Sunday, October 01, 2006

Grassroots Democracy

I love the fact that I know most of my neighbors. One neighbor and her adorable 3-year-old daughter often come over to our house to look at our baby Max (who’s now four months old), or I go over there for soup, or she lends me her lawn mower, or sometimes we just bump into each other on the street and talk about the neighborhood, or the weather, or the cutest things our kids just did.

Another neighbor two houses down just had a birthday party for their little girl that my family attended, along with dozens of other neighbors.

And I’ll never forget that when we moved into our house, our next-door neighbors to our left greeted us with a loaf of bread, hearty handshakes and warm smiles.

The neighborly atmosphere makes it welcoming for me as I walk through the neighborhood, passing out fliers about what we accomplished in the last two years in the Legislature. I enjoy meeting people on their front porches and hearing their concerns.

Sometimes, I’ll bring Max along. That’s also great because then I get tips from my neighbors about childcare resources, or information about activities for newborns, or stories about when their kids were small.

Meeting my neighbors isn’t just fun, it’s part of my job as a State Representative. I can’t represent the needs of the Old North End without knowing what’s on folks’ minds. I admit it’s a lot of work to knock on thousands of doors throughout Burlington, but it’s important to get out there and meet my neighbors.

When Max is with me, I know that he can’t possibly understand what’s going on. But still it gives me a kick that I’ll be able to tell him, when he’s older, that he was a part of grassroots democracy, Vermont-style.


At October 06, 2006 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having you knock on my door, say hello, listen, and help is a treasure. Thanks for all your help - it is noticed and appreciated!
Dave Curtis
17 LaFountain Street

At October 06, 2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have loved getting your thougthful notes updating us on what is happening in Montpelier since you first got elected...and now I love the new blog!


- Miro

At October 08, 2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very issue-driven blog entry. What, exactly, are those accomplishments?

At October 10, 2006 12:46 AM, Blogger Jason P. Lorber said...

Thanks for asking about some of my accomplishments. I'll highlight a few in an upcoming blog, but for now I'll just mention three items:

1. Raised the minimum wage.

2. Passed a bill outlawing discrimination based on gender identity.

3. Addressed prison reform, including new published research and new half-way houses enabling women and men inmates to successfully reintegrate into society and stay out of prison.

That's just a quick snapshot. More later. Stay tuned!

At October 14, 2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an interested neighbor. It is unfortunate I have not voted in recent years-however, now is as good a time as any! Please let me know what I can do to help.
I hope to learn more about the politicians that serve Vermont.

Thank you,
Bret Swain


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