City Councilor Jesse Lederman to Reject Campaign Donations from Cannabis Industry Executives, Lobbyi
The Committee to Elect Jesse Lederman, the campaign committee of At-Large Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, announced today it will reject all donations from principals and lobbyists representing companies proposing cannabis businesses in Springfield from this point forward and for the foreseeable future, while Springfield carries out the RFP process and considers regulation of other aspects of the industry.
“Councilor Lederman has indicated he does not wish for the committee to accept contributions from representatives of entities with active proposals for cannabis facilities in Springfield at this time,” said Geoffrey F.X. O’Connell, Treasurer of the Committee to Elect Jesse Lederman.
“As Springfield begins the RFP and review process for proposed businesses in this new industry, I want it to be crystal clear that my assessment of each proposal that comes before the City Council is based solely on the merit of the project,” said Councilor Lederman, “This is a brand new industry and a brand new process - it is important for the process to be transparent and beyond reproach. I do not think it would be appropriate for my campaign committee to accept campaign donations from the industry at this time.”
All proposed cannabis businesses are required to receive approval from the Mayor, City Council, and the State.
Councilor Lederman has been a vocal participant in the crafting of policy around the new industry in Springfield. During the zoning hearings he advocated for policies that would avoid oversaturation of cannabis businesses in any one neighborhood, and introduced an amendment that would require the community outreach meetings for any proposed cannabis business be held in the neighborhood it is proposed in to allow easy access for residents,
Councilor Lederman was also the lead sponsor of successful legislation that created a special fund to capture 33% of cannabis tax revenue and direct it towards neighborhood infrastructure improvements, educational and quality of life initiatives, and economic development incentives in abutting neighborhoods and neighborhoods historically impacted by the illegal sale of marijuana.
“It is vital that these funds be invested back into our community to directly benefit our city’s neighborhoods,” said Lederman of the special fund.