2021 - PRESENT
2009 - 2021
Ludlow School Committee Member
2008 - 2021
Chair, Ludlow Democratic Town Committee
President, Massachusetts Association of School Committees
2005 - 2009
Ludlow Town Meeting Member
At Home in Ludlow
AT HOME IN LUDLOW
Jake Oliveira is the great-grandson of immigrants from Portugal and Poland, who settled in Ludlow, Springfield and Palmer. They worked in the Ludlow Mills and put down strong roots in Western Massachusetts. Jake’s grandfather Bolac Bastek helped to build the Quabbin reservoir.
Growing up Jake’s dad Rich worked in management for an engineering company and his mom Carol worked as a secretary and was a member of the teamsters union. Jake’s dad was laid off when Jake was 8 years old, he returned to school to become a teacher. While those times weren’t easy for his family, they survived by sticking to the values of family, community, and hard work. Jake’s dad became a Math teacher and went on to teach at Palmer and Ludlow High Schools.
As State Representative, Jake has helped small businesses recover from COVID, secured millions of dollars for public higher education, and is helping to lead efforts to oversee the Holyoke Soldiers Home.
Jake was educated entirely through the public education system. He is a third-generation Ludlow High School graduate (Class of ‘04) and an alumnus of Framingham State University. While at Framingham State, Oliveira served three years as an elected member of the campus Board of Trustees. He was a student member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, which sets policy for the state’s colleges and universities. As a student leader, Jake was a founding member of PHENOM - the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, which advocates for higher education at the State House.
Jake was elected to the Ludlow School Committee in 2009 and served on the body for 12 years. He has distinguished himself as a fierce advocate for public education. He has persistently fought for educational equity. He also serves as Ludlow’s representative to the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, which provides the district’s vocational programs and student transportation for seven school districts.
In 2016, Jake was elected the youngest ever President of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. As President, Jake partnered with school committee members from across Massachusetts to lead the fight against expanding charter schools without local approval.
Jake was a member of the Governor’s Local Government Advisory Committee, meeting monthly with the Governor or Lieutenant Governor to discuss issues impacting cities and towns in Massachusetts. At the national level, Oliveira has represented the eleven Northeastern states on the National School Boards Association’s board of directors since 2015. Through these roles, Jake has become a leader at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
In his professional career, Jake served as the Assistant Executive Officer of the Massachusetts State Universities Council of Presidents, which represents the interests of the nine state universities. While at the Council of Presidents, Jake helped implement the legislative strategy that changed the name of seven of the then-state colleges to state universities.
Jake understands the workings and power dynamics of the State House. Early in his career, he served as budget director for Michael Rodrigues, who is now the Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
Jake chaired the Ludlow Democratic Town Committee for over 10 years and served as an elected Ludlow Town Meeting member (2005-2009). He is also a former eighth-grade CCD teacher. Jake lives on East Street in Ludlow next door to his grandmother Lena Oliveira.
Jake's immediate family members are all proud graduates of Ludlow High School - his sister Georgina (2011), Mom Carol (1971), grandmother Lena (1943), and Dad Richard (1967). Family is very important to Jake, and he credits his dad for instilling his passion for public education.
Jake and his family
Jake at his Ludlow HS graduation in 2004 with his sister, Georgie; Mom, Carol; and Dad, Rich
Jake delivering remarks to the class of 2008 his college commencement at Framingham
Delivering the keynote address at the Harold E. Grinspoon Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner, 2018
Jake campaigning for school committee with his uncle Russ Oliveira
As President of the School Committee Association, Jake rallying school committee members in front of the State House in opposition to the expansion of charter schools in 2016
Leading the fight to include gender identity as a protected class before the National School Boards Association in 2018
"Senior Strong" Jake and his Grandmother Lena supporting the Ludlow Senior Center Project in 2018
Jake and his Uncle Charlie Santos and Grandmother Lena during the 2019 Ludlow Memorial Day Parade