Better representation. It's time.

Senator Ken Donnelly was good and kind. His heart and skill as a legislator were matched by his passion and dedication as a public servant on behalf of the People of the 4th Middlesex and beyond. His legacy lives forever in our hearts and in the lives he changed. His genuine interactions with people inspired me in my own public service, and to find an office and run for it.

A Special Election has been called to fill this important seat. I enthusiastically announce my candidacy because I want to provide the best representation to the people of the communities across this district.

Today, people want to be more engaged. But they often don’t understand how the system should work for them. It can be difficult to navigate a complicated established structure to even reach the level where conversations can begin.

We need people in state government who have come up from the ranks, who know what it means to truly represent constituents – at the level of your elementary school or town meeting, where you are accountable to your neighbors. This is where change can happen, and I’ve been there and I’ve listened to people, and heard and understood the needs and hopes of families – from the high achievers to those who struggle to get attention for students with special needs. And then I led my schools through the worst financial crisis many of us have seen.

Politics at the national level have become uncertain. Better representation is essential and it’s urgent. Now is the time for changing the system to work for all of us, the way government should, with a hands-on, open-minded approach. That’s why I’m in this race.

As I’ve been gathering signatures in the five communities across the district, people have shared their personal, moving stories: Charlotte talked of her love and devotion for the diverse community she has embraced. Susan wants me to know that there are gaps in community employment for her adult son with special needs, even after transition planning. Pete is still feeling the pain of the recession.

Their concerns are mine, too. I look forward to a campaign that focuses on the critical issues we face in the district and across the Commonwealth: the need for revenue; for paid family and medical leave for modern families and workers; addressing climate change and securing a clean energy future; protecting access to reproductive rights, mental health, and health care, while making it more affordable; sustaining and strengthening our schools and communities; improving our transportation infrastructure; protecting the most vulnerable among us; and more.

Over the course of my career in public service, I have sought and served in progressively higher leadership positions that allowed me to represent parents and members of my community in ever wider circles.

I was first elected to my children’s elementary school site council and later served as local PTA co-president, then as president of the Massachusetts PTA. I’ve served my town of Lexington in Town Meeting, then was elected twice to the School Committee, including a term as chairwoman.

Currently as the Parent Representative on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, I continue to advocate on behalf of parents across the Commonwealth for the funding and policies that will ensure our public schools’ continued and improving quality, and so that they serve the diverse needs of all families.

I have led the battle for adequate financing for transportation and public schools as an original signer of the Fair Share Amendment petition, which is moving toward final passage.

Additionally, I worked as Director of Education and Programs for children, youth, and families at a small church in Newton for ten years and currently teach at Middlesex Community College.

My values are clearly represented throughout my work, and I will continue to stand up for those values in the Senate in my drive to improve people’s lives. I’m approaching this campaign with a sense of optimism, purpose, and direction. I look forward to continued opportunities to hear from you.

The Special Primary Election will be on Tuesday, June 27 for the 4th Middlesex District (Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and Lexington, precincts 1,2,4,5,6 and 7).

It would be an honor to serve as this District’s State Senator and I ask for your consideration.