Frank I. Smizik

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Frank I. Smizik

Template:TOCnestleft Frank Israel Smizik is a State Representative from Massachusetts. He is married to Democratic Socialists of America member Julie Johnson.

He has represented the 15th Norfolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2001. He is the current Chair of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.

Early life

Frank Smizik was born on September 4, 1944 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Peabody High School in Pittsburgh and did his undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1966. His law degree is from Duquesne University, graduating in 1971.[1]


Frank served for twenty-five years as a legal services lawyer addressing housing and other civil issues facing low income persons and was involved in landmark litigation creating rights for persons displaced by urban renewal and developed state and federal, as well as litigation strategies, to avoid homelessness. [2]

  • Managing Lawyer 1972-75
  • Neighborhood Legal Services Pittsburgh June 1970-September 1978
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute 99 Chauncy St., Boston, MA 02111 October 1978-April 1995
  • Lecturer Suffolk School of Management Business & Government Ethics 1996-97
  • Lecturer in Law (Housing Policy and the Law) Boston College Law School 885 Centre St. Newton MA 1990-Present
  • Of Counsel, Kurnos, Rosenberg & Libbey General Law Practice (Present)[3]

Political career

Representative Smizik served the Town of Brookline in many capacities; as a member of the Democratic Town Committee, a Town Meeting member, the Commissioner and Chairman of the Housing Authority, and as Vice Chair of the School Committee prior to being elected in 2000 as the Representative from the 15th Norfolk District. As Chairman of the new House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, Representative Smizik hopes to ensure that all legislation relating to transportation, energy, capital infrastructure, and economic development policy takes into consideration the challenge of global climate change and includes appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures.[4]

Democratic Socialists of America

DSA member


According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America's The Yankee Radical, February 1983, page 2, Frank Smizik was a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

Boston DSA victory celebration

On January 20, 2001, Boston DSA’s annual "Victor Berger bash", was hosted by Rich Rosen and Ellen Rosen.

The occasion celebrated Frank I. Smizik’s victorious campaign for Brookline State Representative and welcomed DSA National Director Horace Small’s move to the Boston area.[5]

DSA mobilized for the winning primary campaign of "long-time progressive activist Frank Smizik, a stunning upset which led to an unopposed November win. DSA also helped former Boston DSA chair Jim Marzilli win his primary, which meant a November victory".[6]

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 2001 consisted of:

Doug Butler, Kathy Casavant, Jack Clark, Harris Gruman, Julie Johnson, Eleanor LeCain, Marcia Peters, Mike Prokosch, Bruce Raynor, Bob Ross, Rep.Frank I. Smizik.[7]

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[8]

Congratulations to Ed Clark, Dessima Williams, and John Maher

Julie Johnson and Rep. Frank I. Smizik placed a late ad in the October 2001 The Yankee Radical;[9]

Congratulations to Ed Clark, Dessima Williams, and John Maher on being honored for your work onglobal and local democracy.
And thanks to Boston DSA for reminding us of the importance of this work.

Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards Reception


In 2002, the 25th annual Debs-Thomas-Bernstein awards of Boston Democratic Socialists of America were presented to State Representatives Patricia Jehlen and Anne Paulsen at a catered reception on Thursday, June 13 at the home of Marcia Peters and David Karaus.

Attendees included Barbara Ackerman of MASS-CARE, Jim St. George of TEAM, and longtime DSAers Fran Schlitt and Jake Schlitt and Rep. Frank I. Smizik, "pinch-hitting for wife" Julie Johnson as M.C.[10]


The 2010 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards, sponsored by Boston Democratic Socialists of America, took place Tuesday, June 13, 6:30—8:30 P.M., at the Jamaica plain home of environmentalist Marcia Peters and David Karaus.

2010 honorees were "two champions of social justice and grassroots democracy: Georgia Hollister Isman and Jack Clark". Honorary Co-Chairs for the event were MA AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes and State Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville), with special guest Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston).[11]

Georgia Hollister Isman was presented by Andrea Miller of NARAL and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, who livened up her introduction by bursting into song.

After being introduced by MA AFL-CIO Vice-President Ed Collins and Janet Boguslaw from Brandeis University, Jack Clark "entertained and informed us with a brief tour of U.S. Socialist history".

Others who attended or sponsored the event included Rep. Frank Smizik and his wife Julie Johnson, Somerville Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, and recently elected President of the Washington, DC chapter of Red Sox Nation Eleanor LeCain, "our perennial MC, Julie Johnson", Mike Schippani (UAW-Detroit); Shaw’s striker Juan Garcia and UFCW staffer Heysoll Rodriguez.[12]

Julie Johnson and Frank I. Smizik were also listed as supporters of the event.

Rail to fight "global warming"

In March 2009, newly appointed House Chairman of the Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, Rep. Frank Smizik of Brookline, joined 30 state and local leaders from across the country in Washington to meet with members of Congress to urge support for legislation that will lead to an increase in freight rail capacity.

Smizik is a member of Go21, a national public interest organization that advocates the public benefits of moving freight by rail, such as increased fuel efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and easing traffic congestion. Go21 members are joined in the ninth annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill by 300 representatives of the nation’s freight railroads and rail supply industry.[13]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Frank I. Smizik was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[14]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

"Budget for All"

November 6, 2012 - by a three to one margin, Massachusetts voters "sent a clear message to both Democrats and Republicans in Washington about the federal budget crisis and the impending "fiscal cliff"". The Budget for All ballot question passed by 661,033 to 222,514 votes. It calls for no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or other vital programs; investment in useful jobs; an end to corporate tax loopholes and to the Bush cuts on taxes on high incomes; withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan now; and redirection of military spending to domestic needs and job creation. The question passed by a wide margin in every district and all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it appeared on the ballot, ranging from most of Greater Boston to Holyoke to Norwood, Lawrence and Fall River.

Initiated by over 80 community, peace, labor, and faith groups, the Budget for All was supported by State Treasurer Steve Grossman, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, and Representatives Barney Frank, Mike Capuano, Jim McGovern and Ed Markey, along with 10 State Senators, 18 State Representatives, and 15 city councilors.[15]

State Senators backing the initiative were William Brownsberger, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Sal DiDomenico, Kenneth Donnelly, Pat Jehlen, Thomas McGee, Stanley Rosenberg, Dan Wolf.

State Representatives were Cory Atkins, Linda Dorcena Forry, Sean Garballey, Louis Kafka, Jay Kaufman, Jason Lewis, David Linsky, Denise Provost, Frank I. Smizik, Ellen Story, Timothy Toomey, Jr., Marty Walz, Alice Wolf.

Leaders of the mo were;


Smizik is involved with the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, Citizens for Public Schools, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action, American Jewish Committee, National Jewish Democratic Council.[17]