standing on the shoulders of so many

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This past weekend, I had the privilege of circling New York Harbor on a glorious fall evening, a surprise celebration for my uncle.

You can see the majestic Statue of Liberty behind my son and me.

Up close and personal with Lady Liberty, it wasn't lost on me that many Americans had just navigated the most perplexing, politically charged week in recent times.

Yet the fierce symbol of a woman standing tall, flaming torch in hand, lighting the way for others offered me hope and uplift looking towards the future.

In that moment for me, Lady Liberty symbolized the ways in which women - and men - are standing up anew: sharing their own painful stories; amplifying the squelched voices of others; demanding equity in the workplace; electing candidates that reflect their values; running for political office for the first time (me!); and on and on.

As we circled lower Manhattan, my aunt referenced the skyscraper before us where my great-grandmother worked as a server many decades ago at the Whitehall Club, a well-known dining establishment for shipping magnates.

I thought of my Irish roots, her humble life, and the limited options for women in the previous century. My great-grandmother was a pioneer of sorts, though I am guessing she didn't think of herself that way.

But there is no doubt in my mind that I stand on the shoulders of her and so many other women who paved the way for my eventual successes.

Five weeks from today is Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6! 

I am running in a contested race for 1 of 2 seats in Chittenden 8-1 district, representing Essex Town (outside the Village).

Please consider voting early in Vermont. You can request your ballot by mail or drop by the Essex Town Clerk's office (81 Main St.) to pick one up. Here's a sneak-peek of the actual ballot.

Like the great symbol of freedom and democracy I encountered this week, please make your vote and voice shine brightly this election.

Marybeth Redmond