Thanks her team during swearing-in speech

Friedman sworn in July 27Friedman flanked by Sen. Rosenberg and Lt. Gov. Polito after first swearing-in July 26.

UPDATED, July 31: State Senator Cindy Friedman, Democrat of Arlington, was sworn in to the Senate on Thursday, July 27, during a second ceremony in the Senate chamber at the State House. 

Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Democrat of Amherst, presided over the ceremony, during which Friedman took the oath of office.

Friedman was first sworn in Wednesday, July 26, by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito with Rosenberg and the members of the Governor's Council, making her "senator" title official. She was then sworn in on the Senate floor in front of colleagues and friends the next day. Both ceremonies are customary. 

Friedman will serve as the chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service and as a member of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery and the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. 

The Public Service Committee considers all matters concerning the salaries, Civil Service and retirement of public employees -- including the retirement of judges, court personnel and county employees but excluding the salaries of such judges, court personnel and county employees -- collective bargaining for state employees and other public employees and such other matters as may be referred.The Public Service Committee considers all matters concerning the salaries, Civil Service and retirement of public employees -- including the retirement of judges, court personnel and county employees but excluding the salaries of such judges, court personnel and county employees -- collective bargaining for state employees and other public employees and such other matters as may be referred.

"Cindy is a true public servant and community leader, and I know she will carry on the legacy of our late colleague, Senator Ken Donnelly, by standing up for working families and creating legislation that will make a lasting impact in their lives," Rosenberg said in a news release. "I look forward to working with Cindy and her staff in the weeks ahead to build on the legacy of Senator Donnelly and work tirelessly on behalf of those without a voice."

Friedman said: "I'm humbled and honored to be elected the new state senator for the 4th Middlesex district and am incredibly grateful to the voters that put their faith in me to succeed my good friend and late colleague, Ken Donnelly.

"Now more than ever, state government and public engagement matters. I'm eager to work with my constituents and Senate colleagues to preserve all of the work we have done and ensure that, moving forward, everyone in our Commonwealth has access to equal economic opportunities, affordable healthcare, and quality education that will allow them to succeed."

Friedman worked as chief of staff for nine years to Donnelly, who held the seat until April 2, when he died from brain cancer.

Friedman graduated with a bachelor's degree in education from Roger Williams University and a master's degree in special education from Lesley University, and spent several years working as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher.

Friedman is a community activist, serving as a longtime Town Meeting member, a founding member of SPOT (Schools are a Priority in Our Town), cofounder of Arlington Education Foundation, member of the Symmes Advisory Committee and chair of the Symmes Advisory Committee community outreach subcommittee and chair of the Arlington No Place for Hate Committee.

Full text of swearing-in July 27 speech

Thank you, President Rosenberg, and thank you to my new colleagues for your very warm welcome.

As I told my supporters on the night of the election – it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a district to raise a senator –  or at least people who live throughout the district who are caring, courageous, smart, committed, and positive and know how to have a good time. And that pretty much describes my campaign team who I credit for getting me to this place.

What we were able to accomplish in 10 weeks was nothing short of amazing, and I need to spend a bit of time acknowledging that. 

First, I need to say a special thanks to the Donnelly Family – Judy, Ryan, Keith and Brenna. Without their encouragement and support, I simply would not be standing here today. 

I want to thank my exceptional co-chairs, Brenna Donnelly and Jay Kaufman, who were always gracious and available and willing to help at the drop of a hat. Which they did often.

My wonderful campaign leads, Deborah Brown and Clarissa Rowe, who provided unwavering support and understanding and an even hand over productive chaos.

To Carl Nilsson, Chelsea Ouellete and Karly Wagner, who developed and implemented a field plan that was perfect from conception to implementation.

To Jay Cincotti and Michael Goldman, who provided perspective and kept me laughing.

Swimmers and other helpers

To our wonderful campaign manager, Jess Lieberman, who we threw into the deep end of a whirling, churning pool and asked her to learn how to swim … and she did.

We had a top-notch literature team led by Kathryn Gandek-Tighe, who produced 10 pieces of first-class literature in 10 weeks and got every piece out on time.

To Eric Helmuth, Noah Slafer, and Kristina Gaffny, who did a brilliant job with our technology, website and social media, and taught us old dogs a thing or two along the way.

To Dave and Steph Swanson, who can turn a policy questionnaire around on a dime if any of you ever need help.

To Brian Rehrig, who truly is a data guru and helped us target exactly who we needed to get our vote out.

To Lisa Pedulla and her fund-raising prowess and ability to get a very reluctant candidate to make cold calls, which is becoming legendary – especially the last part.

And to the amazing volunteers who didn’t stop calling or door-knocking regardless of 95 degree days, torrential downpour, kids’ field days, graduations, sports banquets, or long-planned family vacations. Over 250 people volunteered over eight weeks.

Acknowledges family

And I want to acknowledge my wonderful family – my kids Matt, Sheila, Tim, Rory, and Abe, grandchildren Declan and Oliver, my sisters and brother-in-law Jane, Lee, and David, and my wonderful brother Steve. And I know we both wish our Dad was here. He loved this stuff!

And last and finally, to my husband John. Without him, I could not do this. His encouragement and belief in me was unwavering. I am very lucky to be married to a man for the last 36 years who really does believe that a women’s role is whatever she wants it to be. He talks the talk and walks the walk on women’s equality and I trust and depend on his keen sense of right and wrong and his moral compass without question. I know I will continue to need it, I’m sure. Thank you, John.

So … Here I am – standing in a place I never thought in a million years I would be standing. 

And I am excited, humbled, and heartbroken to be here. 

Excited to continue work that means so much to me. Excited to represent the great people of the 4th Middlesex district. Excited to work so that Massachusetts continues to be an innovative state and a great place to live for everyone.
I am humbled by the faith so many have put in me to be their representative in the Senate.

And I am heartbroken because this path was opened for me at the expense of losing one of my dearest friends.

A tireless champion of the voiceless. Ken Donnelly’s kindness, caring, courage and integrity went to the core of his very being. Nobody believed more in the fundamental goodness of people. Nobody knew how to fight harder or think smarter when a worthy cause presented itself or someone was in need.

Did not lose sight of humanity

And he did it without ever making the fight personal or losing sight of the humanity of the opponent on the other side of the argument. He was one-of-a-kind and working with him for the past nine years was not only my favorite job but doing so has made me a far better person. I deeply miss him, especially standing here today in this place and among all of you.
I can’t fill his shoes or take his place. But as a state senator, I promise to work as hard and to represent the core beliefs that reflected Ken and his life and that we shared. 

That we are responsible to and for each other. That our security and well-being depends as much on those around us being safe and secure as any wealth or power we may accumulate.

That everyone should have a solid roof over their heads, and equal economic opportunities that will allow them to adequately provide for themselves and their families.

That everyone should have access to great and affordable healthcare and an education that will allow them to succeed and that they can afford.

That we are responsible for leaving a clean world to our children and grandchildren. 

That everyone deserves to be safe in their communities and to be respected for who they are, no matter who they.

These are the values that will guide me. I will not be perfect and I will make mistakes along the way. But this is a job well worth doing and I know with the support and engagement of my family, friends, constituents and colleagues, I am ready for the challenge. Thank you so much.


July 25, 2017: Friedman wins: Senate seat stays Democrat, in Arlington


This news announcement was published Friday, July 28, 2017, and updated July 31, to add text of speech.