Brings experience, expertise and connections to Western Mass. office
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
June 2009 Edition
The MNA’s Division of Legislation and Government Affairs recently welcomed Leo Maley to its team as its new Region 1 community organizer.
Maley, who has been active in the Western Massachusetts labor movement since 1996, will be based out of the MNA’s Region 1 office in Northampton while he works to build member, community and political support for the MNA’s numerous legislative initiatives.
According to Andi Mullin, the division’s director, Maley’s breadth and depth of experience and knowledge will be an invaluable resource to the MNA and its members. “He has been involved with the area’s labor movement, political scene, community causes, and media network for almost 15 years,” said Mullin. “And he is skilled at pulling from all of these resources when it comes time to mobilize citizens in the name of a worthy political cause.”
Maley first arrived in the commonwealth in 1996 when he began a master’s program in U.S. political and cultural history at UMass Amherst. As part of his academic program, Maley was able to become involved with the local labor movement through his affiliation with the UAW’s Local 2322, the union representing the university’s graduate student employees.
“The local was right in the midst of negotiating a contract, and there was an opportunity for me to become involved with the negotiating committee,” recalled Maley. “It was a great point at which to get involved, because the things the union was fighting for were important —things like insurance and childcare benefits. The local at UMass was committed to progressive social movements and that’s where I wanted to be, working to move progressive social issues forward.”
After his time at the negotiating table with the UAW, Maley continued on with his advocacy and political work. He worked as a political advocate for Local 2322, was the campaign manager for Peter Vickery during his successful first-time run for governor’s councilor, and was a field organizer for Common Cause Massachusetts’ Fair Districts ballot initiative campaign.
In addition, Maley has chaired the Amherst Democratic Town Committee; established a political action committee to raise money for progressive candidates; volunteered on nearly a dozen Western Massachusetts-based political campaigns; and is the founding member of the “Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts.”
Maley also temporarily worked with the MNA in 2006 as a political organizer, where he coordinated union support in Western Massachusetts for the MNA’s endorsed candidates.
“Very few unions have the expertise, ambition, agenda and opportunities that the MNA has,” said Maley. “I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with the MNA and its nurses in 2006. Coming back now on a full time basis is an amazing opportunity. It’s the place where all of my experiences dovetail.”