Jim Marzilli served one term in the Massachusetts State Senate following 17 years in the House of Representatives. Marzilli chaired the Senate Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and was a member of the committees on Children & Families, Mental Health & Substance Abuse, and Veterans Affairs. He was one of the state’s leading advocates for working families, for progressive tax reform, and for an environmentally sound energy policy.
Marzilli resigned from the Senate in November 2008 and went to Iraq to work with the National Democratic Institute to build a more stable government and democracy. Marzilli trained candidates for the first round of provincial elections and worked with the Finance Committee of the National Parliament on increasing budget transparency to reduce corruption.
While in the Massachusetts legislature, Jim organized the Working Family Agenda, a statewide coalition advocating for the needs of Massachusetts’ working families. He twice led successful fights to increase the minimum wage, expand the earned income tax credit, provide tax relief for low-income seniors paying high property taxes, and restore the capital gains tax in Massachusetts. Jim Marzilli was named “Legislator of the Year” in 2004 by the Massachusetts Human Services Providers Council and in 2007 by the Association of Developmental Disabilities Provides for three times winning salary increase for low-wage human service workers and his service to people with developmental disabilities. The Massachusetts Community Action Programs in 2006 gave him the “Self-Sufficiency Award” for his work on behalf of low-income families. Jim Marzilli won the 2006 “Open Doors” award of the Boston Fair Housing Center for his work in combating racial discrimination. In March of 2008 Marzilli received the Marie Felton Award from the Boston Center for Independent Living for his advocacy and positive impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Jim Marzilli was named “Environmental Legislator of the Year” by the Environmental League of Massachusetts in 2001 for his work linking environmental protection and tax policy. Marzilli was the author of the Energy, Climate and Economic Security Act, a comprehensive bill that emphasized the use of energy efficiency programs and renewable technologies to reduce the environmental impact and cost of our current energy systems. The major provisions of this proposal became law as the Green Communities Act.
Jim Marzilli co-chaired the Environment and Energy Committee of the Council of State Governments and was a member of the Energy Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Marzilli participated in four rounds of the Kyoto climate change treaty negotiations of the United Nations and led a delegation of state elected officials to the negotiations in Montreal. Marzilli created the Boston-Porto Alegre Sister City program, which focused on sustainable developments. Marzilli has spoken on energy and environmental policy, and climate change in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England, Italy, India and China.
Jim Marzilli has a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts. He taught health policy at the Boston University School of Public Health and was a visiting lecturer at the Boston University School of Law. Jim Marzilli was the President of the New England Wild Flower Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.