The 23rd Middlesex District which I represent includes many precincts in Arlington and three in Medford. Since joining the legislature in 2008 I have been a strong advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Critical to the passage of any legislation is the ability to work effective with my colleagues in the House of Representative. Last year I was honored to receive the Legislator of the Year Award from The Arc of Massachusetts and the Mass Developmental Disability Council in recognition of legislation and advocacy that was achieved this past year. I look forward to working with The Arc and the others groups and agencies that are on the front lines advocacy to identify the needs of our more fragile individuals.
I represent the First Worcester Senate District; which includes the towns of: Boylston, parts of Clinton, Holden, parts of Northborough, Princeton, West Boylston, and most of Worcester. I serve as Vice Chair of Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading; Vice Chair on Health Care Financing Committee; and a member on the following committees: Personnel and Administration; Housing; Transportation; and in addition Co-Chairing several caucuses; including the Legislature’s Prevention for Health Caucus and Oral Health Caucus. During the previous legislative session as well as this session I filed a bill establishing mid-level dental practitioners, similar to physician assistants in the medical field, while working in collaboration with a licensed dentist. Access to dental care would be expanded for the underserved; especially children, seniors, individuals with special needs, low-income families, and rural residents in Massachusetts.
I am privileged to be the first Worcester woman elected to the Massachusetts Senate. As a result, my experiences not only as a parent but also as an advocate have allowed me to champion with strong conviction those scores of issues that face my constituents. As a member of the Legislature, I am in a unique position to respond positively to the concerns that will benefit individuals, families, and our communities. It is a distinct honor to have the constituents of my district trust me to represent them on Beacon Hill.
I’m the Senate President and my Senate District (Second Middlesex and Norfolk) represents seven MetroWest towns. I have fought constantly for tools, support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. I have a background in social work and labor law, and I also have a deeply personal awareness of the need for these resources for our loved ones. This year, we passed several important new laws to help people with disabilities. The legislature, the Arc and other groups in Massachusetts are doing critical work to make sure everyone has access to the resources and opportunities they need to overcome challenges, realize their abilities and thrive in their communities. As we begin a new legislative session in January, I look forward to continuing the work to improve the lives of all residents across the Commonwealth.
My district is the Thirty First Middlesex; which includes the towns of Stoneham and Winchester. In the Legislature, I am a member of the following committees: Vice Chair – Joint Committee on the Judiciary and a member of the Committee on Personnel and Administration; Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies; Post Audit and Oversight. As a lawyer, I have always had a strong interest in advocating for civil rights and civil liberties. The basis for that belief can be traced to my own family who taught me, from an early age, that every person is unique and special and everyone deserves equal treatment and opportunity in life.
One of the reasons I ran for office is to continue the work we do to insure that all individuals have opportunities to achieve their highest potential. This goal applies whether individual differences are social, economic, religious, gender, age or physical and/or emotional conditions. When we respect each other and advocate for the best for each other we strengthen our neighborhoods, our communities and our country. As a State Representative, I have had the wonderful privilege to meet many individuals advocating for a shared vision of society where each person is treated with respect and dignity. Our differences are not obstacles. They represent opportunities to for us to better understand how we can have a positive influence on every person we meet.