Within minutes of the clock striking 3:15 p.m. and the first day of school over for Tucker Elementary School first to fifth-graders, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District greets the boys and girls as they stream by.
“I’m your congresswoman,” she said to the students. “I work for you.”
By 4 p.m., Pressley and Communications Director Kalina Francis are meeting with Milton Times employees. Pressley is wearing a black pantsuit, stylish shoes, her trademark hair braids and an enthusiastic smile. The gentle hum of the office’s large freshwater fish tank fills a momentary silence before introductions begin.
Pressley appears comfortable and relaxed.
When asked about what it’s like being in the political spotlight, Pressley pauses for a minute.
She described feeling the tug of a long distance commuting-for-work lifestyle. Each week, she works on and files bicameral legislation with other members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle. When she flies home to Boston from Washington, D.C., the joy of being able to see her husband Conan Harris, step-daughter Cora and cat Sojourner Truth (or “SoJo”) is tempered with the knowledge that she’ll have to leave both of them after the weekend to return to work at the Capitol. Pressley is not complaining; she’s acknowledging the dedication she brings to her work and her family.
She graduated from the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and headed east to college, earning her degree from Boston University.
(More of this story appears in the Milton Times issue of Sept. 19 in print and in our e-edition.)