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Now is not the time to replace Neal



Published: 8/24/2020 12:09:22 PM

Alex Morse became mayor of Holyoke at the age of 22. During this time I was a teacher at Kelly School in Holyoke.

Holyoke Public Schools were threatened with state receivership and many reached out to Morse for support. He did nothing. Yet, during the debates last week, I heard our mayor take credit for the increase in high school graduation rates.

Much can be inferred about a city that elects a 22-year-old mayor. Our mayor needed to grow into this job, and he smartly surrounded himself with wise counsels who could confer with him about city politics. Without this tutelage, his leadership would have been a disaster.

However, he feels ready to take on Congress. We have some inspirational young Democrats in Congress with progressive ideas. Why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not more supportive of them? She endorses U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Morse’s congressional opponent. I now understand why.

Washington is a pork barrel where deals are made under the auspices of common good. Bills are attached until what was originally proposed is undecipherable. It takes wisdom, experience and “know how” to get done what is in the best interest of “we the people.”

Pelosi is mentoring these young Democrats to take the reins so that they will one day understand the art of negotiating in a place where the rules you were taught no longer apply. Cultivating this kind of wisdom takes time, and one day our young Democrats will stand on the floor and lead us.

I don’t know Neal and am not affiliated with his campaign. I live in Holyoke and know what Morse has done for Holyoke. These are perilous times and our country cannot afford to substitute Morse for Neal.

Neal will not be in politics much longer and someday a young Democrat will take the helm. Morse is not ready for this leap and we cannot bear witness as he continues not knowing what to do and sits in silence in a congressional seat in Washington.

Iris McGrath

Holyoke



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