My belief in community service
“I believe that each of us has an obligation to make a contribution to our community. The sum of those contributions is what makes a community vibrant and alive. I am passionate in my belief that government can make a difference in people’s lives. At 16 years old, when I was a sophomore at Milford High School in the Spring of 1968, I was inspired by the words of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, two men who taught my generation that “it’s OK to care” about people. These men challenged us to believe in ourselves as agents of change and that we could influence government to do good things. All we had to do was get involved in a positive, peaceful and respectful way.”
John Fernandes currently serves as State Representative for the 10th Worcester District consisting of the towns of Milford, Mendon, Hopedale, and Precinct One in the town of Medway. He entered the legislature in January 2007.
John currently serves as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services. He also serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Transportation and the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.
John currently serves as the House Chair of the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus, and the MetroWest Legislative Caucus. He is also a member of the Boston Bar Association Task Force to Reform Civil Legal Aid.
John recently served as Co-Chair, with Senator Gale Candaras, of the legislature’s Alimony Reform Task Force, which task force wrote and secured passage of the sweeping reforms to the Massachusetts Alimony law. The law has been hailed in Massachusetts and nationally as a model for alimony reform.
John also sponsored and secured passage of the Post Conviction DNA Testing bill last session that provided a process for access to DNA testing of evidence by persons convicted of serious crimes where that testing had not before been available. Nationwide such testing has resulting in the overturning of some 200 cases of serious criminal convictions where those convicted have spent years behind bars. The most famous such case being that of Massachusetts own, Kenneth Waters made famous in the movie, “Conviction”.
John sponsored the environmental legislation that ultimately leads to regulations controlling the discharge of nutrients and phosphorus into our rivers and streams. This legislation not only advances the goals of the Federal Clean Water Act that our rivers be swimmable and the water clean to drink, but it will result in savings for the communities and businesses along the Charles River including the communities of Milford and Medway. The communities along the Charles River are facing an EPA mandate to build storm water detention and discharge systems akin to sewer systems that are estimated to cost the Town of Milford up to $100 million dollars and certain property owners and businesses in the community between $15,000 and $250,000 to comply. Other communities along the Charles will face similar expenses. This legislation will result in a significant reduction in the EPA mandated target for phosphorus runoff into the Charles for Milford and other communities similarly situated directly reducing the cost of compliance for communities and businesses.
John has a long history of service to his community. He was elected a member of the Milford Board of Selectmen at the age of twenty-two. He also served for nine years as a member of the Milford School Committee. Previous to that, he served for seven years as a member of School Committee for the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School.
John was a member of the Milford Rotary Club for ten years, and proudly serves as a past honorary “Mayor” of the Prospect Heights Association, a group dedicated to the preservation of the cultural diversity, vitality, and upkeep of the Prospect Heights section of Milford where he grew up.
John received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and his law degree from Suffolk University.
John resides in Milford with his wife, Jennifer DiMola. Jennifer is employed at EMC Corporation as a Director of Global Distribution Services. They have two children, Michael, an investment banking analyst with C.W. Downer & Co. in Boston, and Elizabeth, a senior in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.