Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I hope that this email finds you and your family healthy, happy and safe. It continues to be an honor and privilege to serve the people of Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont House of Representatives.
As 2020 comes to a close, I am reflecting on the past year and am filled with gratitude for the way our community has come together to help one another during this challenging time. The pandemic has revealed the inequities and the gaps. While we will continue to face challenges - there are also brighter days ahead. I have seen how by coming together we can creatively problem-solve to support our communities, our schools, local businesses and the most vulnerable Vermonters. This gives me great hope and inspires me for my work ahead in the Legislature.
As we head into 2021 and the start of a new biennium I wanted to share some information about the coming session and what I will be focusing on. Please know that I am available as a resource and an advocate, so don't hesitate to reach out if you need assistance.
The election results for Windham-1 are in, and I’m incredibly honored to earn the confidence of voters and be re-elected to serve Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont House!
I deeply appreciate the support of everyone who helped with the campaign. From the fantastic volunteers helping to make calls or hosting lawn signs to the financial donations and letters to the editor backing my race, your efforts on my behalf have been the backbone of this campaign!
In the days, weeks and months ahead we will need to come together and work together on our recovery due to this health and economic crisis. Between now and January my work will continue as I prepare for the next legislative biennium. I will continue to work on the needs of our rural community and on ensuring no one falls behind during this pandemic. I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting back to work and doing everything possible to ensure that the people of Vernon and Guilford have a strong voice in Montpellier.
If you live in my district, it is my privilege to represent you, and you should always feel free to contact me if you need assistance or want to let me know what’s on your mind. I will be hosting my Coffee with Coffey hours in the weeks ahead, and I hope you will join me and your neighbors.
with gratitude and hope,
State Representative Sara Coffey
Windham-1/ Guilford & Vernon
Thank you for keeping in touch throughout Vermont’s 2019/2020 legislative biennium. 2020 will go into the books as a memorable year. This pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives, including the usual rhythm of the Vermont Assembly. We have seen how our collective actions of staying at home, social distancing, and wearing masks in public have helped to flatten the curve in Vermont. We continue to have a shared social responsibility to protect our neighbors and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In mid-March, the Vermont Assembly pivoted from working under the golden dome to working remotely from our living rooms and home offices over Zoom for an extended session. We worked through the end of June and returned on August 25th for an extended special session to complete our work on the FY21 budget and to advance critical legislation to address the health and economic needs of Vermonters and to take action on climate change.
I ran for office because I care deeply about the future of our small rural communities. As a first-term legislator, I have been working on the issues that matter to my constituents through active participation in the Climate Solutions Caucus, the Rural Economic Development Working Group, the Women’s Caucus, and the Social Equity Caucus. I co-sponsored legislation to expand rural broadband, address climate change, and increase investments in affordable child-care and housing. I successfully advocated to appropriate $3.5 million of Corona Relief Funds to the Working Lands Enterprise Program and $5 million for the creative economy. You can also visit my legislative page to see the bills I co-sponsored and how I voted on all the bills that came to the House floor.
As a member of the Vermont Assembly, I also feel a deep responsibility to speak up and stand against hatred and racial injustice and to work for equity. During this pandemic we have seen protests around the country and across our state calling for change. In an unexpected way, COVID-19 has provided the time and space for people to become more aware of our society’s injustices and come together to call for action, thus paving the way for some real transformative change. This gives me great hope.
Achieving equity in our society across race, class, and gender isn’t the work of only a few leaders in the Legislature; this is all of our work. I hope that you will join me in this work by learning and engaging in this conversation with your neighbors, contacting your elected leaders at every level, continuing with collective action, and raising your voice. It’s going to take hard work from all of us. We must collectively push forward to make these essential changes so Vermont is a state where all of us can thrive, not just the select few.
This newsletter is longer than usual as it includes key votes and legislative highlights from the 2019/2020 biennium. You can also visit my legislative page to see the bills I co-sponsored and how I voted on all the bills that came to the House floor.
While the session has ended, my work will continue into the winter as we prepare for the next legislative biennium which will begin in January 2021. My focus is on the needs of our community and on ensuring no one falls behind during this pandemic. Please know that I am available to answer questions, help you connect with resources, and listen to your priorities.
It has truly been an honor to represent the people of Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont House of Representatives, and I hope to earn your vote in this election and continue to be a strong voice for our rural communities.
Stay in touch and stay safe!
State Representative, Windham-1/ Guilford & Vernon
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
The 2020 Legislative Session began this past Tuesday, and it’s a great honor to return to work under the golden dome of the State House to represent Guilford and Vernon. As I did last year, I plan to send out regular updates, as well as links to information that may be helpful to constituents in understanding various proposals under consideration.
One of the things that I continue to appreciate at the Vermont State House is the culture of respect for the institution and each other. I will continue my work to listen, debate my colleagues and find common ground so that together we can address the social, environmental and economic challenges to ensure that all Vermonters have access to opportunities and a bright future.
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and that 2020 is off to a good start for you!
I have been busy these last few months attending meetings, forums and events, and reading legislative reports to prepare for the upcoming session that begins on January 7th. I want to thank everyone who has been engaged and working to make Guilford and Vernon great places to live and work.
As a new legislator I have focused my efforts on strengthening our rural economy, ensuring quality and affordable education and childcare, protecting our rivers, streams and lakes, taking steps to address climate change and reforming our criminal justice system. Some of the work is ground breaking, and some of it is in the fine details, but all of it is in an effort to help Vermont families and communities thrive.