Former state Rep. Nika Elugardo is going to Washington to be Chief Counsel for U.S. Senator Ed Markey's office.
Elugardo will be joining Markey's staff in Washington D.C to focus on issues including immigration, the judiciary, civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, electoral reform, gun safety, criminal justice reform, and housing -- just to name a few.
“I have long been inspired by the Senator’s history of boldly and loudly speaking challenging truths in the halls of power, even when it could hurt him politically,” said Elugardo. “Senator Markey’s rare political courage is matched by his integrity and focus on justice and equity. This is how he has motivated intergenerational voters of all races and genders to courageously engage our democracy."
Elugardo had been the state rep for the 15th Suffolk District, but lost the state Senate race for the 2nd Suffolk District in the fall to Liz Miranda.
“Nika is a remarkable combination of brilliant leader and fierce advocate, and I am honored to have her join my office as our Chief Counsel to continue implementing our justice agenda,” said Senator Markey.“As we enter a new session of Congress and build upon the progressive victories of the past two years, Nika will bring deep experience and unwavering commitment to the kind of intersectional policymaking and systems change we need to build and ensure a livable future. Nika leads a life fueled by love, family, service, and integrity, and we need more of that lived experience on Capitol Hill and in politics.”
Elugardo added she looks forward to supporting Markey's commitment to doubling down on his longstanding justice work and on his "unyielding support for fellow legislators who are champions on justice legislation, especially young congresspeople who have lived experiences with racism, genderism, poverty, transphobia, or heterosexism."
The new job fits Elugardo's work background. As a state rep she focused on creating economic opportunity for vulnerable communities, breaking down the prison-industrial complex, expanding voting rights, and expanding public housing. Prior to her state rep work, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to former state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and before that, she worked at the National Consumer Law Center’s Foreclosure Prevention Project on low-income homeowner, consumer, and utility ratepayer rights.
She's also the founding director of MassSaves.org, where she promoted economic justice in low-income communities statewide.
Elugardo received a B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School for Government, and her J.D. from Boston University.
She and her partner Marcos Elugardo will be moving to Washington D.C. She has said they will be keeping their home in Boston, needing to come back for work once or twice a month.
Markey's office made the announcement of Elugardo's hiring in March.