Let’s Make Barre Brighter!
Campaign Season Begins!
Welcome back to the third edition of our campaign newsletter. I just got home from Barre City’s Memorial Day parade. In the midst of so much upheaval and uncertainty on the national stage, the parade and poignant remembrances were a good reminder of how important it is to come together as a community. At the wreath laying ceremony, Mayor Jake Hemmerick spoke about our honored fallen, those military servicemen and women who gave their lives for our freedoms. Our right to vote and ability to participate in an active, thriving democracy should never be taken for granted. I believe that with those rights comes a responsibility to serve, to give back to our community. It’s why I joined the Peace Corps, and it is why I have dedicated my life to serving our neighbors and community, especially those who are most in need.
As always, this newsletter will highlight my campaign platform and policy positions, to better serve those I wish to represent in the Vermont House of Representatives. These newsletters will always be shared out by email and made available on this website.
A quick update: our nominating petitions are in, and we are on the ballot for the August 9th primary! Representative Peter Anthony and myself are the only ones running as Democrats, so many thanks for your ongoing support in getting this far. It means a lot!
I continue to host listening sessions all around Barre City. Every listening session has been a privilege. I’ve heard from residents about what is most important to them, including the lack of funding for the library, and critical topics like reproductive freedoms and responsible gun control. I love talking to Vermonters, and to Barre City residents in particular, as I believe it is essential to understand the needs and wants of our community. At our latest listening session, we were joined by Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson, who is running for Washington County Senate District to represent Barre. Previous listening sessions have featured Representative Peter Anthony and Senator Ann Cummings, and it was wonderful to watch them engage with so many Barre City residents.
We will continue to host listening sessions throughout the summer - follow the Jonathan For Barre Facebook and Instagram pages for details on dates and times.
On Gun Control
Note an abbreviated version of this statement was originally published on social media platforms on 5/24/22
My heart goes out to those who have recently lost loved ones in Uvalde, Texas. And to all victims of gun violence in this country, I’m sorry. This can’t keep happening. It must not keep happening.
We need to enact common sense gun control measures at a national level: universal background checks, end the online sales of guns and ammunition, and close dangerous loopholes that allow certain individuals convicted of assault or battery to buy and possess firearms.
I understand that many Vermonters value and enjoy hunting with firearms. I myself enjoy hunting and fishing (I am a poor fisherman, but I still love the sport). Even still, the number of hunting and fishing licenses issued in Vermont have declined in recent years, whereas gun ownership in Vermont continues to increase. That tells me that firearm ownership does not correspond to the number of responsible hunters in our state. With the practice of hunting comes generations of taught knowledge around responsible, safe firearm handling. To own a hunting license in Vermont you also need to pass a certified hunter safety course.
I want to make sure that people in Vermont can continue to hunt while ensuring our schools - and our children - remain safe and free. No child should live in fear of being gunned down in a school. And no teacher should be expected to arm and defend those children. My sister is a teacher, and she assures me she has no desire to carry or manage a firearm in a classroom; I know many other teachers that feel the same.
Let’s come together, both here in Vermont and as a nation, to protect our children by enacting smart, sensible gun control measures which allow us to continue to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
Jonathan's experience as an advocate for municipalities at VLCT, and his service in local government are valuable assets to have in a legislator. He understands the challenges that cities like Barre face, from securing infrastructure dollars to compliance with open meeting and public records laws, to town plan revisions and zoning bylaws requirements. And I know too that he cares about Barre and our shared future. I wholeheartedly endorse Jonathan Williams to represent Barre City in the Vermont House of Representatives.
Mayor Jake Hemmerick, Barre City