More than two dozen supporters stopped by to check out the new office space.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Senate Candidate Adam Hinds opened a downtown office on Tuesday.
Hinds is running against Andrea Harrington for the Democratic nomination for the Berkshire state Senate seat being left vacant by Benjamin Downing, who opted not to run for re-election.
Rindaldo Del Gallo has said he plans to run but has not yet jumped into the race.
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Executive Director Hinds held an open house at his new office on South Street — in the plaza at the Crowne Plaza — which had previously been used as the headquarters for the coordinated Democratic campaign for governor.
"To us this feels like an important pivot. We're getting to the point now where we are going to be pushing our powerful, positive message out to all of the voters in the district," Hinds said.
Hinds addressed more than two dozen supporters, touching on many of the talking points of his platform. He said it's time to start the groundwork to ramp up the campaign the next level.
"It's a progressive message that says we are going to make sure any obstacles to opportunities felt by kids, or by working families trying to get a good quality job, or small businesses looking to grow in the district, this is what we are going to be focusing on," Hinds said.
Heading volunteer efforts out of the Pittsfield office is Donna Todd Rivers, who is the Ward 5 councilor in Pittsfield. Jason Ostrander is heading South County efforts; Brian Miksic, North County operations; and Jenny Gitlitz will be in the hilltowns. Beyond that, Hinds says he has a team of volunteers to work the campaign.
Hinds has released a campaign platform focused on economics, education, energy, stopping the heroin epidemic, and reversing the population loss. On Tuesday, he touched briefly on those topics again in a short stump speech.
He said his focus will be to bring groups of people to gather to "work shoulder to shoulder" to solve complicated problems. He boasted of such efforts in Pittsfield when he headed the Pittsfield Community Connection program and now in North County at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
Hinds cited as an example a new program through the NBCC eyed to bring employers and job seekers together to solve the disconnect between those unemployed and companies that can't find qualified workers. He also voiced support of the Berkshire Innovation Center, broadband expansion, improved transportation. Those efforts, he says, will help attract businesses and create jobs which will help combat population lose.
Hinds also said he'd focus on funding for the public school system in order to help provide the best education possible, which in turn will attract families here.
"It is hard for schools to meet their fixed cost in the face of dwindling population. We know that Chapter 70 doesn't work for us out here. Schools are spending 140 percent more on health than the foundation formula allocates for, they are spending 59 percent more on special ed than the foundation budget formula allocates," Hinds said.
He also mentioned fighting crime and protecting the environment. He added that there is an "urgency" to the campaign and getting to work on combating those challenges the Berkshires face, he said.
Beyond the challenges he also voiced support for the arts and culture scene, the natural resources, and things that make the Berkshires "a great place."
"I actually like campaigning," Hinds said. "When else can you spend your days talking to folks about the concerns they have and the vision they have for the future and then actually do something about it, to make a platform and priorities you want to take to Boston and make a difference."
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Homelessness Advisory Panel Reprimanded For Internal Disrespect
By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
Chairwoman Kim Borden warns advisory committee members to be on their best behavior after 'inappropriate' communications.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Homelessness Advisory Committee reportedly experienced recent issues with "highly inappropriate behavior and communication, threats and the spreading of misinformation" and Chairwoman Kim Borden is not having it.
At the third meeting as a newly established committee on Wednesday, Borden shared her thoughts on the current climate of the committee.
"In the last month, I've been subjected to highly inappropriate behavior and communication, which has include bullying threats and the spreading of misinformation," Borden said. "At this time, I will not identify the specific depict individuals as I do not believe in public shaming. This is not what I signed up for and more importantly, I do not believe that other committee members should be subjected to this extraordinarily destructive dynamic."
This type of communication or behavior may result in a request that appropriate steps be taken to remove the person or persons creating a hostile and/or unproductive environment, she said.
At this time, no committee members are being removed. If any are removed, they will be replaced with individuals with an "appropriate level of civility and a desire to work together as a team and respect others."
Chairman Nicholas Caccamo said the petition's language was not sorted out well enough, so the committee voted on it as a concept that will be sent back to the City Council with a negative recommendation.
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The topic sparking controversy was the reclassification of Human Resource Director Michael Taylor's position and a salary increase of roughly $7,500. It passed 4-1 with Maffuccio voting in opposition.
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Twenty percent of Berkshire County's population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination as of Thursday and around 8 percent have received the second dose. There were more than 3,000 Berkshire County residents vaccinated on Saturday.
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