For two decades, Jamie Zahlaway Belsito has been working at the state and national level to create legislative policies that positively affect public education, immigration, and women’s health.
The granddaughter of a Syrian immigrant and daughter of a hard working union floor layer, Jamie is a first generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Salem State College. As a Trustee of her alma mater, and proud public school parent, she advocates for better public education funding.
As a Congressional intern for the Honorable J. Joseph Moakley, Jamie focused on constituent immigration cases. She is committed to a fair, welcoming and workable immigration system.
After the birth of both of her daughters, Jamie experienced what is commonly known as Postpartum Depression. Drawing upon her legislative background, she began a grassroots outreach to de-stigmatize the condition and educate women and their families. In 2015, with the support of Ipswich's Birth to Three Family Center, North Shore Postpartum Depression HELP, and State Senator Joan Lovely she created the first ever advocacy day at the Statehouse focused on maternal mental health and family support services.
On Beacon Hill, she was appointed to the Ellen Story Postpartum Commission. Her work led to the achievement of statewide screening for maternal mental health challenges, the #1 complication of all pregnancies. In 2016, on Capitol Hill, she organized the first family-led national advocacy day for maternal mental wellness and founded the only national organization dedicated to advocating for better maternal health policies. She has helped introduce and pass legislation that address maternal mortality, racial disparities in maternal health care, mental health support access and substance use treatment programs. Her work has changed how this state and this nation treats women’s health.
Jamie is a former candidate for United State Congress and is the founder and policy director of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance. She is a board member of the Massachusetts chapter of the March of Dimes. She has been working tirelessly with both Congress and the Massachusetts Statehouse on funding to address social, racial and cultural barriers for pregnant and new families, expansion of healthcare for pregnant and new parents, and funding for our public K-12 and higher ed colleges and universities.
She resides in Topsfield, MA with her husband and two young daughters.