To the editor:
Chat with Representative Katherine Sims, (D) Orleans-Caledonia, and you find a sincere politician committed to enhancing Vermonters’ lives, especially those in the Northeast Kingdom.
At a time when certain politicians spew divisive, hateful rhetoric, Rep. Sims remains a stalwart, calming influence in the NEK. From her legislative support of agritourism, correctional officers, healthcare workers, and equitable/quality education to her tireless work making affordable quality broadband available in areas not serviced by cable, promoting increased funding for early childcare, and championing financial assistance for energy-efficient improvements in historic buildings, her two years in office already have enabled much-needed improvements for Vermont families, businesses and communities.
Most important, she recognizes the medical privacy rights of all women. That a nation founded on an ideal notion of liberty would, in 2022, be poised to insert religious beliefs into the private conversations between a doctor and patient is alarming. It speaks of a government heading toward authoritarianism, which Sims’ opponent Rep. Vicki Strong, (R) Irasburg, apparently welcomes based on her comments about the SCOTUS Roe v. Wade ruling. Rep. Strong believes states should “look towards more pro-life legislation at least to try to regulate it.”
Still, in speaking with Rep. Sims, you’ll also discover her passion for resolving the issues facing rural America. Interestingly, the Brookings Institution recently noted that doing so is crucial for the elimination of extreme poverty. Why? Because “[m]ost of the world’s poorest live in rural areas. Roughly two out of three people living in extreme poverty live in rural settings.” Ask Rep. Sims why she moved to rural Vermont and her answer reflects a dedication to helping provide greater access to markets, education, quality infrastructure, employment opportunities, health, and financial products for her constituents. All of which will, unsurprisingly, assist with the global objective to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Today when some politicians want to interfere in doctor-patient relationships, who want to sow division and hate among their fellow citizens, Rep. Katherine Sims stands out. Her ability to see the greater, broader impacts of her local efforts proves she’s a visionary leader with the determination, knowledge and fortitude to bring about much-needed changes required to improve the lives of NEK Vermonters and, thereby, benefit their communities and the state as a whole.