On November 12, 2019 the Equal Justice Coalition honored 13 champions of legal aid with Beacon of Justice Awards. The honorees were selected for their significant support of state funding for civil legal aid through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
The Beacon of Justice award winners were:
- Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
- Sen. Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)
- Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett)
- Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton)
- Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield)
- Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the Massachusetts ACLU and former chair of the MLAC Board of Directors
- Marty Healy, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Rep. Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy)
- Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston)
- Lon Povich, Counsel at Anderson & Kreiger and former Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Charlie Baker
- Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport)
- J.D. Smeallie, Partner at Holland & Knight and former Boston Bar Association President
- Rep. Todd Smola (R-Palmer)
The Equal Justice Coalition also celebrated more than 100 legislators who were named Supporters of Justice. Each of those senators and representatives co-sponsored amendments to increase MLAC’s appropriation in the Massachusetts state budget for Fiscal Year 2020. Civil legal aid organizations and the people they serve rely on these legislators’ dedicated, bipartisan support.
For the first time, the Equal Justice Coalition acknowledged past Beacon of Justice Award recipients who are longstanding champions of civil legal aid by naming them to the Beacon of Justice Hall of Fame. They are: Senate President Karen Spilka; Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem; Senate President Pro Tempore Will Brownsberger; Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler; Sen. Mark Montigny; Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr; House Speaker Robert DeLeo; Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad; House Assistant Majority Leader Paul Donato; Rep. Ruth Balser; Rep. Claire Cronin; Assistant House Minority Leader Brad Hill; Rep. John Rogers; Congresswoman Katherine Clark; Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; and Justice Robert Cordy (retired).
Photos: Elbert John