you step out of your parochial mind set and take action to come up with creative ways to help the organization raise crucial funds needed to get Mary back. We could also think of Mary’s departure as a temporary well deserved vacation. I can only hope I can still work at the age of 80 and have the ability to collect social security, unemployment and other benefits.

      1. Donna Donna Donna. Please stop lecturing me and trying to bully me. I am entitled to express my opinion just as much as you do. If we disagree so what? It does not give you the right to be so damn condesending
        I think you are just PO d because I pointed out that the person you accused to being irresponsibe and not knowing the facts was Mary’s son. I have no interest in raising money for ABCD nor coming up with creative ideas for LIA or anyone else to raise $$. BTW….do you work at ABCD? and what makes you think Mary wanted a vacation?

        1. JES, I am so sorry that you think I am trying to bullying you or lecture you. I am merely stating the obvious. I don’t have anything to do with ABCD other than my mom and other seniors friends of hers have received benefits from the organiztion. I’m sorry that you feel I am bullying you….it’s quite the contrary. You seem to be missing the point that you and I are on the same side here. Rather than whine about what happened to Mary, we need to come together and come up with ideas on how funds can be raised to hire her back and even expand the services offered to those in need. What would make you think I’m “PO d” about who wrote the article? You must have not read my last post carefully because as I stated I think it is understandable that Mary’s son would write the article. It’s only natural for a child to come to their mother’s or father’s defense. Isn’t it? If you have no interest in fundraising efforts for ABCD then you clearly have no interest in getting Mary rehired. You only want to complain about what happened rather than take action to correct it. Our world is filled with people who complain rather than those who take action. Like the common idiom says “Put your mouth where your mouth is”. I know I will. Enjoy your weekend!

        2. Oh my .If Mary Romano is & I believe she is ,the wonderful women you all describe,why all this squabbling.It is a dishonor to her legacy to behave in such a manner.This remarkable women is 80 years of age .Does she not deserve Some down time .She has been blessed with energy ,a youthfull spirit & disposition .Her cooking & Holiday Parties are legendary at the North End site.She is to be commended for her dedication & service to others ,not made a scape goat for others adgenda.Please give Mary her rightful due & allow her to absorb & adjust to her “New Beginning in life

  10. Judy you are soooooo right! We all would love to see her back if ABCD can get funding. Just seems that all JES wants to do is complain about what has happened rather than help. It’s really sad that some people don’t have a rational perspective to see things clearly. We all need to be on the same team. Like you said Mary should be enjoying her time off because everyone knows how hard she has worked for the community. Let’s get creative about fundraising efforts and contact ABCD with money raising ideas.

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