“I’ve always been interested in politics,” she says. “Even in high school.”
It was there that she met her future husband, Bob, an intern and Salem State student. The couple married in 1986. A Dedham native, Bob works as a federal investigator and serves in the Naval Reserve.
For seven years, Griffin Dunne put her law degree to work for the Department of Mental Health. “We would obtain guardianship for the mentally ill. ... It was an extremely meaningful experience dealing with people who needed help, needed support and needed services.”
When children came — eventually four — Griffin Dunne was able to maintain a professional life. Only a year after the birth of her first, she opened her own law practice.
“I did it the way I wanted to,” she says. “Family came first. Family always came first. ... Many women were forced to make a decision — career versus family. I am lucky. I was able to do both.”
Later, she won a spot on the School Committee.
Asked what writings influenced her, Griffin Dunne replies flatly “anything about Abraham Lincoln. ... He held the country together at its worst time. He had great compassion. He was affected deeply by the plight of individual citizens both in the North and South.”
Her own sense of compassion, Griffin Dunne says, stems from her Catholic faith. She attends St. John’s. “It has taught me to listen to people. To be kind. To be honest. To be a good citizen. To be a good custodian of this Earth.”
On the other hand, she separates church teachings from politics. “I have my personal faith. But I will be representing people from all walks of life. I will obey what the law is.”
She comes to voters showcasing her bond to the city. “I care deeply about Peabody and its people. These facts plus my education and experience have prepared me very well for the position of representative. ... I will make sure the people of Peabody are cared for because the government belongs to them.”