Recent MPP graduate Dimple Rana announced her campaign for a Revere City Council seat this summer. Dimple’s advocacy for Revere, Massachusetts spans across neighborhoods, sectors, and generations of Revere residents. As Director of the City’s department of Healthy Community Initiatives and Co-Director of Revere On the Move, she has worked with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to increase access to opportunities for active living, healthy eating, civic engagement, and youth leadership. Dimple’s commitment to building a vibrant, engaged, and active Revere also extends to her work as a champion of small businesses and a longtime civic leader.
In this interview with UEP student Paulina Muratore, Dimple explained some of the key ideas behind her campaign:
Paulina: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for Revere City Council.
Dimple: My experience growing up here in Revere, living here, and working here has allowed me to see a lot of what’s going on and has given me a unique perspective. Having worked for the City over the past 5 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of opportunities. I see myself offering solutions to a lot of the changes that are happening all around us right now. For example, the population of Revere in last census included 38% foreign born, and that number will likely be higher in the next census. Currently, City leadership doesn’t represent the diversity of residents. In a way, as a leader and as the first woman of color to run for office in Revere, I hope to inspire and empower other people of diverse backgrounds to run.
Paulina: Was there anything that happened during your time at Tufts that led to your decision to run for office? Anything you got out of UEP that has helped with your understanding of public policy?
Dimple: Definitely—my experience at UEP enabled me to be in a position to run for office and I now have a deeper understanding of public policy. My time in UEP’s MPP program provided me with critical exposure to different people and ideas. In particular, the idea of “practical visionaries” and the UEP commitment to communities was meaningful to me. It taught me that education and communities can go hand in hand while pushing public policy forward. Grassroots efforts combined with a strong backing of students truly helps advance these public policy issues while empowering communities to grow.
Paulina: What are some of the core pillars of your campaign?
Dimple: Nationally this year we’ve seen a lot of the “us versus them” divisiveness, anti-immigrant comments, racist comments. On a local level, this language has effected how things happen in the city. We haven’t been able to move forward as a unified city—there are insufficient resources for people to come together and unite. The key message of my campaign is One Revere Rising Together: a unified Revere, where we take care of each other become stronger.
Paulina: If elected, what are your top priorities for Revere as a City?
Dimple: There are three core issues I intend to focus on: youth and education; working toward a stronger local economy; and viable, strong solutions to the city’s opioid epidemic.
- Youth and education is a near and dear topic to me. Over the past five years, I’ve been an adult ally and advocate leading Revere Youth in Action, which started when high schoolers came to adults and asked why there was no youth center. As a 1998 graduate of Revere High School, I know firsthand that we have a great public school system—one which has won accolades and awards. But we are also in dire need more resources, especially a facility outside school where youth can go. Additionally, the high school is also about to lose accreditation and I am ready to fight and make sure we do everything we can to secure funding to build a new high school.
- A strong local economy is key for a strong city. If elected, I want to see more resources for local businesses so they can thrive. I also want local businesses to be able to hire locally and want residents to have workforce development training options. As Revere continues to develop and gentrify, we need to make sure there are resources for the people who live here and make sure businesses are not displaced.
- We desperately need viable and strong solutions to the city’s opioid epidemic. Revere is the second highest city in the state when it comes to overdoses, and we’re losing too many folks to fatal overdoses. Having grown up here in Revere, I personally know a lot of people who have been deeply affected by this epidemic. As a city, we need to do more around harm reduction and providing resources for people who are currently using to help them stay alive. As a City Councilor, I will be an advocate for harm reduction, mental health resources and focus on prevention.
Paulina: Do you see a shift happening in Revere based on other candidates running?
Dimple: It’s a little too early to tell. However, when I announced my candidacy, there was quite a bit of backlash from loud, angry people saying things like, “who are you to run for office; you’re not a citizen, you’re illegal,” etc. Thus, in that sense, there is definitely a shift happening and Revere is facing a lot of the same hatred and divisions that we’re facing nationally. The core of my campaign is One Revere Rising, and I hope to combat the hate and racism that we’re seeing. Currently we’re [my campaign] starting to knock on doors to talk to voters and hear from them. I want to know what they want to see for Revere.