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As Healey and Driscoll prepare to lead Massachusetts' executive branch, they ask five Berkshires residents to help

PITTSFIELD — Five residents of the Berkshires are on the team of activists, experts and professionals helping the incoming Healey-Driscoll administration navigate the transition.

Ahead of their inaugurations in January, Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll created six transition policy committees. Their role is to help put promises and platforms of the campaign into action.

The committees focus on transportation, housing, climate resiliency, economic development, youth and young adults and safe and healthy communities. Among the 15 co-chairs announced, two were familiar faces from the Berkshires.

Alfred “A.J.” Enchill Jr., the president of the Berkshire Black Economic Council and Pittsfield native, and Jondavid “J.D.” Chesloff, the CEO of Massachusetts Business Roundtable and Cheshire native, were selected as two of the four co-chairs of the committee focused on “jobs and a flourishing economy for all.”

Patricia Bergowicz

Onyx Paper President Patricia Bergowicz, of Lee, has been named as a member of the economic development policy transition committee for the Healey-Driscoll campaign.

On Monday, the Healey-Driscoll transition team grew again, this time with the announcement that 135 people had been selected to fill out the roles on the policy committees. Patricia Begrowicz, president of Onyx Specialty Papers Inc. in Lee, joined Enchill and Chesloff on the economic development committee.

Eileen Peltier, the CEO and president of Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, will be a part of the group looking at “affordable, abundant housing” and former state senator and Pittsfield native Ben Downing will join the committee considering issues of “climate readiness, resiliency and adaptation.”

Driscoll, who is leading the transition effort, has said the goal of the policy committees is to put the administration in a place to “begin to deliver for people on day one.”

With the Jan. 5 inauguration fast approaching, the committees will have five weeks to find a way to engage a platform that includes major tax relief, the expansion of clean energy job opportunities and a response to the state’s affordable housing crisis. That includes calls for additional supportive housing options and rental assistance.

Just two days after the Democrats won the governor’s race over Republicans Geoff Diehl and Leah Allen, Healey paid a visit to Pittsfield to speak with Berkshire politicians.

“This is very intentional because I wanted to make clear to people that we meant what we said when we said we were going to be a team and an administration that is here in the Berkshires, that is here in Western Mass.,” Healey said at the time.

Driscoll said in a statement to The Eagle on Wednesday that those intentions have remained steadfast over the past few weeks.

“Governor-elect Healey and I are committed to building an administration for everyone,” Driscoll said. “We’re proud of the Berkshire representation on our transition policy committees and know they will help ensure that the unique challenges and opportunities of the region are included in all of our work.”

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com or

413-496-6149.

Pittsfield Reporter

Meg Britton-Mehlisch is the Pittsfield reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she previously worked at the Prior Lake American and its sister publications under the Southwest News Media umbrella in Savage, Minnesota.

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