Elect Gretchen Van Ness


Gretchen served as President of the Board of Hyde Jackson Square Main Street and currently serves as co-chair of the Zoning Committee of the Fairmount Hill Neighborhood Association. Gretchen participates in the annual Neponset River Clean-Up and is a member of the steering committee of Boston South Fair Skies, which is fighting airplane noise and pollution. She is also a member of the Dog Park Association of SouthWest Boston, Inc. and RISE (Roslindale is for Everyone).


Growing up, Gretchen attended School Without Walls, a public school, where she learned the value of activism, community building, and how to bring a diverse group of voices to the table. She attended Wilson College and was a plaintiff in the first lawsuit in the nation that succeeded in reversing a Board of Trustees' decision to close a college. Gretchen is also a graduate of Boston College Law School, where she received a fellowship from the American Association of University Women and served as editor-in-chief of the Boston College Law Review.


As President of the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts, Gretchen was recognized as a Best of Boston attorney by Boston Magazine and honored as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.

She has lectured widely and taught at Suffolk University Law School and the Harvard Extension School.  Gretchen has also represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the state and federal appellate and trial courts.


Gretchen brings a proven record of leadership and a new voice to the 14th Suffolk District.  As State Representative, Gretchen will focus on education, affordable housing, mass transit, criminal justice reform, and health care.  She will be a fierce advocate and progressive leader who is also accessible, engaged with the community, and responsive to constituents’ needs and concerns.