Massachusetts Attorney General-elect (at press deadline)
Less than a year ago, Maura Healey wasn’t mincing words about how powerful it would be for the people of Massachusetts to elect an out AG. “We’ve made a lot of progress and that’s reflected in the fact that someone like me can seek this particular office; it’s a statement about equality and fairness,” she told us last March. “Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that LGBT people were afraid of law enforcement and the ways laws were used against them.”
With Healey now in office, it’s safe to say that, well, LGBT folks in Massachusetts may just be even safer than ever before. “I understand the importance of having a state’s Chief Law Officer be the one to stand up for equality, fairness and justice and try, in ways large and small, to make a difference for people—not just in the LGBT community, but for everyone in the broader community … people who are vulnerable and need a voice—children, the elderly, seniors, consumers. That’s why we are there, to advocate for the people and make sure that we enforce laws that are fair and just.”
At WilmerHale law form Healey distinguished herself by providing pro bono assistance to helping to challenge the 1913 law that then-governor Romney dusted off to prohibit marriages for same-sex couples from out of state. “I believe the Attorney General is the people’s lawyer. I will use my authority to advance equality and combat discrimination against all groups, including the LGBT community. In Massachusetts, which has been such a leader on issues like marriage equality, we know that marriage is just the beginning,” Healey told Boston Spirit. “I will ensure that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in supporting LGBT rights. We led the country in marriage equality and brought the first successful case striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. We now have the opportunity to continue to lead the country in achieving full equality for all residents. That is my commitment.”
Transgender rights activist
Joanne Herman has walked off the activist stage. That’s how powerful she is.
Herman retired from transgender advocacy work in 2013. According to The Huffington Post, she affirmed her true gender in 2002 (in her late 40s), writing that she would actively help others understand what it means to be transgender.
“During that time, increased transgender acceptance led to gender affirmations at ages much younger than Joanne’s. Joanne retired so that voices with more current experiences could come to the forefront,” wrote The HuffPo. “Nonetheless, she’s been the darling.”
Joanne retired in 2010 as Financial Controller for Boston-based grant-maker New England Foundation for the Arts, where she was responsible for NEFA’s accounting, financial reporting, benefits administration, and information technology. She was previously Director of Finance for what is now the French Cultural Center of Boston.
Before entering the nonprofit world in 1996, Joanne worked as an information technology project manager and consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Johnson & Johnson.
Before joining the corporate world in 1989, Joanne had been a Certified Public Accountant working with emerging businesses, first as an auditor for what is now PriceWaterhouseCoopers and subsequently as an independent part-time CFO.