Rep. Velis’ weekly update

Good morning Westfield! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and gearing up for Thanksgiving next week. Here is a quick update from the past week.

On Tuesday Westfield continued the discussion of heroin and opioid abuse and addiction. Former Celtic basketball player and former heroin addict, Chris Herren, paid a visit to Westfield to share his story and discuss opioid addiction. Herren met with students in assemblies during the day and held a discussion with the public in the evening.

Herren offered yet another perspective and narrative to this issue we are continuing to fight. He explained how his prolonged drug use affected everything from his promising career to his love ones. Thank you to the School Department substance abuse counselors, Carrie Fiordalice and Kristine Hupfer, and the Westfield Drug Task Force for organizing this event. It is important that we continue this discussion and work to find solutions to the opioid epidemic we are seeing in our city, commonwealth, and across the country.

Also this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with many of my fellow Western Massachusetts legislators. We met to discuss the upcoming legislative session and how we can work together to best represent Western Mass. Although we all represent different districts with different needs,there are many areas in which our efforts overlap. It will certainly be beneficial for us to be on the same page as we advocate for Western Mass on Beacon Hill.We had great discussion and I am looking forward to continuing to work with my colleagues come January.

That’s all for this week Westfield! As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns at [email protected] or 413-572-3920.

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