Forum held to bridge the gap between the government & local residents

Some of the issues residents addressed were community violence

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State and federal officials were in Springfield, Monday night, to hear what issues residents are facing in western Massachusetts. Some may have had different concerns they wanted to voice, but they all seemed to have the same goal, working with our government to bring change.

There were dozens of people at Monday night’s forum at American International College. Abdullah-Rahim of Springfield told 22News, “As you know, Bostonians consider western Massachusetts the country part of the state, like we don’t exist. So I feel very privileged to have them here, to listen to the community needs and concerns,”

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the meeting’s open discussion style created a place where people could be comfortable voicing their concerns. “They may feel afraid about making that call or reaching out to government, or that government isn’t going to really hear their concerns, so in this venue we start to establish that relationship.”

Some of the issues residents addressed were community violence and relationships with police officers. They said they hope their voices can lead to action.

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