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Hampshire Gazette: Area legislators at summit listen to constituents

The Daily Hampshire Gazette published an article covering a legislative summit organized by the Hampshire Council of Governments and run by the UMass Donahue Institute’s Organizational Development and Learning Solutions group.

The goal of the summit was for residents to brainstorm and prioritize legislative topics specific to the needs of western Massachusetts cities and towns, said council director Todd Ford.

The four-and-a-half hour gathering began with a presentation of data by Daniel Hodge, director of economic and public policy research with the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts. Participants then divided into smaller groups sessions on topics such as economic development, small business and tourism before a larger discussion in the company of their legislators.

Around 75 people from all four counties of the region were in attendance, and the list of priorities included funding for early education, greater access to higher education and the creation of jobs that would keep young people in the area after they graduate from local colleges. Residents also advocated for more alternative energy incentives and development of the Connecticut River.

Read article: Area legislators at summit listen to constituents

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