Ashley Shade announces council bid

Ashley Shade, a longtime North Adams resident and former treasurer for the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, has announced her candidacy for the City Council. 

NORTH ADAMS — Ashley Shade, an advocate for diversity and economic growth and former treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, has announced her candidacy for the North Adams City Council.

In her Facebook video announcement Tuesday, Shade stressed that she would focus on economic development, pointing to high poverty rates, the opioid epidemic, domestic violence and “a lack of quality jobs” in the city.

“Our city has done an excellent job in rebranding and making North Adams into a tourist destination,” she said. “However, we’ve neglected to focus on one of the most important pieces of our city: the residents.”

Shade said she wants North Adams to be “the economic center of the Berkshires.” Shade, a transgender woman and LGBTQ+ advocate, also spoke about building “compassion” and increasing mental health resources.

This is the second time Shade is running for the City Council, after an unsuccessful bid in 2017. During that campaign, she told The Eagle she was a proponent of limited taxes and limited government, infrastructure maintenance and higher police salaries. 

Shade told the Libertarian Party in a February interview that she hopes to raise $5,000 for her campaign, run TV and radio ads and secure at least 2,100 votes.

City Council and mayoral candidates can pull papers starting in April.

Shade works as a senior service support consultant at Wayfair and has held positions as a pharmacy technician at CVS and an administrative assistant at Sweetbrook Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

She also works with numerous nonprofits and serves on the board of directors for the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition; the North Adams Human Services Commission; and the city’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Working Group. 

Shade, a longtime North Adams resident, graduated from Charles H. McCann Technical High School and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Francesca Paris can be reached at fparis@berkshireeagle.com and 510-207-2535.