Westfield Newsroom

Velis advocates for local needs during budget sessions


Hello Everyone,
After an extended and arduous session in 2020, budget season is officially underway yet again in the State Senate. This week has been filled with meetings of all sorts from constituents to organizations as well as my elected colleagues in the legislature. I have filed a number of amendments that will specifically benefit our district and I look forward to advocating on behalf of them during the Senate’s budget debate.
One such meeting was with Pamela Schwartz, the director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness. She and I discussed many of the housing challenges facing our region from both before the pandemic and those created by it as well many pieces of legislation pertinent to these issues. Western Mass is lucky to have her working for us and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her to help curb housing inequity in our area .
I also had the pleasure of having a similar meeting with David Stephens, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on Aging. He and I talked about the current issues facing seniors and COAs and what the legislature can do to best aid this group that was so severely affected by the pandemic.
The town of Tolland had their annual town meeting this week to which I was lucky enough to be invited. Aside from being one of my favorite New England traditions, the town meeting is in my opinion, the cornerstone of our democracy, with residents voting on major municipal matters from town-bylaws to budgets. This is just the first of many town meetings throughout the district as Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, and Southampton will be holding their respective meetings very soon.
The Kiwanis Club of Westfield unveiled a new memorial bench at Stanley Park to honor Veterans. While the bench honors all Veterans, it has a special intention to those that we tragically lot at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home last spring. As a Veteran and the Chairman of Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, it was an honor to attend the ceremony.
I want to remind everyone that the general population is now eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine. Many vaccination sites, including the Eastfield Mall and CVS Pharmacy locations, are now offering walk-ins. Head to vaxfinder.mass.gov/ to find locations and appointments near
Recently I’ve started sending out newsletters from my office. You can sign up at senatorjohnvelis.com/newsletter/ to receive the newsletter right in your email inbox.
As always, if there is anything I can do to assist you, please never hesitate to reach out to my office. I can be reached at my email: [email protected] or by phone: (413) 572-3920 and you can find me online at senatorjohnvelis.com.
John Velis

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