Vermont’s independent spirit has always been a strong part of its culture and history. This spirit has helped to define the state’s political activism throughout the years. Among those who have taken part in this tradition are Bess O’Brien, Nell Scovell, and Becca Balint. These women, along with the many others, are profiled in this article.

Becca Balint

Becca Balint is a progressive leader and a former middle school teacher. She has been a champion for Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. As a state senator, she has fought for a more equitable health care system.

As a state senator, she has served on the Judicial Rules Committee, the Economic Development and Housing Committee, and the Institutions Committee. Becca also serves as the Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

Becca has also been a strong advocate for affordable child care and early education. She has been a strong supporter of the Older Vermonters Act, which created a coordinated system of services for older Vermonters.

Bess O’Brien

The Winthrop Man was a tad more than a half dozen years ago. The movie has a storied past, replete with anecdotes and a few notable snafus. That said, the movie is a solid watch. It is a worthy contender for the best teen movie of all time.

Among the many tepid slew of accolades, there was a brief mention in the form of a brief faff in the bowels of the state’s capitol. One of the many occupants of the state’s Capitol Building was the state’s most influential film buff, a well-educated and snarky lady by the name of Jennifer McCann, who a few years back was the director of the state’s film department. Bess O’Brien was in attendance as was a plethora of industry luminaries, including the aforementioned McCann. During the course of the evening, O’Brien sifted through the flurry of accolades and found herself on a short list of winners.

Nell Scovell

Whether it’s working with students in the summer program, fighting climate change, or tackling other issues, Vermonters are taking on the world’s most urgent problems. In this episode of What’s On Our Mind, we talk with several Vermont activists who’ve worked on some of the state’s most important issues.

Vermont’s independent spirit and its history of political activism are both on display in this episode. From a former ski racing coach who is leading a progressive millennial workforce to a former police officer who is leading a movement for socially responsible business, these leaders discuss some of the most pressing issues facing Vermont.

Caledonia Spirits

In the world of booze, Vermont distilleries are on a roll. The state of Vermont has an estimated 28 craft beer and micro-distillery operations in and around its stomping grounds. Not to be outdone by the big boys, a handful of small-batch brewers are pushing the boundaries in the ol’ state of the art. With the latest industry innovations and a savvy consumer base, the local brewers are well positioned to do big time. For instance, in the recent past, a small batch brewery was named the best micro-distillery in the state of Vermont. Caledonia Spirits, a relative newcomer in the industry, is a name to watch in the months to come.

Silo Distillery

Vermont’s independent spirit and its history of political activism are two topics that a new documentary film explores. The six-part series, FREEDOM AND UNITY: THE VERMONT MOVIE, is a collaborative project involving over 20 award-winning Vermont filmmakers.

This film examines the complicated histories of Vermont’s past. In particular, it focuses on the values of the state, its motto, and its history of grassroots democracy. It is also a model for collaborative storytelling.

In addition to addressing these challenging aspects of the state’s history, Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie is a celebration of the independent spirit that has shaped Vermont. This independent spirit is seen in the state’s agricultural industry, its strong commitment to artistic pursuits, and its steadfast opposition to both liberal and conservative leadership.

Students from around the state demand new gun control laws

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month is only the latest in a series of school shootings that have shocked and appalled the country. These high-profile killings are spurring a nationwide debate over gun control. Several states have passed new laws to help protect students and prevent such tragedies in the future.

Vermont lawmakers recently enacted several gun laws to make the state safer. This includes an extreme risk law, a ban on high capacity magazines, and a universal background check system.

Vermont has the first bump stock ban in the country, which is a hefty accomplishment. It also prohibits 3D printing and ghost guns.