Martin “Marty” Joseph Walsh was born on April 10, 1967 in Boston, Massachusetts. Born to an Irish American family, both of his parents emigrated from Ireland during the 1950’s. Marty has been a lifelong resident of Boston, growing up in the Savin Hill area of Dorchester.
At a young age, he was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, preventing him from attending years of elementary school. After years of chemotherapy and fantastic care at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Marty was deemed cancer free at the age of 11. He attended the Newman School in the Back Bay and matriculated at Boston College where he earned a degree in Political Science.
Realizing his passion for public service and knack for politics, Marty always dreamed of someday serving as the Mayor of Boston. During college, he joined the Laborers Local 223 union, later serving as the organization’s president up until becoming Mayor. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1997, representing Dorchester and parts of Quincy. As a state senator he served as the Chair of the Committee on Ethics, emphasizing his dedication to honorable and corruption free government. To add to his already impressive resume, Marty was named the head of the Boston Building Trades in 2011.
In 2013, Walsh announced his candidacy for Mayor of Boston, campaigning on his political experience in the House of Representatives and unique ability to negotiate with state agencies. On November 5, 2013, Marty was elected the 54th mayor of the City of Boston, accomplishing his lifelong dream. The race proved to be a close one, advancing past a twelve candidate preliminary before taking 51.4% of the vote in the general election.
As the mayor of Boston, Marty has reinvigorated the city by taking on headfirst the issues of housing, income inequality, and crime prevention. During his tenure, he has furthered access to housing for the homeless, decreased crime, and submitted an ambitious plan to create housing for the city’s fast growing population. Additionally, he has strengthened the public school system by funding extended learning time and more advanced curriculums. As for the economy, the mayor has introduced billions of dollars worth of development, virtually changing the city’s skyline overnight. He has also attracted major industry leaders to the city such as General Electric, demonstrating his commitment to making Boston the country’s leader in innovation.
Throughout his life and political career, Marty Walsh has been a strong advocate for marriage equality rights as well as the LGBTQ community. Known for his relentless defense of immigrants, it was only recently that he reaffirmed his support of Boston’s sanctuary city status and undocumented immigrant protections. Additionally, he has joined mayors across the country in declaring the city’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
In the upcoming year, Mayor Walsh faces re-election for the first time in his mayoral career. Based on the city’s period of tremendous growth and progress during his tenure, it isn’t difficult to predict what will happen.