Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Barbara Gray: Role Model for Female Lawmakers

          Former State Representative Barbara Gray passed away last Friday at age 87. Gray led an influential career on Beacon Hill well before the modern women’s movement for political parity began. In founding the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, she was a huge driver behind the gender equality movement in government. Gray is remembered as being an “undaunted advocate for a range of social-service causes.”

          Gray’s passion for leadership and dedication to her personal goals while in office should serve as an example for all elected officials today. She represented Framingham in the State House of Representatives from 1973-1996. Representative Ellen Story, who served with Gray in the legislature, described her saying: “She wanted to go full-speed ahead on whatever the issue was.”

          Gray was a life-long advocate, beginning her career in Framingham as a leader on many issues. While working as a legislator, she spoke out about abortion rights, gay rights, protections for victims of abuse, conservation, and recycling legislation. Gray also wrote a biography, pictured above, “A Woman’s Ways and Means.”

          The MWPC would like to continue the work Gray began so many years ago. Our women in the legislature today can use Gray’s passion for change and advocacy as an inspiration to act passionately about their own set of issues. Thank you to Gray for all that she did in paving the way for women in politics; her efforts have a direct effect on the work we do today. Read more about Barbara Gray here.