August 26, 2014
The primary in Vermont is today, August 26, and Rep. Rebecca Ellis and I do not have an opponent in this election. We will face an opponent in November, a candidate running as an Independent. And with the passing of the primary, we truly begin the fall campaign. In Vermont, our tradition is to knock on as many doors as practicable, or as possible. Our district, Washington-Chittenden, is not an easy walking district — it stretches from the Waterbury-Stowe border to the edge of the village contiguous to Moretown and Duxbury through Bolton until one nearly gets to Mount Mansfield Union High School, and out to Buels Gore, just over the mountain from Mad River Glen. The kids who live in Hanksville, at the far end of the Main Road, have a 23 mile drive to high school if they go MMU. It’s a big area, much like many legislative districts in Vermont and, like many of them, there seems to be a town on the other side of a mountain that has little connection to the main town in the district, in our case Waterbury. Overall, we represent nearly 8,500 Vermonters.
Knocking on doors or, as I did this past weekend, participating in a fundraiser called Bike for the Barn, gives us the opportunity to listen to our constituents and to see parts of the towns we may not see if we are coming out for Town Meeting, or for a spaghetti dinner.
This photo was taken in a cemetery in the Upper Village in Huntington, and it is the headstone of Catherine Buel, consort of Elias Buel, Junior. Elias was the son of Major Elias Buel, who was awarded the grant for the small piece of land called Buels Gore. I like to stroll through old cemeteries — though not as much as my friend, Dan Barlow — and while I was biking on Saturday past, I stopped to see some of the stones in this cemetery. Soon enough, I found Catherine. I didn’t notice she was a Buel at first.
What stood out was her epitaph:
“She died in charitable hope of a happy exchange of worlds.”
I thought that a rare and beautiful sentiment, and a mature way to face earthly mortality. Read more
August 9, 2014
As we quickly approach election season, it will be easy to forget some of the major accomplishments achieved by your Vermont Legislature. Election season is a time where we stop being “legislators” and become “politicians.” As someone who enjoys representing my constituents, as well as shaping legislation that benefits all Vermonters, it is always a bit sad when our office is reduced to “politics” and the good and hard work we did in the winter and spring is forgotten, replaced by the “could haves” and “should haves” and “will do” of campaigning. It need not ever be different — we do our work in the bright lights, if you’re looking — so I would like to take a moment to highlight some of the things we did these last two years, and provide you with a list, mostly but not wholly prepared by the executive branch, of the things that passed through the legislature and became law, as well as some of the economic successes we’ve seen. You can click here to get a view of the list that I’ve produced for this site. Read more
August 7, 2014
It has been over two months since we gaveled out of session this year, and we are less than three weeks from the primary. Rep. Ellis and I are lucky not to have one, but we are still on the ballot and we urge you to vote, either by early voting, or on August 26. We will be door knocking this summer and fall, and we look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail. This End of Session Report is a quick take on some of the work we did as your representatives over the past two years.
It has been a privilege to serve you for these last six (for me) and four years (for Rebecca). We believe that we have accomplished quite a bit on behalf of our district, our constituents and Vermonters — from helping to secure the return of the State Complex to Waterbury to increasing our commitment to earth-friendly energy and recycling policies.
So have a read! I’ll be posting a more comprehensive list of the progress made this biennium, and a look at what the future holds for issues such as education finance and governance, health insurance reform, and family-friendly work policies, among many others.