The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor spaces where community transmission of the virus is “substantial or high.” Currently, roughly 85 percent of U.S. counties meet that threshold, which is defined as at least 50 new cases weekly per 100,000 residents. This includes every county in Vermont. Vermont has the seventh-highest case rate in the nation, up 70 percent over the last 14 days. Our hospitals and ICU units are at capacity, and our schools, students and families continue to suffer from the negative impact of ongoing quarantines. While our state once led the nation for its COVID response, we’re now breaking all the wrong records.
This Tuesday, September 28th is National Voter Registration Day, and Democracy is feeling a big precarious. Please make sure you’re registered to vote. Vermonters can vote in person or by mail, and both incarcerated Vermonters and those with past records are eligible. You can even register to vote at the polls! Voting happens more often than once every four years, we have local elections, school board elections, and Vermont’s legislative elections. And the process doesn’t start and end at the ballot box— elections require organizing and elected leaders need both accountability and support.
Thank you to everyone who turned out for the dinner last Saturday, or even just thought of coming when the invite passed through your inbox. We celebrated making it through a difficult year, connected with old friends and new, and raised a pile of money for the House Democratic Campaign Committee. That’s the last you’ll hear from me on fundraising for a good long while but if you’re still interested in contributing— can I suggest becoming a sustaining donor to my campaign? Just a few dollars a month makes a huge difference for ongoing communication expenses. Just click on the donate link at the bottom of the page.
The legislature is scheduled to recess at the end of this week and with so many balls in the air, I'm going to save legislative updates for my next newsletter. Instead, I have some thoughts on progressive taxation as we close out the session and some opportunities to get involved.
The legislature is scheduled to recess next month and we’re narrowing our focus to bills that will cross the finish line.
The Federal landscape continues to bring home the bacon with our powerful Senate duo.
Last weekend, Brattleboro Town Meeting Representatives spent 14 hours debating the budget for our lovely little town— and we emerged with a strong mandate toward progressive spending and inclusive governance.
It's Town Meeting Week, the midway point of the Vermont legislative session which runs from January-May. Legislative committees aren’t meeting this week, and I’ve had time to pause, catch up, and get ready for cross over week when we return.
How has it been just a few short weeks since the Inauguration? The relief is palpable in the virtual statehouse while we continue to grapple with accountability, urgency, and progress.
We started the session last week being sworn in remotely— the Secretary of State calling each of our names and reciting the affirmation, “I am Emilie Kornheiser, and I am here.”
Happy New Year!
The legislative session begins on January 6th and I will be sworn in remotely from the same spot in my house that I’ve been sitting since we came home on March 13th, 2020.