lots of letters-to-the-editor love

 
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Thanks to my neighbors, friends and colleagues for their kind and generous sentiments in support of my campaign for State Representative - published during September and October, 2018 in The Essex Reporter. Here are some excerpts:


Rey Garofano:
“As our representative, Marybeth will work to bring our community together and change the systems that only benefit a few. She is a superb communicator with a vision for common-sense solutions. She is open and responsive and wants to hear your concerns and will work to build consensus.”

Tim Jerman:
”I don’t usually comment on candidates in other districts at election time, but Marybeth Redmond is an exception. She is a great choice in the town 8-1 district, bringing a variety of relevant experience to the legislature. It’s another no-brainer to predict that she will be a star in the next biennium and a great new leader for the town.”

Jody Kamon:
“Marybeth has been a close friend of mine for 15 years…When you are friends with someone that long, raising your kids side by side, you learn a lot about them and bear witness to their life. Marybeth is truly one of the most honest, thoughtful, genuine people that I know. She lives her truth and her values every day in both her professional and personal life. She is an advocate who fights for justice, equality and equity, as evidenced by her work on the Vermont Women’s Commission where she advocated for a livable wage and paid family leave, or as a community advocate who helped incarcerated women have a voice in being provided gender-specific rights within the prison system. She fights for the dignity and well-being of all as evidenced by her efforts to lift up incarcerated women by helping them to find their voice through telling their stories of their own trauma and path towards healing and redemption, or her continued friendship and support of a refugee family she hosted many years ago when they first arrived in the U.S., or annually helping in her church’s Serve Our Neighbor Day.”

Karen Dolan:
Essex is an extraordinary community and deserves extraordinary voices at the Statehouse. This is why I support Marybeth Redmond’s campaign for state representative in Chittenden District 8-1 and encourage those in the district to support her on Election Day.

My first introduction to Marybeth was when we were colleagues at Vermont Works for Women, a statewide nonprofit located in Winooski. I was a program coordinator implementing work readiness programs at the women’s correctional facility, and Marybeth was brought on as the organization’s development director.

I remember being immediately impressed by Marybeth’s ability to connect with the variety of stakeholders involved with our work. Marybeth’s genuine curiosity and commitment to fully understanding each program brought new energy and support for the work. Numbers, outcome data and report requirements were expertly transformed by Marybeth into powerful and inspirational stories that immediately connected the reader/listener to the essence of the initiatives.

Through this dedicated approach and her passion for effective communication, Marybeth opened many doors for the organization and ultimately the hundreds of women and girls in Vermont served by the programs. It’s exciting that these same strengths and approaches will benefit Essex with Marybeth in the Statehouse. Our community has many important stories to share and Marybeth will provide a strong voice for those stories.”

Annie Davis:
”Recently, Marybeth was in my neighborhood, knocking on doors and introducing herself to neighbors. When she stopped to say hello to my 16-year-old daughter and I, Marybeth engaged my daughter in the conversation and educated both of us about the complexities of several new laws that have impacted our community. In her busy campaign, Marybeth took time to connect with my daughter, listen to our opinions, and offer her fresh voice and ideas. Marybeth is authentic, focused and lives true to her values.”

Greg Morgan:
”During her career as a journalist, Marybeth has reported locally and internationally on public policy issues. As she talked about her reporting in Central America on refugees and their immigration issues, I sensed her capacity to analyze complex international issues and her deeply-held concern for those impacted. Already, she is serving us as an appointed member of the Vermont Commission on Women, using those same journalistic skills to improve the lives of Vermont women and families.

All this said, Marybeth is new to campaigning and legislative process. Based on what I have seen, she immediately started asking thoughtful, insightful questions to figure out what she doesn’t know. And then started using what she learned to guide her campaign and preparation to serve. As she knocks on doors throughout 8-1, Marybeth is using her active listening skills to digest the views of her neighbors and future constituents. I have no doubt that she will use what she hears to guide her work in the Vermont Legislature. Marybeth Redmond’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious.”

Joanne Nelson:
Marybeth is a servant leader who helped to create the Essex-wide Serve Our Neighbor Day for Holy Family-St. Lawrence-St. Pius X parishes. This twice-annual community service Saturday engages team of volunteers to support elderly and infirm neighbors in raking leaves, cleaning gardens and garages, and providing companionship against isolation. Each year more than 150 volunteers work on up to 25 projects.”

Lisa Cannizzaro:
”Marybeth has spent much of her life working with woman and families of diverse socioeconomic, cultural and religious backgrounds. She has years of experience understanding the challenges working woman and families face every day...Marybeth not only sees the needs that face our community, but she is working towards finding solutions. And, if you have had the opportunity to talk with Marybeth, then you know that she listens…really listens. While many of us are frustrated in today’s political climate, Marybeth decided it was time to make some real change, by starting locally. She will be a true advocate for the issues that Essex residents are concerned about, including livable wages, affordable housing, affordable healthcare and safe public schools.”

Abigail Tykocki:
Friends of mine that were her students during her six years at St. Michael’s College tell me she was a much beloved professor. I heard from a staff member at Pathways Vermont that they still use a writing program for incarcerated women that Marybeth developed years ago. It is clear to me that the work Marybeth does makes a significant and positive impact on others. I believe that as a House Representative for Chittenden 8-1, she will do the same for Essex.

As a community, we need representatives who will speak for the voices that have been silenced, hushed or muffled. Marybeth’s entire career has been in service to others and she is particularly adept in addressing the issues of those marginalized by society, working to improve quality of life and advocating for human dignity.

She does not stand on the shoulders of others, she stands with them. When Marybeth is in the lead, she always reaches back to pull others forward. The embodiment of empathy and inclusion, Marybeth lives by example. She is not interested in talking at you, rather, she wants to hear from you.”

Dianne Gross Percy:
”I’ve known Marybeth for over ten years and I’m voting for her because it’s time for a change. More than ever, I feel we need new thinking, new relationships, and new outcomes from Montpelier.

I like Marybeth’s focus on workforce development, higher education, and livable-wage employment here in Vermont. Her work with the Vermont Commission on Women is really important to me because it means she understands the importance of advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls.

Marybeth will be successful as our Representative because she has what it takes – she has an uncanny ability to listen calmly to diverse viewpoints, check facts, and work diligently with others to develop common-sense solutions to sticky problems. If you’ve talked with Marybeth, you know she’s approachable and 100 percent committed to her service of others. It’s time for a fresh voice.”

Gina Halpin Barrett:
”Marybeth has years of experience and community service. She will be a fresh and thoughtful voice for Essex while serving us in Montpelier. Marybeth will be working hard for livable wages, affordable housing and quality schools.”

Mary Brodsky-Kinney:
”Marybeth is smart and principled. She draws on years of experience as a journalist and an educator, as a mom and a wife, and as a Commissioner on the Vermont Commission on Women.

Marybeth believes in hard work. She is committed to ensuring that Vermonters have livable wages, affordable housing and health care. Marybeth listens. And she will advance the needs and interests of our community in Montpelier.

Marybeth is relatable. She is a leader who cares. She walks the talk and is a model of character and integrity.

We need more common sense and less rhetoric in government, and I believe Marybeth is the person who will bring it.”

Wendy Love:
”Marybeth is one of the most empathetic listeners that I have ever met. You only need to spend a short time with her to observe her strong moral core…I am not alone in this observation. I met a new neighbor at the mailbox who had recently moved into the state. Marybeth had knocked on her door to introduce herself. She remarked that Marybeth was such a good listener that she was very impressed and was certainly going to vote for her. Another neighbor, upon seeing Marybeth’s sign on my lawn, told me that Marybeth had his vote because not only had she listened to what he felt were important issues, but also she had sent him a follow up postcard!”

Liz Subin:
”Marybeth has spent her entire career building relationships and creating programs that help underserved communities find their voice. She deeply understands the transformative power of storytelling and knows how to ask the kinds of questions that lead to action and improved quality of life for families and communities. She knows how to listen. Marybeth has impressed me as a candidate and has already begun to work tirelessly to understand the needs of the community she will serve.”

Lezlee Sprenger:
There is no one better equipped to serve in Vermont’s House of Representatives…Teacher and journalist, activist and mentor, writer and advocate are only a few of the roles she has carried out over the years. Marybeth has opened her home to refugees, has mentored women and children in need, serves on the Vermont Commission on Women, and co-founded Writing Inside Vermont (writinginsidevt.com), an organization that promotes writing for Vermont’s incarcerated women. She is an active Essex parent, a servant of her community, a champion for the underprivileged, and a strong voice for equality. In this current contentious political climate, we need leaders like Marybeth who understand the legislative process, can consider all viewpoints and reach across the aisle to accomplish what’s best for Vermonters. She is hardworking, effective, and honest.”

Mia Watson:
”Her integrity and fresh perspective are exactly what we need in the Vermont Legislature.

Marybeth’s policy positions are progressive and empathetic, but also practical, advocating for the changes we’d all like to see in Vermont while taking into account the realities of our small budget and population. In particular, I support her holistic approach towards reducing incarceration through addressing addiction and mental illness, a strategy that can help heal our communities while also saving the state money.

I’ve known Marybeth and her husband for years through our church, and she has already done so much for our community and its most vulnerable members, including her work on the Vermont Commission on Women and volunteering with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. Throughout her campaign, Marybeth has been extremely dedicated to reaching out to Essex residents to hear their concerns and educating herself on the issues they face. I’m excited to see what she can achieve in public office.”

Jason Grenier:
”In nearly every election, you and I are asked to vote for a name of someone from one party or the other, and really don’t know who these people actually are. Not them as a political person, but the actual Mom or Dad. Brother. Sister. Friend. Neighbor. For me, this year is different. See, this year, I am supporting a person who I do know…

Over the past eight years, I’ve gotten to know Marybeth, and her family. I’ve seen her as a friendly neighbor, organizing efforts to make our neighborhood better by getting us involved. When our road was falling apart and desperately needed repairs, Marybeth led the charge to get the town to fix our road. It was repaired quickly.

I’ve seen her as a friend offering up support, and her home to a refugee family looking for a better life in America. Helping them reach their dreams.

I’ve seen her as a mother. Let me say something here. There are few teenagers on this planet who are as respectful, caring, friendly, and well-rounded in pretty much all aspects of life as Marybeth’s son. It is a true testament to Marybeth and Mark to have raised a child like Liam. It is an honor to get to even meet this young man.

I’ve also seen Marybeth as a compassionate Vermonter. November of 2016 was kind of a surreal moment for many of us. Over the course of the following few months, with the disrespect we were seeing coming from the White House toward women, minorities, and a host of marginalized groups, Marybeth needed to take action. She joined in the Women’s March. She organized meetings locally, and ultimately, she decided that the biggest difference she could make was to run as our Representative. She could be there for us. She is not doing this for herself. That’s not the type of person she is. As I said before, she’s genuine. Top to bottom.

Marybeth’s motivation is to make Vermont a better place for you and me. It’s her passion. It’s what drives her. She’s seen our potential as a collective community. She knows what we can do if we stand together and push for what’s right.”

Marybeth Redmond