PITTSFIELD >> I have always thought of a campaign as a kind of a job interview with the voters. Candidates present their resumes, they participate in interviews (debates), offer references and engage in conversations with people on their front porches.
In this election, I invite you to put my resume and that of my opponent side by side. I have 30 years of professional experience in education and public service in Pittsfield. I've taught in the public schools and I have run a non-profit organization. I have been your city councilor and your state representative. I have a proven record as an effective legislator both advocating for the passing of sound progressive legislation and supporting my district through grant funding and earmarks.
I sponsored the 2013 legislation that allowed for the changes in the City Charter. In addition, I have passed legislation on insurance mandates and protections for sexual assault survivors. As chair of the Progressive Caucus, I have proudly taken a lead role in passing such bills as the Equal Pay Act, the Transgender Public Accommodation law and the Gas Leak provisions in the Energy bill.
Through my leadership role in the Gateway City Caucus, I helped pass and then fund the Transformative Development Initiative, which will bring focused planning and development into Gateway City neighborhoods. Further, I played a key role in getting Pittsfield named as one of only 10 districts selected and then further to receive one of the few full-time planning fellowships to focus on the transformation of Tyler Street.
I have spearheaded the $76 million of state investment in the Taconic High School Building Project, won $9.6 million for the Berkshire Innovation Center, secured bond authorization of $6 million for the repair of the Columbus Street Garage, secured $1.9 million in funding for the last two phases of the renovation of the Common and facilitated such applications for the Shannon Grant and Safe & Supportive Youth. I have also secured the funding for the recently opened opioid treatment facility in Pittsfield with plans for a second in the near future.
I have spent a great deal of time in the many different neighborhoods of Pittsfield meeting with and addressing the needs of residents. I'm particularly proud of my work in supporting both the coalition to reduce teen pregnancy and the Pittsfield Promise campaign whose goal is to have all our third graders reading at grade level. In that effort, I have worked directly with Manny and Vanessa Slaughter in helping them take their popular neighborhood sports and games playground program and extend it into a Summer Literacy Program.
Now let's compare this experience to that of my challenger. According to Mr. Bloomberg, he had internships working for the Olympics, Bloomberg Sports, Bloomberg News, all of which require pretty unusual connections to secure. It is also concerning that the longest he has stayed in any job is eight months; that's two professional jobs, for eight months each. Since November 2014, he has not been employed.
Mr. Bloomberg makes the repeated claim of being experienced at urban planning. His major was Political Science and neither of his internships nor his two jobs involved planning. Urban planning is a technical field that requires not only a great deal of course work but also years of experience in the field.
Finally, I think the voters might be concerned that he has almost no experience in the city he wants to represent. Not only has he not worked here professionally, he has not served on any boards or commissions and he has not held any local elected position. He's been here for a matter of months and by all appearances, he moved back here for the sole purpose of running for office.
The position of state representative is not an entry-level position.
When seeking a job it is customary to provide references. The advocacy organizations who most closely follow the issues facing the community offer endorsements. In contrast to my opponent who has not received a single endorsement from these kinds of groups, I am proud to have received the following to date:
For my leadership on environmental issues, The Environmental League of Massachusetts, The Sierra Club, and Clean Water Action.
For my work standing up for the Scientists and Engineers of MA, their union, MOSES.
For my consistent advocacy for all things educational, including my strong opposition of lifting the Charter Cap, The Massachusetts Teachers Association, including the United Educators of Pittsfield.
For my proven record on protecting workers rights and our strong and strategic advocacy of raising the minimum wage, SEIU1199 and SEIU888.
For my leadership on women's rights and civil rights, particularly my role in the passage of the Transgender Public Accommodation law and the Equal Pay Act, the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.
Taking into account our professional experience, our record of commitment to Pittsfield and our job references, I believe it is clear that I am the strongest candidate to serve as Pittsfield's state representative.
Tricia Farley-Bouvier is the Democratic representative from the 3rd Berkshire District. The primary elections are on September. 8