Letter: Consider Voting For Fio Rito

By on May 2, 2019

To the Editor:

My name is Brett D’Alessandro. You might know me as the founder of Backpacks For Life, a Verona-based nonprofit that serves the veteran community or as a long time Verona resident. I was born and raised in Verona; playing football and baseball at Verona High School. In 2014, I started Backpacks For Life after I returned home from a deployment to Afghanistan where I served as a machine gunner in the Marines.

When it comes to politics, I try to have a neutral approach and typically stand by the people who stand by our veterans, as they mean a lot to me. I recently received a flyer in the mail about a West Point graduate, who served 15 years in the Army, having completed multiple deployments to a combat zone and is now running for Town Council here in Verona. The flyer also mentioned this gentleman was a long-time developer in Jersey City, where I used to reside. Jersey City is a place with a combination of high crime and challenging neighborhoods but over time, has become a vibrant city where development has had a significant & positive change on the community. Now, I didn’t know this gentleman running for town council personally but I felt compelled to reach out and speak with him solely based on the fact that he was a veteran and we shared this common ground.

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I met John Fio Rito at Blue Hippo Coffee on a Saturday morning and we had a really delightful conversation. I knew I wanted to do something for this veteran who not only served his county for 15 years, but now wants to continue serving this Hillbilly community. John and I discussed a project I was looking to start here in Verona and he jumped eagerly at the chance to help me make it a reality. John recently opened a storage facility here in Verona and we will be utilizing one of the units there to have supplies, toiletries and essentials for local Verona resident veterans who may need assistance. They will have access to the unit any time they need it, simply by giving the Backpacks For Life team a call. It was only after having one conversation with John that this project came to fruition.

While I don’t normally endorse anyone in any election, I know that John Fio Rito is already an integral part of this community and if elected for Town Council, will continue to serve and give back to our amazing town. Please consider voting for a local hero and my brother in arms, John Fio Rito, on May 14th. I appreciate your time and consideration in reading this letter and welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about Backpacks For Life or the great initiatives we are working on alongside John.

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Brett D’Alessandro

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