Baker to keep Springfield governor’s office open

Washington, D.C. office will also remain open

BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Charlie Baker will retain the Springfield office opened by his predecessor, which was briefly closed for the last month.

The Springfield office came up Wednesday morning during a closed meeting between Baker and members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, which includes four Springfield lawmakers.

Lawmakers wanted to ensure the office stayed open.

“The concern by many in the delegation was to make sure that the office is a vibrant office,” so people from western Massachusetts don’t have to come to Boston to “solve their issues,” said Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat and chair of the caucus. “The governor and his staff was very attentive to make sure that is addressed.”

The Springfield office, located at 436 Dwight Street downtown, houses two people from the governor’s office who share the space with staffers from other agencies. The office was closed for about a month, according to a Baker spokesman.

The Washington D.C., office is also remaining open, though it will have one person staffing it instead of two people under former Gov. Deval Patrick.

Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat and chair of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, called Wednesday’s meeting “very productive.”

“We haven’t had a good meeting of this kind for a while, quite frankly,” said Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield).

Asked if Baker was more accessible than past governors, Swan said, “I’m not going to say that but what I will say, if he keeps up what he’s doing today, then I will say yes.”

Swan said he knew Baker when the Republican was a member of Gov. William Weld’s cabinet. “I found him to have been accessible at that time,” Swan said.

“Nothing’s changed,” Baker broke in.

Baker said they also discussed how they would give each other a “heads up” on initiatives and visits to their districts.

Baker plans to meet with the caucus on a quarterly basis. “I think we have a chance to create a real working agenda and opportunity to get a bunch of stuff done,” Baker said.

Other attendees included Rep. Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield), Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain), Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester), and Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury), among others.

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