Letter to the editor: Impressed by Kesha Ram, Lt. governor candidate

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Impressed by Kesha Ram, Lt. governor candidate

When I was introduced to Kesha Ram in Burlington a month ago and was told that she was a candidate for lieutenant governor, I'll admit I was a little skeptical. I'm from Shaftsbury and knew nothing of her, so my first impression was of a woman who looked too young for the part – but, I reasoned (wallowing in my ignorance), who would want to be lieutenant governor anyway? And what does a lieutenant governor even do?

When Kesha came to Bennington recently on a campaign swing through the southern part of the state, I attended the event out of curiosity – and came away deeply impressed.

Kesha (Kay-sha) is in fact young – not yet 30 – but she is already in her fourth term as a State Representative from Burlington, where she has worked as a pre-school teacher and serves in the city's Community and Economic Development Office. She commanded the attention of her Bennington audience. She told us that she grew up in California, that her father was from India and mother from Illinois, and that she came to UVM to study political science and natural resource planning and fell in love with Vermont. Then she spoke about what she calls her opportunity agenda: issues such as green development, access to early and higher education, access to home ownership, better broadband, and how to serve seniors in an aging population. She spoke of the urgent need for Vermont to retain its youth and to attract energetic and entrepreneurial new residents (and taxpayers), especially of her own millennial generation. I had never heard anyone address so well the problem of what she called the Vermont premium on cost of living coupled with the Vermont discount on wages and salaries. Kesha claimed to be a good listener, and we saw it for ourselves during the discussion period. She gave sympathetic and thoughtful answers to a range of questions and seemed to have a detailed practical knowledge of how policies are made in Montpelier and carried out across the state.

Oh, and she informed us about what the lieutenant governor actually does, and could do. Beyond exercising certain important statutory duties, the lieutenant governor (in Kesha's view) is in an ideal position to work across party lines to build legislative consensus and to connect people throughout Vermont (she's done it as a Representative).

The local fellow Democratic reps who introduced her spoke of Kesha Ram as a hard worker. All I know is that she is very sharp, personable, and passionate, and has a well-grounded, creative vision for Vermont. I hope that you and other Vermonters get to know her in the coming months, in person or on her website. If you do, I think you will support her in the Democratic primary election for lieutenant governor next year.

— Phil Holland Shaftsbury


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