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February 2023 Newsletter


I’m writing this as I enter my final two weeks as VDP Chair. This has been an intense, rewarding, unforgettable year and a half.

Throughout my time as Chair, I have been buoyed by so many who provided wise guidance and support throughout. I can’t even count the number of times I requested and received valuable advice and ideas that helped me with every aspect of the work. This includes legislators and candidates, State Committee members, County and Town chairs, long-time Democratic activists I’ve known for years, and emerging new leaders.

I leave with pride in all we accomplished together since November, 2021 and I’m confident that the Vermont Democratic Party will continue to be a strong, positive force for good in our state. I am especially proud of the following achievements:

  • Our unprecedented election success up and down the ballot: Exciting, can-do leaders in U.S. Sen. Peter Welch and U.S.Rep. Becca Balint, in our terrific statewide office-holders, and among our historic number of Democratic House members and in the State Senate, which retains its lopsided Democratic majority.

  • The VDP’s internal strength: A small but mighty year-round staff, led by highly skilled and passionate Executive Director Jim Dandeneau; a stable and well-organized party infrastructure (special thanks to VDP Treasurer Deb Berryrere); and ambitious, meaningful strategies to ensure a strong, sustainable VDP.

  • Energized, engaged Vermont Democrats: Large numbers of Democrats campaigned, attended candidate events, participated in county and town Democratic happenings, and donated funds; and many hundreds of you joined our keynote events, including our large, joyous election night celebration.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you. I know I'm leaving you in good hands.


We’re a month into the new year, and the staff at the VDP has been in heavy planning mode since the holidays wrapped. We have set three goals for ourselves this year:

  • To raise the level of political engagement in our communities.

  • To raise the level of political skill in our elected officials

  • And to raise the level of professionalism and ability in potential Democratic campaign staff and volunteers.

We’re confident that these three goals will improve the overall health and stability of the party heading into a potentially chaotic, difficult 2024 election cycle. We’re already hard at work supporting municipal candidates from Vernon to Enosburg, working with town and county chairs to identify local candidates and improve our data infrastructure. And from there, we’re going to work hard to be everywhere: we want to make the VDP a positive, regular presence in all Vermonters’ lives.

We’ve been meeting with county and town chairs throughout the municipal election process, and we’re going to keep that up. But we also want to make sure we have an open door to help you, which is why we’re rolling out office hours. Every Monday at 8:30, I’ll have an open Zoom link and be at my desk. Feel free to drop in and ask questions about anything the VDP or our town and county committees do, and how we can help. And the rest of the team will have links for their office hours below.

We want to help. We have lots of ideas, but your feedback is really important, so please tell us your thoughts!


Over the past few weeks, the Vermont Democratic Party’s municipal field operation has been busy at work in Burlington. In the Queen City’s Central and East District, our paid canvassers have been introducing candidates Avery Muzikar and Tim Doherty to voters and talking about some of the biggest issues affecting their neighborhoods such as the affordable housing crisis and public safety. Additionally, volunteers and student interns have been especially engaging students on the University of Vermont’s campus and surrounding neighborhoods to support Hannah King’s run in the Ward 8 special election.

With just over three weeks left until Town Meeting Day, and a few days until ballots are all mailed to voters across the city, our operations are only continuing to grow as we engage neighbors across the city and get out the vote!


The Legislature is hard at work delivering on promises from the campaign trail. The House has already passed a budget adjustment that helps protect