Town meeting is one of my favorite annual events, a forum where everyone is welcome to speak their minds and engage in civic dialogue as we review budgets and respectfully debate the issues with our neighbors. I am very saddened that we are not able to meet in person this year, due to the pandemic. And little did we know at last year’s town meeting that less than two weeks later we would enter a state of emergency.
I know how difficult this is as we approach the one-year mark on this emergency. However, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, with the distribution of vaccines. If we stay smart, and committed to protecting each other, we can reach that light with the least number of lives lost and be well positioned to recover stronger than we came into this crisis.
Our shared priority this legislative session is on our economic recovery and the health and well-being of our communities, and to build back better. My priorities this session have also been informed by the conversations, meetings, emails and conversations that I have had with you, my constituents. I want you to know that I am carrying your voices with me into my work and I will continue to focus on strengthening our rural economy, ensuring access to quality and affordable childcare, creating more affordable housing, improving rural broadband, addressing equity in education, protecting our environment, reforming our criminal justice system and taking steps to address climate change and systemic racism.
Even though we have been working remotely, we have been maintaining our in-person schedule to do the people’s work. When we return on March 9th after the Town Meeting Break, we will have one week for policy bills and two weeks for the money bills to make it to cross-over – the deadline to get bills over to the other chamber in order for them to have a chance at passing this session.
I have prepared a Town Meeting newsletter which provides an update on my work and some of the bills currently under consideration as we approach the mid-point of the legislative session. You can find my Town Meeting newsletter here.
During the session I host monthly coffee hours on the first Sunday of every month from 3-4pm over zoom, and all are welcome. You can find the link on my website or on my legislative Facebook page. These are challenging times, and if you need help, please do hesitate to contact me as I can often help. It’s truly an honor serving as your Representative in the Vermont Assembly.
Stay safe and take good care,