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James O’Day

Massachusetts State Representative | D-Worcester

Born and raised in Worcester, James O’Day was a social worker before running for office in a special election to fill the 14th district seat.

“In my former career as a social worker for over 24 years, I came to understand the various pitfalls and challenges working families and individuals face across Massachusetts,” Rep. O’Day said. “It was that rewarding work in my career as a social worker that provided the motivation to put my neck out there and run for state representative, in the hopes that I could actually make a difference.”

As an active union member in the local 509, Rep. O’Day served as Regional Vice President of 509, Department of Social Services. He still serves on the Central Massachusetts Labor Council, continuing to advocate for working families and worker’s rights as a Council member and as a state representative.

Rep. O’Day’s father and grandfather were both Worcester police officers and he was the first in his family to attend college. He attended Quinsigamond Community College for three semesters before transferring to Worcester State, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.

He said he had a wonderful experience at QCC and the people he met there and became friends with, including veterans returning from the Vietnam War, were a key to his understanding the community and how the country was changing at the time.

“QCC is a great environment for students in traditional and non-traditional circumstances,” Rep. O’Day said. “It offers real opportunities for employment and continuing education.”
Rep. O’Day was recently named an Alumni Guardian by Quinsigamond Community College, for his service to the community and the college. To help celebrate QCC’s 50th anniversary, the college is naming 50 guardians who have made a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.

Rep. O’Day has worked with community leaders and organizations in efforts to support issues such as family-and-youth-focused development programs, including job training and summer job opportunities for youth in the city of Worcester; accessible, affordable and quality early and higher education for all; addressing and closing health disparities; comprehensive education in schools, teen pregnancy prevention as well as young-parent support programs.

Rep. O’Day has been a leader in welcoming and fostering the Biotechnology Industry to the City of Worcester.  He worked in 2008 to help pass the Life Science Initiative Bill, a bill that expanded tax incentives for life science companies looking to do business in Massachusetts and consequently allowed for the growth and expansion of Gateway Park in cooperation with WPI in the City of Worcester. Since elected, he has remained a strong advocate for Massachusetts’s Gateway Cities, playing a major role in the passing of many Gateway City legislative priorities.

Rep. O’Day has lived in West Boylston for the last 16 years with his wife, Marybeth Murphy O’Day. He has four sons and is involved with youth, especially through coaching youth sports. He served on the West Boylston Little League’s Board of Directors and has conducted voter registration drives in high schools at the West Boylston High School and throughout Worcester.

Rep. O’Day also is on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Central Massachusetts. He is an active member of the Parks and Facilities Committee in West Boylston and the Early Learning Leadership Advisory Board.  Rep. O’Day is an ex-officio on the Democratic City Committee and an active member of the West Boylston Democratic Town Committee.