Community Government People

Meet Jessica Dello Russo, Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) Candidate

As the May 17th election approaches, the seven residents on the ballot running for North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) were invited to submit statements with their background and reasons for seeking one of the six open seats. Videos are from a Candidates Forum on May 12th. 

NEWNC Candidate: Jessica Dello Russo, #6 on the Ballot


Dear NorthEndWaterfront Subscribers,

I am a third-generation North Ender, raising a member of generation #4 (my son Ezio, 7 years). Four generations of my family still live in the North End within a two-block radius, and I continue to reside in a family-occupied building with my parents, a few younger siblings, and my son. As a mother, a sister and (as Freddie and Pepe in the Green Cross Pharmacy like to point out whenever I have to sign my parents’ receipts) “still a child!” I enjoy contact on a daily basis with many different generations in the North End. Some residents know me by name: others, as “Nicky’s daughter” or, better still, as “one of the five” (meaning “one of the five daughters,” a phrase I was never really fond of growing up, as it was often concluded with: “Ah, they were trying for the boy!”). Ah, the North End. But like many of my generation, the first to really benefit from the neighborhood’s economic revival, I was able to stay (and stay safe), attend some of the nation’s top schools, and chose what I wanted to do in life, traveling light years away from the North End of my grandparents’ time, yet all the while staying in one place.

My family has long history (nearly a century) of involvement in local civic affairs. My maternal grandfather (Joseph A. McDonald) worked for the “Mahatma” himself, Martin Lomasney, in Ward 8 (West End), and my paternal grandmother (Emily Dello Russo, née Parisi) was the secretary to Frank L. Havey, Executive Director of the North End Union in the 1930’s and 1940’s (although she passed away before seeing her son, Dr. Robert Dello Russo, take on Mr. Havey’s job). My mother (Paula Dello Russo) served on the boards of the North End Union, North Bennett Street School, and Nazzaro Center while raising five children in the North End, and her brother (Joseph McDonald) just stepped down from the presidency of the West End Civic Association, an organization similar in purpose to the NEWNC. I know all this history by heart because it taught me that community engagement is important and that anyone and everyone can and should get involved.

My own community activism in the North End is defined by my professional training as a MA-licensed teacher in many different subject areas, including English/ELL, History, Italian, Latin, and Special Education/Inclusion. Co-moderator since 2007 of the North End/Waterfront Mothers’ Association, I try to make all area families feel welcome and involved in the neighborhood by sharing news and information about events, classes, schools, and other community resources. The North End is our campus – before our kids take on the world! Membership to the online group has increased dramatically during this time to close to a thousand subscribers, and NEWMA has served as a model of communication to other neighborhood groups.

Inoltre, parlo e scrivo molto bene l’italiano, e sto sempre a chiacchiera’ per strada con la gente del quartiere – la lingua italiana e’ ancora viva nel North End – ma parlato tanto dai giovani quanto dagli anziani! Ho anche insegnato per diversi anni alla scuola italiano di sabato presso la Saint John’s School.

I would very much like to serve on the NEWNC because I see this area as a living, dynamic work in progress, a unique part of Boston in which to settle and work. I’ve lived through many times of change in the North End, and know that what is of true value in this community will survive any moment of transition.

You’ll find my name as #6 on Saturday’s ballot.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and see you on Saturday.

Jessica Dello Russo


On May 17, 2014, a public election will be held for six open seats, each with a two year term, on the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC). There are seven candidates running for six open seats on NEWNC, each with a 2-year term. All North End / Waterfront residents may vote for up to six candidates.

Who can vote?
Residents of the North End/Waterfront community who are 18 years or older as of the election. The area includes Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Ward 3 and the Waterfront Area’s Precinct 6 (Harbor Towers and Rowes Wharf). (View precinct map.)

The NEWNC election poll will be open for voting on Saturday, May 17, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet St.

More information on NEWNC can be found at their website,, or by emailing