My district, the 25th Middlesex, includes parts of the Cambridge neighborhoods of West, North, Riverside, Cambridgeport and mid-Cambridge. In addition, I serve as the Chairperson, for the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. My political career both as a member of the Cambridge City Council and as a state representative is best described as one of advocacy. That advocacy has been for Cambridge residents as well as individuals across the state to ensure that every needy and eligible person has access to affordable housing, quality education and comprehensive health care. I have worked closely with many advocacy groups especially with their efforts for those with intellectual and development disabilities. I love my job and am an effective catalyst to reaching those goals where all people are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
I represent the Eleventh Middlesex District; which consists of approximately half of the City of Newton, including Wards 2, 3, 4 and some precincts in Wards 1 and 7. As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, we review legislation concerning child welfare, juvenile justice, public welfare, and children and adults with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities. It is the Committee’s responsibility to oversee the Departments of Children and Families, Developmental Services, Transitional Assistance and Youth Services; the Massachusetts Commissions for the Blind, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
I represent the Second Worcester Senate District, which includes my hometown of Millbury, as well as the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Shrewsbury, Upton, sections of Northbridge, and parts of the City of Worcester. I currently serve as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital and State Assets. In addition, I’m a member of several other legislative committees; including the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, which reviews all legislation involving state financing.
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’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.