Cheryl Mitchell

“When my husband and I moved to New Haven, more than four decades ago, It was common practice to visit regularly with people in the community we didn’t know well. Some of us would be collecting for United Way, some for the Heart Fund, some just keeping the doors of neighborliness open. It seemed as if that way of connecting had gradually disappeared.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of driving Ruth Hardy around the eastern side of my town while she visited with voters, many of them people I had never even met. I was so impressed by the way she listened deeply to each and every person. She talked over the issues that were most important to them, shared her own views when that was appropriate, and promised to continue listening and responding if they elected her to the VT Legislature.

I had known of Ruth’s deep experience with the issues people seemed most concerned about: Health Care (she was a director of the Open Door Clinic) and Education (she served on the school board). During these discussions I also learned of her thoughtful approaches to economic vitality and supporting the working families in our state.

Finally, I have first-hand knowledge about how effective Ruth is in bringing good ideas to fruition and supporting the hopes and dreams of others. As Executive Director of Emerge VT, she has already made a tremendous difference in our state. She has promoted civility, engagement, and opening the doors of democracy to everyone.

I loved and admired the work of Claire Ayer for many of these same reasons: thoughtfulness, experience, and effectiveness. As our new Senator, I am certain that Ruth Hardy will bring that same energy and wisdom to the State House. She has my vote. I encourage you to support her as well.”

Cheryl Mitchell, a long-time advocate and policymaker for childcare, housing, and health care in Vermont, lives in New Haven. This letter appeared in the Addison Independent on November 1.