I was so honored to introduce my longtime friend, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, at the WiLL Networking event at the NCSL last evening. She told the story of her career and emphasized the importance of having women elected at all levels of government. It was wonderful to have her here representing our state at a National Conference and speaking to so many other women about the power of women’s voices in policy and the importance of working together to achieve progress.
This morning, Niki announced that after 10 years of diligent service, she is retiring and will not be seeking re-election to Congress. The 3rd Congressional district will feel her loss and it is a better place because of Niki’s tireless advocacy on behalf of its residents. Throughout her career, Congresswoman Tsongas has been a champion for middle class families – encouraging job growth and small business development, prioritizing educational opportunities from pre-K through college for all of our children, and keeping women safe from sexual assault and violence. She has been a longstanding, steady presence in our district, attending events in every single city and town, and has spoken with thousands of residents to learn about how she can best work to improve their lives. Our district, state, and country are a better place because of Niki’s passionate work, and as a constituent and a friend, I will miss working with her.
As we look forward, now more than ever, we must honor Niki’s legacy of service and prioritize the issues and values she has focused on at the national level. Having served for more than 10 years as a legislator for the greater Lawrence, greater Lowell, and greater Haverhill areas myself, I have worked diligently and collaboratively with my democratic and republican colleagues to support policy that improves all of our lives. I am eagerly exploring the opportunity of running for this Congressional seat and how to best continue in Niki’s footsteps as an indefatigable advocate for the priorities of the women, men, and children of the 3rd District.
As Niki said last night: women need to run! There is no better way to effect that motto that than by ensuring that Niki is succeeded by another woman from the Merrimack Valley. We need a woman who can continue to advocate for Niki’s longstanding priorities: accessible and affordable healthcare for all, protection of individuals with disabilities and the elderly and better educational opportunities for all of our children.