State Rep. Marty Walz will step down from office in mid-February to assume the role of president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM).
“I’ve loved serving in legislature, but opportunity to lead Planned Parenthood was something I couldn’t pass by, given my passion for women’s healthcare and women’s reproductive rights,” Walz said.
Walz has represented the 8th Suffolk District, which includes the Back Bay and portions of Beacon Hill, the West End and Cambridge, since 2005, and was recently named as assistant vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Among her many achievements in office were serving as house chair of the Joint Committee on Education during the 2009-10 legislative session and helping to create the state’s anti-bullying law in 2010.
“The things that have most meaning to me as I reflect on past eight years are conversation and e-mails with students and their parents who have been affected by my work on the educational reform bill and anti-bullying legislation,” Walz said.
Walz was also the lead sponsor of the 2007 law that created a 35-foot buffer zone to protect the privacy and safety of staff and patients at Planned Parenthood and, during her time on the legislature, she championed family planning funding, teen-pregnancy prevention programs and comprehensive and age-appropriate health education, among other causes.
“The part of the work so satisfying to me is the ability to work with residents one on one to help them resolve problems in their lives, and to make their lives better,” Walz said of her time as an elected official. “I know that sounds like a cliché, but working with constituents is the heart of the job and what provides so much meaning to me.”
Walz begins her new position with PPLM next month, but said her staff would remain at the State House to assist constituents until her successor is sworn into office.