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Virginia Duval explains the 'Vote for Susan' project to encourage voting.

'Vote For Susan' Project to Kick Off in Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Selectmen also heard about the plans for the Tinseliner to board from Adams.
ADAMS, Mass. — Piggybacking off of the efforts of Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee, the Vote For Susan Project will call voters to action and encourage civic involvement.

Project organizer Virginia Duval told the Selectmen last week that her group was inspired by Centennial Celebration Committee, who are organizing events to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 2020, and developed a program to promote voter participation in Adams. 

"It seemed since 2020 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment that gave women voting rights and also 2020 is the bicentennial of the birth of Susan B. Anthony in Adams, it seemed to be a good idea to honor Susan and to try to improve voter participation and other activities in town," she said.

Duval said the project's motto is "Susan couldn't but you can" and it will have three goals: increase the number of registered voters, increase the number of voters who participate in elections and get people to participate in local government.

"When we look back we can see on average of about 20 percent of registered voters vote in town elections," she said. "It is about 40 percent in state elections and 60 percent in federal elections ... also after the last election we found that there were 14 town meeting seats unfilled."

Duval said the group will set goals and benchmarks as well as have a presence in the school system and other town activities. 

People can join the mailing list by emailing Voteforsusan2020@gmail.com. Those on the list will be updated with goals and deadlines as well as election dates.

This information can also be found on the project’s Facebook page.

"We really hope that people will get excited about this that they will talk to their friends and their neighbors and get them out to vote so we can say by 2020 when the bicentennial occurs that Adams has very active people in terms of participating in local government," Duval said. "In 2020, we can say we did Susan proud."

She added the project will in start in earnest in 2018, however, with an election Nov. 7, the group decided to start now.

The Selectmen also heard from Glen Diehl of the Berkshire Scenic Railway, which plans to use the Visitors Center for itsChristmas themed Tinseliner rides that start Nov. 24.

"We will have a flow of passengers from the parking lot to the Visitors Center to the train then back through when they get off the train," he said. "This is a great opportunity to advertise Adams ... we have a huge number of visitors coming from out of town to ride the train and they will be introduced to the town. It will become a destination." 

Diehl said the nonprofit railway typically sees 8,000 passengers a season and with the switch next year to have the train depart from Adams instead of North Adams, the town will benefit even more.

"All through the fall foliage, we have sold out trains and last year we sold out all of our Tinseliner rides so there is no reason to believe that won't happen again," he said. "With all of the Tinseliner rides, that's about 2,400 passengers being introduced to Adams which makes me feel proud."

Diehl said there will be a volunteer with a light to help passengers cross Hoosac Street during night rides.

Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said with the future installation of a boarding platform and the reconstruction of the Visitors Center parking lot, it will be possible to install better and more permanent lighting. 

"I think we can find some way to make that happen," he said. "Once the platform is in and everything is ready I am sure there is a way to light up the crosswalk."

Tags: Susan B. Anthony,   voting,   

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