BOSTON- Senator Linda Dorcena Forry today announced she will be leaving the Massachusetts Senate to begin a new opportunity in the private sector. The resignation will take effect end of business day on Friday, January 26, 2018.
Forry will join the leadership team at Suffolk as Vice President of Northeast Region, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations.
After nearly a quarter-century of government service including thirteen years as an elected official and the last five years as the first woman and person of color to represent the First Suffolk District,
Forry decided that the time has come for her to explore a new and challenging way to continue her work to build a more equitable and accessible economy in our city, state and region.
“The foundation of my public service career has revolved around creating opportunity and access and giving a voice to those who have none and this work will continue for the rest for my life,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester). “After much consideration, I proudly joined Suffolk’s Leadership Team as Vice President of Northeast Region, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations. During this time of reflection, it has reaffirmed what I have always known, that there is nothing more precious or important than family. For me this is my four young children and my husband Bill. It is also my parents, who filled our home with love and laughter and now I watch in awe as my 80 year old mother cares for my father who is living with Alzheimer’s. Also it is sitting quietly with my 103 year old grandmother in my childhood home in Dorchester. They have all sacrificed so much to make me who I am; it is now my turn to truly put them first.”
“I would like to thank my constituents who have put their faith in me over the last 13 years. I have been so proud to represent the people of Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston, Hyde Park and Milton in our state Legislature. Together, we have made great strides in making this a better Commonwealth. Every day of my service, from the moment I raised my hand to take the oath of office in the House Chamber in 2005 to this day, your joy has been my joy, your sorrow has been my sorrow and your fight has been my fight, and each and every day has been a privilege.”
“To my colleagues past and present, we have been fortunate to serve in state government at a time of dynamic progress. We have lead during triumph and tragedy while always striving to remember it was never about us, but those we serve. And there is no higher calling or noble profession than that of public service. Although, I will miss you all, my fond memories of the people’s house will carry me through.”
“I am excited to begin the next chapter in my family’s story by joining Suffolk, an organization at the forefront of economic growth and social activism in Boston and nationally. John Fish is someone whom I admire and trust as a business and philanthropic leader. Under John’s leadership, Suffolk has established a long history of civic engagement and I look forward to being part of the team and helping Suffolk to continue to make a positive difference in our communities and make an impact on future generations, ” concluded Senator Forry.
About Linda Dorcena Forry
For over two decades, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry has dedicated her professional life to a career in public service, working in various capacities in both state and local government. As a first generation American of Haitian descent, Senator Forry gained from her parents a strong work ethic and an understanding of the transformational power of education and recognized the value of civic engagement from an early age.
Senator Forry, 44, is presently in her 13th year of elected office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In April 2013, after a highly competitive special election, Forry was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. A native Bostonian, Senator Forry is the first woman and person of color to represent the Commonwealth’s First Suffolk District, a diverse and thriving cross-section of Boston which includes Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston and Hyde Park.
In 2017, Senator Forry was appointed Assistant Majority Whip and also named Vice-Chair of the Committees on Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs; and currently serves as a member of the Joint Committees on Transportation; Marijuana Policy; Export Development; and Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. Also during her time, Senator Forry served as Vice Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Drug Addiction Treatment Options and Application of Section 35. Senator Forry continues to serve as a member of the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus and the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators.
Senator Forry had the honor of serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2005-2013 as the elected representative for the Commonwealth’s 12th Suffolk District, where she chaired the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, and quickly became an authority on the concerns facing small businesses. With an assertive approach, Senator Forry spearheaded major legislative initiatives, taking the lead on a broad range of critical issues, from promoting community-led economic investments, to protecting rights of temporary workers and ensuring every child has access to quality education. While in the House, Senator Forry took on tough challenges as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service, while serving on important committees such as: Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy; and Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Senator Forry remains committed to strengthening neighborhoods and empowering families by supporting legislation that spurs economic growth, job creation, business development and improvements to the state’s education system. She continues to play a leadership role on immigration issues at both the state and federal level. As the only Haitian American elected official in Massachusetts state government, Senator Forry remains committed to rallying her colleagues, advocates and immigrant groups across the state relative to issues significant to ethnic communities. Her mobilization efforts in support of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP) yielded nearly 7,000 signatures submitted to our federal government in support of this initiative and in the fall of 2014, President Barack Obama and his administration granted HFRPP for eligible Haitians.
Senator Forry has received numerous recognitions and awards for her leadership, including some of the following: the United Way Women Who Live United Award; Community Health Center Leader Award for her steadfast support of community health centers; YMCA Legislative Champion Award; Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award; Boys & Girls Clubs Champion of Youth Award; Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC)’s Public Service Award.
Senator Forry serves on a number of boards, including: Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board and Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Senator Forry was also on the Boston Foundation Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund Advisory Council as well as a fellow of the Truman National Security Project and voyaged to Taiwan as a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).
Senator Forry is hailed as a consensus builder by businesses, labor and non-profits alike, and has been successful using her unique ability to build partnerships that cross social, cultural, and party lines. Her unfaltering belief that public service can be improved when stakeholders of varying opinions come to the table to work together, coupled with her track-record for overcoming these challenges, make her a truly extraordinary leader in our state. With all of her accomplishments and accolades, Senator Forry continues to work tirelessly, showing that the progress being made has not overshadowed her conviction that there is still work to be done.
In 2014, Senator Forry made history when she became the first women — and the first person of color — to host the historic St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast in South Boston, a celebration of Boston Irish heritage that is deeply rooted in the political firmament of the Commonwealth. Senator Forry formed the First Suffolk Partnership to organize the annual event and is the co-producer of the live, two-hour TV special that broadcasts to millions of viewers across New England. The Irish Times called Senator Forry “a political star” in a rave review of her 2014 breakfast, which included the first-ever visit of Ireland’s Prime Minister, Taoseich Enda Kenny. The Times declared: “There couldn’t be a better ambassador for the changing face of the Irish diaspora than Linda Dorcena Forry.”
Prior to her election to office, Senator Forry began her career in government as a legislative aide in 1996 and then served as Advisor to the City of Boston’s Housing Chief and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development.
Senator Forry holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science from Boston College Carroll School of Management. Senator Forry and her husband, Bill, are the proud parents of four children and live in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester.
Ceferina Murrell, Chief of Staff (Office of State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry)