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Vermont Housing and Conservation Legislative Day

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition legislative day at the statehouse!

VHCC Legislative Day is the day in which we celebrate the unique partnership between housing and conservation in Vermont. It’s an opportunity for Vermonters to meet with their legislators and express why housing and conservation issues matter to them. This year, legislators heard from many of you that protecting Vermont’s natural land and making homes more affordable, safe, and accessible are some of your top priorities.

After breakfast with legislators, everyone packed into Room 11 and heard from the Coalition chairs and key legislative leaders. Among the speakers were House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, Senator Jane Kitchel, Senator Michael Sirotkin, Representative Kitty Toll, and Lt. Governor Dave Zuckerman. The event was very well attended and there was barely enough space to accommodate all of the advocates, legislators, and supporters. The overwhelming support showed legislators these issues matter to Vermonters!

The rest of the day was filled with testimony from conservationists, residents of affordable housing, housing service providers, economic development experts, housing developers, advocates, and concerned citizens. More than 10 committees heard testimony about housing and conservation.

After lunch, everyone got together in the House Chamber to hear a dedication celebrating the life and work of Paul Bruhn. Paul passed away last year, after a lifetime of working to protect the essential character of Vermont. After the dedication, attendees and legislators filed back into committee rooms to hear how we can build on Paul’s legacy by supporting housing and conservation initiatives.

In the afternoon, VHCC provided ice cream in the cafeteria, a welcome break during a busy day of testimony. Advocates ended the day feeling empowered by the large turnout and excellent testimony, leaving legislators with a renewed sense of urgency for housing and conservation issues.

For more information about the Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition, check out the Vermont Land Trust’s website.

Thank you, again, for everyone’s hard work!

Photos by Cara Hansen

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