Jim Marzilli is in his first term in the Massachusetts State Senate following 17 years in the House of Representatives. He represents Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington and Woburn. He chairs the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and is a member of the committees on Children & Families, Mental Health & Substance Abuse, and Veterans Affairs. He is one of the state's leading advocates for working families, for progressive tax reform, and for an environmentally sound energy policy.
Jim organized the Working Family Agenda, a statewide coalition advocating for the needs of Massachusetts' working families. He twice led successful fights to increase the minimum wage, expand the earned income tax credit, provide tax relief for low-income seniors paying high property taxes, and restore the capital gains tax in Massachusetts. He was named "Legislator of the Year" in 2004 by the Massachusetts Human Services Providers Council and in 2007 by the Association of Developmental Disabilities Provides for his work on behalf of low-wage workers and people with developmental disabilities. He won the 2006 "Open Doors" award of the Boston Fair Housing Center for his work in combating racial discrimination. In March of 2008 he received the Marie Felton Award from the Boston Center for Independent Living for his advocacy and positive impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Jim was named "Environmental Legislator of the Year" by the Environmental League of Massachusetts in 2001 for his work linking environmental protection and tax policy. He is the author of the Energy, Climate and Economic Security Act, a comprehensive bill that emphasizes the use of energy efficiency programs and renewable technologies to reduce the environmental impact and cost of our current energy systems.
Jim co-chairs the Environment and Energy Committee of the Council of State Governments and is a member of the Energy Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He has participated in four rounds of the Kyoto climate change treaty negotiations of the United Nations and led a delegation of state elected officials to the negotiations in Montreal. He has spoken on energy and environmental policy, and climate change in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, Italy, India and China.
Jim was the political commentator at New England Cable News TV from 1993 to 1994. He is a frequent guest lecturer at area colleges in public policy and civic participation. He is an advisor to numerous non-governmental organizations involved in grassroots organizing and public policy making. He has served as the chief policy advisor to two candidates for governor of Massachusetts, teaches media skills and debate preparation, and advises candidates at all levels of government on campaign strategy.
Jim has a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts. He was a lecturer in health policy at the Boston University School of Public Health and is a visiting lecturer at the Boston University School of Law. He is the President of the New England Wild Flower Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.