PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield was built on energy.
It wasn't the energy of General Electric, but the energy of an entire generation.
My grandparents, along with many of you, were not handed prosperity; they worked hard for it. And while Pittsfield cannot dwell on the past and the wonders of the '50s and '60s, I believe this generation can show and lead our new generation with their example. I will bring their lessons with me to the State House as your next state representative.
Lesson 1. Success doesn't just happen, you have to make it happen.
My grandparents opened Jim's Working Man's Store on Woodlawn Avenue 70 years ago. While my grandfather built and stocked the shelves, my grandmother greeted parents and their children late into the night on Thursday evenings. They worked hard not just for their business, but for the entire community, to make this the place that they wanted to raise their family.
Be part of change
Six months ago, when weighing my decision to run, I reached out to many friends of mine who graduated from the Pittsfield public schools and moved away from the city. I asked them if they would ever move back to Pittsfield to raise a family here. None said yes. That unfortunate answer is what sparked this campaign.
It's easy to sit, wait, and complain about the change you want to see. It's much harder to be a part of that change. My task remains the same one that my grandparents had: to make Pittsfield a greater place to raise a family.
Lesson 2. — Real collaboration yields real results.
Whether it was working on the line at General Electric, in the kitchen at the Highland, or on the field at Wahconah Park, collaboration brought results to the people of Pittsfield. Today politicians talk the talk of "collaboration" without walking the walk. Our current legislator is 0 for 25 in bills that she has sponsored. Advocacy alone does not bring about effective change.
With two elementary schools ranked in the bottom 3 percent of the state and an average family income more than $25,000 below the state average, the people of Pittsfield need more than talk. We cannot afford another day of stalled progress because of a failure to work together. I've been a blue-blooded Democrat since the day I was born, and I am a member of the Democratic City Committee, but right now, working for Pittsfield means working with a Republican governor, not just trotting out the same old talking points.
Lesson 3. — Hold yourself accountable and learn from your mistakes.
When Jim's House of Shoes burnt down in 1957, there was no mourning, no blaming, no call to the city for assistance. My grandfather and friends picked up their tools and got to work.
Over the years, Pittsfield has had its share of ups and downs, missed opportunities, and reasons to complain. Whether it was saying no to a downtown mall, a baseball stadium or a bypass, it seems for every issue we face, there is an excuse to go with it. No more excuses.
As your next state representative I will be rebuilding Pittsfield, as my grandfather did long before me. My success won't be measured by two by fours and storefronts, but by votes, bills, and funding.
Actions, not words
I pledge to the people of Pittsfield that if after four years, you don't see that positive change and progress, then you can hold me accountable: not to my words — those come easy — but to my actions and my results.
It's on us now.
While I hold my grandparents' generation in esteem, and carry with me the lessons I have learned from them, the future of this city is in the hands of a new generation — one that believes passionately in equality, sustainability, and continued progress for our community.
I am knocking on doors seven days a week asking for your vote on Sept. 8 in the Democratic preliminary election. And If we haven't yet met, I want to hear from you, 413-212-9386 or email@example.com.
Michael Bloomberg is a Democratic candidate for state representative from the 3rd Berkshire District.