The legendary Lou D’Allesandro will be feted at a birthday bash to be held at the Athens Restaurant on July 29th, The Athens, located just south of Manchester’s Victory Park at 31 Central Street, has played host to many gala events honoring the man who has served the public both in Concord and as an educator and sports coach. The birthday celebration is an annual event and doubles as a fundraiser.
A Democrat, D’Allesandro has represented Manchester citizens in New Hampshire’s 20th Senate District for nearly 18 years and is the favorite to be reelected in 2016,
The last two Republicans to run against the man they call “Liberal Lou”, former State Representative Phil Greazzo and Libertarian political activist Eileen Landies, were handily defeated by D’Allesandro. Greazzo was crushed by a landslide in 2012. Landies, who reportedly is going to run against “Liberal Lou” again despite her poor showing in the last go-round, didn’t fare much better than Greazzo in 2014, a year which saw a wave towards GOP candidates.
A second D’Allesandro-Landies match-up in the presidential election year of 2016 likely will see the Democrat rack up two-thirds or more of the vote.
Crossing the Aisle
Ironically for a man who is a major target of the Granite State GOP, D’Allesandro himself was a Republican when he first entered politics, He eventually “crossed the aisle” and became a Democrat.
The New Hampshire Republican Party of a generation ago was a wider tent that embraced moderates such as former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman, an outstanding public servant who put the good of society above mere partisan politics. D’Allesandro himself is the very embodiment of just such a righteous public servant. He served on the Executive Council from 1975 to 1981 and then on the Manchester School Committee for 10 years. After one term in the State House of Representatives, he moved up to the State Senate.
Before becoming the consummate legislator, he gave back to the community in that most important of roles, teacher. D’Allesandro is also known for having been an outstanding basketball coach. He reached the heights of the educational community, serving as president of Daniel Webster College.
“Working Together Makes a Difference”
At his 2013 birthday party at the Athens, Lou D’Allesandro made some remarks about the state of the city that remain relevant two years later, as Manchester nears the end of Republican Ted Gatsas’ third term as mayor.
“This city is not where it should be, from an educational stand and from the way the city is managed. We really need some changes,” D’Allesandro said. “There’s a problem. We don’t have that same pride in our city that we did before. We’re not doing enough to make our city better.”
D’Allesandro said that it was individuals who counted most when it came to improving conditions. Ultimately, it was people, individually and collectively, who improved the quality of life of the city and the state.
“Together, we make the difference,” D’Allesandro said. “It’s all of us working together that make a difference in the lives of the people we support and the things we want to have done.”