• Local Politics Heats Up 29 Days to the Election!!!!

    Local Politics Heats Up 29 Days to the Election!!!!

    By DUSTY CHRISTENSEN
    Staff Writer
    Published: 10/5/2021 9:05:05 AM
    HOLYOKE — With less than a month until a Nov. 2 general election, two political action committees have formed in Holyoke to boost the candidacies of competing factions for city offices.
    A PAC calling itself Holyoke Forward, or Holyoke Pa’lante in Spanish, said that it would launch a campaign on Tuesday to elect 10 candidates it has chosen to endorse for mayor, City Council and School Committee. Those endorsements stand in opposition to the support another PAC, A Better Holyoke for All, has given to separate group of 11 candidates for those same races.
    The PACs are throwing their weight behind two competing political factions in Holyoke and largely focus on competitive races. The two groups appear to represent the conservative-liberal divide in Holyoke, though spokespeople for both groups disputed that.
    A Better Holyoke for All was initially formed in 2019 as the Keep Holyoke Affordable For All Committee — a group that successfully opposed a ballot question that year to raise taxes to build two new middle schools. The group has now renamed itself and has endorsed a slate of candidates pulled largely from its own membership, according to the PAC’s president, Preston Macy, who the group has also endorsed in his bid for City Council in Ward 6.
    In addition to Macy, the group has endorsed: Michael Sullivan for mayor; Kevin Jourdain, Howard Greaney and Mark Chatel for at-large seats on the City Council; Will Puello for Ward 2 councilor; David Bartley for Ward 3 councilor; Michael Thomas Siciliano for Ward 4 councilor; Linda Vacon for Ward 5 councilor; Marc Hickey for an at-large School Committee seat; and Colleen Chesmore for Ward 7 School Committee member.
    Holyoke Forward/Pa’lante, meanwhile, has backed the other candidates running in most of those same races: Joshua Garcia for mayor; Israel Rivera, Jennifer Keitt, José Luis Maldonado Velez, Paola Ferrario and Tessa Murphy-Romboletti for at-large City Council seats; Anne Thalheimer for Ward 3 councilor; Kocayne Givner for Ward 4 councilor; Guy O’Donnell for Ward 5 councilor; and Juan Anderson-Burgos for Ward 6 councilor.
    A Better Holyoke for All’s endorsements were made before Holyoke’s preliminary mayoral election late last month, which narrowed the mayoral field down to Sullivan and Garcia. They include some of the city’s more conservative politicians, including Jourdain, Vacon and Hickey, who are all Republican Party city committee members in Holyoke, according to the Mass GOP website.
    “We’re probably more fiscally conservative than we are socially conservative,” Macy said in a phone interview Monday. However, he described the group as a collection of Republicans, Democrats and independents.
    Macy said that the group’s platform contains three issues: ending a gas moratorium to help bring more businesses into Holyoke, getting “a hold of our budget and stopping it from declining,” and using the City Council and School Committee to push for local control of Holyoke’s schools, which are currently in state receivership. He said city voters made a good decision when they overwhelmingly rejected the 2019 ballot question to raise money to build new schools, and that his PAC is looking to reinforce that decision in these elections.
    “We’re really locally focused and we’re trying to direct our energy at problems that are solvable and that are important,” he said.
    A Better Holyoke for All has come under some criticism for the lack of diversity among its endorsed candidates. In a city that is more than 50% Hispanic, Puello — who is running unopposed in November — is the only Latino candidate the group has endorsed.
    “Very candidly there are very many Hispanic people who think our way but we don’t know who they are,” Macy said, adding that the group has made efforts to include the city’s Hispanic residents.
    The slate that Holyoke Forward/Pa’lante has endorsed is more diverse and appears to be more liberal. Thalheimer, for example, is a local Democratic Party ward committee chair, according to the Mass Dems website. And the PAC has named as its spokesperson William “Billy” Glidden, who was a mayoral candidate and previously served as an aide to former mayor Alex Morse.
    But Glidden said that issues don’t neatly map onto a left-right divide when it comes to local politics, and that the PAC supports candidates who span the political spectrum locally. He said the group wants voters to know the stakes of the election: a choice between “the dysfunction we’ve seen previously or a new path for the city.”
    In a press release, the PAC described city government as “paralyzed by obstruction, cronyism, and polarization” when it needs to be united around issues including climate change, improving infrastructure, addressing structural inequities and managing finances. It noted that as city councilors, Sullivan, Bartley, Greaney, Vacon and At-Large Councilor James Leahy all voted in 2020 to reject a $275,000 grant to help Holyoke transition away from fossil fuels.
    “Holyoke needs more effective leadership,” the group said. “It’s time for a new mayor, a brand new council, and a school committee that will work to regain local control without backsliding on progress already made.”
    Both PACs will be able to raise and spend money ahead of the general election on Nov. 2.
    Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

  • Neighbor to Neighbor Action Fund Endorsement!

    Neighbor to Neighbor Action Fund Endorsement!

    It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I announce this amazing endorsement! Neighbor to Neighbor is highly active throughout Massachusetts, and definitely in Holyoke. I am honored to have gained this organization's attention and confidence!

    Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts Action Fund is building democracy by putting the new majority– people of color, immigrants, women, and the working class– at the center of the political process. By educating voters, developing local leadership, and electing candidates who put people & planet before profit, they are building the power to confront the triple crisis of racism, economic inequality, and environmental degradation. Through every election, they are transforming government to reflect the will and wisdom of the new majority.

    When N2N members step into their power, a bright future is possible:
    ~A future where everyone has a place to call home is possible.
    ~A future where the good of the many is valued more than the privilege of the few.
    ~A future where our land and natural resources are revered as elements of life not tradable commodities.
    ~A future where no matter where we come from or what our color is, we can all prosper.
    N2N Action Fund knows that a better world is possible, and believes that they are the ones to create it.

    More Neighbor to Neighbor info:
    N2N

    Useful links:

    Find your voting location:
    Poll Location

    -Last Day to Register November Election October 13, 2021

    -Election Day! November 2, 2021

    Donate a little or a lot: Help me Win!

    Ward 4 FB page: Ward 4 Page

    Confirm you are registered to vote:
    Voter Registration Search

    Register to vote: Voter Registration site

  • Reminder Article!

    Reminder Article!

    Running to be on your city council continues to be a real pleasure! If you haven't already, please read what your ward contenders have to say about regarding ways to improve how our city functions. If you live in ward 4 and agree that we need to figure out creative ways to do things better, consider filling in the bubble next to my name on November 2nd.

    And please, if you have not voted recently, make sure you are still registered. It's so important to be in the know. Let's share our findings with friends and family. Vote early if that's more convenient for you. Vote later in the day. Polls tend to be open from 6am to 8pm. Take a friend. Show your little ones how these processes work. It's so quick, easy, and impactful to take part in electing those who have your best interest at heart. Only then will they be in position to amplify your voice.

    Check out your ward candidate's comments in the Holyoke Reminder:
    www.thereminder.com/.../meet-the-holyok…

    Useful links:

    Confirm you are registered to vote:
    Voter Registration Search

    Register to vote: Voter Registration site

    Find your voting location:
    Poll Location

    -Last Day to Register November Election October 13, 2021

    -Election Day! November 2, 2021

    Donate a little or a lot: Help me Win!

    Ward 4 FB page: Ward 4 Page

  • I Took the Pledge!!!!

    I Took the Pledge!!!!

    There are plenty of ways for city leaders to protect and expand reproductive freedom. Ensuring that Holyoke citizens have access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care options is one of my priorities. That's why I took the ProChoiceMass City Champions Pledge! As a NARAL MA City Champion, voters can count on me to fight for these important policy positions!

    More about NARAL MA and other Massachusetts leaders who have taken the pledge! : Naral MA!


  • Signs are in!

    Signs are in!

    It's so exciting to see my lawn signs next to so many other awesome public servants. It takes a village, and I am so ready for this work. Thanks Jeff Bianchine, at the Holyoke Print Shop, for getting these done! And thanks to all of the Holyoke and national love I have been receiving to make this run possible at all! Please inbox me if you would like me to stop by for a chat and drop a sign. I love meeting my neighbors and noting their concerns. And if you ca, donate so that I can continue to get the word out. Lawn sign inventory is limited. Donations make it possible to print more:)

    Donate at: Act Blue

    Ward 4 FB page: The Book Face!

    Register to vote: Registration link

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner

  • Ward 4 is Our Village!

    Ward 4 is Our Village!

    There's no stopping us when we work together. Closed mouths don't get fed. What do we need? What do want? What are the things that will make our communities better? What are the quality of life issues that seem like they should be non-ssues? I want to know what makes your eyes roll when our local leaders and service directors decide how this city will move forward.

    Voting Day is November 2,2021
    Email me!: Kocayne4Holyoke@gmail.com
    Donate at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kocayne4holyoke

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Local politics at their best! Kocayne4Holyoke@gmail.com

    Local politics at their best! Kocayne4Holyoke@gmail.com

    Who says getting involved has to be stuffy and boring?! It doesn't have to be. It all starts right where you are, with the people you live next to. The best things we can do for each other include being kind and available. I've been so impressed with Holyoke's initiatives and progression as of late. I think many of my neighbors will be pleasantly surprised as they get to know one another, and our changing city. We deserve this progress!

    Have you been to a City Council meeting? If not, why not? This is your city. Come listen in to see what decisions are being made on your behalf. Who knows, you might even find some causes that peak your curiosity and have a direct effect on you and your family.
    https://www.holyoke.org/departments/public-meetings/

    Just a little sampling of things happening through progressive actions in your city:
    -Public pool is open!
    -Fiber optic internet is being considered as an option for us all!
    -Community relations policing board is being established
    -Working on tax rate stabilization through economic development.
    (Notice all the new businesses popping up?!)
    -Indigenous Peoples Day has been adopted in place of Columbus day!
    -Juneteenth is a recognized holiday!
    -Transparency and accessibility at City Hall through bilingual availability of all city business.
    -Farmers Market is back, now on Canal street!

    Have you considered a small donation to Kocayne 4 Holyoke?:
    Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Donate a little so that we can do a lot!

    Donate a little so that we can do a lot!

    Its happening!
    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • I'm confirmed and have a new email address! Kocayne4Holyoke@gmail.com

    I'm confirmed and have a new email address! Kocayne4Holyoke@gmail.com

    It's official, I'll be on the ballot! As we begin to approach this election season, please take a moment to ensure that your vote will count. There's nothing more frustrating than realizing that you are no longer registered or that you are not quite sure which voting location is yours. The only way we can ensure adequate representation on our council is by turning out in droves! I know it's not a federal holiday yet, but I hope you will take the time to make sure your voice is heard. Are you registered? Do you need to register? Are you unsure? No problem. Here are a few sites to help you figure that out, along with important dates to add to our calendars, as well as a list of representation outside of Holyoke:)

    Register to vote:
    Register here!
    Find your Voting location:
    Vote here

    -Last Day to Register for Preliminary Election September 1, 2021
    -Preliminary Election September 21, 2021
    -Last Day to Register November Election October 13, 2021
    -Election Day! November 2, 2021

    Not quite sure who represents you outside of Holyoke? Well, here ya go!
    Your elected officials are:
    Statewide office holders for the Commonwealth:
    Governor: CHARLES D. BAKER
    Lieutenant Governor: KARYN E. POLITO
    Secretary: WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
    Auditor: SUZANNE M. BUMP
    Treasurer: DEBORAH B. GOLDBERG
    Attorney General: MAURA HEALEY
    U.S. Senator: ELIZABETH A. WARREN
    U.S. Senator: EDWARD J. MARKEY

    District Representatives:
    Congressional: RICHARD E. NEAL
    State Senate: JOHN C. VELIS
    State Representative: PATRICIA A. DUFFY
    Governor's Council: MARY E. HURLEY
    District Attorney: ANTHONY D. GULLUNI

    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Signatures!!!!!

    Signatures!!!!!

    Guess what ya'll!!!!! Too bad City Hall is closed:/ I so wanted to hand these in this morning!!!! On a VERY positive note, City Hall is closed in observance of Juneteenth!!!! Now that's really somethin'!

    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Pushing for the last few needed signatures!

    Pushing for the last few needed signatures!

    Getting so close to confirmation thanks to everyone who has traded their signature for an explanation of my name, and of course an understanding of my thoughts on how to keep the momentum as ward 4 councilor. Trust and believe that your signature makes a difference. Stop by and sign if you can! And of course, inbox me if you'd like an introduction:) I'm happy to answer your questions and commit to addressing your community related concerns:)

    Donate at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kocayne4holyoke

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Nice meeting you Israel!

    Nice meeting you Israel!

    Thanks for introducing me to more of my neighbors at one of your Mayoral campaign kick off events Rebecca Lisi!!!

    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Cleanup organized by OneHolyoke CDC!

     Cleanup organized by OneHolyoke CDC!

    It's so easy to throw our trash in receptacles. Oh wait, what receptacles? We need more trash cans on the corners of our highly pedestrian city. Do the chain restaurants in your city add more than tax revenue? I think chains would be doing communities and themselves a service by sponsoring cleanups and adding trash cans throughout the communities they serve! It's time we hold one another accountable for the beautification and quality of life in our awesome city of Holyoke!

    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Allow me to introduce myself!!!

    Libby Hernandez has endorsed me for this important city role! I hope you will too! Special thanks to our young, talented camera woman, Mega!

    Donate at: Act Blue

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne

  • Kocayne for Ward 4!

    Kocayne for Ward 4!

    It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I announce my intention to translate the needs of Ward 4 residents in order to represent us all on Holyoke's City Council! But first, signatures:) I will be wandering around our neighborhoods Friday afternoon with hopes of meeting and chatting with you. Please feel free to inbox me if you have questions or would like to bring anything specific to my attention. I am so excited for this journey and look forward to continuing the work of Libby Hernandez and others, who have made me feel heard and valued as a Holyoke resident since the 90's. Can't wait to meet ya! Feel free to contact me at kocayne@kocayne.com, or use this link https://kocayne.us/contact.html ~Koco

    Donate at: Donate

    #KeepingUpWithKoco
    #Kocayne4Holyoke
    #Givner
    #ISupportKocayne