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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz Democrat - Second Suffolk

Sonia Chang-Díaz is the first Latina elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. She is serving her seventh term on behalf of the Second Suffolk District, which is comprised of all or part of the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Mission Hill, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End. 

 

Senator Chang-Díaz is a thoughtful, honest, and tenacious champion for marginalized voices across the Commonwealth. A leading proponent of equitable, high quality education, Senator Chang-Díaz was a primary architect of the landmark Student Opportunity Act, signed into law in 2019. This watershed legislation doubles Massachusetts’ investment in achievement gap closure for our lowest-income students, implementing the recommendations of the 2015 bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission (co-chaired by Chang-Díaz). Fully implemented, it will infuse the commonwealth’s preK-12 schools with an additional $1.5 billion in resources per year. 
 
Since being sworn into office in 2009, Sen. Chang-Díaz has helped pass reforms to the state's CORI and criminal justice systems, curtailed the misuse of special education dollars, and been instrumental in the passage of civil rights protections for transgender Bay Staters. She has re-written our state laws on school discipline, successfully defended millions of dollars in funding for youth development, and helped craft nation-leading policy on equity in the cannabis industry. Additionally, she has been a voice for immigration, environmental, and housing justice and a champion for sound fiscal reform and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. 

 

Senator Chang-Díaz serves as the Senate Chair of the Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion and was one of the architects of nation-leading law to strengthen accountability and prioritize de-escalation in law enforcement. Sen. Chang-Díaz is also the Senate Chair of the Committee on Cannabis Policy and the Senate Vice Chair of the Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security. She also serves as a member of the Committees on the Judiciary, Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency, and Redistricting. 
 
Senator Chang-Díaz was raised on the idea that leadership, at its heart, is about service. It is a value deeply rooted in her family’s long tradition of public service. Chang-Díaz's mother raised her and her sister while dedicating her career to those most forgotten in our society: from adults with mental illness, to foster children in need of loving families, to at-risk toddlers and infants in Dorchester. Her father, an immigrant to the United States from Costa Rica, was our country’s first Latin American astronaut. Her sister is a teacher. And her grandfather has been recognized as one of the country’s most committed rural doctors. Prior to attaining elected office, Senator Chang-Díaz served as a public school teacher in the Lynn and Boston school systems, as Director of Outreach at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and as a key political adviser at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Senator Chang-Díaz currently resides in Jamaica Plain and is a parishioner at St. Mary of the Angels church in Roxbury.

Personal Information

Profession:

Legislator

Education & Public Service

  • University of Virginia, BA in Political & Social Thought
  • Mass. Senate (2009-present)