Green Party's Miller Joins State House Race

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Miller announced his candidacy at the local Green-Rainbow Party June meeting. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After reeling in 45 percent of the vote last year, Mark Miller intends to make another run for the state House.
 
Miller announced his candidacy for the 3rd Berkshire District seat in the state House of Representatives on Thursday to a crowd of about 30 at the Berkshire Greens June meeting. 
 
"We’re going to win this time," Miller said at Baba Louie’s restaurant. "Last year, I thought this incumbent needed a challenge. Starting late and with insufficient funding and organization, I got 45 percent of the vote. That is a good foundation for this time around. This year we are starting early. We are organized."
 
The announcement came the day after current Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo was nominated by Governor Deval Patrick for the lifetime position of clerk-magistrate of the Central Berkshire District Court. Miller had planned the announcement before Speranzo’s nomination but said he was aware that it could come at any time.
 
Miller lost to Speranzo by less than 1,000 votes in November.
 
If Speranzo is approved for the lifetime appointed position, a special election will be held. Ward 2 Councilor Peter White also announced his candidacy for the seat — hours after Speranzo‘s nomination was announced.
 
While Miller will be running as a representative for the Green-Rainbow Party, he said he wants to be the "independent voice" in the House.
 
"I’m proud to be Green and I’m proud to be independent," the former Berkshire Eagle editor said. "We need to work together across party lines, Greens, Democrats, Republicans and independents."
 
Miller boasts of decades of work with various newspaper — as a reporter, editor and columnist — before turning his interest to studying economic development, energy and the environment.
 
"My main focus this year, as it was last year, is on resilient, secure, green local economies; Medicare for all, fair taxes; transparency in government; commitment to public education," Miller said.

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Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Eyes Strategic Plan, Reflects on 'Rough Year'

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is emerging from the pandemic year with the intention of developing a strategic plan process that includes all of its members and stakeholders. 
 
The goal will be to think about how Pittsfield can be a thriving place to live, work, and play for all members of broader communities.
 
President Branden Huldeen explained that he sees three ways that everyone can move forward together: innovation, collaboration, and the very important work in equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.
 
"I want to recognize it, it's been a rough year. And rough is probably the kindest word I could probably use for right now. But I'm proud of the number of businesses that have been able to push through so far," Huldeen said at Thursday's annual meeting.
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