Dorchester Reporter | Wanted: Good men and women for 12th Suffolk

From Bill Forry in The Dorchester Reporter on February 20, 2020

Last week’s top headline in the Reporter was State Rep. Dan Cullinane’s decision to not seek re-election to the 12th Suffolk seat in the House of Representatives this fall. Cullinane, 34, has served in the seat effectively and honorably since 2013. His leadership in the Dorchester-Mattapan delegation will be missed when he leaves the job at the end of the year.

State Representative Dan Cullinane Will Not Seek Re-election

After much thought and deep reflection with my family over the holidays and throughout January, I have made the decision that I will not be a candidate for re-election as State Representative.

What we've accomplished together

As I look back on my last 5 years as your State Representative, I'm proud of all that we've accomplished to make the 12th Suffolk District a better place. In this race, I'm the true progressive who's gotten results for the communities of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Milton. I've brought millions in vital state funds back to the district and invested them in public transportation, housing, and quality of life improvements. Here are the things that we've accomplished to improve the communities in the 12th Suffolk District.

We need to stand together to Save the Mattapan Trolley

Last month, the MBTA revealed that it needed more time to study the Mattapan Trolley line, leaving many to believe "the status of the historic streetcars [are] in doubt (The Boston Globe)."  Despite promises of a $7.9 million investment in the trolley, there has been little communication from the MBTA regarding how that money would be used to keep it functional while the study assessing the route is underway. This is unacceptable. Thousands of MBTA riders rely on the Mattapan Trolley everyday to connect them to the Red Line at Ashmont Station, and they add significant character and charm to our communities. In response, I am launching a petition to send a clear message to Governor Baker and the MBTA that we need to save the Mattapan Trolley line!

Criminal justice reform is a historic breakthrough; vital next step is funding for reentry transitioning

Massachusetts took a historic step forward when Governor Baker recently signed into law long overdue criminal justice reform legislation that at its core seeks to break the cycle of poverty, marginalization, and incarceration that has existed for far too long. The reforms chart a new course, away from the tough-on-crime policies of the past that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and toward a better, fairer future.

But before we pat ourselves on the back, there is more work to be done.

Dan Cullinane Fights for Affordable Housing Projects

Representative Dan Cullinane, pictured here at the groundbreaking for Olmsted Green in Mattapan, has continuously fought for affordable housing projects as State Representative. At the ground breaking for Olmsted Green, Governor Baker announced $100 million in housing subsidy funds and state and federal tax credits to expand the amount of affordable housing in Massachusetts. Some of that funding will be going to turning the old Cote Ford parking lot in Mattapan into a new affordable housing development, a project that Dan has consistently been fighting for. Speaking about the future of the project to the Bay State Banner in 2016, Dan emphasized the need for housing in Mattapan, especially among young adults who want to stay in the neighborhood they grew up in but are unable to due to high rent costs. Dan explains“What we need in Mattapan is housing. Right now rents are going up because there isn’t enough housing supply. It’s not just about the number of units, it’s about creating a real mixed-income community … of all levels of affordability."

Rep Cullinane delivers $250,000 in state funds to build first new children's playground at Ventura Park in 23 years

Ventura Park’s playground equipment and baseball field are about to get a major upgrade, thanks to a $250,000 shot of state funding promoted by two Dorchester legislators.

The money, earmarked by state Rep. Daniel Cullinane and state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry in the coming year’s budget, will be used to redesign and update the playground and baseball field, which were last renovated over 20 years ago.  “It is always tough to prioritize projects; however, Ventura Park is an asset that has required much needed attention,” said Dorcena Forry.

“This is an exciting day for Dorchester and for the countless children and families who take advantage of this wonderful park throughout the year,” said Cullinane.

Rep. Cullinane delivers $500,000 in state funds to City of Boston for the beautification of Mattapan Square

Mattapan Square was the 20th and last “Main Streets District” to be designated by the city, under the Menino administration. Working with colleagues, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and state Rep. Russell Holmes, state Rep. Dan Cullinane helped author an amendment in the 2014 transportation bond bill securing the funds. 

“Mattapan Square is a gateway to the city of Boston,” Cullinane said. “The Mattapan residents and businesses deserve to have a main streets district that’s vibrant, beautiful, and looks, businesses and residents deserve that.”

Throughout his campaign Cullinane promised to put Mattapan Square front and center. “It was upsetting to me to look down the same street, down Blue Hill Avenue, into Milton, and see trees and flowers and landscaping, and then you turn around on that exact same street, into Mattapan Square, and all you see is a bland, vacant, cement median with nothing on it,” he said.

In addition to the $500,000 for median improvements, another $500,000 is budgeted for a traffic study to plan for further developments that improve the square. “It was important not just getting the money authorized in the Bond Bill, but making sure that that money became real,” Cullinane said.

Another $500,000 for the traffic study is still in limbo, pending Governor Charlie Baker’s approval.

There was a first meeting earlier in the fall, and Dec. 10 was the city’s second public meeting on the topic. 

“I want to give Mayor Walsh tremendous credit for the public works department coming out and running a very thorough, and transparent community process, to make sure that all of the stake holders, the residents, the businesses of the square, the main streets association, and the non-profits that are in and around Mattapan all had a say,” Cullinane said. “Now this beautification of the square is real. It is going to be happening and hopefully we’ll have shovels in the ground next spring to make it beautiful for next year and many days to come.


(BOSTON) -  State Representative Dan Cullinane of the 12th Suffolk district announced today that his re-election campaign has been endorsed by State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry of the First Suffolk district. Senator Dorcena Forry is the former State Representative for the 12th Suffolk district, and currently represents all of the 12th Suffolk district’s Boston precincts in the State Senate.


(MILTON) - State Representative Dan Cullinane of the 12th Suffolk district announced today that his re-election campaign has been endorsed by State Senator Brian A. Joyce of the Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth district. Senator Joyce and Representative Cullinane share Milton precincts 1 and 2 as part of their constituencies on Beacon Hill.