Since being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representative a decade ago Rep. Aaron Michlewitz has been a rising star in state politics.
Michlewitz, a lifelong North End resident, has already served as Chairman of the the Joint Committee on Financial Services, the Joint Committee on Public Service, and the Joint Committee on Election Laws and in 2016, Michlewitz was a leading author of Massachusetts’s landmark legislation dealing with Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft as well as crafting legislation that would regulate Short-Term residential rentals such as Airbnb
So it came to no surprise when Speaker Robert DeLeo announced last week he has tapped Michlewitz to head arguably the most powerful committee on Beacon Hill.
It was announced that Michlewitz will serve as Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
Michlewitz will serve alongside the Committee’s Vice Chair Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham) on the House side. Michlewitz and Garlick will work closely with their colleagues and the Committee’s counterparts on the Senate side, Chair Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-WestPort) and Vice Chair Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington).
“It’s humbling and an honor,” said Michlewitz. “It’s is pretty amazing to be in this position and I never could have imagine when I got into office 10 years ago I’d be Chair of this committee. Humbling is really the word and I not only want to thank the Speaker for this opportunity but also my colleagues. I pledge to work hard and not take anything for granted.”
Michlewitz said his last post as Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services has really prepared him for the road ahead as Chair of Ways and Means.
“Serving as Chair of Financial Services really helped give me an understanding of how to work on big pieces of legislation,” said Michlewitz. “Through that committee I worked on those key pieces of legislation like regulating Uber and Lyft as well as the short term rental bill. There were really some real complex issues and it taught me how to negotiate with colleagues to get something passed. It really taught me the art of compromise with my colleagues not only in the house and the senate but also with the Governor but through intense negotiations we were able to get something done that I believe was beneficial to all resident in the Commonwealth.”
His previous chairmanship also gave Michlewitz a sense of the balance in trying to keep the economy strong while fostering growth within the economy.
“They main concern was growing the economy in the state while protecting consumers and workers,” said Michlewitz. “We tried to ensure that the economy and its growth was not beneficial to only one segment of the population but to everyone.”
Michlewitz added that while he already has three chairmanships under his belt, he has maintained his commitment to his constituency in the Third Suffolk District, which includes the North End.
“I think it’s important for my constituents to know what this chairmanship means for the district,” said Michlewitz. “This chairmanship does help the district. It gives my constituents a front seat to the budget process and hopefully that will prove beneficial to producing a better budget for my district. The district is my number one priority and has always been no matter what chairmanship I’ve held. If you look at the Airbnb legislation, while it was a statewide issues, it was really a bill that impacted the quality of life for hundreds, if not thousands of people in my district. It was a very Boston-centric issue but we were able to build a statewide consensus on the bill but at the end of the day it was a very local issue for me. I think by bringing neighborhoods like the North End and Chinatown to the table it produced a better bill for entire state.”