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Hinds gives a short stump speech at his new headquarters on Tuesday.

Senate Candidate Hinds Opens Pittsfield Headquarters

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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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."

Tags: campaign,   Democrat,   election 2016,   State Senate,   


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Greylock Federal Credit Union Reopens Kellogg Street Branch

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

A crowd gathers for the grand reopening of the Kellogg Street branch.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union returned "home" with the grand opening of its newly renovated Kellogg Street branch that also houses the new Community Empowerment Center.
 
"Why did we invest millions here?" John Bissell, president and chief executive officer, asked before Monday's ribbon-cutting. "Because this is our home. This was Greylock's first home. This nieghborhood has been our heartbeat since 1935."
 
The expanded and renovated building will not only offer typical banking services but also free counseling to help residents with their financial futures. 
 
Vice President of Administration Jamie Ellen Moncecchi said Greylock looks to give residents in need the tools and resources to help them navigate their financial lives. She went on to say the center will offer free community education, budgeting and credit building classes, and loan coaching.
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