|Address||267 Arlington St |
Acton, Massachusetts , United States
|| August 11, 1973
Sep 16, 2017 04:00am
Caucasian - Single - Protestant -
|Info||Jamie Eldridge, an Acton native, was elected to serve as State Representative for the 37th Middlesex district on November 5th, 2002. He was sworn in as State Representative on January 1st, 2003, when he cast his first vote in the Speaker of the House election for Rep. Byron Rushing over Rep. Thomas Finneran. Since then he has continued to fight for reform in the House of Representatives and advocate for important education, health care, environmental, public safety and economic concerns on behalf of his constituents. |
Jamie grew up with his younger sister Amanda in South Acton. His mother Betsy has been a kindergarten teacher in the Acton public schools for over twenty years, and his father Dave recently retired after working as an electrical engineer for thirty-five years for Raytheon in Marlborough and Sudbury. Jamie attended the Acton public schools and graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in 1991. He was one of the original founders of the school’s community service group, Acton Boxborough Community Outreach (ABCO).
While playing on the Acton-Boxborough Colonials basketball team, Jamie met Coach Arthur Lambert, who was Chief of Staff to then-State Representative Bob Durand from Marlborough, who was running for the Middlesex-Worcester State Senate district in 1990. Jamie’s interest in public service was enriched by Coach Lambert, who became Jamie’s mentor and sparked his interest in politics such that Jamie served as the Acton Town Coordinator for Senator Durand’s successful campaign. Before heading off to college, Jamie served as an intern in Senator Durand’s State House office, where he gained firsthand knowledge on what the State Senate was like.
Jamie graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, with a Bachelor’s degree in 1995. In his junior year, Jamie was elected President of the Johns Hopkins student body. He continued his commitment to public service by serving as Philanthropy Chair of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, working with Habitat for Humanity building houses for the poor, and mentoring high school students in Baltimore. Jamie also took advantage of living near Washington, D.C. to intern with Congressmen Marty Meehan (D-Lowell) in 1994.
After college, Jamie returned home to Acton and immediately became active with the Acton Democratic Town Committee, Acton Earth Day Committee, the League of Women Voters, and the Organization for the Assabet River. He also expanded his mother’s South Acton Clean-Up Day effort to become a town-wide event, now sponsored by the Acton Conservation Trust and the Acton Democratic Town Committee.
During this period, Jamie was employed as a Litigation Assistant with the downtown Boston law firm of Hale & Dorr (now Wilmer Hale). During his time at the firm, Jamie organized a group of paralegals to volunteer one day a month at the International Institute of Boston, a non-profit organization that helps legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens and helps with general immigration problems.
In 1996, Jamie served as campaign manager for State Senator Bob Durand’s successful re-election, which helped Jamie become familiar with the issues and concerns affecting the towns of the Middlesex-Worcester State Senate district. The next year, Jamie was hired as a Legislative Aide for Senator Durand at the Senator’s district office in Littleton and at the State House.
In the fall of 1997, Jamie began his legal studies at Boston College Law School. During his time at Boston College, Jamie was elected and served as president of the school’s major public interest group, the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), for two years, expanding the group’s efforts to include committees on children’s rights, civil rights, criminal law, animal rights, and community service.
Jamie also began focusing his legal studies on a relatively new area of public interest law called community economic development (CED) law. CED law helps lower-income people buy their own homes, start non-profits, and create small businesses, in order to accomplish the broader goal of revitalizing dilapidated neighborhoods and improving the general quality of life for an entire community. He remains passionate about this exciting community effort that has great potential to help all citizens realize their full potential, and interned at the Hale & Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School in Jamaica Plain, Boston performing this work while in law school.
Before finishing his studies at Boston College Law School, Jamie created a proposal for the Boston College Center for Economic Development (BCCED) that would have brought together the Boston College schools of law, business, and social work to help working families gain greater opportunities, and to help turn around poor neighborhoods. While the proposal was not implemented that year, Jamie continued to support the idea; and, in 2008, the Boston College Law School created a Community Enterprise Clinic led by Professor Paul Tremblay, a mentor of Jamie's, to practice CED law.
In his second year at law school, Jamie also managed then-State Representative Pam Resor’s 1998 successful re-election campaign. During the campaign, Jamie also collected signatures for the historic Clean Elections bill, which would provide public financing to political candidates willing to accept campaign spending limits and the prohibition of accepting of special interest and large financial contributions. After the bill was passed by voter referendum in 1998, Jamie was appointed as the Middlesex-Worcester Senate District Coordinator to organize area citizens to lobby legislators to fund the law. That same year, Jamie also became vice president of the re-energized Acton Conservation Trust, and assisted in the organization of the Household Goods Recycling Ministry, Inc., a faith-based non-profit that provides used furniture and household goods to area low-income families.
After his second year of law school, Jamie completed a summer internship as a student prosecutor for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. He worked as a prosecutor in the towns of Natick and Framingham, and assisted on the District Attorney’s Community-Based Justice program in the city of Lowell. The project worked to bring together probation officers, Assistant D.A.’s, police officers, social workers and educators in an attempt at early intervention with problem students.
In his final year of law school, Jamie was elected chair of the Acton Democratic Town Committee, and was asked by now-Senator Pam Resor to manage her re-election campaign. Jamie reached out to the entire Middlesex-Worcester district in orchestrating a grassroots effort that secured a resounding victory for the Senator.
Upon graduating from Boston College law school in May 2000, Jamie accepted a position with Merrimack Valley Legal Services (MVLS) in Lowell, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to the poor and the elderly. He worked as a public interest lawyer in the fields of housing, Social Security disability, and unemployment law. In the fall of 2000, Jamie applied for and received a National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL) Equal Justice Fellowship, a national two-year fellowship that allows recent law graduates to create their dream public interest project to help the less fortunate. The fellowship allowed Jamie to create the Community Development Justice Project (CDJP), which allowed him to practice Community Economic Development (CED) law in Lowell, to help build affordable housing, start new businesses, and create non-profits to address local problems.
In early 2001, Jamie also helped create the Middlesex-Worcester Democratic Coalition, an umbrella group of all 14 Democratic Town Committees in Senator Pam Resor’s Middlesex-Worcester district. Jamie was elected vice chair of this organization, which has focused on bringing statewide Democratic candidates to the senate district and organizing Democratic activists to work on political campaigns. He was also selected to serve as President of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Massachusetts chapter, in which he continues to play a strong role as a proud alumnus.
Later that year, Jamie was successfully elected as a member of the Acton Housing Authority and was appointed by the Acton Board of Selectmen as an Associate Member to the Acton Planning Board. Holding these positions was invaluable to Jamie in learning about town budgets, working with town officials, the impact of state legislation on communities, and housing, environmental, and "Smart Growth" issues.
In September 2001, the Massachusetts House of Representatives announced its plan for redistricting, which included creating four brand new House seats, including the 37th Middlesex district. Jamie soon announced that he would run for the legislative seat. Because of his strong belief in the Clean Elections law he worked to help pass, Jamie ran as a Clean Elections candidate. Thanks to the hard work of literally hundreds of volunteers, Jamie’s family, prominent local elected officials & community leaders, and the support of Senator Pam Resor and former State Senator Bob Durand, Jamie’s campaign was successful. He remains the only Clean Elections candidate to be elected in the state of Massachusetts, and continues to fight for campaign finance reform and a more responsive, effective state government.
Since then, Jamie has been re-elected State Representative for the 37th Middlesex district twice, and remains proud to represent the towns of Acton, Boxborough, Harvard, Lancaster, Lunenburg, and Shirley.
In 2007, with the announcement by U.S. Congressman Marty Meehan that he would be vacating his seat mid-term to become the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Jamie entered the special election for U.S. Congress. Although he came up short, finishing third in a field of five Democrats seeking the seat, Eldridge impressed many with his strong principles, his energetic grassroots campaign, and the overwhelming support he received from communities in the southern part of the 5th Congressional district.
In February 2008, State Senator Pam Resor announced that she would not seek re-election, and Jamie shortly thereafter announced that he would run for the Middlesex-Worcester State Senate seat. Jamie is the only Democrat in the race to succeed Resor, and enjoys the support of both Resor and her predecessor, Bob Durand. The election is on November 4th, 2008.