New delegation to hold 2019 listening sessions

  • 1st Franklin District state. Rep. Natalie Blais holds 7-month-old Kenzington Elechko, daughter of Kristen Elechko of Northampton, prior to a town hall meeting with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey at the Northampton Elks Lodge on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/13/2019 10:51:42 PM

NORTHAMPTON — As five new western Massachusetts lawmakers begin their terms on Beacon Hill, the new delegation has announced a series of listening sessions for the region.

Beginning Feb. 15 at the Sunderland Public Library from 1 to 4 p.m., state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Reps. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, Daniel Carey, D-Easthampton, Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, and Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, are inviting advocates and organizations to lobby them directly. 

“It was important for us as legislators to be as accessible as possible to advocates in the region,” Blais said.

By getting together all at once, it makes it easier for those constituents to reach all of the new delegation without having to reach out to each office individually.

“We’re trying to make this as easy as possible,” Blais said.

The lawmakers plan to hold several other listening sessions, on the third Friday of each month. The events are tentatively scheduled to be held in March, April and May in Amherst, South Hadley and Williamsburg, respectively.

All five legislators were elected to their positions in November, sweeping in a new delegation for much of Hampshire County. 

Blais said that the listening sessions give the lawmakers an important chance to hear from their communities.

“We all have a lot to learn,” she said, adding that it will also be beneficial for the newly elected officials to learn from each other as well. “We as legislators are also getting to know each other.”

Interested groups are encouraged to schedule a time online at the following link: https://bit.ly/2THCxnF

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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