Meet the Candidates: Allison Werder

I am running for State Representative because I believe that Western Massachusetts deserves better from our current elected officials: better action, better accountability and better results. I promise to work harder and do better for us.

I am not a career politician nor am I beholden to Boston party leadership or special interests. What I am is an educated and motivated business and community leader who will work hard in a bipartisan way every day on your behalf and will be a strong and vocal leader for our communities. My family and I reside in Longmeadow and we love living in Western Massachusetts. Having lived throughout the country and the world, I do not take our quality of life for granted, recognizing just how lucky we are to live here.
With that said, Western Massachusetts has unique needs, opportunities and obstacles. It’s no secret that Boston overwhelmingly outvotes us, so simply going along with the status quo will not bring the improvement or investments we need. Nor will voting 100 percent with Boston leadership—or not voting at all! We need a Representative with a louder voice and a stronger work ethic if we are going to be heard.

My extensive leadership experience has been gleaned from both the private and public sectors. I’ve worked in media, transportation planning and finance and have made hard decisions when it comes to budgeting and staffing. I also serve on numerous local and regional boards including Western New England University, Valley Venture Mentors, Center for Human Development and the Western Mass Economic Development Council. In what little spare time I have, I’ve managed to coach Longmeadow youth girls’ basketball for the past four years.

Professionally, I have spent 25 years building businesses and expanding brands, most recently as President of MassLive, a brand I proudly grew into our region’s largest digital brand with expanded operations to Worcester and Boston. I know first-hand how hard it is to get Eastern Mass to look West—but I will not give up, working toward more accountability and attention from our State Government.

With regard to taxes, I believe that Massachusetts doesn’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Our Legislature cries poor and looks for more taxpayer money while collecting a staggering $1.1 Billion more than budgeted and a total tax revenue increase of $2.2B this year. We don’t need higher taxes, we need more accountability on how our current tax dollars are spent. In particular, our Legislature needs to deliver on reducing healthcare and prescription costs and increasing transparency in our healthcare system—and our government.

Western Mass also needs a leader who will work to keep revenues generated by MGM Springfield here in the communities most impacted by the casino. It might surprise many to learn that the gaming tax dollars collected right here in our community do not directly benefit us—rather, they go toward general state funds. All of the buckets of Education, Transportation and Economic Development are not tied to the community generating the revenue—ours—they are tied to the statewide funding formulas which heavily favor the Eastern urban part of the state and have for decades.

Our communities are the most impacted—both good and bad—by MGM Springfield; we deserve to benefit from the tax money it generates. As State Representative, I will work to bring this money back here to be invested in our roads, schools and economy.
Lastly, unlike my opponent, I will support our Governor in his efforts to cut down on government waste, remove unnecessary line items and determine what is working and eliminate what is not.

We need a balanced approach to governing. One that crosses party lines and works in a bipartisan way to cut through the political noise and focuses on moving the needle for us here in Western Mass.

I’m a firm believer that we deserve better. Better considerations for us, the forgotten side of the state. Better fiscal responsibility. Better transparency from our elected officials. If I am fortunate enough to be elected State Representative of the 2nd Hampden District, I promise to work harder and deliver better.