I recently attended the SiX conference in Washington D.C. where I was able to network with other progressive state legislators from around the country. It was an opportunity to learn from what other states are doing as well as to coordinate efforts to improve the lives of working families.
At our recent Democratic Caucus we elected a tremendous leadership team (from L-R): Assistant Majority Leader-Communications Dylan Giambatista, Majority Leader Jill Krowinski, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, Assistant Majority Leader-Whip Emily Long, and Assistant Majority Leader-Development & Strategy Tristan Toleno.
I had the honor of being selected to work on the caucus communications team. We help members with framing issues, support the communication needs of leadership, and develop strong messaging - important work for advancing our agenda.
Vermont's Joint Fiscal Office periodically conducts an All Legislative Briefing to bring legislators up to speed on important issues. The briefing I attended included information on: FY2019 budget context, the administration's take on FY2020 budgeting, a report on VT's bond rating downgrade, and information on pensions, water quality, and mental health issues in the state. The supporting materials can be found here.
The orientation for incoming legislators is sponsored by the Snelling Center for Government. It is a whirlwind of information on basic things like parking, but mostly about the mechanics of the legislative process (committee structures, the relationship of the Senate and House of Representatives, etc.). A highlight for me was hearing from four of the five justices of the Vermont Supreme Court - a welcome window on integrity in public life for these fraught times. The agenda is here (pdf).
Small in number but big in heart.
Went to an Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup community forum about managing shifts in precipitation patterns in a changing climate. Great tour of Hypertherm’s water management system.
Proud to stand with college staff + faculty, hospital technical professionals, and nurses in fighting for (among other things):
--Improving Healthcare for all Vermonters
--Increasing State Funding for Public Higher Education
--Increasing the State Minimum Wage
Lots of great ideas and planning on how to further grow and promote the creative economy in Vermont. The Vermont Creative Network intersects with my work on the Barnard Planning Commission, my scholarly work (including teaching at Green Mountain College), my professional life as a library director, and in my agenda as a legislative candidate.
The eight graders at Woodstock Union High School and Middle School hosted candidates for a meet and greet. The kids had great questions and there was an amazing turnout of candidates.
Public presentation about the future of community rail in Vermont.
Vermont Democratic Party event including Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Christine Hallquist.
Lt. Governor David Zuckerman put on an amazing event.
The Barnard BEES always put on a great breakfast.
Great turnout and great team heading into November.
Upper Valley Haven is doing tremendous work for our most vulnerable populations. The tour I took was a real eye opener.
I had family in from out of town and took them all to this annual fundraiser. I opened the food service program at this school and still miss all the awesome people there.
Attended a forum explaining the nature of a study of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont, per Act 11 of 2018.
Got a farm tour an heard about some of the issues facing small farmers in Vermont.