BOSTON – Reading’s Erin Gaffen was honored this week, at an in-person ceremony, as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) 2022 Class of Commonwealth Heroines. State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) is proud to have nominated Erin for her continued contributions and dedication to the Reading community.
“I was so pleased to nominate Erin for this honor and for being able to recognize her efforts to keep Reading moving forward,” said Representative Haggerty, “Her commitment to her community, the School Committee as an institution, and her family make her worthy of this award. I offer her my sincerest congratulations.”
In 2018, Erin co-chaired the Yes For Reading campaign in town, which successfully advocated for additional financial resources for town services. The vote marked the first time since 2003 that Reading voters supported override funding. The added funds helped the town retain elementary, middle, and high school teachers; support athletic programs; add police officers and firefighters; increase library funding; and provide more support for elder services and the Department of Public Works. Then, in 2020, Erin jumped into the public’s eye again by running for School Committee. In her successful run for this position, she had strong support from across the political spectrum and would enter her new role just as COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on everyone’s lives – especially on students and teachers. As a member of the school committee the past two years, Erin has successfully navigated some of the most difficult decisions facing any local elected official in modern times. She has served her community with honor and distinction.
“Erin’s work on the Yes For Reading campaign helped to deliver critical financial resources to the town to preserve many essential municipal services, and she has continued to give back to the community as an elected member of the Reading School Committee,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “Erin’s volunteer and civic work is the epitome of what the Commonwealth Heroines Award is all about, and I join with my colleagues in the Reading legislative delegation in congratulating her on receiving this well-deserved honor.”
“I so admire Erin’s passion for lifting up our youth, whether it is through her work, her advocacy, or her engagement with our community,” said State Senator Jason Lewis. “She is more than deserving of recognition as a Commonwealth Heroine, and I look forward to seeing what she does next for Reading students and families.”
The Commonwealth Heroines are women who do not make the new but make the difference. Thousands of women in every community of the state perform unheralded acts on a daily basis that make our homes, neighborhoods, cities, and towns better places to live. Commonwealth Heroines use their time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others in their community. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators who strive to protect and represent the interests of seniors, victims of violence, children, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. They are the glue that keeps a community together. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.