Listen up, Congressman Neal: Berkshire County calling

More Info
By Sunday, Jun 4 Letters  9 Comments

To the Editor:

On May 30th, Congressman Richard Neal gave an hour-long interview to Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe on Miller’s Political Happy Hour. At 37 minutes into the wide-ranging interview, Miller brought up the subject of the ad run by frustrated citizens in Williamsburg showing the Congressman’s face covered in a large question mark and accompanied by the caption “Where’s Richie Neal?” Neal laughed it off. He responded by parsing the demographics, saying that outside of Hampden County 2 percent of the constituents in his district live in Franklin County, 7 percent in western Hampshire and 19 percent in Berkshire County. “Nobody’s complaining in Berkshire County,” said the Congressman.

This was news to Richard Brown of Sheffield and myself who have been working since March to arrange a town hall in the Berkshires, beginning with two face-to-face encounters with Neal. Brown spoke with him after the March 11th healthcare town hall in Chicopee and I did the same after the Four Freedoms-sponsored Act Now! civic participation workshop at Berkshire Community College on April 1st. In both conversations, Neal was gracious and indicated he would welcome the opportunity to dialogue with constituents at a town hall in Berkshire County.

Numerous phone calls and emails to district staff failed to advance this process. A certified letter was sent to Congressman Neal on April 12th asking for arrangements to be made for the meeting. The letter was followed by dozens of calls from constituents expressing dismay that their legitimate concerns were not being heard. At a time when residents of Massachusetts are under siege by a government in Washington that does not represent our interests or our values, we need a representative in Congress who will meet with us, listen to us and strengthen our resolve. Read your mail, Congressman Neal. People in Berkshire County have been complaining for three months.

Susie Kaufman
Stockbridge

Richard Brown
Sheffield


Return Home

9 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Sage Radachowsky says:

    Thank you for writing this. We need a representative who represents us.

    1. RAC says:

      Did you vote (D)? You’re getting what you deserve.

    2. Susie Kaufman says:

      Agreed, Sage. We have to keep up the pressure. Neal feels invulnerable because he’s been in Congress for so long. Let’s make this happen.

  2. Patrick Fennell says:

    Finally someone besides me is complaining to the 34th worst member of congress. Thank God Maxine Waters isn’t in our district or we would have the worst member of congress.

  3. David says:

    Ditto the frustration with our representative! Miy wife’s and my emails never replied to. Does he assume reelection because he’s in a safe district. I’ll seriously consider supporting any candidate who wants to oppose him in the next election, even a reasonable Republican.

    1. Susie Kaufman says:

      I get the feeling Neal has no idea how much ill will he is generating.

      1. Patrick Fennell says:

        Richie gets 70% of the vote so he really doesn’t care and figures Berkshire County for suckers. It has worked for him for almost half a century in the Public Service sector, where the public serves him. He has the D next to his name which is a guaranteed vote on even years.

  4. Alan Papscun says:

    Several times I have called Neal’s office with questions which were never answered. The past two elections I have written in Bill Shein of Alford who would represent ALL of constituents in this congressional district!

  5. Norman Douglas says:

    Congressman Neal has a lot to answer for.

What's your opinion?

We welcome your comments and appreciate your respect for others. We kindly ask you to keep your comments as civil and focused as possible. If this is your first time leaving a comment on our website we will send you an email confirmation to validate your identity.

Williamstown offers a lesson for Egremont – and Richard Allen

Saturday, Nov 18 - In her letter to the editor, Susan Bachelder writes: “[These school buildings ]… cause us to reflect on some pretty good ideas about who we are and what we like to remember about ourselves when we see them. How we care for them today will create our future.”