State Representative William (Bill) Straus was named as the 2005 Rappaport Urban Scholar and subsequently received a Masters in Public Administration (2007) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Strauss has been a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1993. He represents the 10th Bristol District comprising the towns of Fairhaven; New Bedford: Ward 3: Precinct A, Ward 4: Precincts D, E; Marion; Mattapoisett; and Rochester
Representative Straus currently serves as the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation. Straus was very involved in the South Coast Rail project through his work on the Joint Committee on Transportation. He has also filed legislation to make public the MBTA pension system finances.
In the 2009-2010 legislative term Representative Straus served as the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment and Agriculture. During the 2005-2006 term of the Massachusetts Legislature, he was a member of the Joint Committees on the Environment, Consumer Protection and Bonding-Capital Expenditures. In prior sessions of the Legislature, he has served as Vice Chairman of the Transportation Committee and as Chairman of the Committee on Election Laws.
He was the original sponsor of the state’s “do not call” legislation giving individuals the ability to block telephone solicitors. In the past, he worked as an aide in the U.S. Senate for John Culver (D- Iowa) from 1978 through 1980. From 1982 to 1988 he worked as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Bristol County, Massachusetts. His work for the environment includes a gubernatorial appointment to the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council (1987-1992), a member of his town’s Conservation Commission responsible for wetlands protection (1987-1992). He has also served as the designee of the House of Representatives to the Massachusetts Fisheries Recovery Commission.
Since 1982, Rep. Straus has also been a practicing attorney in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with a specialty in labor relations on behalf of employees and unions.
UPDATED: JANUARY 2023