Barbara Gray's book, A Woman's Ways & Means, recounts her 24 years as Framingham's state representative, serving under four governors and working with some of Massachusetts' finest legislators. She helped found many local groups and institutions, including Framingham's battered women's shelter. There is no question that when it comes to women's issues in Massachusetts, Barbara Gray has been a dedicated champion and part of every success story for the last two decades.
The fact that she was the only child of a fervent Republican father and "closet Democrat mother" may explain why she began her political career as a liberal Republican, but later converted to the Democratic party.
When Barbara moved to Framingham and discovered there was no local League of Women's Voters, she quickly founded one. Shortly thereafter, she ran for Framingham planning board, one of many traditionally male bastions that she would crack. In 1973, when she was elected to the state legislature, she was part of a freshman class that included Barney Frank, Edward Markey, and Ray Flynn.
Barbara's education earned her a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from Connecticut College for Women and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Western New England College. She also studied at Oxford University, England.
Her political career includes 24 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving on the Ways and Means committee, 25 years as Framingham's delegate to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and 11 years on the Framingham planning board. Her successfully championed causes include prevention of domestic violence, supporting a woman's right to choose, providing shelters for battered women, reducing prison overcrowding, gun control, gay rights, environmental issues, and seat belt laws.
Gray is the recipient of numerous awards from national and state organizations, including the National Office of Victims Assistance, Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Governors Council, Office of Public Health, Legislators Association, Psychological Association, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Patriot Girl Scout Council, and Massachusetts Bay Community College.