East Somerville resident Crystal Turner was recently honored at the 2023 Black Excellence on the Hill event, which is hosted annually by the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) to commemorate Black community leaders and trailblazers who are making a difference in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Crystal was nominated for this recognition by Representative Mike Connolly. This year the event was held in the State House Hall of Flags with opening remarks from Caucus Executive Director Zavon Billups, Caucus Chair Bud Williams, Governor Maura Healey, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. The keynote address was delivered by Springfield, MA native Bishop Talbert W. Swan.
“I was proud to nominate and welcome Crystal Turner to the State House to receive the Black Excellence award for the 26th Middlesex district of Cambridge and Somerville,” said Rep. Connolly. “Thank you, Crystal, for your service to the City of Somerville, the Greater Somerville community, and for your career mentorship of women and girls.”
Crystal spent her childhood first in Flint, Michigan, and later in Gainesville, Alabama until graduating from High School. She attended Yale University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2008. After college, Crystal moved to the Boston area to begin her career in financial services. She started in institutional asset management, first at Wellington Management as an equity research associate, and then at Loomis Sayles as a vice president and analyst for the macro strategies research team/asset allocation committee, and then multi-sector fixed income portfolio management teams. In 2022 she moved to New York Life to work as a financial advisor, working directly with individuals, families, and business owners to create financial plans. Crystal is passionate about empowering women, youth, and underserved populations, especially in the area of financial literacy. She previously served as an overseer for the Boston Children's Museum and on the advisory board of Invest in Girls. Her civic career in Somerville started in 2019 with her appointment to the Somerville Women’s Commission where she served as chair from 2021 to 2022. In addition, she served on the City of Somerville’s Charter Review Committee from 2021-2022. She currently resides in East Somerville where she enjoys exploring new restaurants and biking and walking along the Mystic River and Assembly Row.
Other honorees at the ceremony from Cambridge and Somerville delegation members included: Cambridge School Committee member Ayesha Wilson (Representative Decker), Cambridge Families of Color Coalition member Ernie Michaud Weinstock (Representative Owens), Somerville Office of Immigrant Affairs staffer Jhenny Saint-Surin (Representative Barber), former Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants Executive Director John “Jack” Cooper (Representative Rogers), and former Somerville City Councilor Wilfred N. Mbah (Representative Uyterhoeven).
Created in 1973, the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus remains a voice for Massachusetts' communities of color in the Legislature. They seek to empower constituents to gain a deeper sense of political awareness on issues concerning them and their greater communities. The MBLLC’s fourteen legislators remain dedicated to serving communities of color throughout the Commonwealth through legislative, budgetary, and community endeavors.