Northampton Union Members To Meet About Mayoral Race

The mayor of Northampton took second place in the Sept. 15 primary election for mayor. City council member Michael Bardsley got 2,234 votes, Mayor Clare Higgins received 1,759 votes, and resident Roy Martin got 72 votes. The outcome means the Nov. 3 general election will likely be a close one.

Fiore Grassetti is president of the Hampshire Franklin Central Labor Council. He said the council at its September 22 meeting will discuss, and possibly decide, whether to endorse a candidate in the mayoral race, and if so, which one. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at Northampton Fire Station community room at 26 Carlon Drive. Union members are welcome to show up unannounced, he said. Community and labor activists who are not union members are also welcome, but should RSVP to Grassetti by calling 877-725-0357 or e-mailing

Kitty Callaghan is an organizer of the Northampton Living Wage Coalition, which is working to raise wages in the city. Callaghan said a model for how her group hopes to achieve its goal is the Ithaca, N.Y.-based Tompkins County Workers' Center. The New York group runs a web site that lists every employer in Ithaca area that pays a living wage:

Callaghan said she expects the Northampton city council to vote in November on a resolution in support of the Coalition’s efforts. “Both candidates for mayor are supportive of the living wage campaign,” she said. “We are not going to make an endorsement in the race.”

A list of the dozens of cities around the nation that have passed laws raising the minimum wage above federal and state levels for some or all workers in a city is at:

Callaghan can be reached at (413) 584-4034 or

Patricia Healey lives in Northampton and is a member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, one of the biggest and most progressive unions in the city. She said her union will not make an endorsement in the mayor’s race. She declined to comment on the race.

Bardsley's campaign web site is

Higgins's is


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