Springfield - State Senate Candidate Melvin Edwards has been released from physical rehabilitation after being injured last month in the Path to Manhood Charity Basketball Game. He rejoined his campaign this weekend.

"I am thrilled to be home and to get working again" said Edwards "my campaign team did an amazing job keeping my message out there while I recovered, and I am confident that our message has resonated with the voters of the Hampden District. I truly thank them for all they have done."

Campaign Press Secretary Jesse Lederman said "We are excited to have Melvin home and back on the campaign trail. Thank you to all the volunteers who stepped up and kept this campaign running the last three weeks. We have had dozens of volunteers working diligently, door knocking every single day and phone banking to get the word out about Melvin."

Edwards said he is excited to be getting back in contact with the voters and urged people to get out and cast their ballot on September 6th.


Former City Council President Jose Tosado, City Councilor Zaida Luna Endorse Melvin Edwards

 SPRINGFIELD – Former Springfield City Council President and Mayoral Candidate Jose Tosado and Ward 1 City Councilor Zaida Luna have endorsed Melvin A. Edwards in the Hampden District race for the State Senate.

"Melvin represents my concerns and the concerns of our community." Said Tosado this week "We need him to carry these concerns to Boston so that our people can get the resources we need to be successful."

"Melvin was a freshman City Councilor when I was President, and he proved himself quickly through his actions. I was proud to be able to place him on committees because I knew the work would get done." Tosado Said.

Ward 1 City Councilor Zaida Luna, who represents the North End of Springfield, said she think it is important for her district to have a Springfield representative, and someone who understands the inner city, not just the suburbs affluent areas of the city.

"Melvin has a good relationship with the people in my district. They know who he is. They know they can come to him. And I know I can come to him. He will be an open and accessible State Senator" said Luna

Tosado and Luna join City Councilors Michael Fenton, James Ferrera, and John A. Lysak as well as the Massachusetts Sierra Club in their endorsement of Melvin Edwards.


Melvin Edwards Proposes Welfare Motel Overhaul, Wants to Put Homeless Families in Real Homes

Springfield – State Senate Candidate Melvin Edwards is proposing an overhaul of the system currently used to house homeless families in motels in the Hampden District.

"The system we are using now is not working, in fact it is doing harm to both our communities and the families it is designed to help" said Edwards.

Under the current system, motels, many of which are located in West Springfield and Chicopee, are paid 3,000 dollars a month for each unit occupied by a homeless family.

But Edwards says that placing families in welfare motels does nothing to change the situation of homelessness in Western Massachusetts.

"We have a homelessness crisis in Western Massachusetts. The numbers of homelessness are rising dramatically. There are entire hotels that have stopped renting to the tourist population because they are filled to capacity with homeless families" Said Edwards "We have not, as of yet, put any tools in place to combat this crisis. This needs to change."

Edwards says the current system that is in place actually harms the surrounding community and the homeless population.

"Simply warehousing the homeless will not solve this crisis. In fact, it leads to crime, drugs, and a never ending cycle of poverty." Said Edwards.

Edwards is proposing that the state cease placing homeless families in welfare motels, and instead begin investing that money in abandoned, foreclosed, and tax title properties in the community to house the homeless.

"Any market rate apartment in Springfield or the surrounding communities is going to cost well below the 3,000 dollars we are paying each month per homeless family in a welfare motel." Edwards said "Instead let’s invest that money in homes that would otherwise fall into disrepair in the communities. In restoring these properties we will not only add them back to the tax rolls and provide housing, but we will be improving the communities where they are located. Where abandoned properties are copious, so is crime."

Edwards went on to point out the shortcomings of housing homeless families in welfare motels.

"Not only are we spending far too much tax payer money, but we are getting very little for what we are paying" said Edwards "If we place a single mother with two children in a hotel unit, she is equipped with what? A bed? A television? At the most a microwave or a hot plate. How can she cook her children a nutritious breakfast and

send them off to school?" said Edwards "If we move these families into real homes, with a kitchen, then she can feed her children a real meal and send them off to school. They can have a chance to be truly successful."

Edwards went on to point out the extravagant cost of bussing that will be eliminated if we place children in neighborhood schools instead of bussing them to and from West Springfield and Chicopee motels.

Edwards does not want to just relocate homeless families though, he wants to use the money that will be saved by eliminating the hotel costs to end the cycle that the welfare motels create.

"Placing a family in a welfare motel or just giving them housing does not make them employable." Said Edwards "With the money we will save by eliminating the hotel costs, we can reinvest those funds in job training programs to make the homeless more employable, let’s give them the tools they need to be successful."

Of course a portion of the saved funds would be returned to the tax payers.

"We won’t be spending all the money we save, a portion of the savings will be passed on to the taxpayer. We need to reduce our spending when possible. This will benefit tax payers." Said Edwards.

In a recent article by the Republican, Edwards opponent was confronted with the issue of rising homeless numbers in welfare motels (MassLive - Shelter Tenants Increase at Area Motels, 7/9/12).

"My opponents ‘solution’ to this crisis is ‘tighter residency restrictions’" said Edwards. "That is not a solution. That will reduce the number of homeless in hotels, yes, but those families rejected from the system to be placed in hotels will be on the street. That solves nothing."

"That represents weak leadership by my opponent. That is a failure to the people of the Hampden District. We need long term solutions to put people back to work and prevent homelessness. I propose solutions, not empty rhetoric." finished Edwards.


Melvin Edwards Recovering at Mary's Meadow, Campaign Continues

HOLYOKE – Springfield City Councilor Melvin A. Edwards is continuing recovery after snapping the tendons in both knees during a charity basketball game with other local and state politicians.

Edwards was moved this week to Mary’s Meadow Rehabilitation Facility in Holyoke to undergo physical therapy and continue his recovery. Last week he underwent surgery at Baystate Medical Center to repair the tendons.

"Councilor Edwards will be spending a few more weeks undergoing physical therapy and after that will be released" said Jesse L. Lederman, Press Secretary for the Melvin Edwards Campaign "In the meantime, we are continuing his campaign." He continued.

Since Edwards injury, the campaign has been continuing to hold meetings and fundraisers and attending events in the Councilors stead. This week the campaign released new endorsements of Edwards and a new position on the growing homelessness crisis in Massachusetts.

"It’s all about keeping the message going. Councilor Edwards may be injured now, but he will be fully recovered in several weeks, and he will be ready to represent the people of the Hampden District." Said Lederman

The campaign has also continued reaching out to voters.

"Our canvassers and phone bankers are working as hard as ever" said Lederman "We are committed to reaching as many voters as possible before election day. This is one of the most important elections happening right now."

The campaign is also experimenting with using skype and other social media platforms to connect Edwards to the campaign during his recovery.

"Melvin continues to operate on facebook and take calls during his recovery, and we are looking at the possibility of using skype to hold town hall meetings." Said Lederman

Edwards praised his campaign team and the staff at Baystate and Mary’s Meadow.

"I have the best campaign team in the world, they’re innovativeness and energy has kept my message alive. I couldn’t be more proud." Said Edwards

"The staff at Baystate did an excellent job taking care of me, and the staff at Mary’s Meadow has been warm and welcoming since my arrival. I thank them for their assistance from the bottom of my heart." Edwards continued.

Edwards expressed optimism regarding his campaign and recovery.

"We are going to win in September, and in January I will march up the steps of the State House to be inaugurated at the new Hampden District State Senator" said Edwards.

Edwards intends to take part in the two scheduled debates next week.




SPRINGFIELD – Springfield City Councilor and Candidate for State Senate Melvin A. Edwards is recovering at Baystate Medical Center today from an injury sustained during the Path to Manhood Charity Basketball Game yesterday where he played alongside Senator Scott Brown, U.S. Rep Richard Neal, State Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and other elected officials and community activists.

During the pre-game warm-ups Edwards slipped on water on the court while taking a pass. He snapped the tendons in both knees.

Edwards will undergo surgery at Baystate Medical Center today for the injury, and is expected to spend the next several days recovering. He will be confined to a wheel chair for several weeks following his release from the hospital, doctors said.

"Councilor Edwards is recovering at Baystate this week" said Jesse L. Lederman, Press Secretary for the Edwards Campaign "However, our campaign will continue on as before. We will continue to spread Melvin’s message of true representation for Western Massachusetts across the district."

"Melvin will participate in all scheduled debates" continued Lederman "and will be represented by his campaign at other events. Our campaign stops, fundraisers, and meetings will continue and more will continue to be announced."

From Baystate, Councilor Edwards said he is still excited about the campaign and praised his campaign team.

"We will continue. As soon as I am able I will leave this hospital bed and continue my meetings, even if I have to do it in a wheelchair. My message will continue to be spread by my fantastic campaign team. I have been proud of my team from the beginning and I could not be prouder of them now" said Edwards.

Paul Martin, Campaign Manager for the Edwards team was similarly upbeat.

"We aren’t stopping. We aren’t even slowing down. This campaign is too important to the people of Western Massachusetts. We will win on September 6

th." Said Martin.

The campaign has announced a Volunteer Rally to take place at their Campaign Headquarters at 361 Boston Road this coming Friday, August 17

th. The event is to begin at 5:30 PM and the Press is invited.

"Anyone and everyone is welcome at this event" said Lederman "This is an opportunity for volunteers to come together and for new volunteers to be introduced. We need to energize the people of this district and get them out to vote on September 6


Lederman added that the campaign is always accepting more volunteers, especially in this time.

"Melvin has a very full schedule of events and devoted much of his own time to canvassing. We need more volunteers to take on what he can no longer do." said Lederman.


Springfield City Councilor John Lysak endorses Melvin Edwards for state senate, changes party affiliation to be able to vote in Sept. 6 democratic primary

SPRINGFIELD -  Ward 8 City Councilor John A. Lysak, the longtime lone Republican on the Springfield City Council, has announced that he is changing his party registration to Unenrolled in an effort to support Melvin A. Edwards in the September 6th Democratic Primary.

While City Council elections in Springfield are non-partisan, Lysak has been a registered Republican his entire voting life and is the former chairman of the Springfield Republican Committee.

“I have become close friends with Melvin working with him on the City Council” said Lysak

“Melvin is one of the strongest and most passionate City Councilors I work with.”

“I am switching my party registration because it is time for Springfield to have a State Senator that actually lives here.” Said Lysak “Melvin is the right person for the job, and I am excited for him to take our concerns to Boston.”

Lysak pointed out that there is no Republican candidate in the race, and the winner of the September 6th primary will go on to run unopposed in the November general election.

“Essentially, the September 6th primary is the election.” Said Lysak.

By changing his party registration to Unenrolled, Lysak will be able to pull a Democratic ballot and vote for Melvin Edwards.

“This is about supporting the right candidate for the right office” said Lysak “Springfield is the heart of this new Hampden District, and the representative from the Hampden District should come from Springfield.”

Edwards praised Lysak as both a colleague and friend in accepting his endorsement.

“John is a dedicated representative of his constituents and I am proud to call him my friend and supporter” said Melvin “His willingness to cross party lines to support my candidacy is a humbling honor, and shows the urgency of the situation in Springfield. We need representation and we need it now.”


City Council President James Ferrera Endorses Melvin Edwards, Calls for Springfield Representation


For Immediate Release
August 6, 2012

SPRINGFIELD – City Council President James Ferrera has endorsed Melvin A. Edwards in the Hampden District race for the State Senate.

“The time is long overdue for Springfield to have a representative in the State Senate.” Ferrera said. “It is vital for the success of the city and of the district for Springfield to be represented.”

Last week, Ward 2 City Councilor Michael Fenton made similar statements, urging Springfield residents to come out and vote on September 6th for the future of the city.

“Melvin has been a dedicated public servant on the City Council” Ferrera continued “I have served with him as a fellow Councilor and this year as his Council President. In both capacities I have watched Melvin represent the residents of Springfield with a passion and dedication unrivaled by most. I know that he will take our concerns to Boston, and that he will fight for Western Massachusetts families.”

Ferrera urged voters in Springfield to understand the importance of the September 6th election.

“This is our first opportunity to have a Springfield resident in the Senate since 2005.” Said Ferrera “Our city needs representation in Boston if we expect respect and fair treatment from the State Senate. Everyone needs to come out and vote for Melvin Edwards.”

Edwards gladly accepted Ferrera’s endorsement this week.

“President Ferrera joins the thousands of Springfield voters I have spoken with who are fed up with Springfield’s lack of representation. We are going to take back this seat in September, but in order for that to happen every voters must come out to the polls and cast their ballot. We cannot afford to sit idly by while resources that should be coming to Western Massachusetts and the city of Springfield are diverted to Eastern Massachusetts.”

Last week Edwards was endorsed by City Councilor Michael Fenton and the Massachusetts Sierra Club.


Melvin Edwards Endorsed by Massachusetts Sierra Club



For Immediate Release
August 3, 2012

Boston – Melvin A. Edwards, candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate Hampden District, was endorsed by the Massachusetts Sierra Club this week.

“We are excited to be supporting Melvin Edwards in the Hampden District race for the State Senate.” Said Phil Sego, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

“Melvin’s work on behalf of the environment in Springfield has been outstanding, we know that he will carry that work with him to the State Senate, and we look forward to working with him once elected.” Sego continued.

The Sierra Club cited Edwards early and outspoken opposition to the proposed Springfield biomass incinerator by Palmer Renewable Energy as a key reason for the endorsement. The special permit for the incinerator was revoked in 2011 by Edwards and his colleagues on the City Council, halting the project. Recently the projects building permits were also overturned by the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals. Councilor Edwards was one of the earliest and strongest opponents to biomass incineration in Springfield

“It is evident that Melvin is not afraid to stand up for the environment and the health of his constituents, even when it is not necessarily the popular thing to do.” Said Sego

Sego also pointed to Edwards commitment to green jobs and a green economy as part of the plan to turn around Springfield and stimulate the economy in Western Massachusetts.

“Springfield is the perfect location for a green revolution. The city is just hours away from the major economic hubs of the northeast, and is populated by a potential workforce just waiting to be trained for employment.” Said Sego. “We know Melvin Edwards shares that knowledge, and will be committed to making it a reality once elected to the State Senate.

Edwards expressed great thanks and joy in accepting the endorsement.

“Responsible environmental stewardship has been at the forefront of not just my State Senate campaign, but also my successful campaigns for the City Council” said Edwards “I am excited to accept the endorsement of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. This is proof of my commitment to our environment and our citizens.”

Edwards echoed Segos comments in regards to biomass and the development of green jobs.

“I was proud to stand up against biomass incineration in Springfield. I was one of the first City Councilors to come out against it. It wasn’t popular. But it was the right thing to do. Now that the studies have been done we know that biomass incineration is neither safe, sustainable, nor profitable for the City of Springfield.” Edwards said of his opposition to biomass incineration.

“We need to be investing in truly renewable energy technologies, and by investing in those technologies we will invest in a new, green economy, to put residents of Springfield, West Springfield, and Chicopee back to work.” Edwards continued “Eastern Massachusetts does not have the same land or resources we have in Western Massachusetts. I am going to go to Boston and bring back these green jobs to the district. I am going to put our families back to work, and we are going to practice responsible environmental stewardship while we do it.”



Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton Endorses Melvin Edwards - MassLive

Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton Endorses Melvin Edwards for State Senate - MassLive


State Senate candidate Melvin Edwards criticizes incumbent senators over delay in $200 million for road work in cities and towns

"Jim Welch and his colleagues in Boston dropped the ball on this and we in the Massachusetts cities and towns are feeling the effects now. ”


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Melvin Edwards
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