Attorney at law
Ashland, Massachusetts, United States
Cornell University, Northeastern University School of Law
Senator Karen Spilka
Karen E. Spilka is a Massachusetts State Senator of the Democratic Party. She represents the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts.
She serves as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the committee that oversees the budget and finances of the Commonwealth. She also chairs the Biotech Legislative Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus. Senator Spilka’s legislative accomplishments include efforts in a broad range of areas including economic development, jobs creation, education, juvenile justice and services for the elderly and disabled communities.
Senator Spilka was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the fall of 2001, where she served three years before her election to the Massachusetts State Senate in January 2005. In the Senate she has served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and the Majority Whip. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senator Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation. In addition, she has been a facilitator and fact finder in disputes in the public and private sectors, as well as a social worker and trainer of adult mediation and school-based peer mediation programs, collaborative-based collective bargaining and conflict resolution strategies.
Senator Spilka is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and holds a B.S. from Cornell University.
Senator Spilka served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2001-2004 and the Massachusetts Senate from 2005-present. She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. She also chairs the Biotech Legislative Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus.
The Senator previously served on the Ashland School Committee (chair, vice-chair), Ashland Democratic Town Committee, Ashland Fiscal Affairs Committee and Charter Review Committee, and the Massachusetts Personnel Board.
She is also associated with the following organizations:
495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership; MetroWest Economic Research Center at Framingham State University; MetroWest ESL Fund; Ashland Education Foundation, Ashland Lions.
2013 Congressional campaign
Spilka was a candidate in the 2013 special election to succeed U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts's 5th congressional district, who resigned in June 2013 to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. The primary election was held on October 15, 2013, and selected Katherine Clark.
Spilka was endorsed by the statewide ATU, the UNITE-HERE New England Joint Board, UWUA Local 369, Roofers and Waterproofers Union Local 33, Laborers' Local 22, Laborers' Local 151, Laborers' Local 380, Laborers' Local 609, Laborers' Local 1116, Laborers' Local 1156, the Sprinkler Fitters 550, IBEW Local 1505, UFCW Local 328, UFCW Local 1445, the Boston Carmen's Union Local 589, the Building Wreckers Local 1421, the Mail Handlers Local 301, and the American Postal Workers Union Local 4553. She also had the backing of the Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO.