Natalie Higgins was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November 2016 and sworn in as State Representative for the 4th Worcester District (Leominster) on January 4, 2017.
Natalie is a lifelong Leominster resident, Boston-educated attorney, and former non-profit director and rape crisis counselor, who is dedicated to service and advocacy. A 2006 graduate of Leominster High School, Natalie obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Amherst, earned her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2014.
Natalie’s interest in government was solidified during her undergraduate years at UMass, and particularly during an internship with then-Representative Jennifer Flanagan. Inspired by such a strong and confident role model, Natalie set a goal to continue serving the Leominster community through non-profit and government work. Her training in community organizing while at UMass also shaped what would be a future of advocacy and public service.
Natalie volunteers at Pathways for Change where she initially served as a counselor for victims of sexual violence. She also led Pathways’ prevention programming, teaching local middle and high school students as a Teen Counselor and Educator. She continued to serve on Pathways’ Board of Directors, where she was elected Vice President in 2015, stepping down at the end of December 2016 after her election.
While in law school, Natalie secured a competitive Rappaport Fellowship in Policy and Law, where she worked in the Cabinet Affairs Office of Governor Deval Patrick, drafting best practices to protect non-student minors from sexual violence on public college campuses. Natalie also worked in the Worcester Juvenile Court, under the Honorable Carol A. Erskine and in the Elder Unit of Community Legal Aid. She participated in Northeastern’s Domestic Violence Clinic, providing support for Dorchester and Roxbury residents seeking restraining orders. Natalie even travelled to India as a recipient of the PHRGE (Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy) Fellowship where she worked with the Reproductive Rights Initiative of the Human Rights Law Network, advocating for the legal rights of women in India.
Natalie knows what it means to struggle with the burden of educational debt; therefore, shortly after finishing law school, she took on the position of Executive Director for the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), organizing and advocating for well-funded, affordable, accessible, and well-staffed public higher education in Massachusetts.
Natalie has been appointed to five committees for the 2019-2020 legislative session: the House Committee on Personnel & Administration (Vice Chair), the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Recovery, and the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Natalie also serves as the House Co-Chair of the Library Caucus and the Higher Education Caucus.