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Angelides lobbies supporters for 'Victory in November'

Date: 10/1/2012

By Chris Maza

LONGMEADOW — Longmeadow selectman and Republican candidate for state representative for the Second Hampden District Marie Angelides rallied supporters with a speech outlining a vision of innovation and cooperation at a "Victory in November" party hosted by her campaign at Twin Hills Country Club on Sept. 27.

Angelides, who will face Democratic incumbent Brian Ashe in the Nov. 6 election for the chance to represent the towns of Longmeadow, Hampden, Monson and most of East Longmeadow, said in front of approximately 100 supporters that she felt that "America is like a sleeping electorate that is beginning to awake" as frustration mounts.

"This week, I heard that Americans are slow to anger unless it involves referees and bad calls," Angelides said, referencing the recently ended lockout of referees by the NFL. "But I've noticed a change, a difference in the air this year, and I think that people have moved from frustration to anger. I think there is a change in the air and I'm hoping that this Nov. 6, we're going to see a change in the air, too."

Angelides said she recognized the concerns that the residents of the Commonwealth, and specifically the Second Hampden District, face, ranging from unemployment and underemployment, the high cost of day care — "the highest in the country outside of Washington D.C.," she said, increasing medical costs, high student loan debt with few jobs available for college graduates, and the lack of employment options for returning veterans.

Angelides said that there is an opportunity to make positive changes in the Commonwealth because "most of the problem is a political problem," but in order to make a significant difference, a look toward the future instead of the past was necessary.

"We can't go back. There's no going back," she said. "I think in the United States we [are experiencing] a transformation. The whole economy is transforming and that's happening here in Western Mass. We need to have people who are stepping in front of it and are working together to make this area the area of growth."

Angelides went on explain that local precision manufacturing should be preparing to transition to composite manufacturing; that area farms must be ready to take advantage of the market for organic foods in Asia; and that Western Massachusetts could be a crossroads for goods moving through the new channels at the Panama Canal.

Angelides added that she believed the state representative's responsibilities included being a go-between for the towns in the district and to help the towns exchange ideas and resources.

"We have these wonderful small New England towns ... that have great resources, but we need to pull those together," she said. "We need to find common solutions in these towns ... I think that these great towns have a wonderful future, but what we need to do is speak together, fight together, [and] work together to make these [goals] happen."

Angelides also said she saw Western Massachusetts as a prime location for economic growth because of the area's many assets and she would lobby on Beacon Hill for the opportunity to take advantage of its resources to make that happen.

"There are great resources out here. We have wonderful towns to live in with a lower cost of living [than the Boston area] and this is where we need to start bringing the jobs to," she said. "All we need are more voices out there saying, 'We need to bring these out to the Second Hampden [District], to each of these towns, because they are great towns.'"