The Equal Justice Coalition, in conjunction with the
Massachusetts Bar Association, honored six legislators with the
Beacon of Justice Award at the Sixth Legislative Recognition
Reception, which was held in November at WilmerHale LLP.
The following legislators were honored for their outstanding
support in providing access to justice for low-income Massachusetts
residents with critical civil legal problems: House Speaker Robert
A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop), Rep. Charles A. Murphy (D-Burlington), Rep.
Eugene L. O'Flaherty (D-Chelsea), Sen. Steven C. Panagiotakos
(D-Lowell), Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton), and Sen. Patricia
D. Jehlen (D-Somerville).
"These legislators are true champions for the cause of equal
justice," said Lonnie Powers, executive director of the
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. "They understand that
civil legal aid is often the last resort for families in crisis,
who are facing threats to their jobs, health care and housing.
Legal aid is a sound investment for the commonwealth and is
especially important during these difficult economic times."
The Hon. John M. Greaney, retired associate justice of the
Supreme Judicial Court, served as the master of ceremonies. Awards
were presented by legal aid clients from the legislators' districts
as well as representatives of community organizations, including
Yessenia Alfaro, director of community organizing at the Chelsea