“My name is AJ Castilla and I am U.S. Navy combat veteran. For ten years I worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's sub-agency, the TSA. Just after 9/11, when thousands of my comrades and I were illegally underpaid and improperly denied Veterans Preference required by law, we sought equal rights and protections to combat these abuses. Even before we joined the nation's largest federal employees union, A.F.G.E and an even larger family of eleven million AFL-CIO members, Stephen cast his first votes as a then newly elected U.S. Representative - to restore collective bargaining for 50,000 TSOs nation-wide.
When we requested a federal investigation into graver management abuses at Logan Airport, Stephen again...was there. Later, when our employer refused to provide us proper safety equipment; like protective masks during the deadly world-wide H1N1 flu epidemic, he gained Republican support and forced the TSA to issue them to us. Like-wise, when our employer refused to allow us to wear radiation detecting dosimeters at our own expense despite years of questions into the safeness of our screening technology - Stephen again, was quickly there whereupon he called a Congressional hearing so we could be heard. After being told of our Logan Airport TSOs incurred unusual cancer rates, he reached out in yet another bi-partisan act getting Senator Scott Brown, R-MA, Susan Collins, ME and others...to press TSA to provide more credible inspection of body scanners and x-ray data. Now those potentially dangerous machines have been removed, thanks to Stephen.
For ten long years, Stephen stayed and voted on our side, never wavering when others moved onto to other issues. Similarly, as a veteran, I have witnessed Stephen moved during visits and meetings with the troops and I applaud his dedicated record to insure that Washington always supports America's heroes. Not just the military, but those that care and support them, as well. What I truly value about Stephen is not only his from poverty to equality background he overcame to get where he is having our backs every day, a story I also share, but the refreshing fact that he remains so accessible because while working in Washington, he never left Boston. He stayed here and he never forgot where he came from. If you want a career politician that moved to Washington after being elected, leaving us all behind and whom helped create the current mess going on in Washington, then, please vote for his opponent. If you want your neighbor and someone whom honestly knows what concerns us most as a city and a community because he still lives here...then vote for Stephen Lynch. I know I am.”
--AJ Castilla, East Boston