Thank you for a fabulous Annual Celebration of Women in Politics!

Thank you to everyone who joined us on March 24th for the Emerge Vermont Annual Celebration of Women in Politics 2018. With a standing-room-only crowd and a fantastic line-up of speakers and performers, it was an amazing evening honoring Vermont Democratic women past, present, and future!

We're thrilled to welcome Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley as a special guest and keynote speaker at the event. Her speech about her path to leadership and elected office, and the value of role models, diversity, and inclusivity in politics, was truly inspiring:

"As a Party, a movement, and a generation we speak often of the virtues and the righteousness of inclusion and representation, especially when it comes to diversity. However, as Democrats we celebrate it, but in my humble opinion we haven’t yet committed ourselves to honoring it. You see, honoring diversity is about shared power. And that makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. Shared power matters because representation matters. We all bring a unique, different, and important lens to the issues that affect us. And equality is about more than having elected officials that will champion our issues, it’s about electing officials who share our life stories, who look like us, who sound like us, and who in the process of standing up to be counted themselves are standing up for us too."

Governor Madeleine Kunin presented the 2nd Annual Governor Madeleine M. Kunin Lifetime Achievement Award to Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce for her decades of public finance service and unique role as the only woman currently elected to statewide office in Vermont. Treasurer Pearce often serves as a role model and mentor to younger women who are interested in following in her path of a life of public service. Treasurer Pearce's remarks included a wonderful story about the history of the "Women's Portrait Monument" in Washington, DC and how it serves as a reminder of the work that's yet to be done on the road to gender equality.

We welcomed 29 new alumnae to Emerge Vermont with the graduation of our Class of 2018. Class members were thrilled to share their Emerge experience and celebrate their accomplishments with their families and friends. Class speaker, Lauren Sampson, offered a smart and witty overview of the class accomplishments and sisterhood.

We also heard remarks from Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint, an Emerge Vermont Class of 2014 alumna, who introduced Councilor Pressley, making connections between their two paths to office and the role of important family influences.

Democratic Party Committeeman Tim Jerman, an Emerge Vermont Advisory Councilor, spoke on behalf of Men for Emerge, a group of men who have pledged to support women in politics, whenever possible, with their time, finances, and moral support.

The audience was treated to a special slam poetry performance by the Muslim Girls Making Change, including the incredible solo piece by Hawa Adam, entitled "To be Black and Lower-Class."

Executive Director Ruth Hardy and Event and Emerge Vermont Board Chair Joan Lenes welcomed and thanked attendees for coming to the event, and for their generous support of Emerge Vermont.

Photos here include Councilor Ayanna Pressley (top left); the standing-room-only crowd (top right); the Class of 2018 (above left); speakers and performers (above right), and Hawa Adam (left). The photo of speakers and peformers include, from left to right and top to bottom: Muslim Girls Making Change (Hawa Adam, Balkisa Abdikab, Kiran Waqar, and Lena Ginawi); Ayanna Pressley, Tim Jerman, Joan Lenes, Lauren Sampson, Ruth Hardy; and Beth Pearce, Madeleine Kunin, Becca Balint.

More photos can be found on the Emerge Vermont Facebook Page. In addition, videos of each of the speakers and peformers can be found on the Emerge Vermont YouTube Channel. Enjoy!

We are Incredibly Grateful to our Event Sponsors

Fabulous Champion Level - $2,500

Bevo - the official event caterer

Phoenix Book Stores and Owners Michael DeSanto & Renee Reiner 

Brave Trailblazer - $1,000

Alchemist Beer


Inspiring Mentor Level - $500

Dottie Deans and Lydia Spitzer

Rep. Mary Hooper and Jim Slinkman

Colette Kulig Photography

Joan Lenes

Susan Ritz

Shap Smith

Invaluable Partner Level - $250

Betsy Allen-Pennebaker


Rep. Jessica Brumsted

Rep. Maureen Dakin

James Ehlers

State's Attorney Sarah George

Lisa Hagerty

Christine Hallquist

Council President Ashley Hill

Senator Debbie Ingram

Tim Jerman

Speaker Mitzi Johnson

Governor Madeleine Kunin

Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP

Sue Minter

Lisa Patlis and Ken Braverman

Councilor Karen Paul

Treasurer Beth Pearce

Councilor Joan Shannon

Special Thanks to Event Chair - Joan Lenes! 


Contributions are not tax deductible.

Paid for by Emerge Vermont, a non-profit, political organization.

Emerge Vermont does not endorse or fund candidates.

Ayanna Pressley appears as a special guest. She has not provided or solicited funds for this event. 


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