Legislation

Embattled Northeast Kingdom has its day at the State House

Sen. Robert Starr (Essex-Orleans) in the ‘Center Square’ during a recent Zoom meeting.

Newport Dispatch

Residents of the Northeast Kingdom are invited to annual NEK Day at the Statehouse on Monday, January 24 at 10 a.m.

Anyone who makes their home in the NEK knows that the region faces a unique set of challenges compared to the rest of Vermont, the event organizer, the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, said.

As the most rural, least-funded corner of Vermont, the NEK has been disproportionately impacted by the fallout from Covid.

The only event of its kind in the Kingdom, NEK Day at the Statehouse is a chance to connect, although virtually this year, with legislators and fellow NEKers to celebrate the region, share priorities, and learn what’s been happening at the state level.

Kingdom citizens work some of the longest average hours for the lowest average incomes in Vermont.

The housing market is among the most susceptible to out-of-state buyers pricing out essential workers.

More than half the preschoolers in the region don’t have access to high-quality child care.

There’s no doubt that the Kingdom is essential to the identity of Vermont. And yet Kingdom residents often feel forgotten at the legislative level. That’s where the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative comes in.

An independent convener, the organization says they serve as a unified voice for the region, bringing people together across differences and reflecting the needs and interests of the communities it serves.

NEK Day @ the Statehouse is open to all NEKers at no cost and offers a rare opportunity to connect directly with the legislators who represent them.

This year, the NEKC is advocating investments in workforce development, housing, child care, mental health care, and Northern Vermont University.

Participants at the event will get to hear from Senator Leahy, the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, and key advocates about the successes and struggles of the region.

There are no unqualified attendees and no cost to attend. All concerned voices of the Northeast Kingdom are encouraged to register.

For more information on the event, or to register to attend, visit: https://www.nekcollaborative.org/news-1/nek-day-2022

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4 replies »

  1. Guess I’ll pass on NEK Day at the Statehouse ~ I have nothing in common with the NEK Collaborative; these folks are too woke for me and do not stand for Vermont as it used to be. Here is a sampling of what you find at their non-partisan website:

    “Systemic Change”
    “We accomplish this through cross-sector collaboration, diversity, equity, and inclusivity.”
    Instead of “Donate”, you click on “Invest”.
    A picture of David Zuckerman
    Funded by Ben & Jerry’s Foundation (a Social Justice Organization per the foundation)
    “NEK Womxn Lead Network”

    • MJW, All I can say is, get off of your computer, and actually take a ride on the back roads of the Kingdom during an election year, and compare what you see there signage wise to what you see in Chittenden, Franklin, Addison. Windsor, and Washington Co. I wish my home county was as “woke”, as you say, as Essex or Orleans Counties. Unfortunately lefty liberals have infiltrated the whole state, some places a lot more than others.

  2. “All concerned voices of the Northeast Kingdom are encouraged to register.” The welcome might not be warm, but all voices are welcomed. If you chose to exclude yourself, do not be surprised if the issues raised do not reflect your priorities.

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