Photo Gallery | Michael Bloomberg announces run for State Representative
PITTSFIELD — Michael Bloomberg on Thursday formally launched his run for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Berkshire District, calling for strong new representation at the Statehouse in Boston.
"We have the opportunity now to create our future," Bloomberg told a crowd of about 30 during his remarks at Flavours of Malaysia restaurant.
He said that in newly elected Mayor Linda M. Tyer, Pittsfield has a leader for the future. "Linda has jumped headfirst into her responsibilities and is leading at the local level," he said, adding, "But now, more than ever, Pittsfield needs a leader in Boston."
Bloomberg, 26, of Holmes Road, is challenging incumbent state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, in the Sept. 8 Democratic primary. City Councilor Christopher Connell is seeking the district House seat as an independent.
Noting the city's economic and population decline since the days of General Electric employment in Pittsfield, Bloomberg said reversing that trend would be his overriding focus.
"But let me make one thing very clear tonight," he said. "Those numbers, those facts, they're history. As a community and as a city in the commonwealth of Massachusetts we have the opportunity — now — to create our future. And that's what this campaign is about. The future."
Bloomberg said the city has always been known for innovation in business and the arts, and he wants to further encourage that type of atmosphere. "And so, to all the innovators in this city," he said, "I hear you, I see you, I feel you — and let's do this."
The candidate promised to release a number of position papers on issues like economic development, taxes and public safety, providing "nothing but the facts." He added to applause, "Because Pittsfield doesn't just happen; we have to make it happen."
He thanked supporters, including his mother, Nancy Shulman, and Sabrina Tan and Chin Lee, operators of the North Street eatery.
Bloomberg introduced members of his campaign team, as well, including campaign manager Maya Richards, treasurer Montee Wasch and David Bowler.
He was introduced by Councilor at large Peter White, who said he has known Bloomberg for about 10 years as the candidate became involved in political campaigns and with the Berkshire Brigades organization.
"I've always been impressed by how much Mike cares about Pittsfield, and how much he is willing to give back, White said.
Also attending were former Councilors Barry Clairmont and Jonathan Lothrop and Conservation Commission member Thomas Sakshaug.
Bloomberg said his inspiration to run for office here stems from the "compassionate values" and love of Pittsfield instilled in him by his grandparents, Irving and Helen Shulman, who with family members founded the shop that became Jim's House of Shoes 70 years ago. That inspiration is evident in his parents' generation and now his, he said.
He said his reasons for living in Pittsfield "all come back to that story of a young man took a risk for a place he loved."
Bloomberg is a 2008 graduate of Pittsfield High School and a 2012 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, majoring in political science. He also recently attended PDX Code Guild, a technology training program in Oregon, and he has been taking courses at UMass in labor economics and statistics.
He has worked for Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund management firm, focusing in part on technology, and previously worked for a start-up, Kora Management, also a hedge fund.
Bloomberg said he has long been interested in politics, working on the 2006 state Senate campaign of Helen Sharron of Worthington and others. He also served an internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee, including work during the 2012 games in London.
Bloomberg's famous name prompted several inquiries from media interested whether he is related to the former New York mayor. He is a cousin, once removed, he said, as his father and the former mayor are first cousins.
Contact Jim Therrien at 413-496-6247.