WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/460705

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what do a community activist, health and elder care entrepreneur, political fundraiser, finance chair of a major political party, chair of a federal bipartisan service organization, phi- lanthropist, United States ambassador, and college dean all have in common? Everything, if you're Alan D. Solomont and hold dear Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis' belief in the importance of personal responsibility: "The most important political office is that of private citizen." Foundation of family values The seeds of Solomont's active citizenship were planted in his childhood, growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home where he was taught the essential value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. His passion for democracy and political activism took root when he entered Tufts University as an idealistic college student of the 1960s, studying political science and urban studies and attending the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Graduating from Tufts in 1970 with a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for independent study and international travel, Solomont made his first trip to Spain, the country he would call home for three and a half years as United States ambassador close to forty years later. Fundamental belief in grassroots change After his post-college year abroad, Solomont dedicated himself to community organizing, which he defines as: "A movement to improve the country by organizing local folks around local issues to solve problems." While employed as an orderly at a nursing home in Lowell, Massachusetts, he advocated for the unionization of fellow workers – an initiative that ultimately got him fired, but set him on his 58 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 E L I Z A B E T H S U N E B Y writer B R I A N S M I T H photographer an interview with alan d. solomont A C T I V E

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