About Marybeth Redmond

 

I was elected state representative for Essex (Chittenden 8-1) on Nov. 6, 2018; I am thrilled to serve my community and my state! My entire working career has focused on service to others, improving peoples' daily lives, and advocating for human dignity. Elective office is a natural next-step for me, and I will be sworn in on Jan. 9.

I've worked as a journalist, educator, and nonprofit professional for organizations that serve the impoverished, the incarcerated, the underemployed, and women and girls. (Here’s my LinkedIn profile.)

Currently, I serve on the Vermont Commission on Women, staying abreast of challenges that impact women and girls. As commissioners, we make policy suggestions to Vermont legislators, some of which become law. Recently, we’ve advised on issues, such as raising the minimum wage and new accommodations for pregnant workers.

  Equal Pay Day at the VT State House with fellow commissioners, VT Commission on Women.

Equal Pay Day at the VT State House with fellow commissioners, VT Commission on Women.

I’m also a partner and consultant with Vermont Story Lab, a statewide project that helps nonprofits weave storytelling through the fabric of their organizations to increase reach and impact. As more state and federal funding goes away, nonprofit agencies need to make their cases in powerful, engaging ways; I teach nonprofit communicators how to do that.

  I'm leading a VT Story Lab training for nonprofit communicators at the Waterbury Library.

I'm leading a VT Story Lab training for nonprofit communicators at the Waterbury Library.

My career began as a journalist covering social issues and marginalized communities in the U.S. and Latin America. Working as a reporter is the absolute best training for learning how to listen, observe, ask questions, and synthesize complex information.

In Vermont, I used my communication skills to teach students at St. Michael's College how to write and report, as well as directed, promoted and fundraised for nonprofits, Vermont Works for Women and Dismas of Vermont.

I co-founded a program for Vermont’s incarcerated women called writing inside VT, using writing as a tool for self-change. A book of the women’s poetry and prose entitled, Hear Me, See Me, was published in 2013. The program continues at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility to this day.

  "Hear Me, See Me" showcases the poetry, prose and artwork of 60 incarcerated women writers in Vermont.

"Hear Me, See Me" showcases the poetry, prose and artwork of 60 incarcerated women writers in Vermont.

One of the things I am most proud of is the long-term friendship my family has fostered with a New American family over 14 years. We hosted them in our home in 2003 through the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. They came – a single mother and five young children – as Somali-Bantu refugees. Here is the story of some of our journey together on the Strangers podcast.

For many years, I have mentored the oldest daughter, Madina, who arrived at age 9. This past May, I watched her graduate from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in education. She hopes to become a middle school teacher as a way to give back to the country that took her in.

  Graduation Day at the University of Vermont, May 2018. Madina hopes to become an ELL teacher working with middle school students.

Graduation Day at the University of Vermont, May 2018. Madina hopes to become an ELL teacher working with middle school students.

My love affair with Vermont began at age 7 on the ski slopes of Okemo Mountain in Ludlow. Back then, lift tickets cost $7 per day and making it to the summit via the longest Poma lift in New England (6,207 feet) was a near miraculous feat for a spindly kiddo. (I'm third from the left in the photo below.)

We were one of many families who packed their clan into a wood-paneled station wagon and headed north (from Long Island, N.Y.) for fresh snows. All of my holidays and school vacations were spent on the Vermont ski slopes or trekking through Okemo State Forest in summertime with my four siblings. A deep affinity for the spaciousness and immense beauty of the Green Mountain State was cemented in those early days.

  Circa 1980 at Okemo Mountain, a second home for the Christie family (L to R): Emmett, Kathleen, me, my father Bill, Kerry, Bill Jr., and my mom Maryann.

Circa 1980 at Okemo Mountain, a second home for the Christie family (L to R): Emmett, Kathleen, me, my father Bill, Kerry, Bill Jr., and my mom Maryann.

Fifteen years ago, my husband Mark and I settled in Essex Center with our infant son. The opportunity to call Vermont home was a dream come true! We came for Mark to serve as executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington, working with homeless, addicted and at-risk youth.

My son Liam has attended the Essex Public Schools since third grade. Many weekends are spent watching his soccer games from the sidelines with our Labradoodle Nanuk. We belong to the Essex Catholic Community (Holy Family-St. Lawrence-St. Pius X); I am also studying to be an interfaith minister.

I earned a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor's from the University of Notre Dame (making me a huge Fighting Irish fan).