My name is Dan Cullinane, and I am honored to serve the hard-working people of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton as their State Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
To know me, is to know my family. They are at the center of my life.
My beautiful wife Emily Torres-Cullinane and I are a team. We are high school sweet hearts who have been together since sophomore year of high school. I could not be where I am today, or do what I do without her. We share the same values and same passion for public service and for bettering our community.
The last three years have been very special for Emily and I. In 2017, we were blessed to welcome our first child, William, into the world. In 2019, we welcomed our precious daughter, Isabel, into our family. Together they have brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined and have changed our lives in so many special ways.
My parents, Bob and Elaine Cullinane of Dorchester - a union leader and a Boston public school secretary - are my foundation. They gave me a life of opportunities far too few children are given. At four-months old, they adopted me. I know how easily I could have been one of the thousands of children navigating foster care, dependent on social services, without a family or home to call my own. Yet, through their love, courage, and sacrifice, I went from being an orphan with an uncertain future to being a son with a loving home and every opportunity for a better life. I was given a chance.
Growing up, I was taught to work hard and give back. After school, and on school breaks, I worked numerous jobs. I did everything from sell Christmas trees at Cedar Grove Gardens, to stock shelves and assemble morning newspapers at Gerard’s, to caddie at Franklin Park Golf Course. In high school, I joined my local community association, the Cedar Grove Civic Association, to get involved and give back. Over the years, I worked my way up from youth member to serve as the Association’s Vice-President.
In the fall of 2003, I walked onto the campus of Providence College as the first person in my family to attend college. Providence accepted me off the waiting list. Four years later, I delivered the commencement address graduating as class president.
While attending college in Rhode Island, I remained committed to serving in my community at home. Each summer and winter break, I worked full-time in the office of Boston City Councilor Maureen Feeney. Senior year, I began as an intern, then, by second semester, was hired full-time in the office of State Representative, now Mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh.
These public service experiences taught me not just how to be an effective leader in government but how local government can make a profound impact for good when elected representatives show up, listen, care, respond, and follow through.
After college, I had the privilege of serving our community and Commonwealth in a variety of ways. I served as Director of Constituent Services for State Representative, now Mayor, Martin J. Walsh. I returned to Boston City Hall to serve as Communications Director to Boston City Councilor Maureen Feeney. I served as a Fair Labor Investigator in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where I held employers and contractors accountable for not paying their workers wages they had earned, on private and on tax-payer funded construction projects.
In the community, I served on the Board of Directors of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), New England’s largest anti-poverty agency, from 2009-2012. In 2012, ABCD hired me as fundraising manager for SummerWorks, an educational summer employment program for low-income Boston youth, where I worked tirelessly to raise funds for Boston’s youth to have summer jobs.
Prior to my election as State Representative, I was proud to serve as State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry’s campaign field director and advisor in her successful campaign for Massachusetts State Senate. It was a privilege to be part of this historic campaign helping to elect the first Haitian-American State Senator in Massachusetts and the first woman to ever represent the First Suffolk Senate District.
In 2013, when Senator Forry was sworn in to the Massachusetts State Senate leaving her House seat vacant, I, with the support of Emily, our family, friends, and community leaders from across the district, made the decision to run for the open seat in the special election for State Representative of the 12th Suffolk District. Together, with the hard work and help of so many, we won.
Time and time again history shows us that we can do far more together than any one of us could ever do alone. This election was about more than me. It was about a belief in what can be achieved when dedicated people from diverse backgrounds join together to better the community.
The life of opportunities I have been given, and each day knowing what could have been, drives and deepens my passion for public service. I believe we have an obligation to make hope and opportunity, real and accessible to all – no matter where you are born, what neighborhood you live in, or how much money your family may have.
I ran for public office to make a difference. I am honored by the faith and confidence the people of the 12th Suffolk District have placed in me. Each day I have the privilege of serving as State Representative, I pledge to continue to be a tireless and transparent advocate in the State House and a constant and responsive presence in the community. This work will continue to get every ounce of energy I have to give as we work together for a brighter future for all who call the 12th Suffolk District and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts home.
Thank you for standing with me.
Emily Torres-Cullinane is a first generation Colombian-American currently serving as the Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) tasked with supporting implementation of MAPC’s smart growth plan, “Metro Future: Making a Greater Boston Region.” Emily specializes in community engagement and outreach with an emphasis on involving populations historically left out of the urban planning process. Outside of work, Emily serves as the Assistant Director of and a teacher at “Commonwealth Seminar” an educational training program founded to open the doors of the State House to diverse leaders by demystifying the legislative process and learning about all aspects of government to encourage deeper and more sustained advocacy on Beacon Hill by diverse populations. Additionally, Emily serves on the Steering Committee of the Mel King Institute for Community Building.