Marianne Walles has spent her life fighting for the working class. As a social worker, she sees the daily struggles of families in Massachusetts. As a union organizer, she has learned that to win, everyone must join together to fight against those with too much power. And as a lifelong resident of Somerville, Marianne knows the history and potential of Somerville like no one else.
In her 21 years as a social worker, Marianne has worked with families to assess their struggles, identify a path to improvement, and provide support for them to be successful. Through this daily work she is in a unique position to understand the difficulties working families face and to fight for them. The many times she has defended tenants at eviction hearings or found funds to help them pay first, last, and security define her views on the need for affordable housing and tenant protections. As a leader in her union, SEIU Local 509, Marianne fought with bilingual social workers to stop the state from overloading them with unpaid work as translators, and together they won that fight.
Marianne is Somerville through and through. Her father was born and raised here and her mother emigrated from Sicily. Her father was a member of the Baker and Confectionery Union. She and her husband of 27 years have always lived in Somerville, and have two sons who attended Somerville Public Schools. Both of her sons apprentice with IBEW Local 103. Marianne is deeply involved in the community-led push to get large nonprofits with billion dollar endowments to pay their fair share of taxes. Her roots in the community and the struggles of working people define her as the leader Somerville needs.