Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley WF’96
Matthew O’Malley grew up in Roslindale during his early childhood before later moving to West Roxbury, where he currently resides. He attended Boston Latin School for high school; he says that during these years he began to develop an interest in politics. He credits a lot of learning and success to an internship that former City Councilor At-Large Peggy Davis-Mullen gave him after he asked to help on her campaign. He quotes that his experience as an intern was a “transformative experience” and is why he chooses to hire so many interns today. O’Malley was a recipient of the Ward Fellowship as well for the Former Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts Joe Malone. He believes the Fellowship was the main factor that pushed him to run for office. After attending George Washington University for college, he ran for office three times before becoming elected. He first ran for City Councilor when he was 23 years old, and had a high amount of votes for a first time runner. In the years following, O’Malley worked managing Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral’s campaign where he focused on creating initiatives to prevent crime in the county. Afterwards, he worked with Mass Equality fighting for marriage equality in Massachusetts and nationwide with very successful results. In 2010, he ran for City Councilor a third time and was voted into office. He currently serves District 6, which includes Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, and parts of Roslindale and Roxbury. He has served for ten years consecutively on the council with highly impressive accomplishments. O’Malley states that some of his proudest achievements are how he got plastic bags banned in Boston and how he was able to get Jamaica Plain $28 million in funding for investing in Franklin Park, the Jamaica Plain library, and Millenium Park. When asked, he disclosed that while his future political plans are uncertain he would love to possibly be Mayor of Boston one day and he will never close the door on any future political possibilities. However, for now he expressed that he is most excited to be a father to his soon-to-be-born child.
-Olivia Ardito WF’20
Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley was born on September 20, 1979 in Roslindale, Massachusetts. Despite not being from a political family, Councilor O’Malley became interested in politics from an early age and attended election eve rallies as a child. Later, he enrolled in Boston Latin School, and was the Vice President of his class. During high school, Councilor O’Malley interned for former at-large City Councilor Peggy Davis-Mullen, and was a Ward Fellow for former Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts Joe Malone as well. He then went on to earn a BA in Political Science and English at George Washington University, graduating in 2001.
Elected to the City Council in 2010 as the councilor of Boston’s District 6, Councilor O’Malley dived straight into improving Boston, and has been re-elected every election since. He currently chairs the Environment and Sustainability Committee, and also serves on the committees for Arts, Culture, and Special Events; Education; Government Operations; Public Safety and Criminal Justice; and Ways and Means. A few of Councilor O’Malley’s proudest achievements include winning funding for parks and libraries and passing environmental legislation, including the plastic bag ban.
If these achievements weren’t enough, Councilor O’Malley has run 8 marathons and has his own popular podcast, “O’Pod”.
-Max Tang WF’20
Born and raised in Roslindale, MA, Matt O’Malley graduated from Boston Latin School in 1997 and was a Ward Fellow in 1996, where he served under Treasurer and Receiver at the time, Joe Malone, an experience he says, “shaped his interest in local government”. While this experience helped provide him with a more clear-cut career path, Matt has always been interested in politics as he attended election-eve events to meet and greet local elected officials at a very young age, and even described them as his own “World Series”.
O’Malley attended George Washington University in DC, where he sent his resume and cover letter to various council members and was hired by Jim Graham to work with him in Ward 1, an area demographically similar to Jamaica Plain and a place where Matt felt most at-home. Upon his return to Boston, Matt did some contracting work with his father until he ran for City Council at the age of 23 in ‘03 and again in ‘05, unfortunately, yet humbly losing both elections. However, seeing as how he riled up 4 times the support in his second run for City Council, it was third times the charm or a strikeout for him. After gaining really helpful experiences in working for MassEquality and being the legislative director for a very successful Andrea Cabral-for-sheriff campaign, Matt ran again a third time in a special election and won. He’s been a District 6 representative ever since, garnering massive support from his constituents because of his policies. He currently chairs the Environmental and Sustainability Committee while also wanting to push forth crucial legislation regarding housing, education, and public health. Among his personally most admired accomplishments are his ban of one-time use plastic bags, the JP Library, his work on Millenium and Franklin Park, and his constituent work. He sincerely credits Ward, among other internships, for paving the way for his political career.
It’s evident that Councilor Matt O’Malley truly cares about the work he does in public service, and wants nothing more than to better the city, commonwealth, and country with progressive policies across the board, even if he must battle through negative environments at times. Even on the tough days, Matt sees nothing more joyful than serving his district and constituents, a genuine quality that has earned him a seat at the Council for the last 10 years. Finally, to quote Councilor O’Malley, “The most important parts of politics are hard work, luck, and time. The harder you work, the luckier you get, and you can’t do a damn thing about time”.
-Gian Martinez WF’20