Letter: Morse Will Bring Progressive Values to Washington
To the Editor:
Too young. Too queer. Wait my turn.
Those are statements I heard too often during my 2019 campaign to represent Ward 5 on the Pittsfield City Council.
The barriers to running for office as a young, openly gay man are considerable, but thanks to decades of community advocacy and trailblazing politicians, they are no longer insurmountable. Prominent among that group, and prominent in Western Mass, is Alex Morse, the 31-year-old progressive mayor of Holyoke and current candidate for U.S. Congress in our district.
The insults I heard last year are the same ones Mayor Morse has fought to overcome every day since his election nine years ago. Most recently, the College Democrats of UMass, with help from the Massachusetts Democratic Party's executive director and chair, came forth with fabricated allegations, purposefully riddled with homophobic stereotypes. The pervasiveness of social media makes all news, true or not, quick to punish and hard to reverse. Yet Alex has emerged from this condemnable plot with integrity and tenacity.
As new revelations continue to emerge, I encourage you to Google "The Intercept Alex Morse" to read the full investigative uncoverings you're not seeing in part from your regular local news sources. The continued doubts Alex's opponent is still attempting to sow should not prevent you from electing an important new voice that will be endlessly engaged with the families, small businesses, and those in need of a champion here in our district. On Sept. 1, we defeat this cynicism and doubt and choose honesty and fact by voting for Alex Morse.
I first met Alex shortly after I launched my campaign, but his work in Holyoke has long been an inspiration for me. When the aforementioned rhetoric was hurled toward me, Alex encouraged me to cast aside the hate, derision and patronizing comments to focus on what really mattered: the needs of the people in Ward 5. He told me to have faith in the voters but, first and foremost, have faith in myself. I carry these words with me each time I step into Council Chambers, and I am so grateful for the many residents of Ward 5 who put their faith in me. I'm putting my faith in Alex Morse for Congress, on Sept 1.
I hear similar stories from people all across the district about Alex— from teachers, nurses, senior citizens and other young elected officials. As a Mayor and community advocate, he built his career by lifting others up with him, even when others are so intent on tearing him down. Our current political environment, one of backroom smears and disingenuous personal attacks, have no place in our politics and no place in our district. We need a Congressman who is accessible, someone who focuses on people and on policy, not on political stunts and corporate money. That person is Alex Morse. With no Republican or Independent opponent, the fate of our congressional seat will be decided on Sept 1.
I am proud to be among eight Pittsfield City Councilors endorsing Alex in his run for Congress. Pittsfield is blessed with a diverse City Council with differing backgrounds and opinions that reflect the needs and concerns of our citizens — it is not often that eight of us agree on anything, let alone something this consequential. But my fellow councilors concur that Alex has the experience, values and character that we desperately need to represent us in Washington. He has championed the revitalization efforts of Holyoke, a city with challenges similar to ours, by spearheading economic rebirth; focusing on renewable energy and existing infrastructure; and turning vacant mill buildings into arts and culture, education, and career training facilities. To fight the opioid epidemic, he implemented and defended a needle exchange and drop-in center to combat infectious disease and homelessness. He has made local government accessible by welcoming those who were previously shut out of the process and amplifying their voices. Since taking office, the number of women and people of color on Holyoke city boards and commissions has doubled. His progressive values have changed the lives of working people for the better, earning my vote.
Please feel free to connect with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 413-841-2770, if you have any questions about Alex.
On Sept. 1, join me in voting for the best choice, Alex Morse, so that he may bring our voices with him to Washington. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. or you may vote by mail or drop your ballot at your city or town hall up to and including Sept 1.
Pittsfield City Council, Ward 5
Tags: election 2020, endorsement,