NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Local attorney Jennifer M. Breen Kirsch has announced her candidacy for a seat on the North Adams City Council.
"Both sides of my family, the Breens and the Zoitos, settled in North Adams in the 1860s, and I have chosen to come home after practicing law in Cambridge as a Middlesex County assistant district attorney, where I worked during the tenure of then District Attorney Martha Coakley, another North Adams native."
Breen Kirsch's grandparents and great-grandparents are the former owners of Breen Flowers and Gifts. Her parents, MaryEllen and Peter Breen, are local schoolteachers.
"I hold my parents' careers as teachers in the highest regard, and have the utmost respect for the profession. Listening to constituents in the Sullivan School neighborhood recently, I believe that my interest in education will be integral in resolving the school building issue. Many residents have expressed their concerns to me, and I intend on bringing their concerns to the forefront."
Breen Kirsch recently opened a law practice at Mass MoCA, where she runs a general practice, with a strong focus on the representation of children in the foster care system.
"I handle care and protection cases, primarily, because of my concern for children in the foster-care system, and have stayed in this focus, even while I have moved on to probate matters, and criminal defense. Children are the primary focus of my practice, and always will be."
In addition to her law practice, Breen Kirsch has served as chairman of the North Adams Housing Authority.
"I enjoyed my time as the chairman of the Housing Authority, but deemed it appropriate to step down to run for public office. While I know that serving on both is not statutorily prohibited, I believe it is a conflict of interest, and for ethical reasons, believe I should choose one focus. Running for City Council is my focus, and is the natural offshoot of the 'mini-city' over at NAHA, that I helped run this past year. I strongly support good, public housing in our city, but it is time to expand my breadth of civic duty."
Breen Kirsch graduated from Union College and Northeastern University School of Law. She has been practicing law for seven years, this November, two of those years having been served as a Middlesex prosecutor. During law school, Breen Kirsch interned in the U.S. attorney's office, the attorney general's office, the Suffolk County district attorney's office, and as an intern for the honorable Stephen Lymon of the Suffolk County Juvenile Court.
Breen Kirsch has also served on the Neighborhood Crime Watch, recently begun in North Adams.
"I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Mayor Alcombright to volunteer for this group. However, I think from the experience I have had in criminal justice and criminal law, that I could impact the city in this regard from the public safety subcommittee, on the city council, especially given the transition that the city is going through with the structure of the NAPD."
Upon her return to North Adams, Breen Kirsch became involved in local political campaigns.
"However, I am my own person. Whoever wins the mayor's race, I will work with him or — against him. Whatever is best for my constituents, whatever my constituents want. I am looking for your vote on Nov. 8."
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Alcombright lackey. Also check out her facebook page and topix forum. She is in a bulesque group. No family values here
In this new age of rapidly expanding technology every aspect of our lives have the potential to be opened up to whatever people want to say or do with what we have CHOSEN to post or write on the internet.
There is a certain responsibilty, whether young or old to think carefully about what you post- especially if you are even vaguely considering running for office. The people we choose to represent us in government have taken on the responsibilty to have a filter on what they share of their personal lives on a social website. I think perhaps Ms. Breen's only mistake is not being more sensored on what she choose to share- some posts did not reflect good choice making. And yes for someone considering public office I would expect them to be thoughtful and more conservative about what was posted. This does not undermine her accomplishments or her ability to be a good public officer... It reflects that Ms. Breen is just like you and I, "Fred"...Human.
Whether or not JBK is involved with a burlesque show or not is irrelevant. While she has made some off taste comments on her Facebook, the fact of the matter is that she is human and has a private life. If those comments made were focused in any way towards her running for council I would agree that that would be inappropriate but they were not. She has proven herself through her education and past accomplishments. I do not know her so any concerns that im just a friend saying nice things about her is not true. I do have several friends that know her well and based on what I have been told I think there is more behind the scene of her leaving the housing authority than her wanting to "focus" on one agenda. So that being said if she is lying from the get go then I would question her integrity. Seeing what people are posting on the Topix is purely speculative at best and are putting her down solely due to her involvement with the burlesque show. For what I have seen I do agree that she has a large chip on her shoulder, but who doesnt to any degree. As long as she can rationally think things through before rendering a opinion or vote then I think she deserves a term. She is young and maybe that is what the council needs at this crossroad in the citys' future.
I didn't know that burlesque had anything to do with running for city council. This is an educated woman who is confident enough to do what's best for her and still maintain a successful career. Fred, you're obviously not a feminist. I've attended several of their performances and it's actually transformed into more of a Cabaret. It's been listed in Berkshire Living and was also one of the bigger hits at the Wanderlust festival. If you want to shame a woman for wearing something scandalous, you might as well add women who wear bikinis to the beach as well and stuff us back into our petticoats and Victorian gowns. You don't have to be a bible thumper to have strong family values. She certainly has my vote!
I'm writing as a woman and I am also writing from in the kitchen... I choose to take this role while I raise my son not to be as narrow minded as you "Fred" and it is my hope that women such as Jennifer Breen represent those of us who need to take time away from our professional careers and politics in an effort to counteract the ignorance you litter around these forums. She has my vote
No need to be rude Fred. If you want to talk values, oh how does that saying go? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Oh and I think you also missed the heading on the forum that this in not a place to pass insults, personal digs, and name calling! Have a great day, Fred. I'm sure you'll be on here for several more hours but I'd hope you have something better to do! Ha!
Kathy, although fred should have phrased his comments in a nicer manner, he does make a point, which you may not like, since you are a friend of Mrs Kirsch. I do however plan to be civil. I did visit the facebook page of Mrs Kirsch and that of her "troupe" as well. Mrs Kirsch needs to realize that items are kept forever there and while she is free to do what she wants in her private life, it does speak to her character and her values. Obviously when she wrote these she was not planning on running for council, but they give credence to her "lose cannon" personality issues
I normally do not do this but today dear Fred I am. I am the artistic director of Gypsy Layne, the cabaret/burlesque troupe that you mentioned above.
I am not going to write this comment in dense of my show or the ignorance that you have towards the vision that we as artists are bringing to Berkshire County. This is America, "Fred."
This is about Jennifer Breen. I have had the honor of knowing Jenny since I was 5 years old. I can tell everyone reading this that I have never met anyone more hard working that that woman. She always had her nose in a book and has been dedicated to her family and the community for years. Jenny has the gumption of 10 people and still makes time for the people who are important to her as well as the people who need her.
Jenny is a real person, with integrity, stuggles, kindness, dissappointment, love and ambition. A woman who fights for what she believes in and above all is a perpetual listener for the public. I truly believe that the people of North Adams see what Jenny has to offer and that she is just getting started.
Ok, I just watched some of the "troupe" video. Saying this is art is like saying a canvas completely painted red is art. But hey, if taking off your clothes and jirating around in lingerie in public is art, then Nicole Rizzo is correct.
Really Fred, you're forming opinions here without experience. I've actually attended the show with several good friends, wives, husbands, and a couple of grandmothers - one in her 80's- and we all had a great time. We're all real Berkshire people with real families and real values. The clash in our values though, yours and mine, is you have demonstrated a desire to be the arbiter of taste for the rest of us , something not me nor anyone in my family would ever presume to do for you and yours. The only values I glean from your above posts are a willingness to indulge yourself with ignorance and prejudice. Correct me if I'm wrong but I fear you've already put your best foot forward.
It is one thing to question someone's judgement based on their personal decisions. That happens all the time in politics, but "fred's" comment "back to the kitchen with you both" is extremely offensive and makes it clear that his comments come not from "family values" but from male chauvinism. Women have long been shown to be equals in their abilities and this sort of chauvinism is a relic of the past (unless you are living in an oppressive fundamentalist regime). So lets have it fred - are you Taliban? Or just someone who jumped in a time machine from the 40's to see what the world looks like in 2011?
I agree about "Fred's" male chauvinism. And am willing to wager anything that he is also the same chauvinist that has been posting in a thread on the Topix forum about Jenny running for City Council. Totally offensive and completely absurd!
The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.