The Professional Firefighters of Athol Local 1751 have voted to officially endorse Susannah Whipps (I -Athol) for re-election as State Representative in the 2nd Franklin District.
Correspondence signed by Travis Brailey, president of the union, states, “Local 1751 feels that you have always been a strong advocate for public safety. The commitment you have made to support our First Responders and our local community has made a tremendous difference to those of us that put our lives on the line every day to protect the citizens we serve.”
“This endorsement means so much to me.” said Whipps “Our region over the years has been blessed with amazing first responders. Growing up we are taught to run from danger; yet these brave men and women run towards the danger to protect life and property. I am humbled and honored by the endorsement of the firefighters union.”
Rep. Paul Mark, who has served as Greenfield's State Representative for the past ten years, will be announcing his endorsement of Rep. Susannah Whipps (I -Athol) and Rep. Natalie Blais (D-Deerfield) as they seek re-election to their House districts which will both include Greenfield for the first time. The announcement will take place at an event on Monday, October 3rd, 5-7pm at the Terrazza Restaurant at the Greenfield Country Club.
As a result of the redistricting process, Greenfield has been split between Blais’ 1st Franklin District, which includes precincts 5,6,7 & 8 and Whipps’ 2nd Franklin District, which includes precincts 1,2,3,4 & 9. Rep. Mark did not seek re-election to the House and is campaigning as the Democratic Nominee for Senate in the 57 community Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire District,
"Rep. Whipps and Rep. Blais have both been great colleagues in the House and are both strong advocates for their district. We have a small delegation in Franklin County and I cannot overemphasize how important it is to have experienced, competent teammates who work together well and share the same underlying priority, that our region deserves the most effective voice possible at the State House. I have no doubt that Rep. Blais and Rep. Whipps will both do a great job fighting for the people of Greenfield and prioritizing the issues we care about. They both have my strongest endorsement for re-election."
“I am grateful to have Paul's support as I campaign in Greenfield for the first time since these precincts have been
added to the new 2nd Franklin District. It has been a great honor to serve as State Representative since 2015 and
I am very excited to meet and gain the support of new constituents in Greenfield.”
“Paul Mark has been a tremendous advocate for the City of Greenfield and I am thankful for his support,” said Blais. “With the strong partnership of Rep. Whipps, I am ready to get to work for Greenfield.”
(BOSTON) – Last week, a bipartisan group of 31 Massachusetts State Senators and 76 State Representatives sent a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) expressing concern about the energy rate increases slated to impact residents this winter. The letter to DPU Chair Matthew Nelson, written by Senator Michael Moore and Representative Orlando Ramos, urges DPU to protect residents of the Commonwealth from these rate increases.
“Between the increased costs of groceries, housing, gas, and other everyday expenses, the last thing Massachusetts residents need is a massive energy rate hike. The expected rate increases from National Grid, Eversource, and other investor-owned utilities are simply unacceptable,” said Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) following the release of the letter. “No family should have to make the impossible choice between staying warm this winter and buying groceries or school supplies. Let me be clear: the Department of Public Utilities must act.”
“The people of the Commonwealth have yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Orlando Ramos (D-Springfield). “Eversource’s proposed rate increase would disproportionally impact the most vulnerable. Meanwhile Eversource reported profits of more than $1.2 billion for 2021. That is an increase of about $15.3 million (1.3%) from the record profits the company reported in 2020, and an increase of $311.4 million (34.3%) from the profits it reported in 2019.”
“In recent weeks my office has received many messages and calls regarding this obscene rate hike”, said Representative Susannah Whipps (I - Athol). “National Grid claimed $18 billion in profits in FY22, a 25% increase from the previous year. At a time when folks are truly struggling, we must stand up to this kind of greed. I am proud to join my colleagues in this fight.”
“This coming winter is projected to be colder than last year and heating cost estimates for customers are rising significantly. Glad to join with Reps. Whipps and Blais, Senator Moore and legislative colleagues to call on the Department of Public Utilities to prevent drastic energy rate hikes this winter” said Senator Jo Comerford (D - Northampton).
"The DPU must stop making sweetheart deals with utilities at the expense of our constituents," said Representative Natalie Blais (D-Sunderland). "I am proud to have sponsored a bill this session with Senator Comerford to protect electricity and gas customers by eliminating automatic annual rate hikes and limiting the return on equity that utilities can earn to no more than the average of neighboring states."
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources predicts that the coming winter will be colder than last year’s, while the cost of heating may increase by up to 54.6% for electric customers and 28.6% for natural gas. Utility providers largely blame global factors such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, and inflation. Legislators believe the DPU can do more to tamp down these rate increases and their effects on consumers.
In their letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, signatories state, “…proposed rate increases of this magnitude – during the winter season – would disproportionally impact the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable. Moreover, protecting our residents from the cold is not just an affordability and equity concern – it is also a public safety issue. As the oversight agency tasked with prioritizing safety, affordability, and equity with regard to energy rates, we ask that DPU do just that and protect Massachusetts residents from these drastic rate increases this winter season.”
The letter was signed by Senators Michael O. Moore, John C. Velis, Diana DiZoglio, Joanne M. Comerford, Ryan Fattman, Patrick O’Connor, Jason M. Lewis, Adam Gomez, Anne M. Gobi, Edward J. Kennedy, Barry R. Finegold, Susan L. Moran, Walter F. Timilty, Sonia Chang-Díaz, James B. Eldridge, Eric P. Lesser, John F. Keenan, Lydia Edwards, Michael D. Brady, John J. Cronin, Patricia D. Jehlen, Marc R. Pacheco, Joan B. Lovely, Becca Rausch, Julian Cyr, Mark C. Montigny, Paul R. Feeney, Bruce E. Tarr, Harriette L. Chandler, Sal N. DiDomenico, and Brendan P. Crighton. It was also signed by Representatives Orlando Ramos, Andy X. Vargas, Michael J. Soter, John Barrett, Timothy R. Whelan, Brian W. Murray, Paul J. Donato, William M. Straus, Steven Ultrino, Susannah Whipps, Jamie Zahlaway Belsito, Christine P. Barber, Michelle Ciccolo, Todd M. Smola, Natalie M. Blais, Michael P. Kushmerek, Danillo A. Sena, Patrick Kearney, Paul Mark, David Allen Robertson, Mindy Domb, Carole Fiola, Josh S. Cutler, Smitty Pignatelli, Peter Capano, Hannah Kane, Carol A. Doherty, Patricia A. Haddad, Joseph McGonagle, Steven G. Xiarhos, Mathew Muratore, Carlos González, Shawn Dooley, Mike Connolly, Kimberly N. Ferguson, Lindsay N. Sabadosa, Tram T. Nguyen, Jacob R. Oliveira, Kay Khan, Brandy Fluker Oakley, Jonathan Zlotnik, James J. O’Day, Gerard J. Cassidy, Steven C. Owens, David K. Muradian, Jr., Natalie Higgins, Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Susan Williams Gifford, Jay D. Livingstone, Thomas M. Stanley, Paul K. Frost, Frank A. Moran, Meghan K. Kilcoyne, Mary S. Keefe, Jay Barrows, David LeBoeuf, Alan Silvia, Joseph McKenna, Ken Gordon, Christopher M. Markey, Linda Dean Campbell, Liz Miranda, Kevin G. Honan, Danielle W. Gregoire, Marc Lombardo, Ruth B. Balser, Kip A. Diggs, Jeffrey R. Turco, Carmine L. Gentile, Elizabeth A. Malia, Steven S. Howitt, John J. Mahoney, Tami L. Gouveia, Daniel M. Donahue, Colleen M. Garry, and Joseph F. Wagner.
ORANGE — There’s a lot that’s positive about the North Quabbin region.
That was the main message at an event at the Orange Innovation Center Friday, “Building Blocks for Community Development,” hosted by the center, Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op and LaunchSpace.
The event was a forum with state Sens. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, and state Rep. Susannah Whipps, I-Athol, who focused on positive things happening in the region, as well as reasons for optimism.Read more