First week of the session: Commerce and Ceremony

Hello all,

What an incredible week it has been, and what a privilege to begin serving my beautiful, dynamic, struggling community! Thank you, again.

In full transparency, much of the week was spent finding my seat and getting photographs and badges, but the pomp and ceremony snuck right into my heart when an elementary school chorus from Burlington sang the Vermont Anthem and when Geoff Hewit, a poet from Calais read Mary Oliver from the podium on Friday morning. All to say, it’s a wonderful mash of compelling conversations, weird rituals, and stunning beauty.

I kicked off my first day of the session on Wednesday at the New Voices, Bold Solutions Press Conference. I started by quoting the Speaker of the House’s opening remarks: “‘When economic policies are strong, diverse, and inclusive’ we can build a Vermont that works for all of us . . . With a $15 minimum wage, paid family medical leave, and continued strong protections for workers, we can take steps towards communities where we all have a chance to thrive. . .to make these laws work we need to hear from all of you— both the 70,000 Vermonters whose lives would be directly affected. . . And the small business owner who will need support to adjust to any changes in the law. . . We are only as good as the voices in the room, and I’m looking forward to working towards a Vermont that is for us and by us.” Thank you for the opportunity to try.

Here’s some coverage of the day: You can see the video of the livestream here (my remarks are at 10:35) ‘A Clean Slate': Republican Governor, Democratic Lawmakers Look For Unity In Divided Government. Rallies Abound on Vermont Legislature's Opening Day Progressive groups gather at opening of legislative session

As you know, so much of the work of the legislature happens in the committee room and I’m thrilled (is a forty-year-old woman allowed to use the word thrilled and still be taken seriously?) to tell you that my home for the next two years is Commerce and Economic Development.

Here’s our schedule for the next week: Please be in touch if you have a question that needs asking or an issue relevant to this week’s agenda!

How to find me: I’ll be holding “office hours” in the coop cafe from 11-12 every Saturday. Monthly community conversations with the Brattleboro delegation are the first Saturday of every month. We’ll be mixing up the times and locations so more people can join us. Stay tuned for details. And as always:, 802-246-1213, and the socials below (fb, insta, twitter). Yours in solidarity, Emilie

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