Hello! My name is Mike Connolly.
Thank you for taking a moment to visit my website — and thank you as well for allowing me the honor of serving as your new State Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
I was sworn into office in January of last year, and I am pleased to report that my first term on Beacon Hill has been fruitful and productive. Every day, I work to bring residents, colleagues, and advocates together to make progress for all who live in our Cambridge and Somerville community, and I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together so far. Some of the highlights of my first term include:
Breaking Ground on the Green Line Extension Project
- When I ran for office in 2016, the Green Line Extension (GLX) project was in limbo, and Governor Baker had announced plans to scale back the design and eliminate the vital Community Path Extension component. But as a result of our consistent advocacy over the course of the past two years, I am pleased to report construction of the GLX is finally underway, and key elements of the project have been resurrected, including station platform canopies and the shared-use community path for bikes and pedestrians.
Passing Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform Legislation
- For the past several years, Massachusetts has lagged behind some other states in our approach to the criminal justice system. In my first term, I co-sponsored legislation to end mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug-related offenses, and I worked to support efforts to reform bail, allow for compassionate release, and introduce restorative justice concepts and other alternatives to incarceration. I am proud to say that as a result of these and many other efforts, Massachusetts has adopted comprehensive criminal justice reform, and we are now moving in a more progressive direction.
Winning the Fight for $15 and Paid Family and Medical Leave
- For several years now, I have been standing with advocates who are fighting to win a $15 minimum wage, along with a robust Paid Family and Medical Leave program that will ensure that working people are able to take time off to deal with personal or family issues or medical concerns. Thanks in very large part to the grassroots activists who collected thousands of signatures to put these issues in front of the legislature, I am pleased to report we voted to pass both of these major economic justice initiatives into law this session.
Defending Reproductive Freedom
- With Donald Trump in the White House, and with the GOP looking to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we know that now is the time to fight to defend reproductive freedom. In my first term, I was proud to co-sponsor several bills that became law, including the ACCESS Bill which guarantees copay-free birth control. For my efforts this session, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts described me as “the definition of a pro-choice champion.”
To find out more about these initiatives, along with information about work I have been doing to promote housing affordability, transportation infrastructure improvements, basic immigrant protections, renewable energy, a clean environment, additional gun control measures, automatic voter registration, and many other progressive concerns, I invite you to join our email list.
My Background and What Drives Me
I am an attorney, a community organizer, a proud progressive Democrat and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. I live in the Port/Area IV neighborhood by Central Square with my wife Kacy.
My commitment to social and economic justice stems from my own background. I was raised in public housing by a single mother who struggled with health issues. I spent time in foster care and benefited from a Head Start program and other social services as a young child.
With the help of these programs, caring community members, and an extended family, I had the support to overcome adversity and beat the odds. I went on to attend Duke University on a football scholarship. After that, I put myself through Boston College Law School, served as a managing editor for a progressive law journal, became a licensed attorney, and worked for a global technology company.
While I was fortunate to have these opportunities, however, so many of my childhood peers have ended up incarcerated, out of work, on the streets, or victims of the heroin and opioid epidemics. I know it doesn’t have to be that way, but not everyone is given the support I had, and the results are just not something that we should accept in Massachusetts.
I believe that if we continue building movements for justice and equality — and if we work together and stick to our principles — then we can do a better job addressing these challenges.
We can make broader investments in affordable housing, public transportation, early education, afterschool programs, and other critical services. These are investments that would help make my story less of an exception, and more of the rule. And I believe that this and future generations deserve that chance.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or want to help my re-election campaign or get involved in this work. Running for local office and service in office at its core is about service to the community, and I will always have an open door (and an open in-box), because I know the only way we can move our community forward is by doing it together.
Thank you, once again, for the honor of serving our community in the state legislature. Now that campaign season is upon us, I respectfully ask for your vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th.
Yours in service,
Rep. Mike Connolly
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Representative Mike Connolly was recently named a "Pro-Choice Champion" for the 2017-2018 legislative session by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the political leader of the state's pro-choice movement.
Last month, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts released a detailed scoring document that considered actions such as lead sponsorship, co-sponsorship, roll call votes, and leadership efforts to advance legislation supporting reproductive freedom in the Bay State. Rep. Connolly earned the highest possible grade (A+) on the scorecard; he joins a group of 26 Representatives (out of a total of 160 Representatives statewide) to earn the highest possible grade for the 2017-2018 legislative session.
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Friends and supporters gathered at PA's Lounge in Somerville's Union Square on Monday to help first-term State Representative Mike Connolly kick-off his 2018 re-election campaign.
More than 100 local supporters showed up to enjoy Middle Eastern food and to hear from some of the most exciting and promising new voices in local government and in progressive politics, including Boston City Councillor Lydia Edwards, Somerville Alderman JT Scott, and Cambridge activist/organizer Beth Huang. Also included among the attendees was U.S. Congressman Mike Capuano, State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Representative Denise Provost, State Representative Christine Barber, South Middlesex County Register of Deeds Maria Curtatone, and Somerville Aldermen Matt McLaughlin, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jesse Clingan, Stephanie Hirsch, and Bill White, as well as former Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem Mazen.
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Nearly 200 supporters showed up for State Representative Mike Connolly's Winter Celebration and Fundraiser at Sonia in Central Square on Monday evening.
The event featured remarks by State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Representative Jay Livingstone, Cambridge City Councilor-elect Sumbul Siddiqui (pictured below, with emcees Nancy Ryan and Frank Gerratana), and Harvard Law professor and political reformer Lawrence Lessig.
Senator Pat Jehlen spoke about Rep. Connolly's strong constituent services; she told a story about how he was able to help resolve a situation for the seniors at Cobble Hill Apartments in East Somerville when their elevator needed an expedited inspection. She went on to highlight the fact that Rep. Connolly secured funding in the FY2018 state budget (and in a recent bond bill) to help mitigate I-93 air pollution.
Video from Senator Jehlen's speech is available here.
Rep. Jay Livingstone spoke about how Rep. Connolly has been an active colleague in the House Progressive Caucus, working with other legislators to deliver results for constituents. He also talked about how Mike has been willing to file bold legislation, even when powerful interests are lined up on the other side.
Councillor-elect Sumbul Siddiqui spoke about how she played a role on Mike's campaign last year as an active and early volunteer, and how in turn, Mike supported her and other municipal candidates in the city elections this year.
And finally, Professor Lawrence Lessig delivered inspiring remarks about the need to get big money out of politics. He made the point that people on the Left and people on the Right are frustrated and disillusioned by the corrupting influence of money in politics, and how grassroots efforts help offer a way forward.
The event was also attended by State Representative Denise Provost, State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Cambridge City Councillor Jan Devereux, Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Middlesex Registrar of Deeds Maria Curtatone, Democratic State Committee member and Democratic National Committee Woman Kate Donaghue, Cambridge School Committee Members Patty Nolan and Emily Dexter, former Cambridge City Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom, Somerville School Committee Member-elect Emily Ackman, Cambridge City Councillor-elect Quinton Zondervan, Somerville Aldermen-elect Will Mbah, Jesse Clingan, and Ben Ewen-Campen, Candidate for Governor Bob Massie, and recent Cambridge City Council candidate Vatsady Sivongxay.