Autumn in Vermont got off to a lovely start this past week, putting to rest a delightful and busy summer! Vermont prides itself on a part-time, citizen legislature, but my work as your senator didn’t stop when the final gavel fell in May. In addition to finally getting to spend some relaxing time with my family, this summer I spent many, many days talking with constituents, attending meetings and events, gaining professional development, and working with colleagues to prepare for next session.
In June, I was honored to be the Vermont participant in the Emerging Legislative Leaders Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The non-partisan program is “specifically designed for the next generation of leaders in our state legislatures.” It was a thought-provoking, intensive week and a great opportunity to meet and learn from diverse legislators from all 50 states.
Over the summer, I attended events, met with constituents, and visited dozens of farms, organizations, and businesses throughout the Addison District. For example, I spent a gorgeous evening out on Lake Champlain with the rowing group at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, another lovely evening at a Northeast Organic Farmers Association dinner at Meeting Place Pastures farm in Cornwall, a fun afternoon at the Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven, and two days attending the Vermont Child Nutrition Programs Summer Institute in Middlebury.
I worked with my legislative colleagues on a number of initiatives, meeting up with several of them in Nashville for the National Conference of State Legislatures Summit, gathering with the Women’s Caucus for a tour of the Southern State Correctional Facility as part of our ongoing work on criminal justice reform, and communicating with the Climate Solutions Caucus to develop coordinated legislation on issues related to climate change. I was also appointed to the Vermont Forest Carbon Sequestration Working Group, created by 2019 Act 83 to make recommendations to the legislature on whether and how to enroll Vermont forests in carbon exchange markets.
I spoke at a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America rally in Burlington, urging federal legislators as well as my own colleagues and our governor to support comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation, especially in the wake of multiple mass shootings across 18 states this summer. I stood with students at the Climate Strike in Middlebury, listening to their determined voices demand that those of us in power act quickly to stem the devastations of climate change. These students were part of a Global Climate Strike led by young people throughout the world.
This fall I’ll be working to get up to speed on issues for the 2020 session and crafting several bills for introduction in January. I’m also teaching a class on Women in U.S. Electoral Politics at Middlebury College, an extension of work I’ve been doing for many years, training and inspiring women to run for public office.
We’re living in exciting and urgent times, and I’m working to meet the challenges head on. Thank you for your support and for all you do to make our community strong and sustainable.