Joanna Colwell

Joanna and Ruth“Like a lot of Addison County residents, I’ve been filled with dread and despair since the election of 2016. As a woman raising a daughter, seeing a self confessed sexual predator rise to the highest office in the land is a bitter pill to swallow. The ray of hope is that women, minorities and LGBTQ candidates have stepped up to run for office in unprecedented numbers, and they are winning!

Our local connection to these trailblazers is our very own candidate for Vermont state Senate, Ruth Hardy. Ruth is the executive director of Emerge Vermont, and she has trained dozens of Vermont women, many of whom are running in this year’s election.

I am so excited to be volunteering my time for the Ruth Hardy campaign, because I know that when it comes to issues that affect working families in Vermont, Ruth will work doggedly in Montpelier to make positive change. Rights and Democracy, Vermont’s statewide Progressive organization, has endorsed Ruth for State Senate because of her support for a livable wage, affordable childcare, paid parental leave and a healthy environment.

I know, from many deep conversations with Ruth, how much she cares about racial justice, and her years of service on our school board include spearheading the Anti-Bias Taskforce that has done important work to make our schools more inclusive and fair.

Finally, any letter about Ruth that failed to mention her skill with numbers and budgeting would be incomplete. Ruth’s geeky fascination with budgets of all kinds is positively legendary, and there is literally no other person I would trust as much as Ruth, to manage our tax dollars for the benefit of all Vermonters. Ruth’s sharp mind, loving heart and truly inspiring work ethic make her the leader Addison County deserves.

Please join me in voting for Ruth Hardy for Vermont State Senate.”

Joanna Colwell owns Otter Creek Yoga, and lives in East Middlebury. This letter was published in the Addison Independent on Sept. 13.