VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FROM ARLINGTON COMMITTEE
I voted for Kathleen James as state representative in 2018. She has far exceeded my expectations of her government service met.
As a working member of the Arlington Area Renewal Project, I saw James’ community commitment by attending several of our regular meetings and our day-long Housing Summit. She was the only one of our two Representatives who did. This proves her interest in important issues facing residents of her district including the critical housing issues facing many of our communities.
I’ve been impressed with Seth Bongartz’ commitment to the area’s youth at Hildene and his strategic efforts to turn what had been a house museum into a world-class cultural heritage site.
At our 2020 Town Meeting, James solicited residents to get involved with the Southern Vermont Communications Union District to solve our broadband issues. The COVID pandemic has driven home just how important accessible, reliable internet service is to all our residents.
She been able to build alliances in the legislature through collaboration, cooperation, and open-mindedness. It’s these skills that mark an effective leader. Seth has demonstrated those same skills at Hildene, with the land trust, and as a founder of The Shires.
The most impressive aspect of James’ is her communication skills. She manages her legislative Facebook page, provides regular updates via her newsletter, and (pre-COVID) held regular breakfast “office hours” in Manchester and Arlington. But her communication skills go beyond keeping us updated. James is an expert listener. She actively solicits our feedback and she acts on what she hears. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve referred people to her who experienced issues with unemployment and business owners needing direction in securing emergency grants. And she helped all of them.
In business, we have the concept of the “servant leader.” Servant leaders take the traditional power leadership model and turn it upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people at the very top and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving those above them.
Servant leaders like this because they possess a “serve-first” mindset and are focused on empowering and uplifting those whom they represent.
Kathleen and Seth are “servant leaders.” Their involvement in government is not about personal power—it’s about serving people.
They are exactly the type of Representatives we need during these tumultuous times. I’ll be voting for Kathleen James and Seth Bongartz in November. —Laurie Glover, Arlington