Jean grew up understanding the value of her community and wanting to work for its people.
JEAN STRAUSS knows that hard work is essential in legislative action. For over a decade, she has fought for adoptee rights in a dozen states. First exposed to efforts to change laws in New Jersey through her work as a writer and documentary filmmaker, she watched as adopted citizens continued a three-decade battle simply for the right to have their own birth certificates. Realizing the critical value of narrative in helping legislators and other stakeholders to understand the need for change, Strauss went to work. The governors of Illinois and New Jersey credit her films with their decisions to sign bills into law.
When an 88-year-old woman asked for her help, Strauss stepped out from behind the camera, and became a legislative advocate and leader on the issue. Strauss remembers, “Her name was Betty. When she said, can you help me find out who I was when I was born before I die? - It broke my heart – and was a call to action.”
Inspired and encouraged by state legislators across the country to run for office here in Massachusetts, she is new to the campaign trail but no novice to tramping through the halls of state capitols – nor is she without a wealth of other experiences. A speaker, author, and award-winning filmmaker, she has five books and over five dozen films to her name, and as a small business owner, she has focused on providing work that champions causes and the human spirit.
“There are so many issues here in our district that deserve a voice on Beacon Hill,” Strauss says. “Many of our citizens are hurting. From seniors who’ve worked hard their whole lives only to be at risk economically, to our schools which for years have deserved a fix to the funding formula so that they can maintain quality and improve, to the failing infrastructure of our roads, our citizens deserve the same consideration as towns inside Route 128.”
Known for focusing on the underserved, she is a person who can and will make a difference for everyone in the Fifth Worcester District. “My goal is to serve, to be a voice for the people of all eleven of our towns. Individually and collectively – each citizen matters. I will do more than just drive to Boston to vote. I will be devoted every day to making a difference in people’s lives.”