Monday, February 23, 2009

2 Hearings in Western Mass March 3 and 4 on Transportation in the Commonwealth: All are Welcome!

I'm forwarding this to all SH DTC members and Democratic friends who might be interested in attending either or both of these meetings.

The more I read and hear about the gas tax, the more I believe it's something we need to do/support. I am going to try to attend the meeting on Wednesday - if you're interested in joining, let me know!


----- Original Message -----
From: Michael F. Wilcox & Corinne M. Wingard on behalf of the Deval Patrick Committee
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 4:35 PM
Subject: 2 Hearings in Western Mass March 3 and 4 on Transportation in the Commonwealth: All are Welcome!

Dear fellow supporters of reform in America:

* Governor Patrick will appear at a hearing in Springfield on Wednesday (March 4, at 4 PM) in support of his transportation reform legislation.
* Please come to the hearing to show your support, if your leanings are that way, to learn more if you haven't yet made up your mind, and to voice your suggestions if you have ideas to share.
* There will be an additional informational meeting the day before (March 3, at 3 PM) with Transportation Secretary Aloisi, at the Western Mass office of the Governor.
* Details on these two meetings follow.

If you're wondering why you were selected to receive this email, please see the explanation at the bottom* of this note. Meanwhile, we hope that you will be interested, as we suspect you are, in moving Massachusetts forward, in harmony with the work now being done at the federal level.

Governor Patrick has recently introduced legislation designed to bring significant reform to our transportation system within the state, resulting in operating efficiencies, coordinated planning, and long-overdue repairs and improvements to our physical infrastructure.

There are two hearings scheduled in the Pioneer Valley this week (click on the bolded links below to obtain additional background information):

* Tuesday, March 3, at 3 PM in the Governor's Western Massachusetts office in Springfield [the office is located in the State Office Building at 436 Dwight Street in Springfield, and the phone number is: (413) 784-1200], at which Secretary James A. Aloisi, Jr. will be answering questions from concerned citizens.
* Wednesday, March 4, at 4 PM at STCC in Springfield [Armory Square, enter from Federal Street, off of State Street -- click the link for more specific directions], where the Governor will be testifying at a legislative hearing, and will be available to answer questions and take suggestions and comments from constituents.

Everyone is welcome to attend either or both of these hearings.

The administration has set up a special webpage to provide detailed information about the Governor's proposals, at

You can also get additional commentary and links to further information at two other webpages:

* A message from Tim Murray on the reform package, and
* A letter from Charlotte Golar Richie, Executive Director of the Deval Patrick Committee, including a link to a Globe op-ed piece supporting the package.

So far, most of the (sometimes heated) discussion here in Western Mass has centered around whether the proposed increase in the gasoline tax is "fair" to our region. What has been missing from the discussion is a needed, and corresponding, consideration of what the benefits to the region will be. The Governor will address these concerns, and make specific points about how our area will benefit. Among these points are that we will finally be addressing, in a serious way, the backlog of projects that have been put on hold ("deferred maintenance") for the past 20 years. This work cannot be done without additional revenue. Other points include (and there are many besides these):

* since the last increase in the gas tax, 17 years ago, inflation has eaten away a third of its value, so less money (in real terms) is now available to spend on transportation projects, at the very time when the need is greatest
* the reforms are not just about reorganizing reporting relationships, and coordinating planning, as vital as those are: it also includes cost-savings changes in the pension system and other measures designed to introduce more efficiency
* the plan includes an unprecedented level of spending on projects outside of the Boston metropolitan area; each region of the state will get at least 3/4 of what it contributes to the transportation fund each year, and more in other years, depending on where the need is greatest (similar to the way Chapter 70 money is shifted from wealthier communities to localities where the need is greater)
* Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs) will receive a multiple of the level of funding they have gotten in the past -- this will be a huge help in Western Mass
* we should all keep in mind that even money spent on improving transportation links in Greater Boston will indirectly assist those of us in the rest of the state -- the more people who can easily and cheaply get to jobs in Metro Boston will generate wages, and, therefore, taxes that go to all of the state's programs, not just transportation, and the expansion of these programs will benefit the entire state, not just the Boston area

The Governor, as always, welcomes suggestions and alternative solutions. Those who know him realize that he listens to all sides of an argument before making a final decision, and he is willing to take good ideas from any source. What will not be helpful are complaints that are not accompanied by alternative solutions. In that spirit, please come to the hearings to show your support, if your leanings are that way, to learn if you haven't yet made up your mind, and to voice your suggestions if you have ideas to share.

We hope to see you at one or both hearings!

Michael F. Wilcox
Corinne M. Wingard
Co-coordinators for Western Mass, Deval Patrick Committee

* This email is going to a wide list of people, many of whom worked on Governor Patrick's campaign in 2005 and 2006, and helped bring true change to the Corner Office at the State House.

Many others of you have joined our cause, or other related civic-minded activities, since the Governor was elected.

Yet others may be new to politics, having signed up to work on the Barack Obama campaign.

To all of you, we would like to point out the common thread between supporting Governor Patrick and President Obama (gosh, those both still sound so good!).

First, as you may know, the two men are very close personal friends. Also, they share a political advisor who has helped them shape and articulate their common philosophy: David Axelrod (whom, it must be obvious to all, is a genius!). These things are not coincidences, but arise from the fact that both of these leaders share a common vision and philosophy of government. To those of us who worked on both campaigns, we heard echoes of each in the other. In fact, at one point, Obama was accused of "stealing" Patrick's words (on words). What nonsense!

Here is a quotation, for example, from one of Deval's campaign speeches:

... when people say, 'government is bad' let's say 'wait a minute! government is us! it's us!' and so we ought to want that to be smart and effective and efficient and pragmatic and compassionate, because that is the best of who we are and what we have. And if this is the kind of government that you can get behind, that is the kind of government I am ready to lead, and I hope I can have your support.

And here's another, which, if you changed "Massachusetts" to "the United States" and "Governor" to "President" might very well have come out of Barack Obama's mouth:

The Politics of Hope

I believe that an enlightened government has a role to play in helping to make all of our lives better. I believe that each us has a stake in our neighbor’s dreams and struggles as well as our own. I believe in the American Dream, and want to work to put it within reach of more people here in Massachusetts.

That’s the politics of hope. That’s what I bring to this campaign and what I will bring to the office of Governor of Massachusetts. I welcome your support and your participation.

Our point is that it is entirely consistent, even necessary, and certainly to our benefit, to support both our Governor and our President, as they work closely together to bring about the real change that this state and this country so desperately needs.

We hope you will join with us on this exciting adventure, and we look forward to informing you of future opportunities to participate.


Pioneer Valley Climate Coalition

From: Climate Leadership Workshop []
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2009 9:23 PM
Subject: Pioneer Valley Climate Coalition

Hi Veronique,
I helped start the Sunderland Energy Committee several years ago and am now working more specifically on climate change issues. I am creating a website listing local groups working on climate issues and would like to list your group in South Hadley. We would like to highlight the many local efforts and collaborate where there's interest. You can see the website at If you are willing to be listed, could you send me your organizations name and contact person (if not you) or website. Also, I want to let you know about our upcoming workshop on climate change (see below).

Thank you,
Carl Todd

Sunday, April 19, 2009
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
McConnell 103, Smith College
Northampton, MA

Co-sponsored by the Sustainability Institute, Smith College Office of Sustainability, Smith College Committee on Sustainability, and the Smith College Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability, Environmental Taskforce of Hampshire Interfaith Council, Clean Water Action, Mass Climate Action Network and the Center for Ecological Technology

Scientific research suggests very alarming climate changes, and that we are nearing "tipping points". Paleoclimatic records suggest that we need to take strong, immediate action. How do we effectively communicate the climate challenge, mobilize stronger action by more people, and help our communities make the transition to safe, clean, renewable energy?

At this workshop you will receive training, background information, and electronic access to a Sustainability Institute PowerPoint presentation that you can use as you wish. The resources and the training have been developed to help community leaders:
* Describe the latest climate science and what it means for our lives and the world.
* Summarize criteria for solutions that can sustain human civilization and earth's ecosystems.
* Identify common emotions and reactions people have to the science, and share experience on how to respond effectively.
* Engage more people in education and action.

We'll discuss approaches and strategies for reaching different populations. You'll receive updates on advocacy and action campaigns from the MA Climate Action Network.

o Philip Rice, Ph.D., directs Our Climate Ourselves program at Sustainability Institute (
o Tina Clarke, Consultant, Sustainability Institute. Previous Campaign Director for Clean Water Action, certified Transition Towns Trainer (

RSVP: Help us ensure enough refreshments and materials. If possible, please RSVP by sending an e-mail to with your name and email. Or, go to Requested donation is $15 but all are welcome, regardless of what you can afford (Free to Smith College faculty, students & staff). If questions, please contact Tina at, 413-863-5253.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Join us at Johnny's on February 21!

From: Joanna Brown
To: Bob Judge
Sent: Sunday, February 8, 2009 9:34:30 PM

Joanna Brown wants to be your friend on the network! Go to the URL below to accept the invitation.

A personal note from Joanna Brown:

Dear Bob,

I have just posted an organizing meeting for South Hadley for Organizing for America. It will be on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 2:30-3:30 at Johnny's Bar and Grill. This is a discussion to share what we want to see for economic recovery, both nationally and here in this area, and to talk about what we want to do next.
I hope you can join this gathering (look it up by date Feb 21 or South Hadley organizing meeting).

Joanna Brown

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 26 Know Your Town Meeting to discuss the town budget

From: ""
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:35:34 PM
Subject: Re: Feb. 26 program

Know Your Town's next program will be on Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. The timely topic will be an update on South Hadley's budget and what is being proposed for the 2010 budget which begins on July 1, 2009. Will taxes need to be raised, services reduced or eliminated and positions cut? Guest speakers will be Town Administrator, Barry DelCasilho, Gus Sayer, School Superintendent and Tom Terry, Chair of the Appropriations Committee. What are your priorities? Come share your views with those that will be proposing decisions at the May 9th Town Meeting.
Please plan to attend and bring your friends and neighbors. If you can provide a bake good for the refreshment table, that would be helpful!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Link to register for June convention


There's a well-hidden link (right under the Caucus 2009 link) on that page that takes you here:

Pay Your Delegate Fee Online


----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Judge
To: 'Sarah Etelman'
Cc: 'Robert Judge'
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2009 5:03 PM
Subject: Register for convention?


I’m looking at but I don’t see how to register!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Town Democrats Elect Convention Delegates

For the full story, click on the link to the right!