my rock'in campaign manager

Mark and Marybeth Redmond canvassing in the neighborhood of Lang Farm, Essex.

Mark and Marybeth Redmond canvassing in the neighborhood of Lang Farm, Essex.

I've exactly two weeks to go! And you know what that means in Essex? Candidates are permitted to display their campaign signs in right-of-way areas throughout the Town.

In a few days, the median areas will swarm with brightly colored placards, signaling the fast approach of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

My husband Mark and I woke up earlier than usual today and spent three hours positioning signs in highly trafficked areas with a few "honks and waves" from friends on their way to work.

Last May when I decided to run for the Vermont House, an experienced politician asked me who was going to serve as my "campaign manager."

”Probably Mark,” I responded.

”No, that won't do,” he said. “You'll need someone who can give you objective advice, a person with strong political instincts who will tell you the absolute truth, even when it's hard to hear.”

”Yeah, that's Mark,” I thought to myself.

And my "partner-in-crime" has proven to be a most excellent campaign manager, fellow canvasser, Letter-to-the-Editor organizer, and campaign-sign coordinator.

Without getting too sappy, there is not a day that goes by that I don't give thanks for his calm, wise presence in my orbit.

We met later in life - he, after a failed marriage; and me, in to my late '30s when I'd kinda given up meeting someone.

We shared uncanny parallel universes: a deep commitment to service and simple living; and a desire to do work that raised the dignity of people and made social systems equitable and just. 

It didn't hurt that we both hailed from Irish, Catholic families, artfully trained in the gift of gab and how to tell a good story!

In fact many evenings together consist of a "download" of our days, where we share conversations had, new tidbits learned, and make so many interconnections among our work spheres - all with an aim of resolving challenges that plague vulnerable people in our communities (definitely a different twist on the concept of pillow talk!).

A few folks have chided me for highlighting Mark and his work at Spectrum Youth and Family Services, believing that as an empowered woman I should stand on my own merits and keep that aspect of my life separate.

But that would go against a deep belief I hold...that through our shared relationships and wisdom, leveraging of strengths, and pooled knowledge, we change individual lives and collective systems in hopeful, exponential ways.

This is the kind of relationship-centered value I hope to bring to the Vermont State House this January - with your vote.

Warm regards,

P.S. Here's a MOTH story by Mark about how we two met - in case you are curious!

Marybeth Redmond