Nick Collins has fought hard on Beacon Hill since 2010, focusing on core issues that impact us all: public health and safety, social and economic justice, reliable transportation, affordable housing, quality education and environmental preservation and sustainability. In his second term as State Senator for First Suffolk District, Nick plans to continue fighting for transit equity, environmental justice, and economic opportunity for all.
Born and raised in Boston, Nick grew up in a large family as one of six children of Jim and Mary McCarthy Collins. He’s a graduate of Boston Latin School and Babson College. He and his wife, Dr. Olivia J. Liff, live in South Boston with their daughter Justine.
Public service has always been in Nick’s blood. His father, Jim Collins, served as the state representative from Charlestown in the 1970s, as well as in the administrations of Boston Mayor Kevin White and Governor Ed King. Nick’s mother, Mary McCarthy Collins, became a political activist at an early age as well. Her uncle Jim Thohig represented South Boston in the 1960s. Nick got his own start in public service as an aide to longtime state Sen. Jack Hart. He was also a regional field director for the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008.
First elected in 2010, Nick served 8 years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives before being elected to the State Senate in 2018. He currently Chairs the Joint Committee on Export Development, and is the Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee. He is also a past chair of the Legislature’s Boston Delegation, and currently serves on the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
The Boston Globe says Nick “has his finger on the pulse of every major issue in the district — the abuse of prescription painkillers, the need for reentry jobs for prisoners, the continuing expansion of the South Boston waterfront, and the need to jump-start development in poorer neighborhoods.” The Globe also noted that his “aggressive approach” and “reputation for tireless work” has generated strong support in communities of color in Boston.
The Boston Herald says Nick has “a respectable record on fiscal issues that affect the hard-working residents of his district, and taxpayers need that now more than ever.” The paper also said he “brings the right mix of legislative experience and a willingness to put the taxpayer first.”
As the South Boston Waterfront has boomed with unprecedented development and commerce, he’s worked hard to forge innovative partnerships to foster inclusiveness, fought for transit upgrades to improve access for all and relieve congestion and backed policies mandating more open and green space. He’s helped secure more funding for Boston Public Schools, supported programs that create pathways to college for ex-gang members and pushed for resources to support foreign language students.
An outspoken advocate for stronger public health laws, Nick successfully pushed the Department of Public Health to grant all medical residents access to the state’s prescription database, a measure recognized by the Boston Globe as key to reducing opioid abuse.
On public safety, Nick has routinely secured crucial funds for police and fire training and deployment. He’s also been a strong advocate for infrastructure and transportation projects, including co-authoring a $1 billion measure to expand the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, securing millions for road and bridge improvements, and appropriating $109 million to upgrade the Paul W. Conley Terminal in South Boston, which created jobs and ensured the region’s shipping industry would continue to grow and thrive.
Nick has been honored by several community organizations, including the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, the Children’s League of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and the Urban Public Safety Alliance of Massachusetts, among others. He’s also a founding board member of UP Academy of Dorchester and Boston, an advisory board member of Excel High School in South Boston, and a co-founder of the South Boston Leadership Initiative. In 2016, he served as chairman of the South Boston Citizens Association’s Evacuation Day ceremonies.
Nick has worked to ensure LGBT inclusion in South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. and was proud to support legislation so that women receive equal pay for equal work. An advocate for the Earned Income Tax Credit to help lift families out of poverty, he also supported tax breaks for seniors so they can stay in their homes and has called on corporations and nonprofits to include more women in leadership roles.
Senator Collins has spent the last several years pushing for transit equity on the Fairmount Line, filing legislation for a rapid transit pilot program and pushing for electrification of the line. At the nexus of environmental justice, economic opportunity, and equity, this issue is at the core of the Senator’s legislative agenda.
He believes deeply in public service and the role of government in ensuring equality, justice and opportunity for all. This is what he fights for every day.