We are pleased to announce the endorsement of former mayoral candidate Billy Glidden. You can find Billy’s entire quote below:
If you’ve never run for office and lost, I highly recommend it. It’s good for the soul. It’s hard to conceive of a better, more concrete lesson in dealing with things not going as you planned.
It’s now been three weeks since Holyoke’s voters narrowed our crowded mayoral field to two candidates and set the stage for the November 2 general election. When I look back at the experience, I am still in awe of my good fortune. To everyone who voted for me; to everyone who stood on street corners holding my signs and waving at passing drivers; to my friends from Holyoke and around the country who donated and phone-banked and came to town to door-knock: I thank you.
But I also recognize that your investment in my candidacy wasn’t simply about me. It was about the issues. It was about values. That’s another good lesson from running for office: If you run because there are issues you care about and values you hold dear, then there will always be more work to do.
So, I am writing today to say: There is more work to do.
There’s work to do if you want Holyoke to pursue economic development that prioritizes that long-term health and prosperity of our city and doesn’t sell away our assets.
There’s work to do if you want our internal finances to be managed wisely and effectively.
There’s work to do if you want to make sure Holyoke’s new prosperity is widely shared.
There’s work to do if you want to help the city grow without displacing folks who’ve been living and working here for years.
There’s work to do if you want Holyoke to invest in a green energy future and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
There’s work to do if you want our natural resources protected.
There’s work to do if you want a humane and effective strategy for ending homelessness in the region. And there’s work to do if you want Holyoke to have leaders who will speak to the best parts of us and who will model the kind of politics where genuine deliberation is possible.
That work begins now, and it begins with doing everything we can to make sure Joshua Garcia is our next mayor.
I’ve known Josh for years, but I really got to know him over the course of this campaign. We texted often. We offered each other encouragement. Once I accidentally texted Josh some debate-related smack talk, intended for my campaign manager, which Josh graciously laughed off.
Of course, I didn’t agree with everything Josh said while on the trail. I’m sure he could say the same of me. But I was consistently impressed by his kindness, his professional expertise, and his deep concern for the people of Holyoke. He doesn’t need me to highlight his qualifications and experience, since colleagues from every step of his professional life have already done so.
Since the preliminary election, my appreciation for these qualities of Josh’s has only grown. Think about it: He doesn’t have to seek out my support or even my input. He beat me, and it wasn’t particularly close. But from the moment the preliminary election ended, Josh has demonstrated a desire and willingness to engage. We’ve talked at length about all the issues I mention here – with a particular emphasis on fighting homelessness, since it’s the issue nearest to my own heart. I know his engagement with me is emblematic of how Josh has carried himself with many of us since Election Day: with openness, humility, and a real desire to find common ground.
On issue after issue, Josh has shown himself to be the stronger of the general election candidates. It’s not a close call. While his opponent has done good in his life and is rightly praised for it, he is on the wrong side of the issues and has embraced political narratives that have deepened our city’s already deep divisions.
Josh proposes a different path. We don’t have to be a city where endless conflict is the norm. We can be a city where good-faith deliberation is possible. We don’t have to be a city where gridlock and dysfunction are inevitable. We can be a city that creatively and courageously meets the challenges of our time, just as our forebears did. We don’t have to be a city that says, ‘Don’t feed the animals.’ We can be a city that believes in human dignity and reflects this truth in our public policy.
Josh’s Holyoke is the one I know and believe in. A Holyoke with a place for everyone. A Holyoke whose best days are ahead. A Holyoke where you can hear words of hope and love and welcome, in English and in Spanish. A Holyoke where a kid from South Holyoke, raised by a single mother from Puerto Rico, can be elected as the city’s mayor.
“If you feel the way I do, then the work must begin today. Get in touch with the Garcia team and see how to get involved.”