We all have personal stories that make us who we are. Understanding each other’s stories is how we form a community. This blog will feature some of my stories, as well as the stories of people in our community, how they have influenced me and my priorities, and why they are supporting my campaign. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute a story!
I am proud to announce that I have received the endorsement of the progressive grassroots organization Rights and Democracy (RAD). In announcing the endorsements, RAD states: “A Rights & Democracy endorsement is a signal that a candidate is already a community leader on the issues that reflect RAD’s values and will champion those causes in the Legislature.” I am one of only nine senate candidates statewide to receive a RAD endorsement. Below are some of my answers to questions in the RAD endorsement survey.
Which issues are you most passionate about and why?
I am most passionate and knowledgeable about education policy and finance, access to healthcare, responsible and equitable public budgeting and resource allocation, and issues affecting women and families. Most of my career I have worked in the areas of education or healthcare, which are fundamental to the well-being of individuals and society. I love budgets and public finance, and what I like most of all is taking budgets apart, finding better ways to put them back together, and then explaining how they work to others. I’ve given school budget presentations to dozens of groups over the past five years, including every year at the Middlebury Town Meeting. Some people call me my town’s “Leslie Knope,” which I take as a high compliment.
How do you imagine working on your priority issues as an elected official?
My record as an elected official at the local level reveals that I work hard to advance smart, effective public policy that is well-researched, analyzed, and inclusively presented and deliberated. My top priority issues among RAD’s list involve human rights, access to democracy, education, healthcare, and violence prevention. I have experience working in each of these areas and am confident that I can collaborate with colleagues, advocates, and constituents to target investments and initiatives that create effective change. I am a passionate, well-prepared analyst and advocate.
Are there issues that you are passionate about and plan on working on that are not among RAD’s issue list?
As a mother and feminist my priorities would begin with advocating for policy changes that improve the lives and status of women in our state, including paid family leave, improved access to high-quality childcare, fair and equitable pay including a phased-in $15 minimum wage, domestic violence prevention, comprehensive sexual harassment policies, job training in high-paying sectors, student loan reduction, access to capital, and bias and discrimination prevention and reparation. Nationally, 25% of elected officials are women, and research shows that when women are at the table, women’s perspectives and priorities are better addressed. Communities thrive when women thrive. Policies and programs that help all Vermont women help all Vermonters.
Why are you running for elected office? What makes your election so important?
I am running for state senate because I believe in public service, hard work, and responsive government. I believe that government should work for the good of the people, and that bold, diverse, intelligent women are what our government needs most right now to ensure this happens.
I am also running because my personal, professional, and political experience are directly relevant to my ability to effectively represent my community and create sound public policies. I am a mother of three teenage children and community leader. I have served three terms on local school boards, including chair of the Middlebury ID#4 School Board and co-chair of the Charter Committee which organized the Addison Central School District. I then led the new ACSD Board finance committee through the creation of the first unified budget. I am currently Executive Director of Emerge Vermont, which is part of a national organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office. Thirty-three Emerge VT alumnae are running for office in 2018. I previously worked as assistant budget director at Middlebury College, grants director at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and director of the Open Door Clinic. I began my career as a non-partisan education finance analyst for the Wisconsin legislature.
My election is important because I am well-prepared to be a state senator and work for effective, progressive public policies that will improve the lives of all Vermonters. My election is important because my policy expertise lies in the area that has been the most contentious over the past several sessions – education policy and finance. My election is important because I am a mentor and role model for women across our state who are or want to run for office. My election is important because I am a working mother of school-aged children, a demographic that is under-represented in our state government and important to the present and future of our state. My election is important because I am both a leader and a collaborator. My election is important because I will use my power to empower others.
VT Digger asked each candidate across the state to complete a candidate survey for their online news website. They asked specific questions and required strict 1,000 character length limits. Below are my answers. You can see the full questionnaire on the VT Digger website.
Ruth is a mother and community leader. She served 3 terms on local school boards, including as chair of the Middlebury ID#4 School Board and co-chair of the Charter Committee which organized the Addison Central School District. She then led the new ACSD Board finance committee through the creation of the first unified budget. Ruth is Executive Director of Emerge VT, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office. Ruth previously worked as assistant budget director at Middlebury College, grants director at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and director of the Open Door Clinic. Ruth began her career as a non-partisan fiscal analyst for the WI legislature. Ruth is the mother of 3 teenage children. She grew up in central NY, where her family lived for several years on a small family farm. Her mother was a teacher and her father a state civil servant. She lives in East Middlebury with her children, husband, dog, weedy gardens, and a shed full of mice. Continue reading “VT Digger Candidate Profile”
Let’s Grow Kids is a statewide campaign about the need for more high-quality, affordable child care in Vermont to better support our children, families, women, communities and economy. As part of their education and advocacy efforts, they asked every candidate for state office their views on efforts to develop a high-quality, affordable early care and learning system in Vermont. My statement is below, and can also be found on the Let’s Grow Kids candidate dashboard.
As a working mother of three children, I am absolutely supportive of efforts to develop a high-quality, affordable early childcare and learning system in Vermont. I know first-hand the struggles families face when trying to find care for infants and young children. I know that especially mothers across our state juggle schedules, finances, and emotions as we try to do what’s best for our children and jobs.
We’ve been sticking with our summer plan and working hard to reach as many Addison County voters as possible. Over the past few weeks we’ve met voters in Bristol, Granville, Middlebury, New Haven, Orwell, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, Starksboro, Vergennes, and Waltham. Now we need your help reach more voters in all 26 towns. Can you help us ?
1) Lawn Signs
Do you have a lawn where a sign would be seen by lots of people? Sign up to host a lawn sign and we’ll bring one by. We need to cover the whole county, and more, with lawns signs in strategic spots. And, if your lawn is not in a high traffic area, but your car gets around, we have bumper stickers too. We’re happy to send you one!
Continue reading “Signs, Phones, Doors – Volunteer Today!”
Now is the time to seize the day. Send out the call and join the fray. Wrongs will be righted. If we’re united. Let us seize the day!
That was the message the fabulous group of musical kids, teens, and adults sang out from the Addison County Democrats Bristol Fourth of July Parade float last week. It was really HOT but we had so much fun shaking hands, meeting people, and marching in the parade with our fellow Democrats and supporters.
Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen, including the people along the route who greeted us so enthusiastically! You can check out more photos and a video of the performance on the Facebook page.