Climate change forums set for Northampton City Council candidates

Staff Writer
Published: 9/9/2019 12:18:08 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Two forums aimed at putting City Council candidates on the spot on climate change are scheduled this week.

The forums are being put on by the activist organization Climate Action Now.

“We’re going to have a big change in our city council,” said Adele Franks, who serves on the steering committee of CAN. “Climate change is the most important issue of our day.”

Franks said that in the absence of federal initiatives, municipalities and states will have to step up.

“It’s really up to states and municipalities to show leadership,” she said.

Franks will moderate both forums, which are being co-sponsored by numerous other organizations, including the Massachusetts Sierra Club, Northampton Mothers Out Front, the Broad Brook Coalition, and the Northampton/Florence Unitarian Universalist Climate Action Group.

“We have been gathering questions from all of the co-sponsoring organizations,” Franks said.

The public will also have the opportunity to question the candidates.

The first forum will be at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., on Wednesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Michael Quinlan Jr., the manager of fine wine at Table & Vine, and Andrew Smith, director of conservation and sustainability for the city of Holyoke, both of whom are running for retiring Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Carney’s seat, will be among the featured candidates.

Candidates John Thorpe, a probation officer, and Karen Foster, the executive director of All Out Adventures, both of whom are running unopposed for the Ward 4 and Ward 2 seats respectively, will also be questioned at the forum.

Ward 2 City Councilor Dennis Bidwell is not running for re-election, while Ward 4 City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra is running for an at-large seat on the council this year.

On Thursday, the second forum will take place in the Lathrop Community Room, at 1 Shallowbrook Lane, and will also start at 6:30 p.m. This forum will feature the three candidates running to replace retiring Ward 7 City Councilor Alisa Klein: Pioneer Valley Women’s March Director Rachel Maiore, retired county executive Penny Geis and publishing company owner Hanuman Goleman. It will also include Alex Jarrett, a worker-owner at Pedal People who is running against Ward 5 City Councilor David Murphy. Murphy is out of town on the day of the forum, so he will be providing written responses to the questions.

“We’re hoping for a really good turnout,” said Franks.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy