Letter: Support for Balint

Support for Balint

Editor of the Reformer:

A little over two years ago, I was attending my third Windham County Democratic Committee meeting on a hot summer night in the River Garden. Among a handful of local candidates, we heard from a tiny woman whom I had never met who spoke to us about why she was running for the Vermont State Senate. She spoke for about a minute when, through the open doors, the deafening noise of the bells and whistles of a passing train began to compete with her stump speech. Then, something astounding happened: undeterred, she spoke over the blaring, distracting noise of the passing train without missing a beat. I was inspired by what she had to say, but was even more blown away by how committed she was to saying it, so I dedicated the next few months to making sure she was elected.

Now, two years later, Sen. Becca Balint continues to inspire and teach me in ways I never could have imagined. In Montpelier, she is seen as a voice of reason as well as a vote for conscience. Legislators, state officials, advocates and activists alike all see the same commitment and energy that I saw on that hot summer evening two years ago. She shows up, asks questions, builds bridges to valuable compromise, and fights for what is right regardless of what is politically expedient.

Her fights haven't always been for "sure things." Last year, when the Senate was expected to shoot down mandating a prevailing wage for state projects, Becca fought to get it across the finish line and won. She currently serves on the Fair and Impartial Policing Committee, and has spoken up about biases that face people of color in our communities. She was a leading voice earlier this year in the fight for paid sick leave, as well as a ban on "conversion therapy" for LGBTQ youth. I've witnessed her champion Vermont and Windham County's economic interests, and I know she'll continue to fight for the most vulnerable among us while bringing together people with different — and often conflicting — points of view for the benefit of all Vermonters.

As I reflect with pride on the work of Sen. Becca Balint, I'm reminded that my first impression of her could very well be a metaphor for her service so far. Montpelier can be a bubble of noise, political maneuvering, and unnecessary distraction — but Becca speaks over all of that with grace, charm, and determination. I am proud to support her re-election as one of Windham County's State Senators, and I hope you'll join me in voting for her in the Democratic Primary on Aug. 9.

Brandon Batham, Chairman, Windham County Democratic Committee, July 29


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