CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Greater Springfield NAACP in conjunction with the Pioneer Valley Project held a forum Monday evening, focused on racial injustice.
They used their Zoom platform to pose questions to several local candidates. In that line-up, the contentious primary race for Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District.
Moderators asked the candidates about police reform. Both incumbent Richard Neal and challenger Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse touted their record thus far.
“Number demilitarize our police department and reallocate and squad vehicles into community policing in the city,” Morse said. “Fifty percent of any officers that we have hired over the last 9 years are African American or Latino.”
Rep. Neals said, “I installed the first affirmative action programs at city hall when I was the mayor. I embraced the whole idea subsidizing public bidding because I knew it was hard for minorities to compete.”
The candidates were also asked about economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.