Springtime decisions

‘Some recent developments with elders in my family require attention [and] I have decided it is time for support for some of the people who have supported me,’ reflects Rep. Sara Coffey, leaving after three terms

Sara Coffey, a Democrat, represents Guilford and Vernon in the Vermont House of Representatives, where she chairs the House Transportation Committee.

GUILFORD-May is the time of year when Mother Nature bursts into gorgeous bloom in Vermont. It is also the season when candidates gather signatures and file petitions for the next election season.

I have decided not to run for a fourth term as the state representative for Windham-1.

Some recent developments with elders in my family require attention, and even though I love serving my community and the work of the Legislature, I have decided it is time for support for some of the people who have supported me.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the state representative for the people of Vernon and Guilford. When I stepped up to run in 2018, I did so because I was concerned about a growing divide in America and for the potential for that to grow in my community. I set out to be a leader who builds bridges rather than fences - to find common ground.

My values have been shaped by working in the arts and growing up in a large working-class family. My father worked the night shift as a security guard, while my mother juggled raising four kids while working as an editor for a small medical journal.

Even with both of my parents working, there were a few years when we relied on food stamps and free lunch tickets to make ends meet. In high school I worked after school and on weekends to pay for my clothes and school supplies.

We had very little, but we never felt poor because my mother was hopeful - she encouraged us to do well in school, to find our passion, and to volunteer in our community.

And through the power of her example, I learned to be an optimist, to look out for others, to think outside the box, and to work hard.

This is the spirit and ethic that I have brought to my work in the Vermont Legislature.

* * *

Over the last six years, I have been working to build a Vermont that works for all of us; where our families and communities can thrive, not just a wealthy few.

My priorities have focused on supporting families and small businesses; addressing the complex and interconnected challenges of housing, child care, and the workforce; investing in strategies to combat climate change; and investing in the build-out of broadband and infrastructure for our rural communities.

I was proud to work shoulder to shoulder with House Democrats and across party lines to pass legislation and budgets that served the needs of Vermonters.

Serving as a citizen legislator can be challenging and difficult on some days, but it is also deeply fulfilling. The experience and broadened me as person, and I am forever changed.

I want to thank my family, friends, and neighbors who put their trust in me and supported me throughout the campaigns and my service.

I look forward to continuing to serve my community in new and different ways, and until our next state representative is elected and sworn into office in January 2025, I am available to constituents who have any questions or need assistance.

Please do not hesitate to reach out via email or phone (802-257-0288).

This Voices Legislative Update was submitted to The Commons.

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