Our economy has shifted during the last 35 years. Hard work used to all but guarantee success, but the costs of health care, housing, college, and other necessities have far outstripped wages for most Vermonters. Too many people in our communities have worked hard their whole lives or are working full-time now and have little to show for it.
Our district’s towns are among the most hard-hit economically, with industry dried up and dairy farming continuing to struggle under four years of low milk prices. The nation’s economic recovery has largely missed our towns. We need to attract good jobs with decent pay, so that we can get by and our children can find work here when they grow up.
As an Air Force brat who married an active duty Marine, I have lived all over the world. Vermont is the only place that has ever felt like home, with its tight-knit communities, down-to-earth people, and natural beauty. My sons were blessed to have grown up in Vermont and benefited from our schools.
I moved to Berkshire and married Russ Ford, a former Brattleboro and Enosburg EMT and a ski patroller at Jay Peak for 25 years. We raise sheep, laying hens and meat birds with extra to sell to friends. We grow most of our seasonal produce and have a free veggie stand at the end of our drive to share with neighbors.
I have worked in the Civil Service, non-profit and private sectors and been self-employed. In 2005, I helped craft the VT School Green Cleaning Bill, which protects students from chemical injury and was signed into law in 2012, as Act 68. It taught me how important collaboration; clear, concise writing; patience; and careful consideration of consequences are in writing legislation. See links to Act 68 and a summary.
Currently, I work as a consultant for Vermont waste districts and volunteer at the Enosburg Food Shelf and on the Richford Restorative Justice Panel, and boards of both the Berkshire Farm to School, and North West Solid Waste District.
When we work together, putting people over party lines and using accurate information, logic and good faith, we can accomplish our goals.