As a progressive independent thinker, I like to think of myself as someone that is responsive, compassionate and hardworking.
My record of community service and currently my positions as Director of Veterans Services for the city of Pittsfield
and the town of Richmond certainly speaks for itself.
As an advocate for veterans, seniors and education, I support tougher laws to protect Medicare fraud, no child left behind
programs and cruelty to animals. The laws need to be tougher, the fines higher and the predators need to be put away.
In both Pittsfield and Richmond Veteran’s benefits have grown steadily due to a program under M.G.L chapter 115.
Today, more than ever, Veterans are receiving assistance, with fuel, prescription drug programs and housing.
Just this year along, the Commonwealths veteran benefits program has increased by 3%. I applauded Gov. Patrick
for his support of this budget and also, his support of the men and women that wear the uniform. They place themselves in
harms way each and every day to protect us and restore democracy.
As a member of the Pittsfield Council on Aging, I have supported programs for seniors and will continue to support funding
to keep our senior centers open and programs funded. This is our “greatest generation” we must protect their interest.
Massachusetts is No. 1 in the state in student achievement, according to the National Assessment of Educational Programs,
this is an independent organization that evaluates states on a host of education issues.
We have an obligation to educate our youth and lower the drop out rate……
I also I support Police, Fire and Public safety and ask neighbors and towns to become more pro-active…get to know
your neighbors…get to know your Police and Firemen …… You never know when you might need them.
In Richmond every year we have a chicken BBQ that helps to supports an all-volunteer fire dept. This is a good
way for the town to come together…It gives all of us real since of community. I know some of the smaller towns have:
block parties, firemen musters…town picnics……This is also a great way to meet people. Remember our public
safety people put their life on the line every day to take care of us.
I also support the efforts to expand Broad Band and improve Internet access in many of our underserved area in Western
Massachusetts. Today, more than ever people work from home. Broad Band will allow that happen.
As the Governor stated in his address at the Massachusetts Mayors Association conference recently at Cranwell, "The state
will be embarking on more that 500 construction project. This a $4 billion dollar investment that will create more than
20,000 jobs.. …..We must get people back to work."
As professional photographer, I appreciate the arts and encourage our youths to get involved. I will support funding
for tourism, downtowns and neighbor developments.
I am proud member of the 104th Air National Guard in Westfield, Massachusetts and I take great pride in serving my country
and have continued to do so for the last 19.5 years.
In closing, I would like to leave you all .with just one thought:….. I have a dear friend, she is a veteran, she
just turned 100 yrs old…(She is here with us today.) I asked her one day, why did you join the Army? She paused, thought
for a moment, and looked into my eyes and said,
“Because it was the right thing to do”.
After asking my family what do you think, about me running for office, my parents said, “If that is something you
think you want to do, you should do it? (They are also here today)
I then called my 100 yr old veteran friend and she said, “Go for it”.
I turned to my dog “Fozzy” and he said, “You always do whatever you want to do, so why change now”.
I feel this is great opportunity for me to continue the work I am currently doing…
So therefore, as of today May 17th 2010, (my birthday)I am announcing my candidacy for the 2nd Berkshire District
State Representative Seat. Because “I feel it is the right thing to do”!