Updated: Thursday, 19 Jan 2012, 9:04 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 19 Jan 2012, 8:45 PM EST
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) - A pair of local mayors are now part of the United States conference of mayors.
Chicopee's Mayor Michael Bissonnette has been a member for a few years, but this is a first for Holyoke's Mayor Alex Morse.
Since becoming mayor, 22 year old Alex Morse has been invited to the White House twice, just one sign of the national attention he's receiving and this week at the U.S. Conference of Mayor's winter meeting here in the nation's capitol.
It's not just his age that is causing a stir; it's also his fresh look on the issues.
At 22 years old, fresh out of college, Alex Morse is the youngest mayor Holyoke has ever seen and now the youngest mayor on the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
At their winter meeting in Washington, D.C. Morse quickly made a name for himself among mayors from across the country.
Mayor Pedro Segarra of Hartford, told 22News, "It's a great reaction everyone is very well aware of his prescience here, not because of just his youth, but also what it represents and what it represents is more engagement and more participation by the nation's youth.”
And while you may think one of the country's youngest mayors would be busy taking advice from the seasoned politicians, it's actually the other way around.
Mayor Segarra continued to say, "It's not just the fact that he's young and he has a lot of good ideas about what it takes to get people to participate and often times breakaway from old political models that often time exclude participation
Morse has found a possible ally and partner in Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette. Bissonnette told 22News, "Older mill cities like Chicopee, Holyoke can really use some fresh energy and so I think the Morse mayoral ship might provide not just some spotlight but I think it’s going to bring some energy and bring some young people into politics and that could be good for the region."
According to Alex Morse, "People think it's pretty great that at a young age I have chosen to dedicate my life to public service so it is what it is, but people are very excited about me being here."
Of course this week's meetings aren't just about Mayor Morse but also about the city of Holyoke, both he and Chicopee Mayor Bissonnette are working to get ideas and funding for projects through the conference.