To the editor: Clarkson, McCormack, Nitka a winning Senate team

This year, as a political science major in college, I saw a lot of my classmates abandon the field as they began to look for jobs. They did not want to be a part of a broken system – a system that amplifies partisan bickering, represents the voices of companies instead of the American people, and seems to lead to corruption at every corner.

Letter to the editor logo2As many of my friends became disillusioned by the national political scene, I moved home to Vermont to work on Alison Clarkson’s campaign for state Senate. I had known Alison as a classmate’s mother, one of our ELF (Environmental Learning for the Future) teachers, and as our representative in Montpelier for the past 12 years. Now, as the director of her campaign, I would like the opportunity to describe to readers this woman I have come to know.

Alison Clarkson gets up most days before 6:30 a.m. and ends her day about midnight.  Since June, her days have consisted of canvassing houses in every single town in the district, attending community meetings – school board, transportation, economic development and planning, taking constituent calls, working on community service projects, attending turkey suppers, and other duties you might expect of a candidate. What you might not know is that between all these campaign events Alison is also the head of the household.

Imagine a campaign meeting discussing yard signs, when we are interrupted by her son calling from Philadelphia for her salad dressing recipe. Imagine us trying to get to a conference in Montpelier before which she needs to send off a birthday package for her niece. Imagine the scene of discussing newspaper ads in the kitchen, she is simultaneously directing the work that has to be done on the chimney. She is also cleaning, food shopping and making dinner for three house guests that week.

On the night of the primary election, after at least the third day in a row of working 15 hour days, she races home from the polling location to produce a ‘fab’ dinner party for all our volunteers.

Honestly, working in Vermont this election cycle has restored my faith in local politics and in our citizen legislature. We have legislators who work across party lines and treat each other with civility. After this political season, I think it is important to remember that democracy is not perfect but our citizen legislature is working real hard to make it better.

As a young person in Vermont, I hope you’ll join me in supporting Alison Clarkson, Dick McCormack and Alice Nitka for state Senate on Nov. 8.

Sarah Callander
South Woodstock

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