PRESS RELEASE: Barbara L’Italien Opens Congressional Exploratory Committee

State Senator Launches Committee to Explore Run for 3rd District Seat

ANDOVER, MA — State Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) today announced the launch of an exploratory committee for the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts. She becomes the first woman and only elected official to take this step toward a run to succeed Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.

Statement from Barbara L’Italien:

“Our country is facing some of the biggest challenges we’ve ever seen. The working families of this district deserve someone in Washington who’s shown fearless, proven leadership. That’s why I’m exploring a run for Congress.

“From standing up to stop the Kinder-Morgan pipeline to fighting on the front lines for equal marriage back in 2004–and getting kicked out of my church for it–I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. As a legislator, I’ve worked to increase healthcare access, preserve the social safety net, and grow the economy. These are priorities we need to protect and make progress on. I’m eager to join that fight.

“I first entered public service to create a better life for working families like mine. As a parent of a child with Autism, I couldn’t accept the fact that our government didn’t provide health insurance and many other services that people with disabilities need. Through my experience advocating for my son, Rudy, I learned how to be effective, and worked brick by brick to build a health care system that includes families like mine–including providing medical insurance to people with autism. Today, as a result, Massachusetts is the nationwide leader in Autism care and support services.

“My legislative priorities were also shaped by my family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother lived with us for 20 years, beginning when my children were young. She suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last 7 years of her life. Many families share this same story. Our parents and grandparents are living longer and we have to make sure we can take care of them. My experience caring for my mother became motivation to fight so that all of our elders are able to age with dignity. I’m proud to be a leader on initiatives to broaden access to home care and increase Alzheimer’s awareness.

“Whoever we send to Congress must be a champion for the vulnerable among us. I’ve gone to bat for people with disabilities, the elderly, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, union workers, and more, but I also believe this extends to making sure our economy works for working families. During my time in Treasurer Steve Grossman’s office, I set up the Small Business Banking Partnership. This initiative invested $400 million in small Massachusetts-based local banks, including many in gateway cities, in order to promote small business loans.

“There’s much more work to be done. I want to take my experiences and successes in Massachusetts to Congress to make sure we have a system that works for all of us: working families, young people, parents, grandparents–especially those who need extra support.

“I grew up in this district and raised my family here. I’ve spent my time as a public servant listening to the needs of the people here and being their voice on Beacon Hill. I am eager to get to know the residents and communities of this district. Advocacy starts when you tell your story – I can’t wait to hear yours.”

Throughout her legislative career, L’Italien has been a leader in the fights for equal marriage, health care access for all, quality public education for all children, better services and supports for seniors, health insurance coverage for people with Autism and other disabilities, and against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

L’Italien served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2003-2011 where she represented six communities including Andover, Haverhill, and Methuen and was the vice chair of the Ways and Means committee. She has served in the Massachusetts Senate since 2015 and represents the residents of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence, and Tewksbury. She chairs the committees on Elder Affairs and Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and formerly chaired Municipalities and Regional Government. L’Italien has also served as an Andover School Committee member and as Director of Government Affairs under Treasurer Steve Grossman. Before her career in public service, L’Italien was a social work case manager at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.

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CONTACT: press@teambarbara.com | (978) 228-5430

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Biographical Sketch

Barbara’s family first settled here in the early 1900s when her French-Canadian and Irish grandparents immigrated to Lawrence to work in the mills and build a better future for their family. Her Irish grandfather moved from Lowell to Lawrence and became the first Irish person to manage one of William M. Wood’s mills.

Raised in Andover with seven siblings, Barbara is the daughter of a schoolteacher from Methuen and an FBI agent from Lawrence. After graduating from Andover High School she worked full-time to put herself through college, graduating from Merrimack College with a degree in Political Science in 1984.

Barbara and her husband of 31 years, Kevin Hall, started their family in Haverhill. After seven years they moved to Andover where they continue to raise their four children: Rudy, Allie, Samantha, and Andrew.