(Holyoke) – Representative Aaron Vega writes: As we come toward the end of 2013 I am encouraged by the accomplishments in my first year in office as the State Rep from Holyoke. My role has allowed me to meet and work with great people on issues we care deeply about. As State Representative I have been able to advocate for constituents and fight for the hard working people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to my committee assignments on Economic Development and Higher Education I was chosen to be a part of a Higher Ed subcommittee that toured the state holding hearings on student debt. As a member of the Gateway Cities Caucus I led the move to tour 4 Gateway Cities this year including Holyoke, Lowell, Fall River and Pittsfield where we shared best practices for economic development and other issues facing our cities.

In my first year I introduced eleven bills for consideration that address issues important to Holyoke and the state, such as promoting tolerance in our schools, ensuring quality prenatal health care, improving educational outcomes for our youth, and creating jobs for local people. During this year’s Budget debate, my amendments dealing with extended learning time in our schools and funding for the Holyoke Soldiers Home were included in the final House version. More recently, I was happy to work to ensure that the most vulnerable in our community would be provided with heating assistance this winter.

While simultaneously working in Boston for the great people of the Fifth Hampden District I have maintained a strong district office where my one legislative aide and a few interns addressed nearly 200 constituent calls. Being present at district events, holding informational forums and office hours throughout the city has only strengthened my ties to my city and my passion for being the State Representative.

The new year brings some changes to our office. We will continue to be at 295 High Street Suite 202 and I am proud to be welcoming Pat Duffy in as the legislative aide. Open office hours to the public beginning January 15 will be Mondays 2 – 7 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Thursdays 12 – 5 p.m. and of course also by appointment. This is in addition to my monthly office hours at the senior center and library. Juan Borgos will be in the office on Mondays offering bilingual constituent services, scheduling events and other constituent services. Our office number is 413.650.2727. We all look forward to serving the people of Holyoke in the coming year.

For more information, contact:

Aaron Vega