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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Senator Benjamin B. Downing Democrat - Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden

Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate on November 7, 2006 and is currently serving his fifth term in office. Senator Downing represents the 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District, proudly serving the largest Senate district in the Commonwealth.

Senator Downing serves as the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which is tasked with reviewing all matters concerning renewable and non-renewable energy sources. He is also the chairman of the new Senate Committee on Redistricting.

The Senator also serves as vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. In past legislative sessions he served as chair of the Public Service Committee (2007), the Senate Ethics and Rules Committee (2007-2008), the Revenue (2009-2010) and Higher Education (2010) Committees, the Senate Committee on Steering & Policy (2012) and the Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading (2013-2014). He is an active member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and serves on several other Senate and joint committees. Senator Downing is also a member of several legislative caucuses; he serves as co-chairman of the Gateway Cities Caucus and is an active participant of the Regional Schools Caucus, the Regional Transit Caucus (RTA) and the Rural Caucus.

A Pittsfield native, Senator Downing received his B.A. in Political Science from Providence College in 2003. In May 2008 he received a M.A. from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environment Policy & Planning. Before returning to Pittsfield, Senator Downing lived in Washington, D.C. working for former U.S. Representative William Delahunt (D- Quincy) and U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal (D- Springfield), before joining the staff of U.S. Representative John W. Olver (D- Amherst). For nearly two years he served as senior advisor to Congressman Olver..

Senator Downing’s family has a long history of public service. He is the oldest of four children (Maggie, Nate and Nick) raised by the late Berkshire District Attorney Gerard and Pamela Downing. He is married to Micaelah B. Morrill.

Personal Information

Profession:

Legislator/Public Service

Career Highlights

  • Elected 2006; Re-elected 2008, 2010 and 2012
  • Chair, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy 2011-2012 and 2013-2014;Chair, Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading 2013-2014;
  • Chair, Senate Committee on Steering & Policy 2012;Acting Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education 2010;Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue 2009-2010
  • Chair, Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules 2007-2008;Chair, Joint Committee on Public Service 2007

Education & Public Service

  • Pittsfield Catholic Schools
  • Providence College, BA - Political Science 2003
  • Tufts University, MA - Public Policy 2008
  • “Honorary Chairman, College Democrats of Massachusetts”
  • Co-Chair, Massachusetts Democratic Party's Committee on Youth Services
  • Co-Chair of the Leadership Council to End Chronic Homelessness in Berkshire County
  • Advisory Council of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center; Honorary Member, Advisory Committee on Workforce Development for Homeless Families
  • Pittsfield Democratic Committee; Member, Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Rural Subcommittee; Advisory Council of Multicultural BRIDGE