Meet Sean

Sean Garballey has spent his whole life serving the people of the 4th Middlesex district. Born and raised in Arlington, he attended the Arlington public schools and has served as State Rep for the 23rd Middlesex District representing Arlington and West Medford since 2008.

A committed leader from early in his life, Sean was elected to Arlington Town Meeting while still in high school. In 2005 he was elected to the Arlington School Committee while still earning his degree at UMass Lowell. In 2008 he was one of the youngest lawmakers to ever serve on Beacon Hill when he was elected State Representative. As someone who has devoted his entire career to public service, Sean knows what it means to be a leader and fight for the issues that are important to our families.

Since first arriving on Beacon Hill, Sean has played key leadership roles crafting and passing important legislation focusing on the issues that matter most to the people of the district. He has sponsored the following:

  • Health insurance coverage for children’s hearing aids and additional mental health services
  • Helping people with disabilities access higher education and employment opportunities
  • Maintaining service for the MBTA busses and transit system that people of the district rely on
  • Fighting for a living minimum wage (Fight for $15)
  • Lead sponsor of a bill with 50 co-sponsors to transition Massachusetts to run on 100% renewable energy by 2050
  • Fighting for equal pay for women and ensuring protections for working mothers
  • Prevented cuts to MBTA trains, buses, and commuter rail in his role as the Chair of the MBTA caucus and lowered the cost of the THE RIDE
  • Led the effort to establish college savings account for every child born in Massachusetts
  • Improved voter registration by filing  and passing a bill to create online voter registration
  • Filed and passed the largest investment legislation in public higher education in decades to reduce tuition and fees for students

Sean’s commitment to serving the most at risk members of our community comes from his own life story. Sean and his twin brother were born premature and, after living in foster care, were adopted when they were just 2 years old. Growing up, Sean inherited a commitment for public service that was ever present in his family’s values. Sean’s Dad was an art teacher at a local public school while his Mom worked hard to provide for their family. His parents bestowed a love for civil service onto their children, as Sean’s brother serves as a police officer, his sister works as an attorney, and Sean pursued an early career representing his community in government. With the help of loving adoptive parent's, strong schools with caring teachers, and a community invested in his success, was able to succeed in school and thrive as a community leader.

His experience has made him a passionate advocate for kids with disabilities and for all people in vulnerable places in their lives. He has led successful fights to cover the cost of hearing aids for children; improve the living conditions of children in foster care; increase access to mental health services for children and adolescents; and ensure continued health care coverage for children. Sean has also authored and sponsored key legislation that increases scholarships helping low-income families pay for college tuition; fought to defend equal pay for women and ensure protections for pregnant and breastfeeding working mothers; and expand health insurance coverage to those who need it.

His leadership on these and other issues has earned him numerous recognitions and awards:

  • Legislator of the year from Youth Villages – for his work to reform the Department of Children and Families to help kids in foster care
  • Legislator of the year from MA Boys and Girls Club 
  • Legislator of the year from the National Association of Social Workers 
  • Legislator of the year ARC – for his work with the People with Disabilities Council
  • 2017 Massachusetts School Psychologist Association Legislator of the Year – for his work improving mental health access for children

Sean spent years working side by side with Ken Donnelly and was devastated by his passing. Today he is running for the seat held by his friend and colleague to continue providing the principled, accountable leadership the people in our communities deserve. The only candidate in the race for State Senate of Middlesex 4th a with a record of voting for and putting forth legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives is Sean Garballey.