As part of last evening’s “Looking Back, Looking Ahead” OPEN HOUSE forum, I announced that I have decided that I will not be running for re-election next year.

It has been – and continues to be – a privilege and honor to serve, but it is time for me to move on to new challenges and to make way for a new face, a new voice, and new leadership. As I anticipated this announcement, I was reminded of the simple advice of Epharisto Matsuaire, an Oxfam organizer from Zimbabwe who offered that “a good leader loves the people, tells the truth, and knows when it’s time to go away.” It is time for me to go away.

There is still much work we can do together for the remainder of this term, and much I will, sadly, leave incomplete when I leave the Massachusetts House of Representatives after 24 years. There will be plenty of time for stock-taking and farewells between now and January 2, 2019 when my term ends. For now, the work continues.

Meanwhile, I am deeply grateful for the many partnerships that have transformed challenges into opportunities, difficulties into new possibilities. Democracy demands engagement, and I have been blessed with many wonderful colleagues, outstanding staff, and an incredibly talented, experienced and engaged constituency. For these, and for the trust that has been placed in me, I am deeply and eternally grateful.