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MARJORIE DECKER: CHAMPION FOR THE CAMBRIDGE COMMUNITY

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Marjorie is a product of Cambridge. Born and raised in Central Square public housing, she understands the hopes and struggles of Cambridge's diverse residents. Marjorie is honored to serve Cambridge as the Representative for the 25th Middlesex District and works tirelessly to support the community she calls home. She currently lives in Neighborhood 9 with her husband Bahij and their two children.

 

Growing up, Marjorie saw firsthand the power of community as he parents worked hard to support her and her brother and put food on the table. Her earliest memories are of her parents and their neighbors in public housing showing unwavering generosity, supporting each other, and making sure each family had what it needed. This upbringing instilled in her a deep sense of community and showed her the importance of providing a strong support system for families so every child has the opportunity to thrive.

Marjorie graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin, UMass Amherst, and the Harvard Kennedy School. After graduating from UMass, Marjorie taught first grade and special education with Teach for America in Shreveport, Louisiana, before returning to run a youth center in the Rindge Towers for low-income housing residents. She served as a legislative aide to former Representatives Alice Wolf and Ellen Story, gaining experience in the state legislature before becoming the Executive Director for the Equal Justice Coalition, which works to secure funding for civil legal aid in Massachusetts. Her background in education, legal services, and workforce development has allowed her to effectively fight for those who need access the most to those very resources. From running a youth center to serving seven terms on the Cambridge City Council, she has been a tireless advocate for housing and homeless families, labor rights, early education, and anti-poverty programs.

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Marjorie’s drive to seek policies that ensure families have the tools they need to raise healthy children with economic security and safe housing is deeply rooted in her family history. Both of Marjorie’s parents grew up in Cambridge in poverty and were raised in public housing. Marjorie's father, Timothy J. (Murphy) Decker, was orphaned at the age of seven and drafted to fight in Vietnam at seventeen. After serving two tours in Vietnam, Tim, like many veterans, found it difficult to build a functional life due to trauma and the guilt of having survived the war. Tim spent most of his life unemployed and suffered from undiagnosed acute PTSD until he found himself living in a homeless shelter for Vietnam Veterans.

Her mother Catherine (Curley) Decker, the second of six children, dropped out of school in the tenth grade to care for her sick mother and siblings. She worked as a Nursing Assistant for decades, signing up for double shifts to support her family, coming home each evening to have dinner with her kids before heading back to work nights. Cathy became a shop steward after SEIU organized her workplace, but eventually was unfairly fired for her union involvement. Attending union rallies and events, and seeking legal assistance for her mom after her wrongful termination, sparked Marjorie’s lifelong commitment to organized labor.

 

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Marjorie is serving in her 12th year in the House of Representatives and is currently the Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. She has also served as Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health as Substance Use, successfully authoring and passing the most significant children's behavioral health legislation in over a decade.


Marjorie Decker is a partner and a fighter for the families and communities she serves. She believes in the power of community engagement and works hard to ensure that all voices of her constituents are heard and valued. You can read more about her accomplishments here.

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