Greenfield residents invited to virtual meet and greet with Rep. Whipps

  • WHIPPS

  • A map of Greenfield’s precincts. If re-elected in November, Rep. Susannah Whipps would represent Greenfield precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9. Contributed image

Staff Writer
Published: 1/16/2022 4:30:27 PM

GREENFIELD — Residents have an opportunity to meet the current representative of the 2nd Franklin District on Tuesday in a virtual meet and greet hosted by the Greenfield Business Association.

The meet and greet, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, comes as Greenfield moves toward state representation as two districts, according to a Greenfield Business Association press release.

That’s because despite opposition from residents and local officials last year, legislators passed the state’s redistricting map for the House of Representatives, which involves splitting Greenfield into two districts.

As a result, the city will be divided between the 1st Franklin and 2nd Franklin districts, which are currently represented by Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, and Rep. Susannah Whipps, I-Athol, respectively. The city is currently part of the 2nd Berkshire District, represented by Paul Mark, D-Peru.

Candidates will run in the new districts in the fall 2022 primary election, with the districts formally going into effect when representatives are sworn into office in January 2023.

If re-elected in November, Whipps would represent Greenfield precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9, according to the city’s precinct map. Although the new district won’t go into effect until next year, state representatives across the state are working together to transition between districts.

“There’s been a lot of transition and a lot of learning,” Whipps said. “I’m sad to lose some of my constituents, but I’m looking forward to meeting some new ones. (Mark) has been great at … working on a transition plan.”

Whipps noted that while she is “no stranger to Greenfield … this will be (her) first chance to represent the city and its unique needs.”

Growing up, she spent a lot of time in Greenfield — shopping, eating and visiting friends.

“When you live in this area, you spread well beyond your town’s boundaries,” she said.

Whipps said she was interested in partnering with the association in part because as a business owner herself, she wants to hear from others what it is the state can do for them.

“Our downtown businesses … they’re the heart of our communities,” she said. “Small businesses have really taken a beating during COVID. Some have thrived and some have struggled; I’m just looking forward to meeting and hearing from folks.”

Whipps said Tuesday’s event, though marketed as a way for constituents to meet her, is really an opportunity for her to meet them.

“I want to know what their strengths are and what their challenges are, and how I can effectively represent them,” she said.

Participants can register by emailing the Greenfield Business Association at gba.4greenfield@gmail.com to receive an email with the Zoom link before the event.

“The GBA welcomes this opportunity to connect with Whipps as she begins to work closely with our Greenfield community,” said Greenfield Business Association Coordinator Rachel Roberts.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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