About Kathleen

Kathleen and her children

My parents, a librarian and an engineer, raised me to do my own research, solve my own problems, and serve my community. I grew up actively involved in my Roman Catholic parish, where I embraced values of social justice and political liberation that stayed with me after I left the Church. 

As a member and then president of my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, I marched with my friends and teachers in the annual Youth Pride parade in Boston, wrote letters to the editor of the local paper and to my state legislators, organized in-school awareness days, and coordinated social events with other local GSAs. I remain a fierce defender of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to fight for the safety and well-being of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming young people along with those who care for them. 

I attended Smith College, where I studied biology and worked in a research lab before switching my major to political science and gender studies. I fell in love with Somerville while volunteering with Pat Jehlen’s special election campaign for state Senate and rented an apartment in Union Square after graduating from college. I rented in the Spring Hill, Ward Two, and Tufts neighborhoods after that, relying on public transportation and living with three roommates. Fed up with waiting for the bus and getting stuck on the train, I became a year-round bike commuter.

Kathleen with her kids in a cargo bike

I gained extensive experience in the state legislature while working for the late Representative Alice Wolf and then for her successor, Representative Marjorie Decker. During my years as a legislative staffer, I helped craft and advance multiple bills that have since been signed into law, including school discipline reform, pay equity, over-the-counter emergency contraception, and children’s mental health reform, as well as helping to secure increases to cash benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit. I remember the names, faces, and stories behind each of these efforts because that is what kept me from being overwhelmed by frustration when it felt like the odds against making a difference were insurmountable. 

Kathleen and her husband after getting married at Prospect Hill tower

In addition to my work at the State House, I have a history of service in Somerville. I volunteered with Community Cooks for nine years, cooking and delivering meals each month, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the volunteer program paused. I joined MAMAS (Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville) as a Neighborhood Point Person on March 12, 2020 and provided updates and resources to my neighbors for the next two years. I've been an active member of my children's preschool and school communities, from selling holiday trees with Summer Street Preschool to face painting at the Kennedy School Harvest Fest. 

I met my husband in Somerville and we got married at Prospect Hill Tower. We've lived in our Powder House home since 2016 and have a first grader and a third grader at the Kennedy School.