Cindy F. Friedman was elected to the Massachusetts Senate on July 25, 2017, to represent 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.
Always a straight-shooter and a zealous advocate for the people of the Commonwealth, since her election Cindy has distinguished herself as a thoughtful and policy-oriented member of the Senate.
Most notably, Cindy played an instrumental role in crafting and passing legislation to:
- Protect residents, especially our most vulnerable, from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health insurance flexibilities to ensure coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment, housing and food assistance for those in need, financial support for restaurants and small businesses, and mail-in voting to preserve our right to vote;
- Require insurance carriers to cover telehealth services and increase patient protections against surprise medical bills;
- Strengthen and enshrine abortion rights in state law;
- Secure a $15 minimum wage and statewide paid family medical leave program;
- Combat the opioid and mental health crisis and ensure greater access to appropriate treatment;
- Reform our pretrial bail system to ensure that fewer 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.
Cindy has also distinguished herself as a champion for her district by securing millions of dollars in investments for local initiatives providing food assistance, infrastructure improvements, behavioral health services, and adult immigrant and refugee community engagement.
Cindy’s legislative agenda is informed by her decades of public activism, dating back to when she first marched to protect women’s reproductive rights in the 1970s. Since then, Cindy has grown to be a vocal champion for fair labor laws, lowering prescription drug prices, and expanding access to timely, quality behavioral health care, particularly for children. Cindy’s legislative priorities are also reflected in her committee, caucus, and working group memberships she has held since her election to the Senate. Cindy currently serves as:
- Chairperson, Joint Committee on Health Care Financing
- Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
- Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Rules
- Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Ways and Means
- Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Rules
- Member, Senate Committee on Ethics
- Member, Senate Committee on Personnel and Administration
- Member and former Co-Chair, Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators;
- Member, Panel of Justice-Involved Women;
- Member, Middlesex County Restoration Center Commission;
- Member, Massachusetts State Senate COVID-19 Advisory Group; and
- Member, COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group.
Cindy moved to Arlington, Massachusetts in 1980 and established deep roots in the community. Cindy became a Town Meeting member, co-founded the Arlington Education Foundation, founded Schools are a Priority in Our Town (SPOT), and was chair of the Arlington No Place for Hate Committee. Cindy also 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.
Cindy’s Awards and Recognition
|Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Public Service Award
|Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Senate “Champion of Youth” Award
|ANAMassachusetts Friend of Nursing Award
|American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Massachusetts Distinguished Advocacy Award
|Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners Honor for Tireless Health Policy Advocacy
|Certificate of Exemplary Support Dignity Alliance of Massachusetts
|AMA Award for Government Service: Outstanding Member of a State Legislature
|JCRC Legislative Leadership Award
|Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council Legislator of the Year Award
|Women’s Bar Association Public Official of the Year
|MAMH Spirit of Compassion Award
|Mass Home Care Legislator of the Year Award
|Community Recipient of the Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Leadership Award for the Advancement of Mental Health
|MassNAELA Legislator of the Year
|Vinfen Outstanding Public Official Award
|The Caring Force Caring Bear Award
|MACEP Certificate of Appreciation
|Massachusetts Psychological Association Legislator of the Year Award
|Mitch Snyder Award