When I moved to Holyoke, I had no intention of staying for more than a few years. I didn’t like Holyoke. The move was a rationalized temporary choice, because Holyoke was centrally located and affordable. But within a few years, something interesting happened. A new mayor was elected–an impossibly mature young man with progressive ideas and solid plans to put his ideas in motion, and with a deep love for his city. And our city responded, returning his love. People, neighborhoods, businesses, schools, all responded. Property values and high school graduations went up. Blight and crime went down. People smiled more.
And a funny thing happened for me as well. The woman who was a temporary resident, the woman who had always been politically active on a national scale, but never on a local one, changed. I fell in love with my city, the one that I am now proud to call home. I am eager to purchase a house in Holyoke. And I want this mayor to finish the work he started. So much so that I have been actively involved in my first ever local political campaign. I am proud to be making phone calls, holding signs, and knocking on doors for this mayor. And I will be proud to do this for as often as he continues to run for reelection, because I see the real, positive changes that are happening because of Alex Morse’s vision.
– Elizabeth Veillette