Patrick Murray for Vermont House: Chittenden 8-2
Essex Selectperson, EWSD School Board, Justice of the Peace
Patrick Murray for Vermont House of Representatives
When I first explored the idea of giving back to the community that I live in, I wasn't sure how to go about it. I wasn't sure what form it would even take. I had been co-producing a yearly Halloween event for charity, and the thing that surprised me the most wasn't the satisfaction of seeing our stories come to life. It was the joy in seeing the money that we all made having an impact on people's lives right here in Vermont. The first time we chose a signature charity was Women Helping Battered Women (Now Steps to End Domestic Violence) and I distinctly remember calculating money, going to their webpage to see what we had earned could do and getting tears in my eyes because we were going to be part of keeping the shelter open. That moment was when I knew that I could be doing so much more than I had been. As a survivor of domestic violence, I know firsthand the devastation that it can have on children and parents and for so long it never occurred to me that I could make an impact on kids who like me in my teens were living in fear and just needed someplace to feel safe if even for a night.
I've come a long way since then but the core of why I seek to serve the public hasn't changed; I want to help people. With that in my heart, I'm excited to announce my campaign for the Vermont State legislature, running in the Chittenden 8-2 (Essex Junction) district. In the five years I have served consecutively on first the Prudential Committee and then the fully unified Essex Westford School Board. During that time I have spent two years as a member of the Regional Advisory Board for our local technical centers (Burlington Tech and CTE) and have seen first hand how incredibly important these programs are for the kids in our community, and how valuable they'll be for a future where college is growing more and more expensive for working-class families. I've spent countless hours being a voice for the School Board, particularly working through transportation issues and advocating from the very beginning for equitable busing access for all students in the district which culminating in the introduction of bus routes for the first time in the Junction this year.
In addition to my work on the school board, I was elected to my first term as Selectperson here in Essex last spring. I intend on seeing through the passage of a merger vote during the Fall, which has been the focus of work for our municipality since before my election. We need to be one united Essex to tackle the problems of the future in the most efficient way possible. Anything else does our community a huge disservice. As town, we have the ability to be leading Vermont with from issues as diverse as climate change to encouraging new and unique business ideas.
As your State Representative, I would focus on aggressive action against climate change. I am aware of Vermont's size and scope when it comes to the rest of the nation, however, we have always swung well above our weight class when it comes to leading by example. We must continue to do this when it comes to leaving a sustainable world for our children and grandchildren. Our educational system throughout the state is capable of providing world-class education, and I'd like to bring what I've learned locally to bear in helping all the children in the state. I'm so proud of the teachers that we have employed and the leaders that want to do right by our kids. Over the years though, there have been too many ideas that lacked implementation and follow-through. We have incredible tech centers that can provide high paying, reliable jobs to students right out of high school that kids are discouraged from attending. We have all the right tools at our fingertips, but someone with the experience I have on school boards needs to able to say 'We need a plan to fix this, and that plan needs dedicated follow-through and resources to do it right.' The state needs new revenue streams that aren't taxpayer burdens, and to that end I very much support a taxed and regulated market on cannabis products. Lastly, the state needs a comprehensive plan to deliver reliable broadband access to every single home. High-speed connectivity is the electricity of my generation and with over fifteen years of experience in the telecom repair industry, I won't be just another politician who talks about it. I have the background to know what it'll take to get it done.
In the coming months, I hope to talk more about myself, my youth growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and my adulthood here in Essex and Chittenden county. I also want to hear from all of you, my neighbors, about the important things in your life and how together we can make it better. Thank you for reading.
Essex Westford Schoolboard