Lisi Campaign Launches Bilingual Campaign Website to Promote Culturally Responsive Campaign Communications
Affirms Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Local Government
HOLYOKE, MASS., May 3, 2021 – Rebecca Lisi, Holyoke City Councilor At-Large and mayoral candidate, has launched a new bilingual website, votelisi.com, which aims to promote access to information on campaign issues and resources for all city residents. The website was developed in partnership with Latinx and female campaign staffers and affirms the Lisi campaign’s broader commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in local governance.
Holyoke’s population is over half Latinx, with 52% of residents reporting themselves to be Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. Lisi is focused on celebrating the diversity of all Holyokers and the vibrancy of all neighborhoods, starting with ensuring access to information about the campaign’s goals and stances on critical issues is readily available and understood.
“I am honored to be a part of a team that is totally consumed with the best interests of the residents of the City of Holyoke” says Jeffrey Trask, Lisi’s Campaign Manager. “So often political campaigns become focused on the interests of a small group of people. Team Lisi is a diverse, dedicated group of individuals working hard to make sure that we are reaching voters across the city.”
Each element of votelisi.com was translated by bilingual campaign volunteer and city resident Laura Ramos, to ensure the website’s content was not only accurate, but accessible to native Spanish speakers. While more time consuming and resource intensive, undergoing a hands-on translation by a human instead of a translation service ensured that no nuance was lost. Ramos underscored this point by commenting, “It was a pleasure to work on this project because I believe it advances voter equity by providing access to culturally responsive information to a population that is over half Latinos. Using Google Translate risks errors and devalues this access.”
Lisi’s empathetic leadership and 14-year tenure on the city council has proven invaluable in her understanding of city issues, while never missing an opportunity for continued growth and education about what is most important to her constituents. Ramos added, “Rebecca worked hand-in-hand with me on the translation, which helped her to learn and grow her ability to communicate her own message in Spanish. This demonstrated to me that she values her own learning process and that of all members of our community.”
As a result, the Lisi campaign has attracted an energetic and diverse group of staffers and volunteers, many of whom are first time participants in a political campaign who believe in her ability to create change and drive results for all of Holyoke’s citizens. “When Rebecca asked me to be her campaign treasurer, I immediately said ‘yes,’” said Rosanna Lopez. “She recognized that I liked working with numbers and that I had the right skill set. Rebecca is hard working and dedicated to this city and she stands her ground despite the ‘good ole boys,’ giving her a hard time. In doing so, she gives voice to, and paves a path to, a Holyoke that I respect, that I understand, that I can relate to, and that I want to be part of.”
Lisi has provided an opportunity for female-identifying campaign staffers and volunteers to get involved at every level of her mayoral campaign and has modeled an action-oriented approach to tackling goals large and small. “As the lead on the Shoebox Parade, I really learned that Rebecca not only dreams big, but delivers big. She is not just an “aspirational” candidate who deals in lofty platitudes. She pairs ideas with tangible actions to back them up.” said Shannon Sarkisian, Associate Campaign Advisor.
Lisi’s stances on issues ranging from municipal internet and economic development to financial best practices and open government are backed by years of experience working with city officials, residents, and external stakeholders to improve Holyoke citizens’ quality of life and services the city provides. “She is a candidate that has high expectations of what the city and its residents can be, and she does absolutely everything in her power to make it happen (ie: getting over 80 people to submit floats for a virtual event that had never existed before),” said Sarkisian.
After what was an incredibly challenging year for all, Lisi’s candidacy presents an opportunity for traditionally marginalized communities to have their interests represented in Holyoke politics by a candidate that recognizes their inherent value to the community at large. “When decisions are made, the people who are being affected need to be sitting around the table. For too long, women, people of color, LGBTQ folks, and other marginalized groups have not seen the kind of prosperity and equity that they deserve because they have not had a seat at the table,” said Joshua Clark, Senior Campaign Advisor.
Clark continued, “Rebecca Lisi is building a big table where all community voices are heard. This campaign is about the future; forward progress is contingent up Holyoke recognizing and valuing a diversity of voices and perspectives.”
For Team Lisi, it starts with an understanding that equity and language accessibility is only the beginning. An inclusive Holyoke must build a civic infrastructure that supports a culture of belonging and opportunities for all. “This is the kind of campaign that Holyoke needs.” said Price Armstrong, Campaign Comptroller. “For a lot of reasons, the pandemic has hit Latino communities – and women in particular – hard. This campaign team understands the challenges and is advancing solutions to these unprecedented burdens.”
Lisi’s campaign will hold two kick off events in the month of May. An English language-focused brunch event will take place at Jay’s Bed and Breakfast, 1109 Dwight Street, from 10am – 1pm on Saturday, May 22 and a Spanish language-focused after work event will take place at Fiesta Cafe, 305 Main Street from 6-8pm on Thursday, May 27. More details on both events are available at https://tinyurl.com/votelisi-