Friday, June 20, 2008

Smart Growth District a welcome addition

Letter to Editor
from The Sun, June 20-26

Dear Editor,

Your recent article on the decision of the City Council to approve a zoning change that allows the creation of a Smart Growth Overlay District in downtown Holyoke is welcome news. I was particularly pleased to learn that the change earned the unanimous approval of the Council since, in my view, sustained focus on revitalizing downtown Holyoke has been lacking among that body. Also encouraging were the sentiments of the Councilors quoted in your article that suggest such a focus may indeed become a more central priority for them. Insofar as that is true, Holyokers would be remiss in failing to note the contribution that Rebecca Lisi has made in bringing the matter of Smart Growth to the attention of the residents and political leadership of Holyoke. Her efforts to educate voters about the principles of Smart Growth, and to advocate for their implementation since her 2005 campaign for City Council, mark the beginning of a long-overdue public discussion about the most daunting (and, potentially, most promising) challenge facing the city. While Lisi does not appear in your article, her work should not go unnoticed.

Sincerely yours,

David Swiderski

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Emerge Massachusetts Trains Democratic Women to Run for and Succeed in Elective Office

HOLYOKE- Emerge Massachusetts today announced that Holyoke City Councilor Rebecca Lisi is one of 15 women graduating from its inaugural training program for Democratic women candidates and elected officials. The graduation ceremony took place on June 7th at the Democratic Party State Convention in Lowell. During the intensive program, Lisi received comprehensive instruction in the areas of Public Speaking, Fundraising, Campaign Strategy, Field, Labor & Endorsements, Networking, Media Skills and Messaging, and Ethics in Politics, all while expanding her policy background and making lasting connections with other local leaders.

“Being part of the inaugural class of Emerge Massachusetts was a privilege,” said Councilor Lisi. “It was truly inspiring to learn and network with so many diverse women from across the state. It is critical for women to make their voices heard in politics and civic life. With this training program, Emerge has enhanced my ability to do just that.”

Councilor Lisi won her first election in November 2007 and is the youngest member of the Holyoke City Council. She is currently one of four women holding elected office in Holyoke. Upon graduation from the Emerge Massachusetts program, Councilor Lisi will join Emerge’s Alumni Relations Committee and help on the board of directors’ Curriculum Committee.

Founded in 2007, Emerge Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization devoted to the identification, education and inspiration of Democratic women who are currently elected officials or who want to pursue elective office at the local and state level. The group is an affiliate of Emerge America, which has six other chapters that have had tremendous success getting women to run and win. Over 60% of Emerge alumnae are in public office and another 15% of its alumnae are running in 2007 and 2008.

Applications are available for the 2009 session at

Labels: , , , ,