August 31, 2021
HOLYOKE — Iron Workers Local 7 and Carpenters Local 336 are the latest labor unions to endorse Rebecca Lisi in her campaign to be Holyoke’s next mayor.
“Iron Workers Local 7 is happy to support Lisi in this step toward higher office,” said Local 7 Business Manager, Fiore Grassetti. “Over the years, we have witnessed Rebecca take the time to learn about labor issues and be an active ally in the policy arena. She exhibits the maturity and wisdom of an experienced leader.”
“Working collaboratively with government leaders, like Rebecca Lisi, is how we make a difference in workers’ lives,” said Charlie Payne, Business Representative, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Local 336. “Rebecca Lisi has been a consistent friend to Labor. She has demonstrated a commitment to workers rights and a willingness to work to advance those rights with public policy.”
“I am honored to receive the trust and confidence that comes along with these endorsements,” said Lisi. “I value the relationships that I have cultivated over the past 14 years with both Locals. I look forward to continuing to work together to secure workers rights, local jobs, and diversity in the workforce in Holyoke.”
Lisi, 42, a 14-year member of the Holyoke City Council at large, also has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Western Mass Area Labor Federation, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1459 and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Mass Alliance, which is a coalition of political and advocacy organizations dedicated to making Massachusetts more progressive, has recognized Lisi with “Rising Star” status as a candidate in good standing.
Iron Workers Local 7 has 3,000 members. The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters represents over 28,000 carpenters, pile drivers, shop and millmen, and floor coverers working throughout New England and New York. Both Locals have long served a critical role in advocating for workers’ rights in Holyoke and beyond.
In May, Lisi joined Holyoke acting Mayor Terence Murphy in support of a plan to require that contractors on city jobs pay employees properly.
The proposed wage theft ordinance would be aimed at ensuring not only that workers get the pay due to them, but also that contractors pay taxes and workers’ compensation. The proposal is under discussion in the City Council Ordinance Committee, of which Lisi is chairwoman.
Lisi supports healthcare professionals’ efforts to unionize and would support a bargaining unit struggling with an employer who is using union busting strategies.
School nurse programs should be better funded by the state and the accreditation process must be more accessible to low-income people and people of color, in particular, Lisi said.
Lisi also supports a proposal the MNA favors to establish nurse staffing ratios. Massachusetts voters in 2018 rejected such a measure.
In this city of about 40,000, roughly half the population is Latino and Lisi’s is a bilingual campaign. She makes remarks at events in English and Spanish.
“My campaign website is fully bi-lingual as are most of our campaign communications in order to reach all voters in Holyoke,” Lisi said.
As Ordinance Committee chairwoman, Lisi has spearheaded development of the marijuana industry in Holyoke. The transformation has resulted in businesses thriving in formerly vacant mill buildings downtown producing jobs and tax revenue.
Marijuana businesses have added $5,726,900 in real property value since 2017 to Holyoke, provided $1,143,085 in tax revenue and produced hundreds of living-wage jobs with health benefits.
“I have a reputation for bringing big ideas to the problems that Holyoke is facing and pairing those ideas with practical action in order to make progress,” Lisi said.
Also in terms of jobs and city projects, Lisi has proposed that the city establish a Capital Stabilization Fund. The fund would be a dedicated generation to ensure that the city can cover the expenses associated with replacing vehicles and fixing buildings and other facilities with a regularity that will avoid costly repairs caused by waiting too long.
The four pillars of Lisi’s campaign for mayor are education, economic development, being welcoming to newcomers and civic engagement.
Voters will narrow the field of candidates for mayor to the top two vote-getters in the preliminary election Sept. 21. Those two will compete for mayor on Election Day Nov. 2.
To learn more about Rebecca Lisi and her campaign for mayor, visit votelisi.com.