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Veteran Rep. Alice Wolf of Cambridge on Thursday became the fourth female member of the Legislature to announce she won’t seek re-election in the fall.
Serving in her eighth term, Wolf plans to retire from the Legislature at the end of the session.
Wolf, 78, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, made the announcement in an email to supporters.
"After 16 years in the House, it is time to move on to new challenges. I will be looking at options that allow me to stay engaged furthering the progressive values and humane policies that I have championed over many years," she said. "I plan to work on my current legislative agenda and the budget and to represent my constituents throughout the year as vigorously as I have for the last 16 years. Beyond that, stay tuned."
Before joining the Legislature in 1997, Wolf worked as Cambridge mayor and sat on the Cambridge City Council and School Committee. She is the third member of the House who has announced plans to leave the Legislature after this session.
While making up 51.6 percent of the state’s population, women account for 24.5 percent of Legislature with 38 current female House members and 11 in the Senate. Though men make up a disproportionate share of members and leaders in the Legislature, Senate President Therese Murray is the first woman to lead the Senate, and Sens. Harriette Chandler and Karen Spilka are part of her leadership team.
Four women hold leadership posts in the House, with Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) holding the third-ranking position as speaker pro-tempore. Reps. Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D-Revere), Ellen Story (D-Amherst) and Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleboro) also hold leadership titles.
Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), Rep. Harriett Stanley (D-West Newbury) and Rep. Geraldine Creedon (D-have previously announced they do not plan to seek re-election.
In addition, the House has two vacant seats created when William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) won election to the Senate and when Vincent Pedone (D-Worcester) took a higher education advocacy job.
Brownsberger and Pedone stepped down in January and House Speaker Robert DeLeo opted against scheduling special elections to fill their seats, which are on track to remain unfilled through key months of legislating this spring and summer.
Some of Wolf's current and former colleagues took to Twitter Thursday to pay tribute to her.
"It is sad to learn Alice Wolf will be retiring from the House of Representatives; truly a tireless public servant & fighter for the poor," wrote Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat who served in the House with Wolf.
Eldridge said he could not think of a better tribute to Wolf than for the Legislature to pass an expanded bottle bill this session, which Wolf has championed but DeLeo has been reluctant to take up because he views it as an additional tax.
Reinstein, the second assistant majority leader in the House, tweeted, "Alice Wolf is a passionate and hardworking woman!"
Wolf is married with two children. She graduated from Simmons College in 1955, and earned her master's degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1978.
This program aired on March 22, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.
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