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Pittsfield State Rep. Farley-Bouvier shares experience at historic Healey-Driscoll inauguration

2nd Berkshire State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier's view of Brandi Carlile performing at Thursday night's inaugural ball for the Healey-Driscoll administration at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Tricia Farley-Bouvier
2nd Berkshire State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier's view of Brandi Carlile performing at Thursday night's inaugural ball for the Healey-Driscoll administration at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday’s swearing-in of 73rd Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey in Boston was historic. The former Attorney General is the first woman to be elected to the office in commonwealth history. She’s the first openly lesbian governor in the nation. Along with Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, the Healey administration is the first female-led executive office in Massachusetts history. It also marks a re-taking of the branch by Democrats after eight years of Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, the Democratic State Representative from the 2nd Berkshire District, was on hand for the ceremony and the celebration that followed. She shared her experience with WAMC.

FARLEY-BOUVIER: The very next day, after we were all sworn into office as the members of the 193rd General Court, the Senate joined us in House chambers. And the place was just electric with excitement to have Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll to be sworn into office. To have the first all-woman team is really outstanding. And so, there's a lot of pomp and circumstance, a lot of ceremonial things. But then we really quickly got to the meat of it, listening to the remarks of the lieutenant governor and the governor, and it was really very remarkable.

WAMC: What were your big takeaways from those remarks, Tricia?

It was very clear- It was interesting to listen to the speaker, the senate president and the governor over the last couple of days, that the priorities going forward are things that are important here in the Berkshires, as they are all over the state. And that's housing, early education, transportation, healthcare, workforce, those are the things that we're going after in a big way over the next several months, and, you know, taking the lead in a big way. The governor has said that she is really throwing down when it comes to climate, appointing a climate secretary and putting 1% into climate.

Now, you also got to attend the hottest ticket in Boston this week, the inaugural ball at TD Garden with a performance from Brandi Carlile- Tell us about that. What was it like to be in the midst of the biggest social event of the season?

Yeah, it was so much fun. The House members gathered a little bit before that right next door, and then we went over. And Josh, I just can't help myself- I'm a fan girl when it comes to Brandi Carlile. And you know, we're right at the stage and I just had the best time. And to have a voice like Brandi Carlile's, who represents herself and her family, what strong family bonds are, and how she speaks up for those who don't have a voice. It was a powerful, powerful night. And just so exciting.

Any thoughts on the relative lack of Western Massachusetts representation among the Healey-Driscoll cabinet?

What we need to do, Josh, is just continue to raise our voices here in in the Berkshires to always get a seat at the table whenever there's an opportunity, and sometimes it's, as Shirley Chisholm says, to bring the folding chair. And we're going to continue to do that, we're going to continue to have our voices heard. Governor Healey made it very clear that she is not forgetting about the Berkshires in that this was her very first stop after her election. I think we're going to see her often, and I'm sure that she's going to be hearing from us all the time on our important issues.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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