Letter to the editor: Jerome well-versed in community engagement

While serving as a member of the Otter Valley Unified Union School Board, I attended a workshop about how to strengthen and sustain public engagement. I chuckled when I heard the phrase “crickets and pitchforks,” referring to the two typical reactions elected officials receive from the public: silence and outrage. I was excited to learn that engagement is not simply possible, but is the linchpin of democracy. Working in a true unified fashion, the OVUU school board sought out every way to connect with the community, to hear the diversity of all voices. 

Now that my term has ended I am still energized about community engagement, and I want to share my view of how our State Representative, Stephanie Jerome, has absolutely nailed this key element of her job. 

Representative Jerome shares her current work efforts on Front Porch Forum, Facebook and in The Reporter so that we have the timely opportunity to contribute. When we are informed about upcoming legislation we can then share our perspective with her.

Equity is the opportunity for everyone to be treated the same way. Whether you like a good old-fashioned phone call, email or in-person meetings, Stephanie has invested in fair accessibility. She shows up in Sudbury, Pittsford and Brandon each month. Her physical presence is a unique action, proving that she wants to hear what her constituents have to say. When we share our perspectives, we create the opportunity to connect with her. This is how we achieve real representation.

Stephanie Jerome has also built relationships with our town selectboards and school board. She collaborates with leaders by showing up for meetings with helpful information and an open ear. 

With these combined efforts she has created a communication system that functions for our future. She has been vigilant and consistent in this responsibility.  

Stephanie works for the quality of life that Vermonters deserve. From childcare to broadband, small businesses to outdoor recreation, I appreciate her advocacy and her vote. She has shown the ability to utilize a self-built network of community engagement to fuel progress for Vermonters . 

Join me in voting for Stephanie Jerome, because the result of her work is not “crickets and pitchforks,” but the dialog of functioning representation.

Emily Nelson

Brandon

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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