NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — My name is Catherine Chaput I am a 20-year-old junior at MCLA and I'm running for North Adams City Council.
At MCLA, I am studying political science, economics, American history, and family studies. I came to North Adams from my hometown of Dracut. Immediately, I fell in love with the city and became engaged in its endless possibilities.
In my years at MCLA, I have volunteered and worked (more the former than the latter) in the community and learned the importance of shopping locally. I have spent time lobbying our representatives, collecting goods for local charities, and connecting with local youth. This past summer, I rented an apartment in North Adams and got an unpaid internship in Mayor Alcombright's office instead of living with my parents in Leominster. North Adams is now my home.
I worked in the mayor's office all summer, going through files dating back to the 1960s and current files. I compiled both budgets and all council packets. I took this time to thoroughly understand the process of city governance.
Like the majority of cities in the world at this point, the biggest problem facing North Adams is our economy. We need to tackle this by creating new and innovative sources of revenue, consolidating costs, cutting unnecessary expenses (regardless of how small), taking advantage of assets in the community (MCLA) and rebuilding reserves.
I can provide a perspective to the City Council that it has never had. I have my future in mind of the next 70 years. I have the insight from living in various places in the state. I have the fresh education from well-traveled and experienced professors with the most up-to-date information on the most pressing issues our society faces.
I understand that MCLA has administrative representation in city governance, but if we want to retain more of the hundreds of graduates as citizens of North Adams, we need a student perspective. The community needs to take students seriously as potential lifelong citizens of North Adams. It happens in other cities, why not North Adams?
Another huge problem facing our society, including North Adams, is our lack of understanding of how the system works. Our City Council should be spending more time explaining what is going on and why. The council is elected to represent the citizens and cannot properly do so if they are left in the dark.
I apologize for the lack of publicity but as I said, I am a junior at a state school. My peers and I have enough income to survive, not enough to spend on bumper stickers, balloons, Web advertisments, and fancy lawn signs. I have been getting my voice heard at community meetings to get publicity instead. If you want someone who is used to working with a low budget, as a broke college student, paying for my education by myself, I'm pretty good.
If you'd like to talk or volunteer, please email me at email@example.com
I am the future of North Adams and I would like your vote on Tuesday.
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It would be great to get a young lady like this into the City Council. Her energy, desire to help the city, and being a role model for other young people to get involved and work hard would be refreshing.
The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.