FROM YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE
By Kelly Pease
I hope everyone is enjoying the nice fall weather. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I hope you take the time during the holiday season to spend quality time with family and friends to give thanks for what you have.
This past week we celebrated Veterans Day at Parker Park in Westfield. What a beautiful day and celebration. As a veteran, I am so grateful to live in a community that appreciates and celebrates veterans who served our country. Last weekend was the Kiwanis Club Park of Honor in front of the Middle School. What a spectacular display of flags to recognize veterans and first responders.
The House met in a formal session to take up the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money the state received from the federal government. The Senate voted this week, and now it goes to a conference committee before a final vote by both chambers to approve and send to the governor. The federal government is very close to signing the infrastructure spending bill, and we hope that Massachusetts and Westfield can benefit by improving our old and outdated infrastructure.
At the recent Gateway Cities Caucus tour, I spent the day with my colleagues touring around Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee. We discussed our similar priorities, and saw some of the best that each city had to offer. In Springfield, we were in the museum complex, so one of the main things discussed was the arts and schools. In Holyoke we talked more about housing and redevelopment, and in Chicopee we had a tour of Westover Air Force Base. In the future, I look forward to hosting the Gateway Cities Caucus here in Westfield to talk about our great city and our challenges.
The 2020 census has caused some shifting in legislative districts. The 4th Hampden District, which was just the city of Westfield, has changed. Precinct 6B, which runs from Holyoke Road, along East Mountain Road, over to Route 20 and Union Street, will now be part of the West Springfield district. The rest of Westfield, along with the town of Southampton, will make up the new 4th Hampden District. I attended a few events over the last couple of weeks to begin to meet and understand their priorities. I’m so excited for us to be gaining this new territory, and think it will be a great fit. Last week, I attended a tour of a few of the farms in Southampton to look at their operations, hear about the funding they need, and learn more about all they bring to the community. Wednesday, I attended a brunch to celebrate veterans at the Southampton Senior Center. What a great event and a nice meet-and-greet.
We welcomed HCC’s new Homestead Market, the first college market of its kind in the state, accepting SNAP benefits and taking steps to stop food insecurity on college campuses. In Westfield, LaFlamme Auto & Truck Services had their ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Congrats to J.R. and Sarah, and best of luck with your business.
We continue to help constituents with various issues. If you are having problems contacting or getting an answer from departments or agencies within the commonwealth, please reach out to us and we will help to the best of our abilities to get a resolution.
Kelly Pease, R-Westfield, represents Westfield in the state House of Representatives.