Patrick Throws Support Behind Pignatelli
The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
"I am honored to have the support of Governor Patrick. He has been a great friend and advocate for the Berkshires over the past six years and we are lucky to have him in the State House," said the Lenox Democrat. "He is well aware of the unique issues we face here in the Berkshires and I know he has made it a priority of his to support the initiatives and programs we have here."
He continued, "I am proud to be a partner and supporter of the governor and his agenda of moving Massachusetts forward and building on the successes of the past several years. Thanks to the efforts of this administration over the past few years in weathering the Great Recession, we continue to lead the nation in job growth, education, health care, veteran's services and information technology and we are in a great position to take advantage of the improving economy."
SEIU Local 509 Endorses Pignatelli for 4th Berkshire District
The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
"I have great respect and admiration for the hard working members of the SEIU Local 509 and I am truly honored to have won their endorsement of my campaign," said Pignatelli in a statement.
"Every day these folks go out and provide the care and support that our most vulnerable citizens need and I am proud to be able to represent such selfless and hard-working folks. I would like to thank the members of the Local 509 for their support and I look forward to working with them further," the Lenox Democrat continued.
Melody Hugo, deputy political director of SEIU Local 509, said that "Given Representative Pignatelli's commitment to working families and our members in particular, this decision was an easy one."
Pignatelli said he has been a strong supporter of SEUI priorities, and was a strong advocate during the budget debate relating to the Human Service Salary Reserve line item. He also supported an amendment filed by Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, that would fully fund the salary reserve. Private provider human-service workers had gone without an annualized pay increase since 2007. The final budget included $20 million for the reserve and Pignatelli, along with his colleagues in the House and Senate, were able to ensure that this funding stayed intact throughout the final stages of the budget debate.
SEIU Local 509 represents more than 12,000 human service workers throughout Massachusetts, including as professional, direct care, and support staff at private agencies that receive funding to provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children, and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.
Service Employees International Union has 2 million members and is focused on uniting workers in public services, long-term care, property services, and hospital systems. It is the largest health care union, the largest property services union, and the second-largest public employees union.
Social Workers State Chapter Endorses Pignatelli
Pignatelli is a candidate for re-election to represent the 4th Berkshire District. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
"I am thrilled and honored to win the endorsement of the NASW-MA PACE and I wish to express my sincere gratitude for their support. I greatly admire the wonderful work that the NASW members do, especially out here in the Berkshires," said Pignatelli in a statement. "They are really an integral part of our communities and particularly in the rural areas out here they are on the frontlines of delivering care and support to our residents."
Pignatelli has been a supporter of social workers throughout his time in the State House, particularly by being a lead sponsor and supporter of An Act Establishing an Education Loan Repayment Program for Social Workers in Areas of Need. This legislation will create a student-loan repayment pilot program for licensed certified social workers in underserved and high-need areas of Massachusetts, such as Berkshire County.
This bill is needed, said the representative, because the levels of debt that licensed social workers are graduating with are unmanageable and dissuade qualified students from staying in the field or, out of financial necessity, from pursuing social work as a career.
Founded in 1957 the National Association of Social Workers is the largest organization of professional social workers in the world, with over 155,000 members in 55 chapters.
The Massachusetts Chapter of NASW is the major professional social work organization in the state. NASW is committed to the mission of advancing professional social work practice and the profession; and to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and unimpeded access to services for everyone. Its 8,300 members work in a broad range of settings including hospitals and other health care settings, community agencies, government, academia, business, nursing homes, schools, and private practice.
Laugenour Preparing For At Least Three Debates
Larry Kratka, Donna Todd Rivers and Holly Troiano have each expressed a desire to host debate forums to help educate voters. Kratka is news director of Vox Communications, which broadcasts programming on WSBS in Great
Barrington. Rivers hosts "Berkshire Viewpoint" on WBRK in Pittsfield. Troiano is on the faculty of Berkshire Hills Regional School District as a teacher of politics who often invites public officials to speak before her classes.
The Laugenour campaign has not yet received formal invitations for 2012 debates.
Voters in the 4th Berkshire District are the only ones in Berkshire County with a choice this year for whom they elect to represent them on Beacon Hill. Incumbents in other districts have faced no party primary or general election competition.
"I applaud groups who take seriously the important task of voter education," said Laugenour, who is the Green-Rainbow Party candidate. "Even non-profit groups that cannot make actual endorsements can host candidate forums and circulate candidate questionnaires on issues of concern to them as long as all ballot-qualified candidates are offered the opportunity to participate."
Laugenour has made public the questions and answers to all candidate questionnaires that he has received.
"In preparing for these debates my opponent will know in advance all of my answers to questionnaires that were posed by advocacy groups representing a wide range of political ideologies. Neither I nor anyone else in the general public knows how my opponent answered these questions," Laugenour recently told Kratka while discussing the issue of transparency on the air.
"Transparency is good politics and so is setting the example of it to a higher bar."
Willingness to debate was the issue raised in question No. 4 of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance questionnaire, which read, "Some candidates run for public office, win, and refuse to debate their future opponents. If you are facing a challenger this election, will you publicly debate your opponent? If elected, will you pledge to publicly debate your future opponent(s) once elected?"
Answering these questions in the affirmative, Laugenour reiterated the pledge that he made in 2010, to accept all debate invitations made in good faith to all candidates appearing on the ballot.
The campaign looks forward to working with these and other sponsors who come forward. During the 2010 election, the Laugenour campaign received two debate invitations and accepted both. Rep. Pignatelli participated in only one debate with Laugenour in 2010, which was hosted by Larry Kratka and co-moderated by Clarence Fanto and Dan Valenti.
United Auto Workers Endorse Laugenour in Rep Race
President of the UAW Massachusetts State Cap Council, Willie Desnoyers, specifically told Scott in a letter dated Aug. 10, 2012, that the UAW is "looking forward to working with Scott on important issues that concern Massachusetts working families. These issues include quality health care and education, along with fair wages and worker's rights."
Laugenour is honored by this endorsement. "We are working hard to bring a choice for real progressive change to voters. I stand for fair taxes and health care for all residents in the Commonwealth. Without a good education and jobs-supporting infrastructure the quality of life for the average Massachusetts resident declines. I intend to continue to stand up to business as usual. The choice for the November 6th general election will be between voting to keep things the same or voting for real progressive change. I thank the UAW for recognizing this and for supporting my candidacy."
Laugenour, a Green-Rainbow Party candidate, is running in a two-way race for the seat currently occupied by Democrat William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who is seeking re-election. The Green-Rainbow Party does not solicit or accept corporate lobbyist contributions, unlike the political parties with which current Beacon Hill incumbents affiliate.
The answers that Laugenour submitted to the UAW 2012 Candidate Questionnaire can be viewed online.