Congressman John Tierney’s leadership on issues of job creation, job training, education and innovation come as little surprise to those who know John. His tireless work ethic was established early in his life. When growing up, John worked multiple jobs to contribute to his family’s budget and pay for his own education. Largely owing to these life experiences John fully appreciates the value of a dollar earned through hard work and the sacrifice it takes to raise a family.
John was born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts. He grew up with parents who worked hard to make a living and care for their children. His mother, an employee at the local phone company, worked a split shift so she could be home when her children returned from school. His father worked as a bookkeeper for Nabisco, and later Pickering Fuel in Salem. John had his first job at the early age of eight working in the morning as a paperboy and in the evenings and weekends as a caddy at the local golf course so that he might help contribute to the family budget.
After graduating from Salem High School, John attended Salem State College where he majored in political science. He knew then the value of a quality education and appreciated that others had kept his tuition and fees reasonable through public investment in the State College System. John paid for his schooling by working three jobs — making deliveries, selling at Empire Clothing store and participating in the college’s work study program as a building supervisor. He still found time to be class president and then president of Salem’s Student Government Association and later served on the Board of Trustees for five years. John continued to work his way through Suffolk Law School by clerking in a law office in the afternoon and cleaning up the State House offices in the evenings.
Prior to coming to Congress, John was a small business owner as a partner in the North Shore community law firm of Tierney, Kalis and Lucas for over 20 years. He also served as president of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. John instinctively fights for small businesses and jobs because of his own experiences and because the individuals, families, small businesses and communities that were his clients were, like his own family, always pressing for fairness and the simple opportunity to work so a family or community could be supported.
Upon being elected to Congress, John immediately sought a seat on the Education and Labor Committee where he has tirelessly worked on education legislation that helps keep college tuition and fees lower. He has fought for families so that they might better afford school by increasing Pell Grant awards, cutting interest rates on student loans and originating loan forgiveness programs for those willing to take on jobs in areas of need, like teachers and nurses. He has also worked to create more affordable repayment plans based on graduates’ income so more students can afford to attend school without fear of never getting out from under excessive loans.
As the ranking member on the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), John has the vision and the expertise necessary to push sensible national security policy during a time in which we are ensnared in two wars overseas and an economic crisis here at home. He has developed an international reputation as a guardian of taxpayer funds and a leader who is willing to ask the tough questions and get to the heart of the matter on the most important issues: keeping us safe.
According to Foreign Policy Magazine, John Tierney’s “subcommittee has a reputation for taking on thorny oversight issues the House Armed Services Committee shies away from, and Tierney is not known to pull his punches.”
Congressman Tierney’s top priority is serving the people of his district and standing up for Main Street John is very proud of his local office’s well recognized success in helping constituents with all types of challenges, from housing, adoption and veterans’ issues to Medicare, Social Security and visa matters.
John makes a point of being accessible to constituents by traveling the district and meeting with families, businesses, not-for-profits and volunteer groups, heath care facilities and students. He conducts multiple open public community meetings every fall and spring, has regularly conducted ‘telephone community meetings’ for the whole district, has held ‘on-line’ community meetings and regularly meets with constituents in his local office as well as in Washington.
Congressman Tierney and his wife Patrice continue to make Salem their home. The Tierneys enjoy spending time with their family and friends.