Councilor Melvin Edwards
Melvin Edwards (Ward 3)
First Elected: 2009
Committees: Audit, Chair; REO, chair, State/Federal Relations.
Prior Public Service: President Maple Heights/Six Corners Neighborhood Council (presently serving)
Other Elections: Hampden Senate 2012 Democratic primary (l) see below.
Political Distinctions: Member, Ward 3 Democratic Committee
Poll of last contested elections: Springfield City Council Election Ward 3:
Hampden Senate Democratic Primary 2012: Full Details
City Council Ward 3 2009 general:
Repeal biomass: Yes
Police Oversight Board: Yes
For Mayor’s FY2013 Budget: Yes
For Mayor’s FY2014 Budget: Yes
Limiting Residency Ordinance Waivers: Yes
Pawnshops regulations: Yes
Political Note: Humble, but outspoken. Ambitious, but not overbearing. Ministerial, but accessible. Melvin Edwards by turns seems born for elective office and also too honest for it. A neighborhood and community activist, Edwards was one of the founders of Keep Springfield Beautiful, not an easy task as Edwards lives in and represents some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Like many other ward councilors, he had no loyalty to the old order and has often, if not always, bucked the party line from the Mayor’s office, voting against several of the administration’s initiatives. Edwards has not shied away from exposing the hollowness of his colleagues proposals and suggestions, either. However, the allure of higher office has brought Edwards onto the more political opportunistic side of votes, albeit often ones of little consequence. By Edwards’ own admission, he always had a taste for politics, something he was unable to sample until ward representation. Last year speculation was rampant that Edwards would challenge longtime State Representative Ben Swan, but the former got redistricted out of Swan’s district. Instead he opted to challenge Jim Welch in his heavily reconfigured senate district. He won Springfield’s precincts in the district, but lost the West Springfield and Chicopee precincts enough to lose the primary. Shortly before the primary election, Edwards suffered serious knee injuries, and was recovering for more than four month. He was well enough to return to the Council in January 2013 and go on to win reelection by a decisive margin.