Representative Denise Garlick and Senator Jamie Eldridge were honored as Legislators of the Year by The Arc of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council at the 40th Annual Legislative Reception at the State House. Each has been a strong advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. Their efforts represent their strong commitment to a variety of social justice issues which they’ve championed for their constituents and for the Commonwealth.
The award plaque for Rep. Garlick features a photo of Mary Eliza Mahoney, America’s first black professional nurse. Mahoney was known not only for her outstanding personal career, but also for her exemplary contributions to local and national professional organizations. Mahoney inspired both nurses and patients with her calm, quiet efficiency and untiring compassion. Rep. Garlick, a nurse, has been a long-time advocate and leader for Family Support and Employment Services. Garlick has co-sponsored many bills including Nicky’s Law and Operation House Call and has carried important budget amendments for funding the Department of Developmental Services line items.
The award plaque for Senator Eldridge features a photo of a person in a wheelchair on the top step of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Senator Eldridge is a lead sponsor of An Act Providing Equal Access to the Bureau of Special Education Appeals and An Act Improving Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. He is co-sponsoring over a dozen bills to specifically benefit people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Our communities could not ask for greater champions.
Written by Charlie Fiske, Director of Public Policy