State Representative Candidate Profile: Michael Gatlin

Editor’s Note: SOURCE sent a Q&A to each of the five write-in candidates for state representative in the 6th Middlesex District. Each of the five are seeking to replace the late Chris Walsh in that district.

There is a primary election on Tuesday, September 4. There are four declared Democratic write-in candidates and one declared Republican write-in candidate. Individuals enrolled in a party will get a party ballot. Unenrolled voters – voters who have no party – can choose a ballot to write in a name.  They can select one of the five declared names or any other name.

Source will be publishing a question a day all this week with the five declared candidates to help voters choose.

Source is not- and has never – endorsed any candidate, however the community news site does accept political advertising. Acceptance of any ad is not an endorsement of any candidate.



Political Party: Democrat

Age: 62

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: Framingham State College 1978, New England School of Law 1982 (cum laude)

Years lived in Framingham: 58

Which City Precinct do you live in: 11

Family (optional): Wife, Judy; Daughters, Vanessa, Ali; son, Jamie

What languages do you speak: English

Municipal experience: Member of Mayor Spicer’s Transition team, By-Law Review Team for City transition, Chair of Framingham Economic Development  Industrial Corporation, Chair of Framingham Downtown, Inc.

Volunteerism in the 6th District: Founder of MetroWest AIDS Consortium, Founder of Harbinger House (now, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network), Special Town Counsel, Former President of South Middlesex Bar Association, Board of Directors for Framingham Public Library Foundation, Member of two Framingham Public School Superintendent Search Committees, Member of Barbieri Elementary School Principal Search Committee, Associate member of Framingham Planning Board



SOURCE asked each of the candidates to answer a series of question using just one word. Answers are posted below. 

1. What is your favorite place in the 6th District? Barbieri School

2. Will you vote for tax hikes in the state of Massachusetts? Depends

3. Will you vote for the debt exclusion override for the new Fuller Middle School project? Yes

4. Do you support a hands-free cell phone law in the Commonwealth? Yes.

5. Rep. Chris Walsh filed a bill defining and providing screening for dyslexia students. It did not pass this session. Would you re-file the bill? Absolutely.

6. Do you support driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants? Yes.

7. Framingham has banned single-use plastic bags. Would you support a ban in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Absolutely.

8. The late Chris Walsh supported a state-wide Transfer of Development Rights bill. Do you? Yes.

9. Question #1 on the November ballot would place a limit on the number of patients a single nurse can be assigned at a time and impose a $25,000 fine on hospitals that violate
those ratios. How would you vote? Yes

10. Question #2 on the November ballot would create a citizen commission to push a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision
on campaign finance. How would you vote? Yes.

11. Question #3 on the November ballot would repeal a 2016 state law that banned discrimination against transgender people in places of public accommodation, like restaurants and restrooms. How would you vote? No on repealing the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

12. Do you support the requirement to pass a high-stakes test to graduate from high school in Massachusetts? No.

13. Does the Commonwealth need a stronger ethics law for elected leaders? Yes.

14. Does the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law need more teeth? No.

15.  Describe your district in one word:  Diverse.


Why should someone write your name on the ballot on Tuesday, Sept. 4? 

As a lifelong resident of Framingham, having raised three children in our local public schools, and as an involved community member over the past 36 years, I know firsthand of the importance of a State Representative in the community being served.

To seek this office, I think it is important to show what you, the candidate, have done, and what you will continue to do if elected. I have had a large role in the progress we have been able to bring to our downtown and the services we have been able to provide to the members of our community. I am proud of that work. As the current Chair of the Economic Development Industrial Corporation, I have been able to bring a wide-ranging and long-lasting change to our downtown which had been neglected for far too long. As the founder of the MetroWest AIDS Consortium, I helped to provide a whole array of services to our members, friends, and neighbors who were in need of understanding, compassion and resources. I worked to provide them with medical, transportation, housing, and transitional services at a point in their lives where they needed care and there was little information or knowledge about how government could facilitate in providing care. Whether it was with these organizations, or my role as PTO President, or as a member of the Library
Foundation which raised the money to build the new McAuliffe Library, or as a Board President of Wayside Youth and Family, or many other activities, I have a long record of success as a volunteer, making Framingham a better place to live. My experience and commitment make me a proven leader in our community.

As your State Representative, I will continue working to promote, strengthen, and connect our community by identifying our strengths and potential in all areas.

In the time I have had the privilege of meeting many of you, I have been able to discuss the problems most important to you. Because of my commitment to Framingham over the years, education, economic development, the environment, and elderly affairs have been at the forefront of this campaign but the general wellness and prosperity of the 6th  Middlesex district is contingent upon the conversations I hope to continue to have.

I will work to ensure all of our students have the opportunity to receive Pre-K education, enter a robust school system, and find our state colleges accessible and affordable. In order for this to happen, we need to elect proven leaders with experience in our public schools system.

An innovative economy, with an emphasis on green energy initiatives, will ensure our economy grows in the right direction. I will work to promote the development, investment, and utilization of clean alternative power sources. These types of initiatives will ensure the residents of Framingham are saving money, have opportunities to jobs in a green, 21st century job sector, and have a safe and clean environment in which to work, live and play.

With any vibrant economy, there is strong infrastructure in place to ensure the elder citizens have a place in our community. I will work to make our public transportation system available, reliable, and accommodating to all of the members of our community. As Framingham continues to grow, I will only support policies and initiatives that will preserve and increase variety of affordable housing options.

Above all, I am committed to making Framingham a community that welcomes all and excludes no one. I will bring these values with me and advocate for the necessities of our community based on the respect, inclusivity, and diversity Framingham offers.

I seek this position not as a stepping stone to higher office, but because I want to take my lifetime of experience to Beacon Hill as your Representative. I ask for your vote on September 4th because I believe that together, we can work to turn opportunity into reality.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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