Letter: Bloomberg will bring youth, leadership

Bloomberg will bring youth, leadership

To the editor:

I grew up in Pittsfield and now, 55 years later, I am back. It troubles me greatly to see how much economic decline the city has suffered since I left. The loss of GE in the 1980s was critical, but many years later, Pittsfield continues to struggle.

I have followed the primary race for state representative closely, as it is clear to me that the flight of youth for better opportunity elsewhere and poverty are critical issues here in the heart of the Berkshires.

Collaboration in state government is important but even more important to the fate of Western Massachusetts is leadership. Mike Bloomberg has returned to Pittsfield to try to make a difference. He did not wait 55 years, but instead returned just a few years after he graduated from UMass and gained experience in business, technology, and urban economics before his return. He studied cities that have transformed their economies like Saratoga Springs and Lowell. He came back, prepared not just to follow, but to lead.

Pittsfield needs the energy of youth, fresh ideas and the commitment of a born leader. Yes, he is young, but how soon we forget that one of our most effective legislators, Ben Downing, was just 24 years old when he first ran. Mike will collaborate when the opportunity arises, as all legislators do, but he is prepared to lead by introducing legislation that will bring needed resources to Pittsfield.

Pittsfield needs this kind of leadership. Mike's opponent has served 2 1/2 terms and has failed to sponsor a single bill that has passed, and has yet to hold a committee chair or vice-chairmanship. I urge you to watch the Aug. 29 debate between the candidates on PCTV, or on the internet, as there is a clear difference in priorities for our city.

Mike has my vote on primary day, Thursday, Sept. 8. I hope he will have yours.

Virginia E. O'Leary, Pittsfield


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