What’s next for Great Barrington’s home rule and horse racing?

In a letter to the editor, members of Citizens Concerned About GB Horseracing write, "Although that clear message has been sent, there is a simple next step that citizens can take to be sure that the home rule petition becomes law, and not just a message."

To the editor:

Great Barrington voters have taken the first important and urgent step by passing, virtually unanimously, the home rule petition. Our legislators have now taken the next important step: They have filed this bill on Beacon Hill. Of course they must now ensure that it goes to the best committee for its passage. The petition as passed by the voters is necessarily the wording of the proposed legislation, HD.4700.

The home rule petition serves as a vehicle to ensure that the Great Barrington citizens have a voice about horse racing. The virtually unanimous vote is a clear message: to the town’s legislators; to the entire Massachusetts legislature on Beacon Hill; to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which oversees and licenses horse racing in the Commonwealth; and to every Great Barrington Selectboard member.

Although that clear message has been sent, there is a simple next step that citizens can take to be sure that the home rule petition becomes law, and not just a message.

Personally contact our town’s legislators, Sen. Adam Hinds and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, and let them know you want to remain fully engaged in this process. Request frequent updates on the progress of the home rule legislation and on the actions they and other legislators are taking to ensure its passage.

Sen. Adam Hinds
adam.hinds@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1625

Rep. Smitty Pignatelli
rep.smitty@mahouse.gov, (413) 637-0631

This is the opportunity for each of us to personally take part in this historic Democratic process by continuing a dialog with our legislators and following the progress of this bill. We will make every effort to update our website with pertinent information throughout this process, so please check back.

Barbara Kellogg
Janel Munoa
Pam Younquist

Great Barrington

The writers are members of Citizens Concerned About GB Horseracing.