Surplus a Minus for Taxpayers

  While I’m relieved to see that our Legislators finally completed our State’s budget process last week (nineteen days later than anyone else in the nation), I can’t help but wonder if anyone else is feeling a bit of whiplash from the latest series of spending deals coming out of Beacon Hill these days? Continue reading

Allison Werder Earns Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus Endorsement

BOSTON, July 13, 2018 — The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus' Political Action Committee has endorsed Allison Werder of Longmeadow in her race to become State Representative for 2ndHampden District, serving Monson, Hampden, ¾’s of East Longmeadow and Longmeadow.  Continue reading

Service vs. Celebrity

I've been posing for a lot of photos lately. It's just a thing that happens when you run for office. My kids sometimes roll their eyes at how much they're seeing mom's picture these days, and I struggle with it a bit myself: It's a sudden low-level celebrity, and at this point it feels very undeserved. I know it's part and parcel of a political campaign, so I've made uneasy peace with it, but it has also made me consider the power, and danger, of the "photo op"-- and the important difference between striking a pose and getting real work done. Continue reading

Our Legislature has a Spending Problem

Late Thursday night, while many of the taxpayers in the Commonwealth slept, the Massachusetts Senate pulled a few fast ones. First, and expectedly, it tacked on another $76 million in spending to an already bloated budget. No spending plan is rich enough for the Legislature these days, so  Continue reading

Leadership Is a Full Time Job

LEADERSHIP IS A FULL TIME JOBA little more than three months have passed since I formally launched my campaign to represent Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Hampden and Monson in the Second Hampden District of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During this time, I’ve had the chance to meet hundreds of people and gain a lot of new perspective on the issues confronting families across the region. Some of those challenges don’t surprise me: lack of economic opportunity, the burdens of health problems and paying for healthcare, growing strains on municipal budgets and school resources, and the impact of the opioid crisis on individuals, families and communities. Continue reading

We Need Sunshine - on our Legislature

We Need Sunshine - on our Legislature One of the many reasons people are frustrated with politics today is because they see politicians holding themselves to different standards than the people they are paid to serve.  They impose health care laws on everyone but make themselves exempt, they give themselves a 40% pay raise while the average salaries have remained stagnant for years, and they drive around in cars with custom license plates denoting that they are somehow special and should be treated differently than the rest of us.   A prime example of this here in Massachusetts is a 2016 update to our Open Meeting and Public Records laws that failed to address the fact that our Legislature is exempt from universal transparency laws.  This means that these transparency laws – often referred to as “Sunshine Laws” - apply to all city and town governments across the Commonwealth, but do not apply to our House and Senate.  When they were reforming the laws, instead of ending the exemption they created a “Special Legislative Commission” to study the issue. The report was due at the end of 2017 and to no surprise to anyone they extended their own deadline to December of this year.  Continue reading

The Case for Competition

The Case for Competition in Our ElectionsI was disappointed but not surprised when I saw the recent news that many local legislators are runningunopposed in the coming election season. We are all justly proud of our state, but too often, Massachusetts legislators are getting a free pass when it comes to job performance. Continue reading

“Fiscal responsibility and social responsibility don’t have to be at odds.”

Former MassLive President announces candidacy for state Rep. Feb. 1, 2018 | G. Michael Dobbsnews@thereminder.com Traditionally, Longmeadow and the 2nd Hampden District was a Republican stronghold when it came to its state representative and Allison Werder will be working to return the district to the Republican side of the aisle. Werder, the former president of MassLive, is challenging state Rep. Brian Ashe. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Werder said to Reminder Publications. “I have a lot to offer.” This is her first run for office, but Werder explained she was raised by parents who both served in public office and it was part of her upbringing. She described her politics as being a “Massachusetts Republican.”  Werder explained, “Fiscal responsibility and social responsibility don’t have to be at odds.” Werder believes that on issues such as the economy, transportation and the impact made on local communities by MGM, the district deserves better. “I will work harder to get things done for Western Massachusetts,” she added. She readily acknowledged the Western Massachusetts delegation is “outnumbered” in the House and that the legislators must work together to get the needed attention and resources for the region. “I don’t know if it [the district] is getting that right now,” she said. Continue reading

Being called an "Underdog" will just make me work harder

Briefings: In 2nd Hampden, A Werder in Edgewise… W Werder up! (via Facebook/Werder campaign) JAN 19, 2018 by WMASSPI in 2ND HAMPDEN The Pioneer Valley’s first legislative contest formally began today with a Republican announcing her bid for a Democrat-held seat. Allison Werder, the former President of Masslive, launched her campaign for the 2ndHampden House District Thursday.  The move comes several weeks after opening a campaign account and a coy statement about her intentions. To win, Werder will need to knock off Brian Ashe, who is seeking a sixth term in the well-to-do district running along the Connecticut border. In a biographical press release, Werder pitched her business background and community activities. However, she enters as an underdog. The prevailing political winds do not favor Republicans now, especially in suburban districts such as hers. Continue reading