Nuciforo Proposes Federal Foreclosure Remedies
"The cities of Springfield and Holyoke have been hit hard by the worst flood of foreclosures in decades," said Nuciforo, who is currently Middle Berkshire register of deeds. "These communities need leadership in Washington to prevent any further damage to homeownership, home equity, or community stability. Any homeowner who receives a foreclosure notice should be eligible for a mediation process, with mandatory participation from the lender. I propose that Congress adopt a measure to bring the homeowner and the lender together to resolve foreclosures and protect homeowners."
Nuciforo's proposal would permit the modification of interest rates and payment schedules, allow for principal reduction, and ban foreclosures without proper documentation.
Nuciforo noted that his proposal is based on legislation recently passed in Massachusetts. It requires lenders to determine if the net value of modifying an existing mortgage is greater than the anticipated recovery from foreclosure. If so, the lender is required to offer loan modification to the borrower.
According to the Hampden County Registry of Deeds, 1,937 foreclosure deeds went on record from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011.
"When it comes to protecting homeowners, Congressman Richard Neal has been largely absent," Nuciforo said. "In the years leading to the 2008 financial crisis, Congressman Neal consistently supported the deregulation of major mortgage lenders and other banks. Congressional support for deregulating lenders contributed substantially to the collapse of the housing market."
The congressional record reflects that from 1994 through 2000, Congressman Richard Neal of the 2nd Massachusetts supported five measures, including the repeal of Glass-Steagal in 1999, that deregulated the mortgage and banking sectors in the United States.
"While Congressman Neal worked to deregulate lenders and strip legal protections from consumers, I authored a successful measure in the Massachusetts Senate which enacted one of the toughest pro-consumer mortgage protection bills in the nation."
Nuciforo said that if Congress fails to act to protect homeowners this year he would submit legislation to do so within his first 90 days of taking office.
Nuciforo Releases 8-Point Plan for Economic Justice
Nuciforo spent the day visiting various parts of the 1st Massachusetts District, including Pittsfield and North Adams, to meet with voters ad business owners and explain his policies.
Titled "A Promise to the Middle Class: An Eight Point Blueprint to Restore Economic Justice in America," the plan outlines priorities in reviving manufacturing; rebuilding infrastructure; investing in education for a modern workforce; providing tax relief to the middle class; ensuring retirement security; strengthening financial reform; repealing Citizens United; and revitalizing small businesses.
"In the last several years, we've seen the fundamental promise of middle class mobility falling away," Nuciforo said. "This promise has been broken, and working- and middle-class families have come under tremendous pressure. I come from a manufacturing town similar to many in this district, and the damage done by the disappearance of middle-skill jobs that paid a living wage and provided healthcare and retirement security is considerable.
"That is why I'm releasing this plan today — to let people in the 1st district know that I will never forget where I come from, and I will fight to restore basic economic justice to the middle class."
A copy of the 33-page full report can be seen at www.nuciforo.com.
Shein Accepts Invitations to Six Media-Sponsored Debates
Since March, he has agreed to the following events, all of which will take place during Congress' summer recess that begins on Saturday, Aug. 4:
1. New England Public Radio (NEPR): Live one-hour forum, week of Aug. 6
2. WGBY Public Television: Airing Monday, Aug. 20, 8 p.m.
3. Pittsfield Gazette (broadcast on local cable): Public forum at Berkshire Community College, Monday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m.
4. Westfield News: Public forum at Westfield State University, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m.
5. WWLP/NBC22 TV: Live 30-minute debate, week of Aug. 27
6. WBEC/WSBS/WNAW radio (covers all of Berkshire County): Live 60-minute debate in mid/late August TBD
Shein issued the following statement:
"Restoring a robust, healthy democracy that ensures the people's priorities set the agenda in Washington requires substantive, independent, in-depth press coverage. These media-sponsored debates and forums, some of which will include a live audience, will help provide that to voters across the new First District.
"I strongly believe that ideas, and candidates, should sink or swim on the merits, not on how much money is behind them. For decades, public policy in the United States has been undermined and distorted by billions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying by status-quo corporate and wealthy interests. Today, that money drowns out the voices and ideas we need more than ever, and puts an extra burden on the media to properly inform the public about candidates and issues.
"This is a fine example of local journalism playing its vital and necessary role in our democracy. I fully expect the other candidates to join me at all six of these media-sponsored events – conveniently scheduled during Congress' monthlong summer recess – for a discussion of the full range of domestic and foreign-policy issues."
Nuciforo Releasing Policy Plan During District Tour
The former state senator's eight-point policy plan aims to restore economic justice in America and to restore prosperity to the middle class. The plan aims to revive American manufacturing, ensure retirement security and revitalize small business, among other priorities.
Nuciforo will start the day in Great Barrington, and travel to Holyoke, Springfield, Pittsfield and North Adams.
Nuciforo's tour includes the following times and locations:
8:45: Great Barrington Bagel Company, 777 Main St., Great Barrington
10:30: Open Square, Mill 1, Open Square Way, Holyoke
Noon: Emerson Hall at Mason Wright Retirement Community, 74 Walnut St., Springfield
2 p.m.: Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor, 1548 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield
4 p.m.: Berkshire Emporium, 59 Main St., North Adams
The public and members of the media are invited to attend. Candidate information here.
Council Candidate Chaput: Vote for the Future
At MCLA, I am studying political science, economics, American history, and family studies. I came to North Adams from my hometown of Dracut. Immediately, I fell in love with the city and became engaged in its endless possibilities.
In my years at MCLA, I have volunteered and worked (more the former than the latter) in the community and learned the importance of shopping locally. I have spent time lobbying our representatives, collecting goods for local charities, and connecting with local youth. This past summer, I rented an apartment in North Adams and got an unpaid internship in Mayor Alcombright's office instead of living with my parents in Leominster. North Adams is now my home.
I worked in the mayor's office all summer, going through files dating back to the 1960s and current files. I compiled both budgets and all council packets. I took this time to thoroughly understand the process of city governance.
Like the majority of cities in the world at this point, the biggest problem facing North Adams is our economy. We need to tackle this by creating new and innovative sources of revenue, consolidating costs, cutting unnecessary expenses (regardless of how small), taking advantage of assets in the community (MCLA) and rebuilding reserves.
I can provide a perspective to the City Council that it has never had. I have my future in mind of the next 70 years. I have the insight from living in various places in the state. I have the fresh education from well-traveled and experienced professors with the most up-to-date information on the most pressing issues our society faces.
I understand that MCLA has administrative representation in city governance, but if we want to retain more of the hundreds of graduates as citizens of North Adams, we need a student perspective. The community needs to take students seriously as potential lifelong citizens of North Adams. It happens in other cities, why not North Adams?
Another huge problem facing our society, including North Adams, is our lack of understanding of how the system works. Our City Council should be spending more time explaining what is going on and why. The council is elected to represent the citizens and cannot properly do so if they are left in the dark.
I apologize for the lack of publicity but as I said, I am a junior at a state school. My peers and I have enough income to survive, not enough to spend on bumper stickers, balloons, Web advertisments, and fancy lawn signs. I have been getting my voice heard at community meetings to get publicity instead. If you want someone who is used to working with a low budget, as a broke college student, paying for my education by myself, I'm pretty good.
If you'd like to talk or volunteer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the future of North Adams and I would like your vote on Tuesday.