Letter: Bullying has a home in Reading

The Reading Post accepts Letters to the Editor. All letters must be signed. The Reading Post reserves the right to edit or not publish any letters received. Letters do not represent the views or opinions of the Post. editor@thereadingpost.com

My name is Erin Calvo-Bacci. I first came to Reading in 1979 and left in 1996, then returned in 2009. Since 2003 I’ve been a small business owner. I’m a member of the Retail Association of Massachusetts and I serve on their legislative committee and I serve on the National Retail Federation small business steering committee. I’ve been an elected town meeting member since 2012 and served on the Zoning Advisory Committee and the Historical Commission Working Group.  Over the years I have supported candidates from both sides because as a business owner I have and will continue to work with whoever our elected officials are to advocate for businesses, all businesses not just mine. Our elected officials are supposed to work for all the people not just the ones in their party. However, that concept is foreign to some and respectfully disagreeing has been cast aside for schoolyard bullying.

I know about this first hand as a candidate and a political volunteer. When a local elected official donated to my campaign and was documented on my campaign finance report, they received a nasty letter signed by 12 members of the Reading community based on my “political affiliations” yet I hadn’t had a recent conversation with any of these people who claimed to know me.  I’ve made difficult choices to keep my business going and I’m proud to run a successful chocolate manufacturing business with my husband Carlo. When I owned The Chocolate Truffle I received “hate” mail, always unsigned, because I vocally supported certain candidates. I also hosted meet and greets including one for former BOS member Ben Tafoya, but he and his group conveniently forget how businesses do more of their share and how much we give back to the community. This nonsense is why so many well-meaning and thoughtful people don’t want to volunteer. Since actions speak louder than words, members of our community demonstrate hate does have a home here. I’m disgusted by the low levels members of our community are stooping and the bullying. For those who don’t know me, I’m a business owner, a wife and a mother to three beautiful girls two of which are currently in the RPS and I fully support John Arena because he believes in ONE Reading.

Erin Calvo-Bacci
494 Main Street

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