Michael Everett Capuano was born in Somerville in 1952. He is named after both grandfathers, Michael Capuano and Everett Garvey. One was an orphan born in Italy who journeyed alone to America at the age of eighteen. The other was the son of Irish Immigrants.
Mike's father, Andrew Capuano, married Rita Garvey of Allston. Andrew was a disabled World War II veteran who received a Bronze Star during the Battle of the Bulge. Andrew Capuano was the first Italian-American elected official in Somerville history. Mike's mother, Rita Capuano, currently lives in senior housing in Somerville.
Mike Capuano is a lifelong Somerville resident. He graduated from Somerville High School in 1969, received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 1973, and a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1977. He passed the Massachusetts Bar in 1977. Mike also took graduate tax law classes at Boston University Law School.
|Mike met his wife, Barbara Teebagy, in a high school chemistry class. Barbara graduated from Boston State College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and earned her MBA from Babson College in 1976. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1978. The couple have two children, Michael 17 and Joseph 14. They will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary this year.|
In addition to the elective offices he has held, Mike worked for the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Massachusetts Legislature from 1978 - 1984 where he also served as Chief Legal Counsel. Mike was an attorney for the law firm of Joyce and Joyce from 1984 until January of 1990.
Mike served as alderman for Somerville's ward five from 1977 - 1979, the same seat his father once held. From 1985 to 1989, Mike served as alderman-at-large, a position he held for two terms. While Alderman-at-Large, he served as President of the Board of Aldermen and ex-officio member of the School Committee. In November of 1989 Mike was elected mayor, beating his opponent in the city's closest race. In January of 1990, Michael Everett Capuano became the City of Somerville's 34th mayor.
Last November, Mike was re-elected to a fifth term with 70% of the vote. Mike was also elected Democratic State Committeeman for the Second Middlesex District in 1996 and is the current President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, a statewide organization that represents the interests of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns. He is past President of the Massachusetts Mayors' Association.
Under the leadership of Mayor Capuano, the City of Somerville Massachusetts has experienced a true renaissance over the past eight years.
Restoring Jobs and Fiscal Balance
Mike successfully guided the community through the tough economic times of the early 1990's. As mayor, he has helped to create thousands of new jobs and expand businesses while improving the city's fiscal situation, Somerville's bond rating. Wall Street's evaluation of the community's fiscal health, has improved four times since Mayor Capuano took office.
Thanks to the improved business and fiscal climate, Mayor Capuano has created, the City of Somerville currently enjoys one of the lowest property tax rates in the Greater Boston area.
An Urban Environmental Innovator
Mike Capuano is a leading urban environmentalist. Recognizing the importance of protecting our natural resources, Mike found ways to implement a comprehensive cost effective curbside recycling program, despite dwindling state aid of the early nineties. Today, Somerville is home to many environmental initiatives, including:
The state's first Electronics Recycling Day;
The state's first locally based Environmental Strike Force;
The state's first locally based Environmental Protection Officer;
The state's first permanent household hazardous waste center in an urban area;
A nationally recognized Open Space Program.
Even though Somerville is the most densely populated community in New England, Mike has made expanding, preserving and enhancing open space a top priority of his administration. The City of Somerville's tree planting program has been adopted by other communities. Since he took office in 1990:
Nine new parks have been created;
Fifteen parks have been renovated;
Somerville's open space has increased by more than 15 acres; marking the first
time in the history of the city that open space has actually increased;
The City of Somerville was recently recognized as a Tree City USA for the third
consecutive year by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Cable Television Competition
In 1997, Somerville became the first community in the history of the Commonwealth to offer residents a choice in cable television providers. Mike Capuano began this battle in 1990 to provide residents with stabilized rates and expanded services. The City of Somerville made history in December of 1997 when his vision became reality. The second provider is currently wiring Somerville with fiber optic and coaxial cable.
Part of the deal that Mike Capuano negotiated required the new provider to connect all of the city's public buildings including schools, with a state-of-the-art fiber optic network. The City of Somerville's award-winning public access television station, along with the governmental and educational access stations, were protected from any potential loss of funds, and also received substantial equipment grants from the new provider.
Consumers have already reaped a substantial benefit from cable competition. In late November 1997, the City's incumbent cable operator announced it would raise cable television rates an average of 10% throughout the state. However, Somerville was exempt from this increase. The reason behind this exemption: looming competition.
Last year, Mike Capuano authored the state's toughest Ethics and Financial Disclosure Ordinance requiring officials and candidates to disclose all property owned, all business ventures, and detail employment of immediate family members.
As Mayor, Mike Capuano has made educational issues a priority:
Over $60 million has been dedicated to the construction or renovation of 6 schools
- one new school opened in 1997, two additional schools are in the process of
being rebuilt and three others are on the drawing board;
Somerville currently has the smallest class sizes in Greater Boston, with an average
of less than 19 students per classroom;
Mike has increased the school department's share of the city budget during his tenure;
Somerville currently has 10 full day kindergarten classes; By September 1998, all of
Somerville's kindergartens will be optional full-day classes.
As Mayor, Mike has assisted many charitable organizations. Together with his wife Barbara, Mike founded the HomeFirst Charitable Corporation in 1990 to raise money for Somerville charities. All work, including board membership, is conducted on a volunteer basis. The organization has already raised over $250,000 for programs such as fuel assistance, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. HomeFirst hosts a variety of events such as an annual Charities Fair in June, Somerville Pride Night in September and the Taste of Somerville in October.
In 1993, Mike Capuano established the Neighborhood Improvement Council (NIC) to provide city money for neighborhood projects intended to improve quality of life for residents. These awards are given to pre-existing neighborhood groups. All red tape has been eliminated. Past awards include tree planting, recreation programs, community barbeques and community policing. To date, over $100,000 has been distributed through the NIC.
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This Page Last Updated on July 24th, 1998.