Issues / Priorities

Explore the key priorities that shape our vision for the 3rd Berkshire District. My campaign focuses on actionable solutions to enhance housing, mental health services, workforce development, and community resilience. Discover how these initiatives aim to create lasting impacts across our communities.
Thumbs Up

Housing and Community Development

Housing expertise began in Washington, DC as a Presidential Management Intern at HUD, focusing on enhancing housing stock and developing supportive funding strategies nationwide. In Lenox, this dedication led to the development of 65 new affordable rental units, a vital project ensuring that 10% of all housing is accessible to low- and middle-income families. Understanding that homeownership isn't suitable for everyone, there is a continuous push for a variety of housing options that are essential for community well-being and economic stability. This work is central to ensuring everyone in the county has a place to call home, contributing to their physical and mental health, and supporting their ability to find and maintain employment.

Community Mental Health Services

I have been on the Board of The Brien Center, Berkshire County's premier community mental health services provider, for 6 years. Mental health is as important as physical health.  The Lenox, Lee and Stockbridge Police Departments share a mental health specialist, a co-responder assisting with increasing calls reflecting mental health issues.  The cooperation between police and mental health clinician can help deescalate difficult domestic disturbances while assisting people in accessing support services that will help them.  There’s a shortage of community mental health providers.  Low reimbursement rates impact providers staying in field as many shift to private practice, with higher reimbursement rates or become state mental health providers.  This is a statewide problem that won’t easily be solved, but creative ways of reallocating existing revenue streams or creating new revenue streams to meet these shortfalls need to be considered by the Commonwealth’s legislature.   

Families of those suffering from mental or substance abuse disorders also require care and treatment.  Improving access to care for families and reimbursement to providers for this type of care needs to gain greater support and attention.  I will collaborate with other representatives, focus on finding appropriate resources and find solutions to these issues as your representative.

Workforce and Supportive Services

I’ve volunteered at the Elizabeth Freeman Center, coaching women in crisis recovery in resume and cover letter preparation, walking job seekers through the Mass Hire Career Center’s Job Postings, accessing our local job listings and encouraging participants in the Freeman Center’s Money Class to take advantage of the free career counseling seminars and free state-sponsored training programs for income qualified applicants to obtain certifications as certified nurse assistants, advanced manufacturing and CDL (commercial driver's license). Workforce development morphs with the changing needs of our local economy. Helping high school students find an occupation that suits their skills and their interests ensures that our region and the Commonwealth have the right mix of people working in advanced manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, construction and trades, agriculture and the arts. Our high school students can join Greenagers, be cultural sector interns, summer restaurant staff, summer library volunteers, apprentice electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians; all are needed. Send me to Boston as your state rep to continue to advocate for the Berkshire Workforce Board to grow outstanding local workers and make their compensation attractive enough for them to continue living and working here.

Municipal Governance and Resource Allocation

Prior to my election to the Lenox Select Board, I was appointed to the town’s Charter Commission Review, I’ve attended Mass Housing Partnership trainings, Mass Municipal Association webinars and seminars on a host of topics from the POST Commission to Municipal Cyber threats. I’ve participated in our municipal vulnerability planning and now as a member of the Lenox Select Board, we use the Lenox Master Plan, updated in 2020, to help guide the town’s economic development, historic preservation, and smart growth.

The Master Plan discusses the major challenges faced and improvements to be undertaken by the town to safely deliver police, fire, public works, design and promote community activities for all ages, and enhance our natural resources over the next 2 decades. Importantly, a town’s Master Plan is a vital document used by the State when a town applies for state and federal funds. If the town’s master plan states a need for state or federal funds to help improve any aspect of town services, the state scores your application higher, giving your community a greater chance at winning needed state and federal funds. Every training, every strategic plan developed, helps to create a blueprint for governance and outlines the steps to grow and develop the town for the next couple of decades. Send me to Boston as your state rep to take the efforts of our 18 towns to the next level.

Municipal Vulnerabilities and Public Safety

Many of the municipal vulnerabilities faced by the town of Lenox are faced by all Berkshire County municipalities. Every town wrestles with allocating limited property taxes and state revenue transfers. Each year, there seem to be more needs and fewer revenue streams to fund them. Your tax dollars are largely dedicated to keeping our roads safe and passable in all seasons (though some are not), you have access to police, fire suppression, many have town water and sewer (though many do not), there are community centers with activities for all age groups, and town halls that can help you solve problems faced by your household whether they be health, property, or natural resource-related. I plan to continue to listen and engage with all of you who may need assistance in finding the best resource to address your need.

Volunteers and Community Engagement

Nearly every community in our district relies heavily on volunteers who are appointed or run for and are elected to select boards, planning boards, zoning boards, conservation commissions, land trusts, housing trusts and community center boards to name only a few. Without this community support, government would not be as effective as it is today. As one of those volunteers for the past 20 years, I know I would be a knowledgeable and creative state representative in Boston.

Civil Engagement

I think we can agree our civil discourse has eroded to the point that it’s difficult to properly engage with, listen to and really hear one another’s concerns.

If elected, I think it’s important not to win as a member of the red team or the blue team. That’s why I’m running as an independent, because I’ll be representing you and everyone in the 18 towns of the 3rd Berkshire District.

I respect your experiences, I respect your perspective, and I will continue to listen and work with you to constructively govern and grow our interests, businesses and nonprofits here in Berkshire County.

Now, it is more important than ever to listen and engage constructively to preserve our Commonwealth’s history and charm, grow smart and prosper together.

Cultural Districts & Economic Development

Massachusetts Cultural Council has provided excellent resources for many of our Berkshire Towns to obtain a Cultural District designation. This designation comes with nominal financial resources to assist each cultural district to highlight and attract people who may live outside their towns to come enjoy the cultural offerings of say, a Town like Lenox.

Lenox is awash in wonderful cultural attractions; The Mount, The Freylinghuysen Morris House & Museum, the Lenox Library, Shakespeare & Company, Ventfort Hall, Lenox Historical Society at The Academy Building, and critically, Tanglewood's Front Gate. These organizations work in cooperation with The Lenox Chamber of Commerce to ensure that economic development is an engine that chugs into the shoulder seasons of spring and fall as well as during the holiday season with Winterland festivities that focus on light and New England's wintery charm.

With my advocacy, the Lenox Select Board matched the Massachusetts Cultural Council's initial contribution, and over the past two years, the Select Board doubled its contribution.

Arts and culture contribute mightily to the economic development engine of the 3rd Berkshire District.

I will work with all towns and nonprofits like Mass Aububon and Berkshire Natural Resources Council to attract more resources to enhance engagement with and improve accessibility to our natural resources.

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on Marybeth’s campaign and ways you can contribute to shaping our community's future.
Sign Up

Make a Difference Today

Support Our Campaign

Your donation helps fuel my efforts to bring real change to the 3rd Berkshire District. Every contribution brings us closer to a community where everyone can thrive.

In the News

Explore recent articles that feature the key initiatives and developments of my campaign. Stay informed about the actions I am taking to positively impact our community.

View All News

Vote On

November 5th