Judy Meredith

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Judy Meredith

Judy Meredith , is a Massachusetts activist, and the founder and executive director of the Public Policy Institute. A veteran lobbyist, she has worked for more than thirty years creating change through legislative advocacy.

Merediths's lobbying experience in Massachusetts began in 1969 when she became a volunteer lobbyist for her adoptive and foster parent group. After ten years of working as an advocate inside and outside of state government, she founded Meredith and Hall, a political consulting firm known for its work with nonprofits.

Judy Meredith has served as a national consultant to the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO, and the Public Affairs Division of the United Way of America. She has coached community activists nationwide for The Access Project and the Community Health Leaders Program.

Judy Meredith is the author of "Lobbying on a Shoestring," now in third edition, a widely used handbook that shares an insiders view of state advocacy in Massachusetts, and the co-author with Catherine Dunham of "Real Clout," a handbook for community health activists interested in increasing health access through the public policy process.

She is married to Peter Rider.[1]


Judy Meredith has served as Policy advisor and lobbyist for children's issues for Governor Frank Sargent in the early 70s. Assistant Director Office for Children responsible for building and institutionalizing local Councils for Children, 1972-74. Policy advisor, Attorney General Frank Bellotti, issues included enforcement of school reform and deinstitutionalization of MR facilities 1974-77. Public Policy Director, Massachusetts Fair Share--developed district based membership lobbying campaigns around utility rate reform and tax reform issues 1977-79. National Political Director ACORN, focus on empowering low and moderate income ACORN members through national Presidential politics by winning delegate seats and offering platform planks at Convention 1979-80. From January 1992 to March 1995, she served as National Director for a Coalition of Community Foundations for Children and Youth, a national network of local partnerships between United Ways, Community Foundations and children's advocacy organizations.

She has served as a national consultant to the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO, and the Public Affairs Division of the United Way of America.[2]

Democratic Socialists of America

Joining DSA

In January 2001 Boston Democratic Socialists of America announced that "three respected local progressives have decided to join. Judy Meredith, the “People’s Lobbyist,” has long fought the good fight at the Statehouse. Chuck Turner, after years of effective organizing in Roxbury, is now making a big impact as a City Councilor. (Both Judy and Chuck are past recipients of our Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Award.) And Andi Mullin is both Political Director of the Commonwealth Coalition and President of Boston NOW".[3]

DSA awards committee

Boston Democratic Socialists of America presents awards annually in memory of Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, Julius Bernstein and Michael Harrington.

The Awards Committee in 2002 consisted of:

Barbara Ackerman, Doug Butler, Kathy Casavant, DSA Executive Board, Harris Gruman, Julie Johnson, Eleanor LeCain, Rep. Jim Marzilli, Judy Meredith, Marcia Peters, Ald. Denise Provost, Rep. Byron Rushing, Rep. Frank I. Smizik, Jim St. George[4]

Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards Reception

On September 24, 2006, Boston Democratic Socialists of America presented its 25th Annual Debs–Thomas–Bernstein Award to their "longtime comrade, Director of Massachusetts Neighbor to Neighbor, Harris Gruman". The event which was hosted by former Neighbor to Neighbor Director John Maher and Co-Chaired by Senator Pat Jehlen and Massachusetts AFL-CIO Vice President Ed Collins, was also a fundraiser for both Boston DSA and the Mass Alliance. Some Alliance-endorsed candidates were among the attendees, including Denise Provost, Jarrett Barrios, Willie Mae Allen, Claire Naughton and Will Brownsberger. John Maher and Ellen Sarkisian hosted the event; Julie Johnson of the Mass Teachers Association MC'd the event, while primary organizers were Susan Davidoff and Mike Pattberg. Abby Rockefeller & Lee Halprin and Patricia Armstrong, Boston Teachers Union, Local 66, were benefactors of the event.[5]

Judy Meredith, Public Policy Institute, was a patron of the event.