January 15, 2015/Press Releases
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Congresswoman Katherine Clark Named Massachusetts Democratic Party Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Honorees
“Mayor Walsh and Congresswoman Clark are two rising leaders in our state and national Democratic Party who have distinguished records in public service. They represent core Democratic values and have worked tirelessly to continue the New Deal agenda started by President and Mrs. Roosevelt,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Tom McGee. “Massachusetts is a model for other states because of our forward-thinking, progressive leadership and at the forefront is Mayor Walsh and Congresswoman Clark.”
“I’m deeply grateful to be recognized by the Massachusetts Democratic Party with this award,” said Walsh. “I’m proud of the work I have done with the Party over the years, and I know that our strong continued partnership will lead to even greater success going forward. This is an incredible accolade, and I thank Chairman McGee and our Party leaders for their work and for this honor.”
“Massachusetts Democrats have been on the front lines of our state’s and our country’s toughest fights for equality, justice, and opportunity,” said Clark. “I’m honored to be recognized by these incredible leaders, and I’m proud of our work to ensure that the needs and aspirations of all families are prioritized in every level of government.”
Mayor Martin J. Walsh has a decorated record of service with the Massachusetts Democratic Party and its ideals as both an elected official and advocate.
Mayor Walsh served 16 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives before being sworn in as the Boston’s 54th Mayor in 2014.
A champion for civil rights, Mayor Walsh was an early advocate for marriage equality, which he calls his proudest vote ever as a state lawmaker, and he compiled a strong record in support of communities of color, immigrants, seniors and all people of the Commonwealth. He also became known as the State House leader on substance abuse and recovery issues.
A co-founder and former board member of the Neighborhood House Public Charter School, Mayor Walsh has long been an aggressive advocate for strong public schools. An accomplished advocate for working people, Mayor Walsh rose through the leadership of Laborers Local 223 union, eventually serving for two years as head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, where he worked with business and community leaders and city officials to promote high quality development and new jobs for the city. In partnership with the Boston Housing Authority, he created Building Pathways, a pre-apprentice program connecting building trades jobs and opportunities with those traditionally underrepresented in the industry, mainly women and people of color.
Mayor Walsh’s parents both emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s and came to Boston.
Mayor Walsh attended St. Margaret’s School in Dorchester, Newman Prep High School, and followed in his father’s footsteps to become a union laborer before graduating from Boston College. He shares his life with his longtime partner, Lorrie Higgins, and her daughter, Lauren.
Congresswoman Katherine Clark proudly serves the Fifth District of Massachusetts. She was first elected in a special election in December of 2013.
Katherine’s career in public service is driven by her commitment to helping children and families succeed. She is a vocal advocate for ending wage discrimination, protecting women’s health care, access to affordable, high-quality child care, paid family leave, safer schools, and other reforms to address the challenges women and families face. She believes that Congress must work to end the glaring disconnect between the needs of families at home and priorities in Washington.
In Congress, she brings her experience as a state senator, state representative, general counsel for the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services, and policy chief for the state attorney general.
Katherine serves on the U.S. House Committee on Education and Workforce, and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. In the House Democratic Caucus, she serves as an Assistant Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. Katherine is a member of several caucuses in Congress, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus.
Katherine, her husband Rodney and their three boys Addison, Jared and Nathaniel live in Melrose.
Walsh and Clark join exclusive company with this prestigious award. Previous Franklin Roosevelt Award recipients include: U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator John Kerry, U.S. Senator Ed Markey, Governor Michael Dukakis, Congressman Richie Neal, Congressman Joe Kennedy II, Congressman Barney Frank, Ambassador Alan Solomont, former State Senator Steve Panagiotakos, former State Representative and Democratic Party Chair Phil Johnston, Bobby Haynes, Paul Egerman and Marc Solomon. Former Eleanor Roosevelt Award recipients include: Attorney General Martha Coakley, Senate President Therese Murray, former State Representative Lida Harkins, MJ Powell, Barbara Lee, Carol Fulp, Cheryl Cronin, Lynda Tocci, Nancy O’Connor Stolberg, Shanti Fry and Agnes Ricko.