We’re figuring this out, we’re making change, and we’re coming together!
I'm honored, truly, to represent Brattleboro. I wish everyone in our community could have the opportunity to fall in love with our places and people as deeply as I have over the last year. As a new legislator I'm looking forward to opportunities throughout the session to hear from constituents and share some of what is happening in Montpelier. I'll be sending out regular newsletters, hosting coffee hours, and putting together larger policy forums and parties so folks don't need to drive 2 hours north to have their voices heard.
In Vermont, we have some wonderful new folks entering the legislature. I'm looking forward to working with our delegation as we come into stronger alignment around the needs of Windham County. As a member of the Democratic and Progressive caucuses, I'm looking forward to having conversations statewide about how scarcity and austerity have limited our ability to think proactively about the needs and opportunities for our communities. Given the wins for the Dem and Prog caucuses (a veto-proof majority) I'm looking forward to working toward passing paid family medical leave and a $15 minimum wage, and have hopes for strengthening both laws. As I spoke with constituents over the last year, health care access (meaning both cost and time) affects our community across age and income levels, and I'm looking forward to learning more about a path to universal healthcare. Similarly, housing and childcare costs have a stranglehold on our local economy and families' ability to thrive. We need to find ways to invest early if we want to save both lives and dollars down the line.
Across the river in New Hampshire, we've seen a powerful mandate for change, with a democratic majority in both the House and Senate. This is incredible for the people of New Hampshire, and given how deeply our economies and communities are connected, an incredible opportunity for Vermonters—specifically around wages and economic growth—as we come closer into political alignment with our neighbors.
Nationally, I'm thrilled that the Democrats have a majority in the U.S. House and can provide at least a check, and perhaps a counterbalance, on the horrors of this administration. While we were not able to elect Christine Hallquist in Vermont, many other states flipped their governors’ seats, and I find a specific ray of hope there: both Kansas and Wisconsin were among the first working class, traditionally pro-labor states who went red many years ago—that they would be finally feeling the effects of austerity and turn back to blue gives me hope that this wave is a slow one, and that many people simply need to experience a full pendulum swing before investing fully in policies of solidarity and community.
Looking forward to working together,