Hashim: the qualities of a leader

BELLOWS FALLS — When I look at the ballot, I cast my votes using a sort of mathematical equation for each candidate: supports my values + has “lived experience” to inform their values + has public service or leadership experience + shows integrity + listens to a variety of opinions + educates themselves to develop their own opinions.

In adding all of this up, I have (easily) come to the conclusion that I'm voting for Nader Hashim for state Senate.

When I was a reporter, I covered Nader's House campaign. I also had the opportunity to hear him speak at a 2018 event at the Putney Public Library about fair and impartial policing in Vermont.

I remember Nader saying, “It's good to get uncomfortable. This is where we make progress.” He encouraged audience members to broaden their perspectives by listening to a variety of people.

In subsequent conversations with Nader, here's what I've noticed about him: He's thoughtful, intelligent, humble, and even-keeled. He has long been a public servant, and his former line of work exposed him to people when they were often at their worst and struggling the hardest.

Nader's approach to improving Vermonters' lives involves making real and lasting changes while acknowledging present conditions and utilizing the tools available to us right now. Call it “pragmatic idealism,” if you will.

These qualities alone speak of Nader's qualities as a leader. His voting record further confirms my decision to endorse him.

Nader has demonstrated his consistent support, through his Legislative votes and sponsorships, of measures that are important to me personally and to my friends and neighbors. Securing reproductive rights. Mitigating climate change. Protecting health care for gender-nonbinary Vermonters. Establishing real, quantifiable improvements for working-class people - especially in housing and child care. And guarding our right to vote.

You don't have to take my word for it. Read for yourself the list of bills Nader has sponsored at bit.ly/672-nader. Its breadth is impressive.

By sending Nader back to Montpelier, this time as a senator, we're demonstrating our care for one another here in this corner of Windham County, and for our neighbors throughout Vermont.