Marybeth is running to represent Essex in the Vermont House. Marybeth has worked as a journalist, educator, and nonprofit professional for organizations that serve the impoverished, the incarcerated, the underemployed, and women and girls. Marybeth is an alumnae of our 2018 Candidate Boot Camp! Learn more about Marybeth here.
What office are you running for and why?
I am running for the Vermont House, Chittenden 8-1, representing Essex (Town outside the Village). I am eager to bring fresh energy and ideas to statewide considerations that affect Essex. I currently serve on the Vermont Commission on Women, so some of my work has involved being alert to the challenges faced by the state’s women and girls – and informing legislative policy making that will fast-track the economic security of these populations. My entire working career has involved public service and social justice work; and I am eager to bring my skillset to an arena that focuses on larger-scale systems change.
The “organizing principle” in both Essex Village and Town is the school system. Community members are passionate about their children receiving a first-class education. The quality of the teaching is high; parents are engaged in volunteering; special education is responsive to student needs; and Friday night football games under the lights are well-attended by many from the broader community. There is a strong emphasis on helping youth find their niche within the high school program, providing “something for everyone” in terms of academic/technical courses and various academies. People here love the Essex schools and insist upon the highest quality and affordability possible for all of the community’s children, not just their own.
What role has Emerge played in your candidacy?
Emerge gave me the tools for designing and implementing a strong campaign for my VT House run. The training was extremely hands-on, giving me opportunities to practice fundraising asks, door-knocking, stump speeches, and on and on. In a supportive atmosphere, I received critical feedback during the practice sessions, as well as robust encouragement. Emerge VT also facilitates a bi-monthly online Zoom call where I connect face-to-face with other Emerge graduate running for office in my state; we ask questions, share knowledge and tips, and generally support each other in what can be a grueling campaign at times. Emerge got me up to speed in short-shrift!
What advice would you give another woman thinking about running for office?
This country needs you more than ever! Spend a day shadowing an Emerge graduate running for office; get a feel for the rhythm and routine of a political campaign to see if you can envision yourself in this role. If you enjoy listening to people, sinking your teeth into issues, problem-solving, and standing for truth and integrity, you are most likely a strong candidate. Know that running for office is about bringing your real, authentic self to the public arena, your strengths, your weaknesses, and all.