MANCHESTER — Vermont Conservation Voters honored Rep. Kathleen James of Manchester Center for her dedication to the environment.
VCV feted James with its Environmental Rising Star Award along with two other first-term legislators who have become leaders on environmental issues: Rep. Mari Cordes of Lincoln, and Sen. Andrew Perchlik of Montpelier.
This year's Environmental Rising Star Awards were presented at VCV's 2020 Environmental Common Agenda Reception at the State House recently.
Elected in November 2018 to the Vermont House of Representatives, James joined the Climate Solutions Caucus to work to build the climate economy.
"Rep. James is already a leader on the climate economy in the State House, and we are excited to continue working with her this year and in future years on critical issues facing the state," said VCV Executive Director Lauren Hierl.
This past spring, she was elected to the Caucus leadership team as House co-vice-chair, helping with its efforts to connect with more Vermonters. Those outreach efforts resulted in reaching more than 1,000 Vermonters at a series of community meetings across the state.
"As a member of the Climate Caucus, we see tremendous, tangible opportunity in the shift to a low-carbon economy — the fast-approaching economy of the future," James said. "We're working to develop policies that reduce carbon emissions while creating jobs, developing the workforce, attracting and retaining residents, and helping Vermonters transition to a cleaner, more cost-effective and sustainable way of life."
In the State House, James is also active in the Rural Economic Development Working Group and the new Tourism Caucus. She serves on the House Education Committee and in March 2019 was appointed by Speaker Mitzi Johnson to the New England Board of Higher Education.
In Manchester Center, Rep. James is working with a task force to establish the Southern Vermont Communications Union District and extend broadband to under-served towns and neighborhoods. This past summer, she attended the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators' conference in Nashville, and was recently named the NCEL "state lead" liaison for the Vermont legislature.