MEET SAMANTHA

A VOICE FOR MARLBOROUGH’S FUTURE

Samantha Perlman is dedicated to moving our community forward. After a successful two years in office, she is running for re-election to the Marlborough City Council. She is driven by her commitment to strengthening our city and adding new, forward-thinking representation to local government. Sam is a proud graduate of Marlborough High School and Emory University. Throughout Sam’s personal and professional experiences, her passion for inclusive community building and public service have remained at the center.
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Image description: Sam in 2021 holding a campaign sign.
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Image description: Picture of downtown Marlborough.
Sam has long-standing roots in Marlborough and the community here that raised her. It is where she took her first steps into activism as she and her peers advocated for the reinstatement of a beloved administrator. At Marlborough High School, Sam honed leadership skills as an avid actress in school musicals and when nominated as a participant and then facilitator for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Sam also spent five years working at New Horizons assisted living community throughout high school and college, giving her exposure to the hopes of Marlborough’s older residents and instilling in her the value of hard work. 
While earning her degree at Emory University, Sam delved further into the world of grassroots organizing and public service. Sam participated in youth coalitions firsthand while studying abroad in South Africa, as students critically called for equity on campus. These students, who were directly challenging the systemic discrimination embedded in the university’s administrative structure, demonstrated to Sam the immense power of youth as catalysts for social change. Propelled by her time abroad, Sam continued her political exposure stateside through interning in the legislative and judicial branches in both Massachusetts and D.C. All of these experiences enhanced her understanding of how commitment to social issues coupled with collaboration and intentional relationships translate into authentic community building, a work ethic that Sam carries forward in her work as City Councilor At-Large.
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Image description: Sam with former Congresswoman Niki Tsongas after serving as a summer intern in her DC Office.
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Image description: Sam hugging a student who won an award at her work Generation Citizen's Civics Day.
Sam is a graduate of the Commonwealth Seminar, MA Citizens Legislative Seminar and FAO Schwarz Fellowship in social impact. In 2019, she graduated from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice’s Community Fellows Program, earning a certificate in Community Leadership and Social Change from Tufts University. She was also selected as a member of the 2019 cohort for Emerge Massachusetts, an organization that empowers women to run for office. In 2020, she was named one of IGNITE National’s 30 Under 30 Womxn to Watch in Politics.
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Through her previous work in civic education, Sam renewed her passion for working locally as she advocated for equitable civics education and built partnerships with government and advocacy organizations across the state. Whether helping the Obama Foundation train 150 young people on civic engagement in Boston or successfully advocating for passage of the MA Civics Bill to ensure quality and experiential civic education, Sam is invested in preparing the next generation of leaders. As a young professional living where she grew up, Sam committed herself to the civic life and community organizing of this city by becoming active in our local government, including as an appointed member of the Marlborough Cultural Council. Sam is a lifelong learner who continues to take on new challenges and build up her skills to best serve her community. This fall, Sam is pursuing her JD/MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Boston College Law in partnership with Tufts University.

Image description: Sam and her Emerge MA sisters at their 2019 Class Graduation. Emerge is a program that trains women to run for office.
Propelled by her passion for civic engagement and community building, Sam translated her organizing and policy skills to local government. In 2019, Sam ran for office as a first-time candidate running against incumbents and other challengers for one of the Councilor At-Large positions. Her community-first campaign, focus on relationships and active listening coupled with a grassroots organizing approach propelled her to become the youngest woman ever elected to the Marlborough City Council at age 24. She knocked on thousands of doors to talk to residents which also translated into becoming the first new candidate to top the ticket in a City Councilor At-Large race. Most importantly, she sees her election as the community’s seat in local government because it truly was a city-wide movement that came out for her election.
Images description: Sam and supporters marching in the 2019 Labor Day Parade.
She took office formally in January of 2020. Like governments across the United States, she quickly adapted to support community members during the COVID-19 pandemic as meetings moved remotely and our entire world changed. Sam was up for the challenge, helping residents file unemployment when they lost their jobs, organizing food drives to support our local pantry and dedicating hours to deliver meals to seniors and host educational online events to better understand the pandemic. She continues to be one of the most accessible, communicative and transparent public servants through her timely constituent services, use of social media and engagement with young residents.
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Image description: Sam speaks with residents in Ward 2.