Biography

Michael Everett Capuano was born in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1952 to Andrew Capuano of Somerville and Rita Garvey of Boston. Mike was named after both grandfathers, Michael Capuano and Everett Garvey. One was an orphan born in Italy who traveled to America alone when he was eighteen. The other was the son of Irish immigrants.

Mike is currently serving his eighth term as a Member of Congress.  Prior to his election in 1998, Mike was Mayor of Somerville for five terms. He was elected Mayor in 1990. In 1998, he served as President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, a statewide organization that represents the interests of the Commonwealth's 351 communities. He is also past President of the Massachusetts Mayors' Association.

As a Member of Congress, Mike was a consistent and outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq. In October of 2002, Mike voted against the Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

Mike was one of only a small group of lawmakers to vote against the so-called PATRIOT Act, demonstrating unwavering support for our cherished civil liberties.

Download Mike’s bio and portrait.

In November of 2006, Mike headed Rep. Nancy Pelosi's transition team as the Democrats prepared for a Majority role. Speaker Pelosi also named Mike to chair her Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement, which was established in January of 2007. In March of 2008, Mike's resolution establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics passed in the House, marking the first time in the history of the House that an independent perspective was brought to ethics matters. The national advocacy group Common Cause called these efforts "monumentally important" and a "tremendous improvement to the current system".

Since taking office in 1999, Mike has been a tireless advocate for issues of importance to his constituents:

  • Mike strongly supports a woman's right to choose.
  • Mike has always supported equal marriage.
  • Mike opposed — and voted against — the war in Iraq.
  • Mike is committed to bringing our troops home and supporting them when they return.
  • Mike deeply values civil liberties and voted against the PATRIOT Act
  • Mike opposes the death penalty.
  • Mike recognizes that the Commonwealth's housing stock is expensive, making it difficult to afford a home or make a rental payment. Consequently, he has fought for years to preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities.
  • Mike is committed to reforming our nation's health care system and is a strong supporter of a public health insurance option. He co-founded and co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers and has been leading efforts to more than double health center program funding over the last decade.
  • As a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Mike worked to secure record federal funding for Massachusetts' road and transit projects.
  • Moved by the story of a former Sudanese slave, who met with Mike to share his horrific experiences, Mike co-founded the Sudan Caucus. He is the current co-chair and has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the ongoing crisis in the region. He traveled to Sudan in 2005 and secured additional funding for the African Union peacekeeping mission.
  • Mike secured, for the first time in our nation's history, funding to help women who are victimized by the use of rape as a weapon during war. He sought these funds after hearing disturbing stories about the war in Kosovo from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.  At Mike's urging, funds were appropriated to establish a gender-based sexual-violence counseling program within the State Department's Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration.

Mike graduated from Somerville High School in 1969, received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in 1973 and a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1977. He passed the Massachusetts Bar in 1977. Mike was first elected to Congress in November of 1998. Mike met his wife, Barbara Teebagy Capuano in a Somerville High School chemistry class. Mike and Barbara have two sons, Michael and Joseph.

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