[ed_note]We got this from Paul Mark, candidate for State Representative in the 2nd Berkshire Representative District[/ed_note]
Paul Mark, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the Second Berkshire district, has proposed a pair of initiatives aimed at drawing greater attention to Western Mass and providing highly personalized constituent services.
The first is Mark’s “Better Know A District” initiative, in which he vows to invite eastern Massachusetts legislators to his district during his first term. Mark contends that, rather than simply exclaiming that Eastern Mass forgets about our part of state, “I will be pro-active about educating my Statehouse colleagues about our way of life.”
Mark has indicated several places he wishes to host colleagues to discuss the district’s often-forgotten needs, including: farms throughout the district, Crane Paper Company in Dalton, tourist attractions in Shelburne Falls, the Schell Bridge in Northfield, and meetings with local school officials to examine regional school concerns.
â€œFor example, when it comes time to reauthorize the Dairy Farm Revitalization Act, Iâ€™ll be able to remind my colleagues about the time they visited a dairy farm with me.â€
Paul Mark’s other proposed program is his “Constituent Canvass” which he will run next summer, if elected. Mark has said he will canvass door-to-door and “bring his office straight to the voters.” Given the size of his rural district–the largest in the state–Mark feels that having one single district office is inadequate to serve constituents.
“No matter where a district office might be placed, it would still take other constituents at least an hour to drive there,” Mark contends.
“Holding roving office hours throughout the district makes sense in the winter,” said campaign spokesperson Steve Hoeschele, “but in the warmer months, Paul wants to provide superior constituent service at the door, in addition to holding roving office hours. This would help reach out to people who might be shy or unsure of the process of talking with public officials.”
“On campaigns, the candidates are always asking voters for help: asking for votes, to put up lawn signs, to contribute money. But if I’m elected as state rep, I want to show up at constituents’ doors and ask them how I can help them.” Mark will hire an aide with the intention of performing such outreach as well.
Mark chalks up his “Constituent Canvass” idea to his dedication to being present in all parts of his district. “I’m very used to putting in long hours and driving, so this large district is absolutely cut out for me,” he said. Mark commuted from Hancock on the New York border to Amherst and Boston to earn his college degrees, while working full-time.
“I’m not going to rest easy if I get elected,” Mark added. “That’s when the real work starts.”