Serving beyond the Senate: Pacheco’s work to continue after departure

Feb 22, 2024

The state Senate’s longest, continuously serving member will not be running for re-election. After decades of dedication in the public sector, 1st Plymouth and Bristol district Sen. Marc Pacheco will end his reign as dean of the Senate in January 2025 — but his work is not finished.

Pacheco’s district includes his hometown Taunton, Carver, Marion, Middleboro and Wareham, as well as five Bristol County towns.

Every election year Pacheco reevaluates whether he wants to run again. With this year being a national election, he said he felt it was the right time for this transition.

Having served four years in the House of Representatives and 32 in the Senate, Pacheco said his district has gone through many changes and the electoral process is “always one that can be challenging.”

He said he has served through three redistricting, which can pose additional challenges for developing relationships with constituents and for those who had relied on his support for years. 

Pacheco said he feels satisfied with what he has been able to accomplish while in office.

“I feel that we have made a substantial amount of progress,” he said. “We've improved … our society tremendously.”

However, he adds, “At any period of time, no matter how successful you are in the public sector, or in public service, there's always more to do.”

To his successor, Pacheco says he hopes “they really care about people — the people that they serve — because that’s the bottom line for me.”

He highlighted the efforts that are necessary to make progress in the public sector as oftentimes changes happen slowly. 

Making progress means meeting with a variety of groups, and Pacheco said he is grateful he’s been able to gain experience throughout that process that he could then put to use for the benefit of his constituents. 

Pacheco said he’s passionate about public service and has always been an advocate for civic engagement.

He discussed how he will often explain to young people the variety of ways they can get involved and serve their communities, including, of course, running for an elected office, but there are also opportunities in the not-for-profit and private sectors.

“There's a whole range of ways to serve and I hope to continue to serve in some way, hopefully in a significant way,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco’s entrance into public service began on the local level on the Taunton School Committee. 

Frustrated with inequities in the local education system, he decided to use his discontentment to create change. 

He would go on to work in the mayor’s office along with his duties on the School Committee for a decade before pursuing an undergraduate degree in human services at New Hampshire College and a master’s in public administration from Suffolk University.

Pacheco said he has a “whole range” of service areas that have interested him over the years beyond education, including climate action, economic development, healthcare and foreign policy.

He highlighted how he is the author of the Global Warming Solutions Act, which placed a cap on carbon emissions in Massachusetts. He said it was the first of its kind and has been updated a few times since with plans for another later this year.

Pacheco said much of his time after he’s out of office will be devoted to the new International Non Government Organization he is a part of creating called the Transatlantic Climate Alliance.

The focus of the organization will be on ensuring the use of best practices on the sub-national level in the Transatlantic region for implementing climate action.

However, Pacheco still has a year left of his tenure: “I look forward to working for the people of this district throughout the remainder of my service in the role of state senator and Dean of the Senate here in Massachusetts. I will certainly be looking forward to and looking out for opportunities to potentially serve in other ways.”