Ed will lead the fight for working families and our senior citizens
Ed O’Reilly knows what it is like to live week to week on a paycheck and has felt the pressure of paying for gas, fuel, food and other bills including college tuition. He understands that our Seniors should not have to choose between heat and rent, or between food and medicine. He knows that many Senior Citizens, after giving so much to our country, are barely getting by; while the richest Americans are given tax breaks and preferential treatment by many of our elected representatives in Washington. John Kerry has been fighting to preserve tax loopholes for the richest people in America while our seniors are choosing to live in one room of their home in winter due to the costs of heating oil and gas.
It is time we had someone aggressively fighting against the oil companies and large corporations and fighting for “ordinary” Americans! John Kerry’s Senate campaign kickoff event had a $1,000 minimum cover charge to get in. For $2,300, a person could have a “private” reception with our elected Senator and his wife. Who would pay this amount? Certainly not a person living from paycheck to paycheck, or one of our senior citizens who is struggling to make ends meet. The obvious answer is that the people who would pay at least $1,000 to attend an event want access — and access is the first step to influence. Senator Kerry is always accessible to the wealthy, but makes himself available to ordinary Massachusetts residents for only a very short time every six years — years which happen to coincide with his re-election campaigns.
The bottom line is that Senator Kerry lives in another world and visits our world!
Ed’s roots are firmly planted in the working class
Ed is a working class guy who grew up as one of six children in Watertown, Massachusetts. He graduated from Watertown High School where he played varsity hockey for three years, and went on to work in a factory after high school in order to pay for his college tuition and room and board. Because he had to work for his education, Ed delayed his enrollment until the following January and continued to work summers and semester breaks. 3½ years later, Ed graduated from UMass/Amherst with a B.A. in Legal Studies, Magna Cum Laude — and he'd paid for his entire education.
After college, Ed worked in a Boston bank, volunteered with the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and substitute taught, before landing a position as a Prison Guard at Norfolk State Prison where he ran a unit with 50 prisoners. Ed went on to help open the Park Drive Pre-Release Center in Boston where he was a Corrections Counselor.
While attending UMass, Ed became a third generation firefighter when he was appointed to the Amherst paid Call Fire Department. A few years after college, Ed followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and joined three of his uncles when he was appointed to the Watertown Fire Department (I.A.F.F. Local #1347, where his father was a charter member). By this time, Ed’s father, Robert C. O’Reilly, had climbed through the ranks to become Chief of the Department. After several years as a Watertown Firefighter, due to the constraints of Proposition 2½, Ed was one of 16 firefighters who were laid off. Ed later transferred to Gloucester Fire Department (member of I.A.F.F. Local # 762), where he was a member of the union Contract Negotiations Team.
While working full time to pay for law school, Ed attended the evening division of Boston’s New England School of Law where he was given a full scholarship for his first year of study. Ed has been a well respected criminal defense trial attorney for over 25 years. He has fought on behalf of his clients, day in and day out, in courtrooms all across Massachusetts. He has been lead trial counsel in well over 1,000 trials and appeared in over 65 courtrooms. Ed strongly believes in the Constitutions of our Nation and our State, and will bring this commitment to the U.S. Senate where he will lead the fight to restore, protect and preserve Constitutional principles.
Because Ed has always believed that fighting zealously as an advocate and adversary in the courtroom can be done with respect and professionalism, many of Ed’s closest friends and strongest supporters include court personnel, members of law enforcement, and present and former Assistant District Attorneys. In other words, Ed enjoys the support of people who have worked with and against him in the courtrooms. It is these skills — advocating passionately and fighting respectfully — that will make Ed a unique and effective U.S. Senator as well as a great asset to his newest clients — the people of Massachusetts.
Since moving to Gloucester over 25 years ago, Ed has been a commercial lobsterman, city councilor, school committee member and a member of the North Shore AIDS Health Project. As a Gloucester City Councilor at Large, Ed pressed for the conservation of the land in the center of Cape Ann called “Dog Town” and helped to open and clear public rights of way to the ocean. As a school committee member, Ed was instrumental in bringing “non-adversarial” bargaining to labor negotiations and worked with teachers and school personnel in signing a fair contract for teachers, but also one which had the best interests of the students at its core. Because of Ed’s keen sense of humor, he has, for over 20 years, continued to be the Master of Ceremonies for the bi-annual roasting of Gloucester political candidates.
Ed’s beliefs and values remain grounded in his working class roots, while his positions on the issues are completely in line with the core principles and platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.