State Democratic Party Seeking Input From Voters

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For the first time, local Democratic and independent voters are being solicited for input into the formulations of the State Democratic Party platform.

"It's aimed directly at local issues," said Joyce Wrend, chairman of the North Adams Democratic City Committee. "It's a chance to voice concerns about what problems we have here that haven't been addressed by the Democratic Party."

The public hearing will be held Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at the Richmond Grille in the Holiday Inn. It is one of only three platform hearings being held in Western Mass.; the others are Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m. at El Pilion in Springfield and Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 in the Lanesborough Town Hall community room on Route 7.

The state Democratic convention will be held in Springfield on June 6 and will update the platform approved in 2005. The purpose of the local meetings being held across the state is to draft local priorities to be presented to the State Committee for inclusion in the platform being drafted for the convention.

The facilitator will be Richard Taskin, a well-known local attorney and political activist, who is currently teaching political science at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He has hosted several public-access television programs and is current with state politics.

Wrend said it was hoped some of the local legislators would be able to join hearing. Michael Forbes Wilcox of Progressive Democrats for Massachusetts, Lee Harrison of Berkshire Brigades and John Nowak of the Adams Town Democratic Committee are expected to attend.

Democrats and independent, or unenrolled, registered voters are invited to attend, although the meeting is open to all registered voters, who will be expected to provide their affiliation. It is open to voters from Adams, Williamstown, Clarksburg, Savoy, Florida and voters from other areas who are interested in the process.

"Any voters who want to be heard, this is the time to come and be heard," said Wrend. "They can air their views on what's needed in Western Mass."
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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms

UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.
To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to fulfill their holiday decorating needs.
"Our administration believes in the importance of supporting our farms by shopping locally and purchasing holiday decorations from one of the commonwealth's many family-operated Christmas tree farms," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Now more than ever, it is a great time to spend quality time with your family while partaking in this outdoor activity which allows for proper social distancing."
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