About Marisa DeFranco
I am the granddaughter of immigrants, and now I am an immigration attorney, a leader in my field. My grandparents on my father's side were from Sicily, my maternal great-grandmother came from Northern Italy, all of them fresh off the boat, all of them coming for the American Dream, with little more than the clothes on their backs. The same dream of freedom that my husband’s parents sought when they left China.
I work with immigrants, businesses both large and small, children in state custody, and survivors of violence. I have first-hand experience advocating for clients who are affected by federal law—fighting to uphold those laws that deliver justice. I am serious about my clients’ business, and I am serious about the business of the people of the Commonwealth.
No less than the American Dream is at stake, and I am running to ensure that every American has the opportunity and the very access to that American Dream. I am running to put the government back into the hands of the people, NOT the wealthiest 10% who currently own and operate the system.
I am running for those 90%, the ones —
- Who show up to work every day
- Who put in the 8, 9, 10+ hours every day
- Who are the engine of the economy and this country
- Who are the buyers of goods and services AND
- Without whom, NO business or entity would exist.
The U.S. Senate needs to start doing the people’s business instead of stalling it. While the Senate should be deliberative, it should not be immobile. The Senate needs a full force gale to breathe life, responsibility and energy into it. I am that force.
Awards and Accomplishments.
Marisa DeFranco was a recipient of a national award for her pro bono work; she received the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association’s Beacon of Justice award in October 2010.
Marisa was published as a contributor to the ABA’s book, The Road to Independence: 101 Women's Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms in July 2011.
In July 2011, Marisa was named a 2011 Top Woman of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, chosen for her outstanding accomplishments in the legal community and was honored in September at their 4th annual event.
Attorney DeFranco served as Chair on the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Immigration Section Council from 2008 to 2011. She also served as Chair of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a liaison to a Federal Government agency and as a Director on the AILA National Board of Governors.
As part of the Women’s Bar Association Legislative Policy Committee and Mass NOW, she worked on a range of legislation from insurance discrimination to contraceptive coverage, and in her practice, she has represented immigrant women who have fled from their abusive marriages to U.S. Citizens and served as a mentor to practitioners in the field. She also previously served as the VP of Legislative Policy for Massachusetts NOW, as well as the Violence Against Women Task Force Chair.
During law school, DeFranco worked in the Staff Attorney’s office at the First Circuit Court of Appeals and as a Victim’s Witness Advocate in the Cambridge District Court as part of Suffolk’s Battered Women Clinic. In 2008, Ms. DeFranco was appointed a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
I am running for the U.S. Senate to ensure that we actually live up to the ideals for which our forebears gave their lives…that we are and shall be a government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people. Lincoln did NOT say a government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations AND their wholly-owned subsidiary…otherwise known as the Republican Party.
We cede no ground, as Democrats, on equality. Workers should receive their just due, their fair pay for their labor. Period.
The top 1% is redistributing the hard-earned dollars of the people into the pockets of their too-big-to-fail pants, and we will not stand for it, sit for it, take it lying down, or in any way, shape, or form cede our democracy to a small group of plutocrats who care not for the life, liberty and happiness of the people.
It is time that we give truth to the words With Liberty and Justice For All. And when I say for all, I mean ALL the people regardless of gender, orientation, race, age, ethnicity or ability. That liberty and justice that my grandparents and great-grandparents sought, to come and breathe free, work hard, and live the American Dream. The same liberty and justice that today’s immigrants seek. Let us learn from our history and treat them with the dignity that my grandparents did not always receive.
Women. We are 51% of the population, and we will not be denied equality any longer. We are done waiting patiently, working just as hard as men for only ¾ of the pay, and being a paltry 16% of the United States Congress, and an even smaller percentage in the board room.
We are in the 21st century. We will not be used, will not allow our most private and personal issues to be used as political footballs. We want equality. We have more than earned it. And we want it now.
Security. We can have both liberty and security. We are great enough and smart enough to figure it out. Anyone who says we cannot is wrong.
Finally, as anyone who knows me can tell you, I do not back down from a fight. This fight for equality and economic justice is one we must have, and one we must win for the people of this Commonwealth and this great nation. So we can say to all who live here, it is with liberty and justice for ALL.