Who am I?
I am a thirty-six year resident of the town of Chittenden. My husband, Tom, and I raised our three sons here and they attended our excellent elementary/middle school and local high schools. I have been involved in my community on many levels over the years, including co-founding a pre-school, reviving scouting, coaching school sports, serving on school board, and starting a school-based mentoring program. For twenty-one years, I was the school librarian and connected with students as they moved through the grades. Beyond my role as a teacher librarian, I enjoyed working in a larger context in the interest of libraries. From supporting the friends of the Rutland Free Library, to later conference planning committees and work with the Vermont School Librarians Association, including a year as its president, I sought to engage in the big picture issues. In 2009, the year after my VSLA presidency, I traveled to Washington, D.C. for Library Legislative Day and came away feeling newly connected to the political process. When I retired in 2010, I started a school-based mentoring program and joined the board of directors for The Mentor Connector in Rutland County. I volunteer at the area food shelf, and enjoy staying active.
Why am I running?
The incumbent representation is a voice of "no." I do not hear any positive words aimed at initiative actions proposed move a new agenda forward. Instead, I hear only a clear rejection of the current administration initiatives. We both see significant issues around schools that are experiencing low enrollment, and high per pupil costs, and gaps in the funding formula. I would like to frame these issues in proposals that address some larger issues. I would like to see our state work to entice (with incentives) some businesses that will provide jobs and careers for young families who want live in our communities. We should fill our quality schools before they are compromised. We might also do well to continually evaluate a funding mechanism that is becoming regressive in its property value foundations. In any case, creating positive revenue bases will help solve a number of problems before we take an axe to strong programs and create new upheaval.
I also feel that the state is on the right path with health care reform. It is scary, and to some degree risky, but failing to build the change is not a choice in my book. New taxes will be assessed, but escalating insurance premiums will be gone in their place.
My first goal is to pay attention to the things that will preserve our strong schools. Administrative consolidation could work favorably, but I think it will be preferable to assess our assets (strong schools, creative economies, a clean environment, recreational opportunities, and ease of access to health care) and utilize these to attract new compatible businesses. If we can target light industry and information-based innovation to our area, and support the development of a hub around one or two interests, this could be the foundation to addressing other challenging social issues.
Another goal for me would be to support programs that allow all students to have their basic needs met. Families are responsible for raising their children, but when economic, health, and social crises arise, children should not have to flounder. Whether it is through the support of mentoring programs, after-hours school care, and summer programs or the strengthening of support for higher education, our future generations should be moved toward successful independence.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
I was asked to consider running for office, and it was only then that I assessed my life experiences with recognition of so many that have prepared me to be a representative. It is not with a self-interest that have become a candidate, but rather a responsiveness to take on this challenge as a matter of service. It is only with the support of others that I am able to conduct a campaign. I have support form prior colleagues, neighbors, previous office holders, and friends. It is their willingness to write checks, become campaign drivers, attend list parties, organize mailing parties, deliver signs, and write letters-to-the editor that I hve gotten this far. It will be with the help of groups waving at intersections, telephone outreach, and sign-holders on election day that I complete this campaign.