Lowell Native, Fellow Former Ambassador Endorses Gifford in the 3rd
The day I received the call from President Obama asking me to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra was one of the proudest days of my life. I never would have imagined, that me, a middle-class kid from Lowell, would have the privilege and great honor to serve my country that I profoundly love in that capacity.
My mom and dad, Charles Costos and Katherine Dardas Costos, were first-generation Greek-Americans, born in the Acre neighborhood of Lowell. I was born in the Highlands, but moved to Belvidere at the age of 10. My parents instilled in our family the values of hard work, self-reliance and service. They made a lot of sacrifices to support us, but still gave back to our great community.
I received a great education through the Lowell public school system and at the University of Massachusetts, where I was the first in my family to graduate from college with a degree in political science.
I worked at the Hilton Hotel downtown, and for the Demoulas family, and volunteered at the Lowell Chamber of Commerce. I was always surrounded by Greek-American aunts and uncles and cousins, and dozens of neighborhood kids and parents, all of whom taught me how to succeed in this world.
When I landed in Spain, I never forgot my roots. And as I shared my story, I urged young people to dream big. I never imagined growing up that I would have the opportunities I have had. We should want such opportunity for every single kid in Lowell, around the country, and the world.
When I think about electing the next representative for the Massachusetts’ 3rd District, that’s what it comes down to: Who is going to fight hardest and most effectively so that every kid is going to have a chance at success?
For me, the answer is my friend, Rufus Gifford.
While his story may be a little different from mine there’s a lot we have in common.
First, a deep commitment to public service. Rufus has dedicated his entire career to helping his community and country. As Ambassadors, Rufus and I worked together to strengthen America’s alliances and to bring people together for the betterment of all.
Second, values. Rufus was raised with strong values: equality for all, giving back to community, civility, tolerance. It’s these values that I know he’ll fight for in Congress as he has his entire life.
Third, he is optimistic. At a time when there is so much negativity and divisiveness in Washington, Rufus is a positive breath of fresh air. He believes in the best of America, and that’s what we need more of.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we both love Lowell and the surrounding communities.
For people who are proud of Lowell, for people who helped build this great city, and for people who want to see a forward-looking, thriving Lowell where every Lowellian has an opportunity to dream big, I urge them to vote for Rufus Gifford in the Sept. 4 primary.