Letters from Supporters

The following are letters from supporters of Sean, most of which appeared in "Letters to the Editor" sections of district newspapers. To add your name to the list, click below! 


(Letters of Supporters) 

Gregg Malatesta and Jennifer Goodwin - "Garballey Authentic. Caring."

Present. Rep. Sean Garballey brilliantly displays the uncanny combination of compassion, concern, action and follow-through. We have had the pleasure of knowing Rep. Garballey for many years, watching his distinguished public service career evolve from his days as an earnest AHS student representative to the School Committee to his election as one of the youngest state representatives in Massachusetts history. Sean has devoted his teen and adult life to working for the betterment of the citizens in our district and of the great commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our family has been challenged by a devastating life event. We lost our daughter, Catherine, nearly two years ago at age 16. When Catherine was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, Sean called us directly to express his concern and to ask how he could help. When Catherine was undergoing her grueling chemo treatments and was stripped of everything in her formerly rich life, Sean ensured that there would be an internship spot for Catherine in his office, something tangible and exciting to which Catherine could look forward. After Catherine died, Sean was present for our family. He took our teenage boys under his wing. He connected with them often, taking Drew’s eighth-grade St. Agnes class on a tour of the Statehouse and then meeting with them again in Washington, D.C. Sean attended A CATpella, our a cappella festival fundraiser for Catherine’s Scholarship Fund. When Drew’s AHS hockey team was driving forward on their bid for the Super 8 Championship, Sean was an ever-present fixture, attending games, giving the team locker room pep talks and communicating directly with Drew to support him. You can’t imagine how special it made Drew feel at a time when his life has been upended. This is Rep. Sean Garballey. Authentic. Kind. Compassionate. Caring. Present. Please join us in voting for Sean Garballey on June 27, 2017.

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Linda Hanson - "Supports Garballey"

As a public school teacher, I am proud to support Rep. Sean Garballey in his bid to fill the 4th Middlesex State Senate seat. Sean is currently the Representative for the 23rd Middlesex District, representing Arlington and West Medford. He has been a consistent supporter of public education and of fair labor policies since his election to the House in 2007.

A proud graduate of the Arlington Public Schools, and a former School Committee member, Sean has seen first-hand the effects of state budget cuts on local school systems. I am proud to say that Sean is a co-sponsor of five important bills currently before the legislature that will positively impact public education in Massachusetts.

Collectively, the bills support the Foundation Budget funding level, place a moratorium on the adverse uses of high-stakes testing while we research alternative ways of measuring achievement, enforce sensible recess and bilingual language policies, and reduce the number of schools targeted for state intervention from the lowest 20% to the lowest 10%.

In addition, Rep. Garballey has been a leader in working for an affordable, high quality state college and university system. Sean is a co-sponsor of a bill to increase the state’s investment in public higher education. As a graduate of UMass Lowell with a degree in political science, Sean has experienced directly how cuts in state support to our public higher education system place a significant burden of student debt on many students. He will fight for improved state funding so college students can get the education they need to better prepare for their future careers without amassing high levels of debt.

Rep. Garballey is also an advocate for policies that benefit the workforce. He has signed onto legislation that would provide fair and affordable public retiree benefits, create a path to paid family and medical leave, and increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. Our economy and our workers need policies that are fair and that allow them to support and provide for their families.

Finally, Sean is an enthusiastic supporter of the Mass Fair Share Millionaire Tax, which will reach the ballot in 2018. This ballot measure will provide additional funds for public education and transportation. Sean will work tirelessly to ensure the passage of this critical measure.

I hope you will join me in supporting Sean Garballey in the upcoming Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 27.

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Kenneth W. Hughes - “Sean Garballey, Continue Your Great Work”

As a matter of introduction, I am Kenneth W. Hughes, a retired Police Lieutenant for the Town of Arlington and an Elected Board Member of the Arlington Contributory Retirement System. The opinions I express here are my own and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of those of either the Arlington Police Department or the Arlington Contributory System nor any of their members of those fine organizations. I want to tell you a short story about two great men. For the past nearly ten years, Arlington has had an exceptional pair of legislators in the Massachusetts State Legislature, Senator Kenneth Donnelly and Representative Sean Garballey. Both of these men have been champions of causes that have meant much to me, my family, my friends, my fellow former co-workers on the Arlington Police Department, and my neighbors. They never forgot where they came from and they never forgot their friends, neighbors and any person of need. Kenny, Sean and I worked on many issues that effected the safety and security of past, present and future employees of the Towns of Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington, and the Cities of Medford and Woburn. I was deeply saddened when I heard about Kenny Donnelly’s death. He was a champion of the “Working Man” and he will be sorely missed. One of Kenny’s greatest traits was his ability to collaborate and get things done. This a trait that equally applies to Sean Garballey. These two men supported Public Pension reforms that strengthened the long-term economic stability of the Massachusetts Public Pension System and while at the same time addressed many of the concerns of the hard-working taxpayers of Massachusetts. A true test of collaboration and fortitude in this era of political derision. For these reasons and many more I whole-heartedly support the candidacy of Sean Garballey for Senator for the 4th Middlesex Senatorial District of Massachusetts. To Kenny Donnelly thank you very much for all you did for the “Working Man” and may you Rest In Peace. And to Sean Garballey continue your great work.

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Richard Smith - "There for me when I needed him"

At age 56, I was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. I used to be a runner, laborer, and even worked for the town of Arlington in my youth. However, I had found that life was throwing changes at a pace that I could not keep up with. During this difficult time, I lost someone I dearly loved to cancer, and then also lost my cat. Since I could no longer work in construction because of my health, I found myself in desperate need for housing. I had nowhere to turn and began reaching out for help, which eventually led me to state Rep. Sean Garballey. He called me as soon as he was contacted. Sean began working with a local community housing organization. He personally called and wrote a letter on my behalf to the staff and director. Sean worked with them to find me a home, though they were limited in resources. He was instrumental in helping me fill out all the paperwork, while undergoing 32 rounds of radiation and six rounds of chemo. I am happy to say that Sean kept me from the street, and I am grateful in turn. I am happy to be alive and that my state representative was there for me, when I needed him. I will vote for Sean Garballey for the 4th Middlesex state Senate seat on June 27 and I hope you will too.

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Paul Schlichtman, Arlington School Committee, Massachusetts Association of School Committees past - "Always ‘How can I help?"

When I first met Sean Garballey, I was a member of the Arlington School Committee and he was our student representative. He was enthusiastic and had a passion for public policy, which led him to a successful run for a Town Meeting seat less than two months after his 18th birthday in 2003. Arlington voters recognized his passion and work ethic, electing him to the School Committee two years later. In 2008, Arlington voters sent this enthusiastic 23 year old to the state Legislature. Sean still has his enthusiasm and passion, but in the last nine years as a member of the House, he has developed legislative skills and considerable respect among folks on Beacon Hill. He has built one of the most progressive records in the House. We can talk about the legislation that Sean has filed, and the legislation he has sponsored that has been enacted. It’s an impressive record, a very public record, the record of a successful legislator. This alone makes Sean the most qualified candidate for the state Senate, but there’s so much more. Sean is probably the most responsive legislator I have ever known. I have Sean on speed dial. If Sean doesn’t answer the phone, he is sure to call back as quickly as he can. There are many times I don’t even call and I get a response. If Sean sees in the news or in social media that I am concerned about a state issue, I can count on a call from Sean. His response is always, “How can I help?” Voters in the 4th Middlesex district will be thrilled with their new senator if they elect Sean Garballey. That’s a good thing, because Sean Garballey has truly earned a promotion to the state Senate. Please join me in voting for Sean in the Democratic primary, Tuesday, June 27.

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Evelyn Smith DeMille- "Through the years of his political career,..."

Through the years of his political career, Sean has served Arlington outstandingly at every level. It is IMPORTANT to have experienced legislators dedicated to equal representation of beliefs and values held by constituents across the economic, educational, and gender-preference spectrum!

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Michael Ruderman - "For nine years, Sean's legislative skills, .."

I campaigned against Sean Garballey in his inaugural run for State Representative. Nice kid, I thought, really well spoken, passionate for doing good through public service. Keenly informed on the issues, but...just too young. They'll never take him seriously at the State House. Not his time, I thought. And, I couldn't have been more mistaken. For nine years, Sean's legislative skills, his prowess at building coalitions, his ability to be genial and dogged at the same time, have more than lived up to his early promise. His constituent services are legendary, and his command of the minutiae of dozens of pending bills is mind-boggling. Look at the breadth of Sean's endorsements. Police officers and fire fighters across the district. Teachers and nurses, Teamsters and scientists and engineers. There's no presuming to claim some sort of legacy within the Garballey campaign. No, just thousands of people like us, including the men and women with whom he serves in the House, telling us Sean has earned this moment to advance, to expand his voice and his influence in the Commonwealth. So let's set aside the argument that Sean is "too effective" at being a Representative, "too influential" right where he is for us to support his campaign for State Senate. How condescending would we appear if we said the same to a school committee member, or a legislative staffer, that we can selfishly dictate your careers. Sean has proven himself before his constituents and his colleagues as the best candidate to succeed the late Sen. Donnelly. It's Sean's time now. Join me in voting for Sean Garballey for State Senate on Tuesday June 27th.

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Derek Keenan - "Garballey stands out at Candidate Night"

On Thursday, June 1, voters in the 4th Middlesex Senate district were invited to Candidates Night at the Lexington Community Center. This event was hosted by Minuteman Indivisible, a grassroots organization of concerned citizens in the Lexington area. The event featured a question and answer session with the three candidates for Ken Donnelly’s open state Senate seat. Sean Garballey, the first speaker, explained that he has tremendous respect for his running mates and emphasized that he is “not running because they will be bad,” but rather directed focus on the fact that he has “direct legislative experience,” is the only candidate that has voted for, crafted and filed “serious pieces of legislation.” When asked of his thoughts on criminal justice reform, Garballey pointed out that he is co-sponsor on bills concerning the reform of solitary-confinement, post-trial fees, mandatory minimums and compassionate release. He has expressly stated, to the speaker of the House, that he will not vote for bills that do not include all of these topics. An audience member asked Sean’s opinion on the state of health care. Sean is endorsed by MassCare and the MA Nurses Association. He worked for four years, fighting for children’s hearing aids to be a mandated benefit. He favors single-payer health care reform. Sean Garballey is driven to move to the state Senate, aiming to extend an even more significant impact on the commonwealth, where decisions will hold more weight. He has good relationships with House members, which is critical to making changes. During the course of the evening, Mary Ann Stuart and Cindy Friedman addressed the importance of the environment and the danger of climate change. Sean has actually filed the bill (in addition to the Global Warming Solutions Act he helped bring to the floor) which moves to run all sectors of Massachusetts on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The general consensus of this election is that Massachusetts is poised to take a stand and forge its own path ahead, regardless of blowback from the federal government. The best candidate for this job is one who has already been fighting these battles for nine years, and has been the backbone of meaningful legislation, resulting in tangible changes. Please do your part by voting in the special election primary on June 27. If you would like to get involved, visit Garballey.com, email Sean directly at garballeysenate@gmail.com, or call his office at 781-933-0149.

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Bill and Bonnie Hayner - "Special Needs Advocate"

Bonnie and I met Sean at the annual banquet for Special Needs adults at the Knights of Columbus in 2010. His warmth, sincerity and involvement were evident the moment he spoke to us. I did not know that he was the local state representative until the ride home and Bonnie asked what I thought of the rep that was at the dinner. I said what rep? Sean did not fit the stereo typical image of a politician in my mind. Yes, he worked the room but everyone he talked to was excited to engage him because he really cared about what they had to say and how he responded to them. Since them I have learned that his caring is manifested in what he does for the people in his district. You call him and he responds. You ask for help and he is there giving it or finding some way to get it for you. He represents all his constituents by ensuring that Boston doesn’t taking or diminishing our bus services. He is passionate about helping children and elderly afford medical care when insurance companies want to cut coverage. Sean Garballey will be the voice for everyone in the 4th Middlesex in Boston. 

Bill is on the Arlington School Committee, both Town Meeting Members

Bonnie's sister, Debbie Lewis, Special Needs

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Dennis Corbett - "Vote Garballey"

As a lifelong resident of Arlington, a proud father and grandfather, a retired Arlington Police officer, a Vietnam veteran, and retired military, I politely ask you all to vote state Rep. Sean Garballey to state senate of June 27.

The Garballey family has resided here in Arlington since the 1950s and I am proud to say that Sean has lived here all his life. We are very fortunate to have a candidate that lives here in our hometown. Having known Sean’s father all my life and his mom since high school, I can promise you that Sean is motivated, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, and above all a listener. As a young and energetic college student, Sean was elected to the Arlington School Committee after serving five years as a town meeting member. Sean furthered his political apprenticeship with almost a decade in the House of Representatives.

Without a doubt, he has earned the right with his diligent work in the 23rd Middlesex District to be worthy of the state Senate. He has not only made promises, but has filed legislation with his colleagues and individually that has passed and been enacted. Sean’s legislation in the area of worker’s rights, civil rights, mental and physical disabilities, veterans, seniors, education, environment, and children’s issues is unparalleled. He also has years invested into committees he was assigned to.

At only 32 years of age, we can look forward to his experience, his knowledge, and the team spirit that has empowered him to be a life force for the people of the 4th Middlesex District. It’s paramount to have someone like Sean that has built bridges in the House and can continue his work while others will just be beginning to test the water. We need to let Sean continue his work at Beacon Hill. It’s Arlington’s future.

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Janice Byrne Marchant - "Why as a woman I will vote for Sean Garballey as state senator"

As a proud voter for Hillary, I was sorely disappointed in the outcome of this past presidential election.

I yearn for more women in government, and I want to see the most qualified person voted into office. I believe the right person should be elected based on their qualifications, not on their gender. As a product of the ’60s, I believe this is the kind of forward thinking that we worked so hard for and need to model for the next generation.

I am proud to be from the commonwealth of Massachusetts. We trail blaze in MA because we elect representatives with proven track records, over long periods of time, to higher office. Over many years, I have seen our state representative, Sean Garballey, engage regularly with the community. As a witness to the recent Arlington Debate, he clearly stood out with his experience and in-depth knowledge of the issues and legislative process. The crowd’s response to him was electric, and I am in awe of the number of people who have a personal story of how Sean has helped them. I am not surprised by the large number of supporters.

I have multiple sclerosis and so do some of my friends. I am grateful for the lead Sean has taken, ensuring that MS medications are covered by health insurance. He saw our need and filled it. Sean has also seen to it, that kids have expanded health insurance coverage, women have equal pay, and that people like me have health insurance coverage.

Sean is truly the most qualified and experienced candidate on the ballot for state Senate.

This is why I cannot wait to cast my vote for Sean Garballey on June 27. I hope you will too.

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Miriam and Will Stein  - "Garballey is excellent choice for Senate"

Sean Garballey will make an excellent, compassionate senator. Other letters to the Advocate have clearly shown his caring for people and his ability to turn his compassion into solutions.

But we are not supporting Sean just because of how he demonstrates his concern for people.

We are writing to stress how our contacts with Sean, and our knowledge of his effective advocacy and bridge building skills, convince us that he is needed as one of the 40 senators on Beacon Hill. Now as a state representative, he is one of 160 House members. In a smaller body, he can have increased influence within that body and in forging alliances with his former colleagues in the House.

We are supporting him because of his strong leadership as our state representative on many issues that impact low-income people, immigrants and others who are vulnerable. He has been an out-front leader on fairness for immigrants and for lifeline programs that help low-income families. As a social worker, Miriam is proud that Sean was the lead sponsor, and advocated with his colleagues, for a social worker safety bill that was signed into law by Gov. Patrick.

We have been amazed at how Sean has consistently been eager to examine issues with an eye to what he could do about them. Just one example took place early in Sean’s tenure in the House of Representatives. For close to two years Sean met regularly at our house with experts on issues including homelessness among individuals and families, public housing, mental health care, immigrants, low-income housing and homecare services for lower-income elders. He told us that these meetings gave him a unique opportunity to hear about issues from Arlingtonians that were under debate at the larger arena at the Statehouse.

Arlingtonians and other residents in the Senate district are fortunate to be able to vote for a man who has lived out his values as a proven Statehouse leader.

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Kurt Fusaris - "The Avocado endorses Sean Garballey"

The Avocado first met Sean Garballey years ago – even before the Avocado was cool. Sean, however, has always been cool. People who know the Avocado know that it has always enjoyed getting to know local candidates, poking fun at local politics, and at times, offering serious analysis and insights into the issues that impact all of us. The Avocado liked Sean right away, because it has always respected those who are accessible and responsive to everyone, regardless of whether they are his or her constituents. Sean is that kind of person. It doesn’t matter if you live in Arlington, Medford, or Framingham – if you have an issue that concerns you, Sean will get back to you – and if he isn’t already working on the issue about which you’re concerned, he will. The Avocado moved out of Arlington and the 4th Middlesex district a couple of years ago, but it has not stopped paying attention to the local, state, and national issues that concern us, particularly in light of the current regime in Washington. Sean has the experience, the true progressive agenda, and the personal qualities required to be a successful State Senator. Arlington, the 4th Middlesex, and yes even the soon-to-be new city of Framingham would all benefit from a State Senator Sean Garballey. Sean spent his whole life in public service. Sean was elected to Arlington’s Town Meeting before he even graduated high school. While still in college, Sean was elected to the Arlington School Committee, where he emerged as a a true leader and earned a reputation as a voice of reason. In 2008, he became one of the youngest lawmakers ever elected to Beacon Hill. He has served ably as a progressive voice in the Massachusetts House, where it is not always easy to stand out from the pack. He has nine years of experience on Beacon Hill fighting for our values – and winning those fights. Where many legislators get swallowed up by party leadership, Sean overcame entrenched political forces to sponsor and pass legislation that has benefited all of us, including but not limited to providing insurance coverage for hearing aids and mental health care, making higher education and employment opportunities more accessible to those with disabilities, supporting a living wage, fighting for equal pay for women and protecting working moms, improving the MBTA and public transit, establishing online voter registration, and passing laws to make college more affordable. He is also a champion of funding for public art and culture. What’s more, Sean’s track record in the House when it comes to safeguarding our environment, making housing more affordable, and improving public education will have an even greater positive impact when he is your State Senator. As mentioned earlier, Sean is a very accessible and responsive individual, which is not something that can be said about many politicians. His life experience has made him compassionate towards those who need a little bit more help in a society that may sometimes overlook their needs. He knows how to use the wheels of government as a force for the public good. He is not on Beacon Hill to serve his own interests. He is there to give voice to those who don’t have one. He will listen to your concerns and answer any questions. He is honest and if he doesn’t know an answer, he will do his homework and get back to you. He has public office hours, but he is always willing to make time to meet one-on-one if necessary. Best of all, Sean also knows how not to be a politician and just a down-to-earth regular guy with a great sense of humor and an ability to talk about anything with you from hockey to his favorite guacamole. Sean Garballey has the experience, the progressive record, and the personal qualities necessary to be a great State Senator. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, June 27th…and keep eating those avocados!

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John Belskis, past Town Meeting member, Arlington Precinct 18 - "Sean Garballey a clear and simple choice"

For the first time in a number of years, Arlington will have a contested race for a seat in the Legislature. While there are a number of candidates for the 4th Middlesex District’s Senate seat, there is only one that gives us a clear and simple choice.

Which candidate has years of experience in a Legislature seat? Which candidate has been a member of numerous Legislature committees? Which candidate has received appointment to Legislature committee chairs? Which candidate has participated in Legislature caucuses? Which candidate has participated and voted on bills before the Legislature? Which candidate has authored, presented and earned recognition for bills presented before the Legislature.

There is only one!

Sean Garballey has not only earned your vote as the 4th Middlesex District senator, his experience, knowledge and peer recognition says he deserves to be elected to that position. It is a clear and simple choice!

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Shaun Cullen - "Accessible, honest and effective leadership"

I am hard pressed to come up with better means to describe what I desire most in a candidate. Unfortunately in modern politics it is difficult to find a person who embodies even one of those qualities these days. Luckily enough for all of us, we have a candidate in this state Senate race who unequivocally personifies all three. That is our current state Rep. Sean Garballey.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending the two most recent candidate forums for this upcoming special election regarding the 4th Middlesex District state Senate seat. First of which being on June 5 at Arlington Town Hall, and most recently on June 8 in Billerica. All three candidates appeared prepared and spoke on their points of view. However one candidate in particular seemed to truly resonate above the others. That was state Rep. Sean Garballey. From bringing the noise of a packed hall in Arlington to barely a whisper, fixed on every word, as he answered what truly made him a Democrat. To Billerica where a much smaller room felt twice as big, as he encouraged a self-proclaimed “Millennial” addressing the panel to run for public office as he himself did years ago at a young age. Sean’s sincere, passionate and knowledgeable responses to each and every question provided a mere glimpse into his everyday quality of character. As a representative in the Statehouse for the town of Arlington the past nine years, Sean has proven time and time again his ability to be an effective leader. From standing up to what he believes is right for those he represents in the face of opposition, to providing his personal cellphone number to any and all of his constituents who may need to reach out to him. These type of genuine and proven leadership qualities do not come around often, and need to be championed. My wish is to see Sean put on a larger platform where he can provide the same level of accessible, honest and effective leadership to the entire 4th Middlesex District, as he has brought to Arlington the past nine years as our state representative. For those reasons, and many others, I urge you all to consider voting with me for Sean Garballey in this upcoming state Senate election on June 27!

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