As the August 11th election draws closer, I want to remind the residents of Essex that we have a remarkable incumbent running for re-election Marybeth Redmond.

As the Chittenden 8-1 legislator who held the seat before Marybeth, I have watched her grow into her role as our representative. You might not be aware, that there is a steep learning curve to the job. Happily, she was placed on the Human Services Committee because this committee has jurisdiction over the state's social services and non-profits of which she has an innate knowledge, so she had a head start. She was able to use her skillset to be very effective. Marybeth's background as a journalist and teacher at St. Micheal’s College helped her to know how to focus in on a problem and ask the right questions of those presenting their testimony.

As you know she is also a great communicator. Her weekly updates on Front Porch Forum about the issues before her committee and the bills being presented to the assembly kept us all aware about the ongoings in the House. Especially in this critical time of the Covid pandemic.

I will always be grateful to her for leading sponsorship of H.944, shepherding our Essex charter change to he Government operations Committee. This too was a new experience for her. And she appropriately reached out to representatives on that committee to ascertain what steps she would have to take to bring the charter change we voted on through the legislative process to become a bill.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the Government Operations Committee decided they didn't have enough time to work on the charter change it due to the crisis. Marybeth is still determined to shepherd this charter change (calling for equal representation) in front of the committee in the new biennium and to make this happen.

Although the extended session is nearly over, legislators will return to work in late August. And the work continues on a daily basis. Marybeth is daily consumed with helping residents to deal with unemployment insurance and helping small businesses and non-profits with federal grants, and assistance from the state.

We, the people of Essex can be proud to claim her as our representative, and I sincerely hope that you all give her your vote.

Betsy Dunn

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