Cindy F. Friedman was elected to the Massachusetts Senate on July 25, 2017. She represents the Fourth Middlesex District, which includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and precincts 1-2 and 4-7 of Lexington. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Cindy worked as a public school teacher, an executive in the high-tech industry and later served for nearly a decade as chief of staff to the late Senator Ken Donnelly. During her time as chief of staff, Cindy helped to shape and support Ken’s vision to improve the lives of all Massachusetts residents, especially those who are most vulnerable and without a voice.
Since her election, Cindy has quickly distinguished herself as a thoughtful and policy-oriented member of the Senate. During her first year in office, she worked tirelessly to promote important policy initiatives for her district and the Commonwealth. Most notably, Cindy played an instrumental role in crafting and passing legislation to:
- Combat the opioid and mental health crisis and ensure greater access to appropriate treatment;
- Secure a $15 minimum wage and a statewide paid family medical leave program;
- Reform our pretrial bail system to ensure that less individuals are incarcerated pretrial simply because they cannot afford their cash bail; and
- Direct additional funding toward workforce pipeline training for unemployed and underemployed workers in high-demand industries.
As a former teacher, Cindy has been a leading advocate for greater access to civics education and increased public school funding so that every student can have an equal opportunity for success. Cindy’s legislative priorities are also reflected in her committee, caucus, and working group memberships. Cindy serves as:
- Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery;
- Vice Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Addiction Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Options;
- Senate Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service;
- Senate Chair of the Women Legislators Caucus;
- A member of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development;
- A member of the Senate Committee on Ethics;
- A member of the MBTA Legislative Caucus;
- A member of the Library Legislative Caucus;
- A member of the Legislature’s Pay Equity Commission;
- A member of the Senate’s Firearms Working Group; and
- A member of the Middlesex County Restoration Center commission.
Public activism has been a passion for Cindy ever since she first marched to protect women’s reproductive rights in the 1970s. Fifteen years later, she worked with Planned Parenthood to defeat the 1986 referendum that would have allowed Massachusetts to regulate a woman’s right to choose. By 1980, Cindy had moved to Arlington and established deep roots in the community. During this time, Cindy co-founded the Arlington Education Foundation, and her three children and two grandchildren attended Arlington Public Schools. As her passion for civic engagement continued to grow, Cindy became a Town Meeting member, founded Schools are a Priority in Our Town (SPOT) and was chair of the Arlington No Place for Hate Committee. Finally, Cindy served as the statewide campaign manager for the gubernatorial campaign of Don Berwick and as a local campaign coordinator for the gubernatorial campaign of Deval Patrick and the state Senate campaigns of Ken Donnelly.
Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in special education from Lesley University. She currently lives in Arlington Center with her husband of 35 years, John Page. When she’s not working at the State House, Cindy enjoys working in her perennial garden, discovering new recipes to cook for dinner, and attending monthly book club meetings.