by the blessings of the Creator as well as the demonstrated support
of her constituents in the Sixth Suffolk District, Shirley Owens-Hicks
is beginning her ninth term as a member of the Massachusetts House
of Representatives. Representative Owens-Hicks chairs the Committee
on Local Affairs and Regional Government, which considers all matters
requiring special laws for any city or town and all matters concerning
counties. Formerly, the Representative chaired the House Committee
on Federal Financial Assistance, which was responsible for overseeing
over $1 billion in yearly federal funding for state programs. Representative
Owens-Hicks has held a number of other leadership positions during
her legislative career. She made history by serving as Chairwoman
of the Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities, the first African-American
and the first woman to hold this position. She was a member of the
Legislatures Redistricting Committee, charged with redrawing
district lines. She has served also as Chairwoman of the Massachusetts
Black Legislative Caucus, the Special Commission on Long-Term Care
Services for the Elderly, and the Task Force on Women in Poverty.
former elected member of the Boston School Committee, Representative
Owens-Hicks continues to draw upon the political insight, issues
expertise, and concern for her constituents developed during that
1984--1988 tenure. She is consistent in her strong advocacy on behalf
of African-Americans and other people of color, children, senior
citizens, working families and the unempowered. The Representatives
legislative accomplishments include passage into law of the following:
An Act Relative to False Impersonation, An Act Providing for the
Observance of Lucy Stone Day, and An Act Relative to Violence Prevention
Education Programs in Public Schools. During House deliberations
on the Fiscal Year 2003 budget, she restored full funding totaling
$15.1 million to the METCO Program, which is the largest and oldest,
not-for-profit desegregation/integration program in America. Additionally,
the Representative was able to restore funding totaling $6.1 million
to the HEAD START Program, which serves over 13,000 pre-school age
children throughout the state.
Representative continues to work aggressively for the state funding
of education, child care, housing, elderly needs, health care, mental
health and youth programs, employment and economic development.
In May 1994, she successfully got a law passed to redevelop the
Boston State Hospital site, where future development will address
many of the same issues that the Representative has championed throughout
her public service career. She is a strong advocate for community-based
organizations and has given special attention to the continued viability
of community agencies and health centers.
Owens-Hicks is a former President/CEO of the Urban League of Eastern
Massachusetts and Counselor at the University of Massachusetts at
Boston. She attended Boston University and Harvard University Graduate
School of Education, where she earned a Masters Degree in Education.
She is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of four.