By: Nicole Lashomb*/Editor-in-Chief-
In a matter of a few days, the municipal elections will take place in Massachusetts. Not only is it important to vote, but to also be an informed constituent of who you want to represent you. Many people are often swayed by what others say or think instead of doing the research for themselves. I freely admit that I have been guilty of such irresponsible voting in the past. After the fact, I’ve learned that not only did I vote for a candidate that was opposed to certain fundamental values I hold; there was nothing I could do at that point to change my vote. It had been cast. Through this lesson, as much as I love my family and friends and value their opinions, I’ve learned to do the research myself.
In Massachusetts, we are fortunate enough to have candidates that are often supportive of the gay community. This year is no different. Mayoral elections for Northampton and Holyoke are particularly important this year. For Northampton, Michael Bardsley takes on David Narkewicz and Alex Morse takes on incumbent Elaine Pluta. Bardsley and Morse are not only gay inclusive and friendly, these two candidates are openly gay men alike. Although Narkewicz is not gay, his candidacy represents one of great commitment to the LGBT community, similar to Bardsley and Morse. I am confident that all of these candidates will work for the betterment of the LGBT community. However, after a great deal of deliberation, The Rainbow Times proudly endorses Michael Bardsley and Alex Morse.
This decision was not taken lightly. In Northampton, it came down to extensive experience in several different sectors of city government as well as a lifetime proven record for dedication to the working class and the LGBT community from an insider’s view–a gay man’s view. We were particularly touched by his words, spoken and via his site. His humble nature may prove to be central to understanding the changing Northampton population (racially and ethnically). A teacher himself, Bardsley understands first-hand the problems arising from a failed educational system. Understanding such a system is crucial to the betterment and sustainability of a strong educational structure, preparing better leaders and competing in a world where others are capitalizing where the U.S. once was doing it. These and others are the reasons we believe Michael Bardsley is that choice.
For Holyoke, Morse is the robust candidate who exudes change to better a city that has fallen victim to the status quo. His passion for all Holyoke citizens and the betterment of its members is something that Morse has seen first-hand too–he is a native of Holyoke. His degree in urban development from Brown University undoubtedly will assist him in fulfilling his duties as the Mayor of Holyoke. A fresh face to politics is just what this city needs to effectively create necessary change, we believe.
Regardless of whom your choice is this year, I urge you to inform yourselves about all municipal candidates that you are responsible for voting into office. Carefully examine the reasons why you are choosing them and educate yourself about their track record. Only then will you have the answers to what is right for you.