Those early families, laborers, and entrepreneurs who put our city on the map saw in Holyoke everything they needed to leave their mark on the world. Right here in Holyoke, they saw everything they needed to be an example to the rest of the nation.
And that’s what they did: combining hard work, creative thinking, and commitment
to something larger than themselves, they transformed their moment in history, and gave us the Paper City.
Now, I don’t need to tell you that recent decades were not always kind to Holyoke
, or other cities like it
that the American economy’s turn away from industrialism
left our city
struggling where it had once thrived. I don’t need to tell you that
our parents and grandparents saw a different Holyoke; nor do I need to tell you that the Holyoke we want for our children and grandchildren is not the one we see. Too many of our citizens are left with too little. Too many of our citizens are struggling
struggling to find work, or to get an education, or to raise their kids in safe, vibrant neighborhoods. But I can tell you today that a better Holyoke is within reach. When I first took this oath two years ago, I discussed many of the great and complicated challenges our city faced. We knew then, as we do now, that none of those challenges would
be resolved in one term. But we also knew that we couldn’t
let the difficulty of our task exempt us from action. We got to work. Together, Holyokers from all walks of life
Holyokers who voted for me and Holyokers who did not
worked toward a brighter future. Together, we prioritized early literacy for our students and welcomed a new superintendent of schools. Together, we expanded community policing
restoring relationships between our Police Department and our citizens, and making the city t
he safest it’s been in decades.
Together, we attracted new businesses and helped others expand. Together, we ushered in a new era of civic pride and community engagement. And together, we sent the clear the message that the City of Holyoke was making a comeback.
Through all the work we’ve done
both during my administration and during those of my predecessors
laid the foundation for Holyoke’s
renewal. If we are now willing to combine our own hard work, our own creative thinking, and our own commitment to something larger than ourselves, we will seize and transform our own moment. The Paper City will again be an example to the rest of the nation for a new generation, a new century of American cities. For our city to thrive, earlier generations of Holyokers anticipated changes in the American economy, and tapped into the enormous potential of the paper industry. Today, we recognize that the knowledge-driven economy of the future relies on technology, creativity, and innovation. For Holyoke to compete in a global economy, we must maintain and expand our focus in these areas. We must nurture our own