A Better Holyoke for All Political Action Committee

The mission of A Better Holyoke for All Political Action Committee

is to highlight a variety of issues that affect Holyoke's well being, to educate the citizens
and to alert tax payers and families to critical decisions that would affect us all.

Our goals: We are an issue-based, rather than ideologically-based, organization, focused locally rather than nationally, with the goal of building our city's economy for the benefit of all our residents, rather than a select few. We take positions on issues in line with our goal, and on which there is broad consensus across our communities, despite all the “noise” coming from special interests. We back candidates who stand with us on those issues.

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en español

Issues Critical to Holyoke

Ending the Gas Moratorium

Restoring Local Control
of our Schools

Keeping Holyoke an
Affordable Place to Live

Other issues that arise

Issue One: Supporting the Holyoke Gas & Electric as one of our city's greatest assets.
The HG&E is a great incentive for bringing businesses into the city. We don't want to completely contradict that by preventing it from doing its job, for what are essentially political, rather than practical, reasons. While we support the preservation of our natural environment, that is not best accomplished through actions that are at best largely symbolic, and in fact become completely counterproductive by forcing many of our residents to continue burning dirtier and more costly fuels. Therefore, we call for an end to the natural gas moratorium currently in effect in Holyoke. The Holyoke Gas and Electric can be a driving force for the city’s future development. Our city’s economic development is being held back because we are refusing to allow new businesses and residences to access natural gas. Thousands of Holyoke residents rely on natural gas service and they should not be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in conversion costs. We support working on a long term solution to enhance our natural gas capacity to Holyoke that can end the natural gas moratorium quickly. The city should avoid the hundreds of millions in costs and rate increases our city and residents cannot afford by preserving our natural gas service.

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en español

Issue Two: Restoring local control of our schools.
There has really been no upside to receivership. There has neither been qualified leadership, nor have we received any more resources than we otherwise would have. When a community is invested in public education, it necessarily brings the various constituencies within it together to fight for a common cause, whereas when local support is lost the community becomes fragmented and disengaged, and the receivership has certainly accelerated that disengagement. The state needs to provide adequate funding now, as well as to listen to parents and teachers in order to turn the schools around. The issues related to long-term student achievement far transcend quick fixes, expensive new buildings and top-heavy administration.

Issue Three: Keeping Holyoke an affordable place to live.
City finances in recent years have been poorly managed. Taxes are at an all-time high. Holyoke now has the highest residential tax burden in the state. We have a shrinking commercial base. Even though more and more taxes are paid each year, there is never enough. Free cash is gone. Holyoke leaders need to act more responsibly to ensure department budgets are not overspent, and that cash reserves are properly maintained, and that the city has an effective capital plan. It is striking how unequitable the current system of local funding based on property values is for Holyoke as compared to our wealthier neighbors; we need leadership that will advocate for a fairer system, and our fair share of state aid. The state’s reliance on current property tax system and antiquated funding formulas is no longer acceptable and has significantly contributed to the city’s structural deficit. Moreover, these revenue streams do not account for the systemic poverty and social needs of a community like Holyoke. There is nothing progressive about regressive taxation. The formula by which Holyoke is funded by the state is very regressive and needs to be updated now.

See the historical archive for the
November 5, 2019 Ballot Question
Prop. 2 1/2 Override vote here

The Keep Holyoke Affordable FOR ALL Committee, (now closed) worked with the voters and urged a "No" vote on the 2019 Ballot Question #1 to overwhelmingly defeat what could have sent the city into default

A Better Holyoke for All Political Action Committee, David Yos Treasurer
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