BOSTON – On April 23, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) welcomed a group of Burlington Girl Up Leaders to the Massachusetts State House. The young leaders had the opportunity to speak directly with their legislators about some of the obstacles they face as young women in high school and asked important questions about how they can make an impact on state government.
An over-arching theme of the discussion was the need to increase the number of young women enrolled in STEM courses, which are traditionally male-dominated. Sen. Friedman explained that she was often the only woman at the table when she worked as a manager of hardware and software groups in the high-tech industry for nearly 20 years.
Both Sen. Friedman and Rep. Gordon expressed their interest in working with the students and the Burlington community to empower young women to pursue STEM courses and establish a more integrated pathway into male-dominated careers like engineering and computer science.
“It was wonderful to welcome the Girl Up Leaders to the State House today,” Sen. Friedman said. “I am thrilled by their eagerness to become more engaged in politics, public policy and their community, especially when it involves making a difference in the lives of other young women. I look forward to working with these bright young leaders in the future!”
The Girl Up Leaders also inquired about the impact that phone calls and emails to their state legislators can have on state government and ways that they can make a greater difference in the legislative process. Both Sen. Friedman and Rep. Gordon explained that they want to hear from their constituents and are always eager to work with them to address the issues that face the Town of Burlington and the Commonwealth.
Rep. Gordon mentioned the work that the students from the Francis Wyman School did in the spring of 2016 following a tragic fire at their school. The students, he explained, wanted to do something to make a real difference in the community, so they worked with Gordon to pass legislation (H.2747) to make the month of May the month of kindness. In telling this story, Gordon noted the impact that a small group of people had on state government to make real change.
“It was thrilling to have these impressive young women at the State House to remind us that we have true leaders on their way,” said Rep. Gordon.
The Girl Up Leaders also discussed clean energy initiatives like the proposed plastic bag ban in the Town of Burlington as well as the Senate clean energy omnibus bill S.2302, An Act to promote a clean energy future, which both Sen. Friedman and Rep. Gordon support. After the discussion, the Leaders went on a tour of the State House and had the opportunity to learn about the building’s history and the legislative process.
Sen. Friedman represents the 4th Middlesex district, which includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and parts of Lexington.
Rep. Gordon represents the 21st Middlesex district, which includes Bedford, Burlington and parts of Wilmington.