Levin-Epstein announces run for state Senate seat
By G. Michael Dobbs
LONGMEADOW – Sydney Levin-Epstein recognizes a problem existing in Western Massachusetts: younger people are leaving because they cannot find the jobs they need.
“Many of my peers have left Western Massachusetts. They have moved to Boston or New York for jobs,” Levin-Epstein told Reminder Publishing.
She added the decisions to leave are based on both personal and professional reasons and “we have to give them an option [to stay here].”
She announced on Feb. 8 that she is running for the state Senate seat currently held by Eric Lesser, who is running for the Democratic Party nomination as lieutenant governor.
While this may be her first run for public office, Levin-Epstein has considerable experience in government.
“I understand the role a senator plays on Beacon Hill,” she said.
In her announcement statement, she said, “I am running for state Senate because I want to ensure that the people of our community who want to stay can stay – that means creating more jobs, combating the opioid epidemic, and connecting Massachusetts with west-east rail. Western Massachusetts needs a persistent voice and reliable leader to ensure that appropriate funding comes home, and I have the federal and state legislative experience to get the job done.”
She believes that with Lesser potentially as lt. governor the senatorial district needs a continuity of message, especially about east-west rail.
Levin-Epstein attended Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School in South Hadley and began her college education at Springfield Technical Community College. She transferred to George Washington University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2017.
In 2016, she served as an intern for Noble Peace Laureate and former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Peres Center for Peace. She also worked in the offices of Congressman Richard Neal and Sen. Edward Markey.
As deputy finance director for Markey, she assisted in his successful reelection campaign in 2020. After that election, she worked on the successful campaign for Sen. Jon Ossoff in Georgia.
State Rep. Jake Oliveria has also announced he would run for the state Senate seat and Levin-Epstein said, “A sign of healthy democracy is engaged primaries.”
Levin-Epstein said supporting economic development in Western Massachusetts is a primary focus of her campaign. She noted in her family, she saw how her father’s small business was affected by competition from big box stores and how her family struggled with health care costs after it closed.
During her college years in Washington, she worked two jobs to help support herself, something she said is common for many people in Western Massachusetts.
She said while the Senate district is diverse including parts of some of the region’s largest communities such as Springfield and Chicopee, it also includes smaller towns, which she added “share common values.”
She is working on her campaign full-time and has launched a website at https://www.votesydney.com.