FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2016
Contact: Cheryl Parker, Committee to Elect J.D. Parker-O’Grady Treasurer
Jerome Parker-O’Grady Announces Run for State Senate
SOUTHAMPTON, MA, April 5 – Longtime Southampton resident, Jerome (J.D.) Parker-O’Grady announces his candidacy for the Massachusetts State Senate, Second Hampden and Hampshire District. Parker-O’Grady is currently completing his law degree from Northeastern University, which encourages student employment throughout their studies. He recently concluded a judicial internship for United State District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman.
The campaign kickoff event will take place at Kaptain Jimmy’s Restaurant in Agawam on Thursday, April 14th. The event is open to the public. He gained valuable political experience while in college as a campaign intern for Mass Alliance.
Following graduation, he went to work as a delivery truck driver, delivering Opa-Opa Brewing Company products throughout the Commonwealth. Keen to put his degree in political science to good use, Parker-O’Grady took a position as a field organizer for Obama for America in 2008. The exposure to a major presidential campaign kindled his interest in policy and legislation and ultimately led to his enrollment in a graduate program in Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University. After completion of his graduate degree, he was hired by Senator Michael R. Knapik, then the holder of the seat Parker-O’Grady now seeks.
Parker-O’Grady has held coveted positions at Northeastern University Law School including Admissions Committee and Clerkship Committee Representative for the Student Bar Association, Co-Chair and Moot Court Officer for the Intellectual Property Society, and Staff Member on the Northeastern University Law Journal. He has also earned an M.S. in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University and a B.A. in Political Science from St. Michael’s College.
“My decision to run for this position was based upon my previous work experience with Senator Michael Knapik as legislative director for this district,” Parker-O’Grady explains. He anticipates focusing his efforts in three major categories: economic development, education funding and the opioid addiction crisis.
Parker-O’Grady is particularly concerned with economic development in our district. While the economy has gained ground since the 2008 recession, many of the towns in our district are still struggling and needing jobs. Parker-O’Grady argues that “in many areas, we still see the need for further development,” giving examples of the continued rehabilitation of old mill buildings throughout the district, the need for a parking garage in Easthampton, and the potential redevelopment on the site of the former Mount Tom Power Station. He adds that he “will work hard to help spur the growth of jobs in all cities and towns of the district.”
Another area that he is devoted to is education funding. As new jobs are created, properly funded public education will help prepare students to help fill those new positions. It is necessary to work with the district’s academic leaders to ensure education is keeping pace with employer needs. In addition, Parker-O’Grady vows to address the current charter school funding formula which unfairly punishes local schools.
Finally, Parker-O’Grady says that he is intensely committed to addressing the opioid addiction crisis. The recent bill passed by the Massachusetts legislature was a step forward in addressing the opiate crisis, particularly at the prescribing level between doctors and patients. “We can and must do more,” he argues. “Addiction still exists and continues to affect not only people who are afflicted, but their families and communities each and every day. Addiction will not vanish with the tighter control on doctors. Massachusetts, like every state dealing with this crisis, needs more treatment beds to address the continued demand for these drugs.”